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Customer Communication Tips for Dispensaries

Communication and Campaign Tactics – for larger orders & repeat business

On an average, the recreational cannabis consumer shops at dispensaries every 19.5 days and spends about $647 annually on cannabis products, according to a Headset.io report. 

The key to these repeat visits is regular and relevant customer communication. The logic is simple... If you can keep your users engaged, you can keep them returning to your dispensary.

How you communicateand how often you communicate with your patients is key to building customer loyalty. Let’s explore how you can turn your one-time or occasional customers, into a community of loyalty customers through relevant and consistent messaging.

Compliance and marketing campaigns for dispensaries

Communicating with compliance in mind

Monitoring the various regulations that apply to your communication channels is a must. The most common (and "safe") communication methods for cannabis retailers are email and SMS.

We often get so consumed in cannabis industry-specific compliance that we forget to monitor other general regulations. An example in US is the CAN-SPAM Act. This applies to emails that have commercial or transactional content. It includes guidelines such as:

  • Using the right “from” address, so the users know who’s sending the emails.
  • Writing honest subject lines, so the users aren’t tricked into opening the emails.
  • Honoring opt-out, so the users can choose to not receive your emails.

Likewise, Canada has its CASL laws that apply to email communications.

If you plan to use email for customer outreach build, you must comply with these rules. Here’s a handy email communications/marketing compliance guide to help you.

Mobile message communications also have their own set of requirements. Some of the popular regulatory bodies for mobile communications are CTIA, FCC, and MMA. Here's a good resource to understand text marketing best practices. Also try these 7 cannabis marketing SMS power tips to get your best campaign results.

Customer data and purchase history for dispensary patients

Let Purchase History Drive Customer Communication  

Some of the most popular brands in existence do this... including Amazon.

Product suggestions that relate to previous purchase history or interests result in more frequent purchases and larger orders. Using a buyer’s purchase history to make more personalized promotions will make your offer wildly more attractive.  Here are a couple of examples –

  • An infrequent recreational user who primarily purchases low dose, non-combustible products, may also be interested in a 1:1 disposable vape pen.
  • Medicine types will vary based on what the patient uses cannabis for. A patient that suffers from arthritis is likely to be interested in topicals. Someone that uses cannabis for PTSD will want to see different product promotions from the person using cannabis medicine for back pain.
  • Hobbies and interests can also be used to create personal product recommendations. If someone loves music festivals and other outdoor events, quick-use or portable products – such as prerolls and vape pens are a great match.

Matching the offer with the user's preferences results in irresistible offers. Native Roots, a Colorado based dispensary, improved its daily revenue by 10% just with one targeted SMS.


Targeted Promotions 

You've recommended personalized products, but you should also consider how you can sweeten the deal. Provide these product recommendations with a targeted promo deal. Targeted promotions campaigns show greater performance than blasting your entire list. Additionally, targeted promotions result in lower opt-out rates. 

CRM solutions, like Baker, allow you to send specific promos to a select a specific audience. Therefore on Wax Wednesday, you won't bother your customers that have no interest in concentrates. Urban GreenHouse, a dispensary in Arizona, made a week's worth of sales in just a day after giving a shout out about its exclusive promo to less than 3,000 users.

Targeted text campaigns for dispensaries

Other ways to target your campaigns are:

  • Visit History - Since we know that the average cannabis consumer shops every 19.5 days, we can send a targeted promotion to these customers to make sure they shop with you – and not your competitor.
  • How They Found You – If they signed up through your website, encourage them with a special in-store deal. If they discovered you at an event, you can send everyone that checked in at the event a follow-up offer.
  • Vendor Popups – Designate a checkin station for a vendor popup event. Then, whenever you run a promo for that brand or vendor, you'll know who to target.
  • Loyalty Rewards – If one of your loyalty rewards is a set of concert tickets, create a special campaign for your customers that say they love music or events. 


Holiday Offers – How to Sell it Best

Just like any other retail store, your cannabis store benefits tremendously from running holiday or special event campaigns. These include both cannabis-specific days, and general holidays. They include 710 or Dab Day, 420, Black Friday, Labor Day, Halloween and more  

In fact, at Baker, we've noticed about 21% increase in the average purchase in dispensary stores in the week leading up to Christmas.

In addition to specific holidays or events, you should also utilize ongoing and themed weekly deals. For example, you also have cannabis-themed days like “Weed Wednesday” and “Green Friday.” Days like Christmas, Halloween, and Thanksgiving also bring great sales for cannabis stores.  Some of these include Munchie Monday, Wax Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, and Shatterday.

A CRM, like Baker, allows you to start and stop store-wide sales with just a few clicks.


create value for your customers through educational content

While sales emails like suggesting products or offering discounts help bring revenue, they don’t always add value for all of your users. To offer value to users, consider starting an educational newsletter, or blog.

Use your newsletter to feed excellent content to your customers and fans about the latest marijuana news. For content ideas, a good source where you’ll find  intriguing cannabis news or stories is Reddit. Just search for “cannabis” and you’ll discover hundreds of stories you could include your newsletter.

Providing educational content may have not immediate monetary value, but it's a great way to keep your users engaged and nurture loyalty. Once you become a trusted source, you’ll earn that customers’ business for life.


Wrapping it up … Communicating with the customers’ preferences in mind

50% of people who walk into your dispensary will not return...unless you do something to change that. Effective communication will ensure their repeat visit.

Step one is to capture their contact information. You can do so in-store through a Checkin program, online through Cell Collect, or promoting a Text-to-Join program on your print advertising or social media pages.

Dispensary patient and customer product interests or hobbiesBe sure to ask your customers about what kind of content they prefer to receive from you. For example, with Baker, you can give your customers the choice of subscribing to a select few updates about accessories, culture news, cartridges, etc.

Communicate when you have something relevant or valuable to offer the patient or customer. Increase your chance of this by targeting promos and communications to your customers. 

The Green Room dispensary in Colorado was able to connect with its customers on deep personal levels with Baker’s advanced CRM capabilities. Here’s what the team had to say about using Baker for customer communication: “We've never been able to get this creative with promotions, raffles, SMS texting, etc. and this new ability has not only driven overall sales but makes our customers feel taken care of." 


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