Old School Marketing that Kicks it for Cannabis
Email is far from dead, and it just might be one of the best available marketing tools for cannabis brands
Not allowed. If you’re a cannabis company, you probably haven’t been made to feel all that welcome by the most popular social media platforms. Each one has specific prohibitions. Facebook, for example, currently bans even the mention of the use of cannabis products.
According to a MarketWatch article, Facebook has taken this stance because cannabis laws around the world vary widely and are quickly changing. It is, the social network says, “operationally difficult” to create and implement a policy that could work across global jurisdictions.
Facebook may be huge, but sidestepping social media to successfully market your cannabis brand is easy to do. It’s time to go old school. According to Celeste Miranda, writing for Cannabis Business Executive, email marketing generates the highest ROI. She writes that for every dollar spent, email marketing returns 38 dollars. Here’s why it can work for cannabis brands.
Bigger than social media
Facebook and its social media friends are big. Email is bigger. It’s estimated that 246 billion email messages will be sent each day before we reach the end of 2019. More than 3 billion people will use email by the end of the decade, which is about half the planet’s entire population. And the other half? Well, the majority of them don’t even have electricity let alone an email address.
Reading the cannabis leaves. Obstacles presented by social media are not insurmountable when you consider that email has a bigger footprint.
Encouraging open rates
Don’t be so quick to dismiss email because everybody gets messages, but nobody opens and reads them. Mailchimp, which sends billions of emails monthly, studied their own data for clients sending out messages to at least 1,000 subscribers. Their data shows that the average open rate across all industries is nearly 21 percent.
Reading the cannabis leaves: Mailchimp advises companies using email marketing campaigns to pay close attention to subject lines. “Tell, don’t sell what’s inside,” they explain. And yes, spam filters are likely your biggest challenge. But the challenge might be created by your limited understanding of how they work.
Email is an all-day thing
Adobe is not just about Photoshop anymore. They are doing a deep dive into marketing, and they recently examined how America’s office workers use email. Adobe found that they spend about two and a half hours of the total time spent on emails looking at personal messages. This is above and beyond checking personal email accounts before arriving at work. Some don’t even wait until they get out of bed.
Checking email has become an activity that happens throughout the day, and consumers have blurred the line between work and personal messages. This means that you don’t have to be overly concerned about optimal times to send them messages. They’re looking all day long. Unlike chat apps, which interrupt you throughout the day, or social media feeds, which are sorted and ranked by algorithms, email is asynchronous, and prospects or customers control it. It can be compartmentalized and scheduled. It fits into their day, rather than taking it over.
Reading the cannabis leaves: Take a “mobile-first” approach with your email message formatting. At least 56 percent of email messages are read on an iPhone or a mobile device using Gmail. Skip the large image files and animation.
The long and short of it
How many words should be in your email message? AWeber analyzed 1,000 emails and found that the average message contained 434 words, which would take about 3.3 minutes to read.
Digging deeper into the data, the email platform discovered that more than half of the email messages they analyzed had less than 300 words. The flip side to this coin is that 35.5 percent of the emails in the study contained from 600 to more than 900 words – meaning it would take a recipient up to nearly 7 minutes to read. Who’s doing the right thing? It depends on your target recipients.
Reading the cannabis leaves: Does your email contain a specific purchase offer? Make it short and sweet. Are you using email as a way to educate and establish yourself as a subject matter expert? Use as many words as necessary to make your point. Consumers want specific types of content depending where they are in the buyer’s journey. Many prospects are keenly interested in being educated and gaining perspective on a subject that has only recently become accessible. How can your email messages help to connect them with information that will put your cannabis products into their worldview?
Old school, but still kicking it!
Call it marketing if you want, or just call it communications. In the form of emails, it’s a way to create and deepen relationships by sharing information that helps prospects and customers connect with your cannabis brand. It works because you are telling stories that actually matter to your recipients.
Email communications also allow you to use appropriate personalization. We all love to be addressed by our names and acknowledged for our relationship. Just don’t go too far because it’s creepy. But, do go far enough to make your messages action-oriented. Educate. Inform. Offer perspective. Always end with a call to action.
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