Developing and executing effective marijuana marketing strategies can be difficult within the regulated cannabis industry. Not only do businesses have to comply with restrictive marijuana advertising regulations but, in states that have passed legislation to allow both medical and recreational cannabis use, there are two very different types of customer profiles to market to.
In most states, compliance is the biggest issue. Restrictions on where, how and to whom cannabis can be advertised make it difficult for businesses to develop a strategy for marketing marijuana and execute it effectively. Furthermore, due to the federal classification of marijuana as a Class 1 drug, many traditional marketing channels refuse to accept advertising for cannabis-related goods and services.
Limited Marijuana Marketing Options Remain
With many traditional and online marketing channels unavailable, the options for executing marijuana marketing strategies are often limited to direct mail, email, and group SMS messaging. With these three options, businesses are likely to need consent from customers to be sent marketing material, as unsolicited cannabis advertising is typically prohibited.
Of the three options for executing marijuana marketing strategies, group SMS messaging is the most effective. Marketing messages are delivered much quicker than direct mail and - as almost all customers have access to an SMS-compatible mobile device - SMS messaging has a broader reach than email. The group SMS “opt-in” process also makes it easier to obtain explicit customer consent.
The Basics of Group SMS Messaging
Group SMS messaging is already used in many industries as an effective marketing tool. Potential customers are invited to text keywords to dedicated numbers in order to take advantage of a special offer or discount. After texting the keyword, they receive a message inviting them to opt in to to receive details about future promotions from the same retailer or service provider.
When the customer opts in, the retailer or service provider knows they are interested in a specific product or service, and periodically send them targeted marketing messages by SMS. These messages may not only contain details of special offers or discounts, but might include invitations to take part in a survey, enter a sweepstakes-type competition or join a VIP program. All of these marketing activities are designed to engage customers, develop brand awareness, and increase sales.
Why SMS Messaging for Groups Rather Than Individuals?
Although individual SMS messaging might be more relevant to individual customers, using SMS messaging for groups to execute marijuana marketing strategies enables businesses to take advantage of economies of scale. With SMS messaging for groups, businesses are able to contact large groups of customers with the single click of a mouse. The process is much less time-consuming and cheaper than communicating with each customer individually, and can be equally effective.
Executing a strategy for marketing marijuana with SMS messaging for groups is straightforward. Businesses subscribe to a group messaging service, and the service provider supplies the keywords needed for potential customers to “opt in”. Once the business has built its customer database, it logs into the service provider´s messaging platform, uploads a group of customers, writes its marketing message, and clicks “send”. The message is delivered within minutes to the selected group of customers.
How Effective is This Strategy for Marketing Marijuana?
Very effective. Research has shown that more than 90% of mobile phone owners keep their devices within reach throughout the day, and that 83% of SMS messages are opened and read within 90 seconds of delivery. Marketing by SMS messaging for groups produces an engagement rate six to eight times higher than email marketing, and promotional coupons attached to text marketing messages have a redemption rate of 30% - 50%.
Executing a strategy for marketing marijuana with SMS messaging for groups is not only effective but, in most states, compliant. Not all states allow businesses to market cannabis-related products and services using discount vouchers, sweepstake competitions and VIP programs. Nonetheless, SMS messaging for groups can still help businesses execute other marijuana marketing strategies that engage customers, develop brand awareness, and increase sales.
Executing Marijuana Marketing Strategies for Different Customer Profiles
Group SMS messaging is also an effective way to execute marijuana marketing strategies for different customer profiles. As mentioned above, in states that have passed legislation to allow both medical and recreational cannabis use, there are two very different types of customer profile. Medical cannabis customers are more likely to be purpose-driven to treat their condition and improve their overall quality of life, while recreational customers are more likely to be sensitive to product pricing.
Group SMS messaging deals with this issue by allowing businesses to sort their customer databases into groups according to their motives. The sorting process can be done manually as more is learned about each individual customer, or automatically through the use of different keywords for different types of products and services. Sub-groups of customers can also be created using different keywords to differentiate between customers who (for example) have a preference for non-psychoactive products.
How Group SMS Messaging Can Help Avoid Commoditization
When marijuana marketing strategies are effectively used to engage customers and develop brand awareness, one further benefit of group SMS messaging is that it helps avoid commoditization - when (for example) customers perceive “pot as being pot”. Although commoditization is more likely to occur in the recreational cannabis market - when customers may choose the cheapest or most convenient option available to them - it can also appear in elements of the medical marijuana industry.
Group SMS messaging avoids the scenario in which products and services become indistinguishable from each other through the opt-in process. When they text a keyword to a dedicated number, they are signaling they are interested in a business´s product or service, and interested in what the business has to say. Opting-in starts the brand awareness process and, through continued marijuana marketing strategies, the business can develop that brand awareness into brand loyalty.
The Easy Way to Execute a Strategy for Marketing Marijuana
SMS messaging for groups is undoubtedly the easy way to execute a strategy for marketing marijuana. The opt-in process is one that everybody is familiar with, and it requires no special technical or design skills to send an SMS text. Businesses do not even have to start their SMS marketing messages with catchy titles in order to get customers to pick up their mobile phones and read their message.
The service provider´s messaging platform has tools that allow businesses to personalize each marketing message with customers´ names. Any replies to surveys or sweepstakes entries are automatically compiled by the platform, and it is also possible to extract analytics - such as open rates and spikes in engagement - to assist businesses with planning future marijuana marketing strategies.
Try Executing Marijuana Marketing Strategies with Group SMS Messaging for Free
If you would like to learn more about executing marijuana marketing strategies with group SMS marketing, do not hesitate to get in touch. Our team of experienced and helpful Client Success Managers will be able to answer any questions relating to executing a strategy for marketing marijuana compliantly and effectively.
Subject to there being no regulations restricting your business from using group SMS messaging, we will invite you to try executing a strategy for marketing marijuana for free. All you will need to do is register for a free account with your business email address, and we will provide you with a keyword to start building you customer database, access to our group messaging platform, and ten free texts.
Our free offer gives your business the opportunity to experience the ease and effectiveness of group SMS messaging in your own environment with no credit card required, no contracts to sign and no commitment to continue using our messaging platform once the ten free texts have been sent. Contact us today and you could be executing compliant and effective marijuana marketing strategies in less than fifteen minutes.