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Email harvesting: How can email marketing increase sales and customer loyalty in the cannabis business?

What is e-mailing?

E-mailing is a direct form of communication with customers. It is an effective way to reach them with a short and punchy text. By texting, you can reach up to tens of thousands of people at once who have expressed interest in your product or brand. For example, customers have already signed up for your newsletter or bought from you.

Through emails you can: 

  • Alert new or regular customers to product specials or new product launches.
  • Build relationships through targeted tips and articles.
  • Increase website traffic and sales in general.
  • Provide yourself with a useful source of data to optimise other messages and other marketing campaigns.

Advantages of e-mailing

  • Favorable price/benefit ratio - usually paid for the number of contacts in the database, some tools provide mailings to a certain number of addresses free of charge.
  • Lightning-fast - simple messages can be entered in moments.
  • Easy to measure - it's possible even without complex analytical tools; you can find out how many people opened each email (open rate) and the click-through rate (click-through rate) right in the emailing platform.

Basic steps for newcomers in email marketing

Are you new to emailing? Check out the first steps you should take:

  • Set realistic and sustainable goals for growing your cannabis business, such as building an email list or improving client retention by x percent.
  • Choose an email marketing tool.
  • Prepare a plan for initial campaigns (e.g. a welcome email, a newsletter informing about current promotions, a series about an abandoned cart or a new product launch).
  • Consider how you will collect email contacts.
  • Customize the landing pages for campaigns (a single subpage with a product that you want to drive customers to in a controlled way and that fulfils a specific goal, it is not the homepage, the homepage or the main page of the website)
  • Build a solid foundation (define the target audience, build a workable strategy, etc.).


How to do email marketing

Tools for e-mail marketing

Email marketing tools will make your work much easier and more efficient. All you need is registration in the software of your choice, access to the Internet and a database of contacts.

Examples of Czech instruments:

  • SmartEmailing 

SmartEmailing has complete support in Czech and reliably ensures email delivery thanks to its own sending infrastructure independent of third parties. It offers a wide range of basic and advanced personalization, segmentation and automation options.

Communication is supported on many channels, not only on email, but also via SMS, Facebook and Sklik. The tool also has its own solution for GDPR compliance and performs RFM analysis to optimize marketing strategies. A 14-day trial period can be used, the price is then based on the number of contacts in the database.

  • Ecomail

Ecomail offers an intuitive interface and a wide selection of templates. It allows personalization, segmentation and automation. It also offers the ability to A/B test campaigns before they are sent and advanced features including SMS campaigns and the ability to connect with Facebook and Instagram platforms. The tool has a free version for up to 200 contacts. 

Examples of foreign instruments:

  • Mailchimp 

This software is in English only, up to 2,000 addresses it is a free service. It has an excellent visual editor that includes lots of pre-made templates, customer support works 24/7. Mailchimp offers extensive segmentation options and connections to other systems. It includes features such as lead scoring, automation and various integrations - for example, contacts can be directly exported from Raynet (business support and management software) into the tool or integrated with LiveAgent (chatbot and live chat). Advanced features are only available in higher and relatively expensive tariffs. This email tool has many versions, which can be quite complicated for beginners.

  • GetResponse

GetResponse is also in English only, outside of emailing it allows you to create landing pages and webinars. The free trial version is up to 500 contacts. The software offers more than 500 email templates, slick web forms, an e-commerce module for e-shops and an easy-to-use editor for creating automations. Connecting to other tools is difficult, GetResponse software has a centralized approach and tries to let users control everything right on their platform.

Other examples of modern tools for email marketing include the Czech software Clipsan, SmartMailer, and foreign Mailerlite, Aweber and Constant Contact.

Before you decide on a particular software, test a few of them. If you want to switch to another one after some time, you will have to migrate, go through the whole process of setting up, creating emails and exporting/importing addresses again.

It won't work without contacts

First of all, get your email list together, because you can't do effective email marketing without it. Never buy email lists, it's just a quick way to get into trouble. Far better to use your content marketing efforts to attract potential customers and get them to give you their emails. They may exchange the data for an offer of quality content or subscribe to your newsletter, for example.

Once you've collected email addresses, it's time to create an email marketing strategy.


