Dispensary tips

The cannabis retailer's guide to email marketing

By
Lindsay Crafford
October 10, 2022

As a dispensary owner, you don't have an unlimited amount of time to spend learning the ins and outs of retail marketing trends. So rather than investing all of your resources into new platforms that use algorithms to limit your reach, focus on a channel that gives you direct access to your audience and has stood the test of time: email.

In this article, we'll discuss how email marketing helps cannabis retailers, and more specifically, how to build an email list for your dispensary.

Keep reading to learn:

  • Why email marketing is important for dispensaries
  • Best practices for building an email list
  • Red flags to look out for while email-list building
  • Customer relationship tips for email marketing

Disclaimer: The content and best practices outlined in this article are not legal advice. Please consult local marketing and cannabis regulations for compliance and other guidelines.

Why email marketing matters for retailers

While social media often takes up most of the spotlight, email marketing is a more worthy marketing channel that continually yields great results. In fact, email marketing has the highest return on investment of any marketing medium. According to Litmus, for every dollar invested in email marketing, you can expect up to a $36 return.

Email marketing helps you reach customers where they’re shopping—and they’re shopping online more than ever before. In fact, Statista found that between 2014 and 2022, global ecommerce sales increased 122%. Because of this surge in online shopping, email marketing is mission-critical to your dispensary's marketing strategy.

Compared to social media, email is a more direct way to reach customers. You have more “ownership” over your email audience than you do your social media following. Because social media platforms rely on algorithms to serve users content, your followers may not see everything you share in their feeds. In other words, algorithms limit your posts’ reach. But when you have a customer’s email address, your email will always make it to their inbox.

Best practices for email list building

Now that you understand why email marketing is so important for creating an omni-channel ecommerce experience, here are a few tips for how to build an email list both online and offline.

How to grow your email list online

  • At checkout: Collect customers’ email addresses when they place an online order. Not only will this enable you to send them order confirmation and  updates via email, but you can also (with consent) send customers marketing messages.
  • Email list sign-up: Place a box or form on your website that asks customers to sign up for your email list. This way, even if someone is just browsing and doesn’t order any cannabis products, you can stay top of mind by communicating via email.
  • Offer an incentive: Sometimes it takes more than just asking to get people to sign up for an email list. If your list needs a boost, incentivize online shoppers to sign up for your newsletter by offering them a coupon code in exchange for their email address.

How to grow your email list offline

  • Email receipts: Offer digital receipts as an alternative to paper receipts to help reduce clutter, run a more sustainable business, and build your email list.
  • At events: Host events at your dispensary, such as a grand opening party, and collect email addresses in exchange for admission. You can take a similar approach and apply this to industry events or expos attended by your team.
  • Email list sign up: You can also ask in-store shoppers to opt in to your newsletter.

Red flags to watch out for in email marketing

When building your email list, it’s important to adhere to local regulations.

Regulations around email marketing in North America

Most countries have anti-spam laws in place to protect consumers. Avoid legal action and fees by adhering to your local email marketing regulations.

In the U.S., the CAN-SPAM Act regulates commercial emails. To summarize, the act makes it illegal to put misleading information in a subject line, requires senders to provide a physical mailing address and an unsubscribe option, and makes it obligatory for senders to disclose ads.

Customer relationship tips for email marketing

When you’ve worked hard to build your email list using legitimate techniques, you'll want to be respectful of your subscribers so they look forward to hearing from you. Here are a few ways to keep them happy:

  • Get consent: Make sure you have the consent of everyone on your email list to send them messages. Whether you collect email addresses online or in-store, customers should know what they’re signing up for.
  • Don’t spam: Don’t send emails too often. According to Campaign Monitor, the sweet spot is two emails per week.
  • Make it easy to unsubscribe: While hopefully you’ll share engaging content so customers will want to stay subscribed, you’re legally obligated to give customers a way to opt out of hearing from you in every email. Make it easy for them to do so—don’t hide the unsubscribe button!
  • Don’t mislead: False advertising isn't only frustrating for consumers, it’s also illegal. Avoid making false claims in subject lines or in the body of your emails.
  • Ask for feedback: Ask subscribers (and those who want to unsubscribe) for feedback on your newsletters. Ask straightforward questions about the email frequency they’re comfortable with and the kind of news they want to hear about.

About Dutchie

Dutchie is an all-in-one technology platform powering the cannabis industry with Point of Sale, Ecommerce, Payments, and Insurance. Through our technology, we’re helping cannabis businesses start, operate, and grow with confidence. With software that simplifies their operations, our customers can focus on what matters most—bringing the benefits of cannabis safely to consumers.

Request a demo today!

About the author
Lindsay Crafford
Sr. Content Marketing Manager