When a brand is trying to grow its dispensary base of customers or introducing a new product into an existing dispensary channel, what they learn quickly is that dispensary buyers are busy people. For the vast majority of buyers, the one and only way for a brand to reach them is to send an introduction email. This is not as easy as it sounds.
Email, as part of the marketing toolbox, has become one of the toughest ways to reach an audience. Spam laws and filtering have made it hard to get in the “Inbox” and out of “Spam” folder. Email is also the one medium that makes it very difficult in which to demonstrate the value of any product – especially when we are all selling pretty much the same thing.
In the end, it will be the salesperson – their personality and relationship – on top of the actual products that will play into your success. However until a brand can get that actual face to face meeting, we need to discuss how to make a successful email campaign.
The key elements of any email campaign are:
- Understanding the audience
- An offer
- Follow up plan
First, we will talk about understanding our audience of choice – the cannabis dispensary buyer. The buyer could be female or male. They can be of any age. This makes this audience a rather large target to hit. However, you can start to break this target down into segments when you start to think about what each buyer has in common or what their pain points are. Knowing these details will make the rest of the email creation easier to complete.
Buyers as an email audience:
- They do not have enough time in the day to complete all the necessary tasks that they need to.
- Too many vendors want their time. This includes the Coca Cola sales rep who wants a machine in the dispensary, not just cannabis companies.
- They are frustrated that they receive the amount of emails that they have to read each day knowing that email is how they have to learn about new products.
- May not be a full-time employee at the dispensary or may have other roles in which buying is their main function but they may also bud tend.
- Buyers are mainly looking for products that can drive revenue for their stores. To some, that means that a brand must have a large social media following or a professional marketing campaign.
- Buyers require that brands be able to deliver a consistent product that meets the standards of the dispensary.
- Packaging that catches the customers’ attention as they come into the dispensary is another plus for buyers as well.
- Buyers know that cannabis is a commodity to a large segment of their market. A commodity is a product like toilet paper or water. To some, cannabis is a mean to an end – a way to get high – so it does not require much thought to consume. The amount of time that someone is willing to invest in purchasing cannabis, if their main goal is to get high, is actually quite low. Low investment products are hard to sell because people don’t pay much attention to when selecting these products. Consumers may not pay much attention at all to what makes one product different than the others. Buyers are aware that it is going to take a special brand and company to stand out on their shelves.
Once you understand the audience that will read your email, your next step is to create good content that relieves their pain points or issues. You want to highlight how your products can generate revenue for their stores. The content of the email should describe your company, what makes your product stand out (product differentiators), any pricing details you feel like you may want share and a “call to action”.
A “call to action” is the desired behavior that you want the reader to take. This action could be sending the reader to a contact page where you collect their business details or you can take them to a product page on your website so they can gain more information about your product line.
You can send a very simple text email that isn’t visually appealing but is straight to the point and easy to read. You do have the option of creating a beautiful visual email campaign using simple software like Campaign Monitor or MailChimp. These software options allow you to bring graphics and logos into your emails with your copy/content. They also allow you to collect data on your readers that includes who opened the email, what links they clicked and more.
The next part of a successful email campaign will be your offer. To stand out, you may want to offer samples for the buyer or even offer a price discount. You will want to give away something to attract the reader to give you their contact details. Be as creative as you can.
To close the loop of our campaign, you need a follow-up plan for after the email goes out to buyers. For many buyers I have encountered, they will tell you to keep sending more emails until you get their attention and be persistent. This means creating more emails and repeating the process. Continue to be creative. Tell your brand story in multiple ways. Track the data on who is opening what and refine your subject lines and content until you have a winning strategy that is getting you those face to face meetings with buyers!
Good luck! Have any questions? Find us on Instagram- @resinatemarketing or visit our website.
Rocky Bowles is the founder of Raquel Bowles. Rocky helps companies build the foundation of their business by creating unique brand stories that drive audience demand. She can be contacted through www.resinatemarketing.com.