Cannabis Email Marketing: Do's & Don'ts

Be the first to know when new content like this becomes available!

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive notifications of new posts, local news and industry insights.

Thank you very much! Your submission has been received!

Oops! An error occurred while submitting the form.

Email marketing can be a powerful tool for those who want to make the effort, or it can be a drag for your recipients if you're not careful or try to take the “easy” way out. Especially when dealing with cannabis, where there are even more considerations to consider! So let’s look at some email marketing do’s and don’ts that apply specifically to the cannabis and hemp industry.

DO Know your niche – the cannabis industry, like many others, has smaller groups. Identify your market area and only send to those who match your qualifications. Research your market and understand the difficulties, preferences and needs of your target audience.

DO Segment your audience and send targeted content for every licensing activity, status and company size. A larger company with multiple active licenses will have different concerns than a small mom and pop shop with a single outstanding license. Taking a minute to form a larger group and tailor your email to each segment can improve your open and click rates, as well as your conversion rates. For example, if you sell soil and fertilizers, you should send them to farmers and exclude other license types such as testing and manufacturing. Independent groups have no interest in your product and are more likely to mark your email as spam, which can negatively impact the deliverability of your future emails.

DO Focus your content on providing value or addressing specific pain points for your audience. Tell them WHY they need you/your company and what you can do for them. User testimonials can be helpful in showing other businesses how you have helped similar businesses succeed.

DO Think about your subject line. Find something that is compelling and gives your readers a hint of what they will see when they open the email. Consider using merge tags to add your recipient's name, state, or license type.

DO Show your expertise! You likely have valuable expertise and knowledge about your niche area of ​​the cannabis market – share it with your recipients to quickly earn their respect! Consider including information about industry trends, tips, best practices, current news that affects them, etc. By establishing yourself as an authority/expert in your field, you can build credibility and trust with your recipients. Instead of simply telling them you are the top provider in your area, show them WHY you are the top provider so they actually believe it.

DO Separate PTC conductors from warm conductors. Warm leads know who you are and what your company offers, allowing you to send longer emails like newsletters and company updates. Cold leads require a little more sensitivity to introduce yourself and your company. Emails to cold leads should be short and sweet. It takes the average person about 9 seconds to scan an email. Make every second count!

DO Keep innovating! Look at analytics from past email campaigns to find out what works and what doesn't. Use A/B testing to try out different subject lines and calls to action (CTAs) to find what resonates best with your target audience. Every single email campaign you send is a learning opportunity – take advantage of it!

DO send at optimal times. The day and time you send can make or break your open rates. Studies have shown that emails sent during business hours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays perform best.

DO Check local laws and regulations. Until cannabis is legalized nationally, each state will have its own laws and requirements. It is important that you submit relevant information based on the laws of that state. Otherwise, your audience won't touch you with a 10-foot pole if they notice you're not compliant!

DO Choose a reputable email marketing service provider that offers detailed reporting and adheres to current email standards, like Cannabiz Media!

NOT improvise! Proper preparation includes identifying which license types will benefit most from your product or service and how your company can best help them. Sending a boring, all-encompassing email about cannabis insurance to a large group or several smaller groups will not have the same impact as an email to dispensaries about dispensary insurance and an email to growers about cultivation insurance.

NOT spray and pray! This is when you send the same generic email to a large list in the hopes that someone will bite. (Sound familiar? Most people are guilty of this at least once in their career…) But not everyone needs or wants your message. With billions of emails sent every day, an email that doesn't immediately resonate with your recipient is more likely to be ignored at best and marked as spam at worst. Negative engagement can negatively impact your deliverability to the segments that want to receive your message. Revisit the tip in the DO section above about segmenting your audience to quickly and easily increase positive engagement.

NOT Send vague emails with unfounded claims or general rhetoric (“We are the best ATM service on the East Coast!”, “Get the best bang for your buck!”, etc.)

NOT Send emails with misleading or generic subject lines. Using Re: in a subject line is a common tactic used by spammers to make their emails look like a chain that the recipients have already joined. These often end up in the spam folder. Common subject lines like “Free Sample” or “Visit Us at Booth #” are often used by companies attending conventions and often get lost in the shuffle. (And in this case, the word “free” is often an immediate spam trigger.) When you attend a convention, tell people what they can gain by visiting your booth. Are you doing demos for a new machine? Offer giveaways?

NOT Spend your entire email talking about how great you and your company are. In fact, try writing an entire email without using the words “we,” “us,” or “our.” Instead, try flipping your statement to use “you” or “your.” Here is an example…

Swap this: “The data team adds new cannabis and hemp leads to the Cannabiz Media Cannabis Market Intelligence Platform every day.”

With this: “Keep your pipeline filled all year long with new cannabis and hemp leads available daily.”

See the difference? Seriously, have you ever met someone who can't stop talking about themselves? Don't be that person.

NOT Rest on your laurels. Email marketing in the cannabis industry is constantly changing, and what worked a year or two ago may not work today and vice versa! For example, using the word “cannabis” in the subject line was once thought to be harmful, but that is no longer the case.

NOT Send your emails during quiet times because you expect your emails to stand out more when there are fewer emails coming in at the same time. There's a reason why other people don't send emails on Saturdays, Sundays, or overnight. They are significantly less likely to be read and interacted with than emails sent on other days/times.

While marketing to the cannabis industry is still fairly new, email marketing as a whole has evolved over the last 20+ years and will continue to do so based on trends and best practices. Ensuring you follow email best practices while being sensitive to the habits and needs of cannabis businesses will ensure your emails are delivered, read, and interacted with.

One of the best ways to stack the deck in your favor is to choose an email marketing service provider that supports you and “gets” cannabis. (Not everyone does this! In fact, many email marketing service providers will suspend your account for cannabis content.) Here are two email service provider recommendations to help you succeed:

  1. Cannabiz Media – If you want the added benefit of having all your leads provided.
  2. Simple Outbox – If you have your own distribution lists and just need a collaboration platform.

If you are interested in a demo of Cannabiz Media's email marketing platform, email us at

Post a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *