by Kayla G

Email marketing is a major marketing tool in almost every other industry. Personally, my inbox is always filled with special sales, blog updates, and limited time offers. It’s surprising that such a powerful and prevalent strategy hasn’t really caught on in the cannabis industry, but now is the time to change all that.

Does your company have an email list? If not, it’s time to start one. You need to capture the audience that views your site and keep them consistently coming back for more. Maybe you’ve been hesitant to set one up out of fear of no one subscribing. Your customers, you think, may be reluctant to have marijuana-related content in their inboxes due to the stigma that unfortunately still surrounds the industry for many. That may be true or it may not be. Either way, you have to let your customers make their own choice. And, if you’re providing enough value through informational content or discounted products, even the most sheepish of customers will find a way to subscribe discreetly.

Not having a stellar email marketing campaign strategy is leaving money on the table. Especially with all the limitations cannabis industry businesses face in other common advertising spaces, like paid search and other traditional marketing avenues, we cannot afford to neglect email marketing. Luckily, email marketing is more effective than other advertising options because it delivers relevant information directly to an already interested audience rather than blasting an entire demographic and hoping something sticks.

Now that you know how important and effective a good email marketing campaign is, let’s talk about how you can get the most out of it.

Use the Right Tools

When it comes to email marketing, there are tons of products and software options out there all vying for your business. They come with a range of features and in all different price points, so how can you tell which one is a good fit for your business?

The first step is to honestly evaluate how you will be using the service and on what kind of scale. You won’t need top of the line (and priced at a premium) software to manage an opt-in list of a couple hundred. Find an option that feels like a comfortable fit for where your business is right now. You can always upgrade later, but there’s no use paying for bells and whistles you don’t need yet.

Make it Special

Your email campaigns should provide subscribers with exclusive content that your audience can’t get anywhere else. A half-hearted roundup of this week’s blog posts will not keep any audience engaged for very long. Subscribers should feel more like they’re in a secret club than a community signboard. Of course, not ALL of your email content needs to be exclusive- there’s nothing wrong with sending out reminders for sales or popular posts- but at least once a month you should be sending content to your email subscribers that’s for their eyes only.

Respect the Unsubscribe

It can be painful to see your subscriber number tick down, but it’s important (and in many cases, legally required) that you respect opt-outs and refrain from contacting those people. To ease the blow, remember that it’s much better to have a smaller list of engaged, loyal customers than a big ol’ list of people who never open your emails.

There are a certain amount of unsubscribes you can expect no matter what- that’s why we all need to be constantly striving to grow our email lists in new ways- but if you notice a sudden upsurge, try to get to the root of the problem. Take a look at the last few emails you’ve sent out. Were they engaging, exclusive, and tailored to your audience? Reevaluate your strategy to see where you went wrong and try to keep people from falling off the wagon in the future.

A successful email marketing campaign can take a bit of trial and error, but it’s important that you start trying! Email is one of the most powerful tools we in the cannabis industry have in our arsenal, and everyone should be striving to make the most of it.

The Junky G is a cannabis industry professional constantly on the hunt for the best strains and seeds. He reviews the best of them over on his site