How to e-mailing

Key moves for effective email marketing

You need a well thought out strategy for successful email marketing. You need to know who your target audience is and understand their needs and interests. Only then can you create content that is relevant and engaging to your "target audience". Don't send emails about HHC, HHC-P and HHC-O products to customers who are interested in CBD for animals. Conversely, if a customer is interested in the new cannabinoids and is shopping for HHC gummies and hash on your e-store, a blog article about how CBD oil can help with inflammation probably won't be engaging to them.

1. Analysis and segmentation of target groups

Analysing and segmenting target groups is an essential step in developing an effective strategy. This means breaking down your customers according to different criteria. Target groups can be defined:

  • Demographically and statistically (according to objective indicators, numbers and data), such as age, gender, place of residence (region), the amount the customer is willing to spend on your product, and products he's bought in the past.
  • Psychologically (according to interests, preferences and values).
  • Depending on the specific problems the client is currently dealing with (e.g. sleep problems, skin problems). The key for the client is to solve the problem quickly and reliably.
  • By relevance to your business (primary target - most likely to buy most products, secondary target - interested in a specific part of the offer, tertiary target - buys only 1 specific product, only marginal reach)
  • Depending on whether it is a B2C or B2B segment.

Based on the definition of the target group, offer targeted offers and content based on individual customer needs.  

You can also create customer profiles to better understand their purchasing decisions and behaviour. A simple tool used in copywriting is called personas. A persona embodies the typical customer you want to reach with your advertising campaign and your copy. It's actually a collection of information about all clients into one model persona that can serve as a representative of the target group. You can process profiles in different ways and create multiple profiles, also use marketing survey data if you have it.

To create a customer profile, answer the following questions:

  • What is the name of your typical client?
  • How old is he?
  • Where does he live?
  • What's his income?
  • What does he like, and what annoys him?
  • What vocabulary does he use?
  • What problem or need does it address?
  • How will your product help him?
  • How much is he able to spend on your product?
  • How does he search for product information?

This list contains only a few of the most important questions, be sure to include all relevant questions that will help you better define what a prospect looks and acts like.


How to do effective email marketing

2. Determining the strategy

Answer the questions below to help determine your strategy:

  • How often will you send out emails?
  • What will be their content (what will they cover)?
  • What events, new articles and product launches are you planning (in the near future)?
  • How will you segment the emails?
  • Do you want to send the same message to everyone, or will the message change based on certain actions your prospect takes?

As the cannabis market continues to evolve, a thoughtful email marketing strategy can make a big difference when it comes to differentiating yourself from the competition and reaching your target audience.

3. Continuous measurement and analysis

Simply setting a strategy is not enough, don't forget to measure and analyse the results of your campaigns on an ongoing basis. Monitor key data such as open and click-through rates, conversion and bounce rates to optimize the success of your campaigns. Use tools to automate and personalise your campaigns.

Email marketing is one of the best and most detailed reports, especially when it comes to subscriber trends.

4. Content for your cannabis email campaigns

The content of email campaigns should be informative, engaging and relevant. Inform customers about hemp products and give them practical tips and advice, such as the difference between types of CBD oil or how to recycle vaporizers. If you want to pique customer interest, offer special promotions, offers and discounts.

You can create more enticing content if you include visual elements (images, videos). Of course, make sure that your message is well structured and easy to understand; place the most important messages at the beginning of the email. And what is the most important and effective thing you should not forget in your message? A compelling call to action, "Get the hot new Hemnia Energy - Quick Boost Patch and throw yourself into whatever you're doing with vigor." With a call to action, you motivate your clients to convert.

5. Optimization of email campaigns

Optimizing email campaigns is an ongoing process to improve your results, whether in sales or subscriber numbers. Analyze your results based on relevant KPIs, such as open rates and click-through rates, and identify areas that need improvement.

Test different content, items, pre-heads and calls to action to discover what works best. With A/B testing, you can optimize your campaigns and choose the best version. You don't have to speculate whether the short version of the subject line or the longer form is better, for example; the email tool sends one variant to 50% of the recipients and another variant to the other 50%, and you find out which variant works better. Most tools offer this option. Tailor your campaigns to the needs of your target audience and optimize them regularly to achieve higher conversion rates and greater customer loyalty.

