What is Email Marketing?

Posted on May 25th, 2021 to Email Marketing

Email marketing is the act of using email to directly promote a brand or service and foster a relationship with consumers. While only one sect of online marketing, email’s capability to reap a return towers over other strategies.

In the 1970s, a marketing manager used Arpanet to send 400 emails. That man, who was the first to use email as a marketing tool, ultimately generated $13 million in revenue. What worked then remains relevant today, despite the fact that the methodology and scope have advanced significantly. The reality is that if you are not using email marketing for your cannabis/CBD business, you’re likely passing up a substantial opportunity.

How Email Marketing Works

Essentially, email marketing works by sending a message or sequence of messages to a specific group of prospective customers who have opted-in to receive communications from your brand. The email messaging Sign-ups may happen:

  • When a customer makes a purchase
  • If a website visitor chooses to receive your company newsletter
  • When an in-store customer signs up for a rewards or member program
  • If a website visitor submits their email for a special savings promotion

Once you have a list of people on your email subscriber list, you have a list of prospects who have already shown some level of interest in your canna-business. This places you in a prime position to really interact with your target consumer base, retain interest, and promote your products for the long term. Email works to stay in touch with your customers by keeping them both informed and feeling like they are valued by your business.

Email marketing is also one of the most effective ways of segmenting your target audience. Segmenting involves really targeting the different groups in your consumer base on a more personal level. For example, if you have a customer, also an email subscriber, who continually buys cannabis extracts instead of cured flower, you have the opportunity to build email content that feeds that interest.

Benefits of Email Marketing

The ability to add to your email list is crucial because it is the start of the sales funnel, and your first opportunity to tailor specific messaging for a potential customer. Email marketing can be especially beneficial for smaller brands that may lack the time or know-how to devote to other digital marketing opportunities, such as SEO.

Top 5 Benefits of Email Marketing

  1. Low cost – Unlike Google, Facebook, and other digital advertising alternatives, email is a low- to no-cost choice.
  2. Targeted – Because these email users have all chosen to receive marketing communications, the conversion rate is higher than traditional means of advertising.
  3. Segmented – Obviously, all subscribers won’t have the same buying intentions, and that’s okay. Segmenting your list to reflect the common characteristics among your customers will help you tailor specific messaging to each grouping.
  4. Automated – You’ve heard “set-it and forget-it,” right? Well, accompanied by experts, automating your email campaigns into specific flows has the ability to generate sales all by itself. Almost like magic.
  5. Time Sensitive – Because email allows you to send whenever you want, you can choose the best timing for sales, discounts, and other sales-driven campaigns.

How to Build an Effective Email Marketing Strategy

One reason why dispensaries, cannabis cafés, and even CBD brands shy away from email marketing is the sheer level of effort involved in building an effective strategy. Email marketing may be highly effective and one of the biggest ROIs, but seeing these outcomes involves a lot of moving parts and a ton of strategizing. A few steps involved in the process include:

  • Build your subscriber list – Must come from customers who have opted-in to receive communications.
  • Create a campaign that adheres to the rules – Commercial emails must follow rules set forth by the CAN-SPAM Act.
  • Develop a mix of email contentWelcome and thank you emails, promotional, newsletters, etcetera.
  • Optimize emails for mobile access – Content must be optimized to work on mobile since the majority of emails are accessed on mobile.
  • Generate a logical email schedule – Following a schedule gives subscribers a sense of knowing when to expect communications.
  • Build an email response system – Email can be a two-way communication tool but requires a proper response system to be effective.
  • Utilize A/B testingA/B testing is one of the best ways to decide which emails work best for your audience.

Build an Email Marketing Strategy for Your Cannabusiness

While the objective and idea of email marketing are simple, the creation of an effective campaign can be anything but. If you’re looking for help to build the best email marketing campaign for your cannabis café, dispensary, or otherwise, reach out to us at CannaPlanners to get off to a good start.

VP Digital Marketing, CMO

This post was written by Zach Santarsiero.

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