This gives you insight into your customers' behaviour and interactions with your emails, which links are enticing enough for them to click on, and how they navigate your website and what influences their purchasing decisions.

6. Personalisation

Personalisation remains a key trend for effective email marketing. The power of emailing lies in the ability to collect and use information. When you integrate email marketing with your website, you gain insight into what consumers are searching for, how they behave on websites or their buying patterns.

Use all this knowledge to deliver a personalised message. This will build personal and deeper customer relationships with your brand. Address them by name, add information that's useful to them, design products that meet their needs. For example, if a customer was purchasing CBD sleeping pills, suggest an alternative in the form of CBG capsules.

If you build a solid foundation for your email strategy, you have a unique opportunity to let your brand shine, which means you'll consistently grab the attention of your most important customers.

 When you send out your next newsletter, use it as an opportunity to deepen your relationship with your subscribers. Dig in to get the most information from your audience, share your mission and story. Don't be afraid to go off the beaten track and show your creativity.

How to do email marketing: create strategic email automation

With the help of advanced technologies, a significant part of your email marketing strategy can be easily automated.

Review the basic types of automation sequences below:

  • Welcome series, pre-sale phase

Up to 80% of recipients open the welcome email after signing up for the newsletter. This is a great automation starting point for any brand, e-shop as it introduces subscribers to your brand and offers them a more personal connection with you.

You can start with the founder's story, remind subscribers where they can find your CBD oils and other products, or give them a welcome gift of a discount. You won't get a second chance to make a first impression, so make sure it's exceptional.

  • Sales phase 

Your customers already know you and expect you to present them with interesting offers. Let them know about new developments in your message, for example new cannabinoids such as THCP, THCV or HHC-P, if relevant to them. For customers who have purchased CBD vapes, introduce the range of cartridges, liquids and H4CBD vapes. These types of automations will help you build a relationship with your audience by providing more value to something you've already communicated. And of course, don't forget the call to action.

  • Series after purchase, after-sales phase

The after-sales phase involves a sequence of emails reminding customers to check out your products. These messages also alert them that it's time to order again, relay information about their purchase, and more.

If you publish reviews on your site, use emails to get an idea of how customers are using your products and see where you can improve. By doing this, you're also building a community.

  • Emails about abandoned cart

You know it very well: "Hola! You forgot items in your cart." These messages help recover a substantial amount of transactions for e-tailers on a daily basis and are a valuable part of an email strategy. Definitely work on this automation as soon as possible.

Take a brainstorming session at work and break down how to do email marketing in your business. Think about what type of automated series your e-commerce store could use. Other popular marketing emails include a holiday/birthday gift, a discount on your next order, an in-store invitation, or a regular newsletter summarizing news or blog articles.


email marketing in the cannabis business

Share your story

Through strategic emails, you have the opportunity to share your brand story, including what you offer. And if subscribers have given you explicit permission to contact you, a plus for you because they want to learn more and are genuinely interested. In short, a well thought out strategy in email marketing will keep you top of mind in the cannabis business with the customers you have in your mailing list.

Transmit only up-to-date and relevant information

The reality is that, according to statistics, the average person receives up to 80 emails a day. Quite a flood, isn't it? So it's imperative that you remain attractive to your customers. Not only will people not open irrelevant messages, but they can also discourage them from making further purchases and devastate their entire relationship with your brand. With email, you can deliver messages in real time. Plus, you know for sure who it will be delivered to.

Deliver relevant and timely messages to your customers through email marketing, this will help you gain and most importantly keep their attention.

Summary: How to do effective email marketing in the cannabis business

First and foremost, determine your email marketing strategy. Define your goals and create a plan for how you want to achieve them. Think about what email campaigns you want to run, how often you want to send them, and what channels you will use to reach your customers. Consider what content and offers you'll provide in your emails, and choose an email tool that will make your job more efficient and easier.

Strict rules and regulations in the cannabis industry make it very difficult to get customers to come to your website and buy from you. Email marketing allows you to build brand awareness in a very effective way.

If you go about it well, personalize and automate, and let your imagination and creativity run wild in your texts, you'll soon see for yourself that effective email marketing in the cannabis business can be a goldmine.



Photo: Shutterstock

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