Cannabis dispensaries face some unique challenges as far as businesses go. This has been true with everything from taxes to banking, partially thanks to the lack of federal legalization.
But, SMS marketing is a little different. When using text message campaigns to promote your dispensary to loyal customers, SMS can ensure your local and frequent customers keep coming back for more.
7 SMS Campaign Tips to Grow your Business
You don’t just stumble on great marketing campaigns that perform well. Understanding how to plan and create a campaign for the specific type of media your using is important. Below you’ll find seven tips that will help you create effective SMS campaigns that help drive greater customer loyalty to your dispensary.
1) Set Goals for Your Campaigns
The purpose of any marketing campaign is to help your business meet its goals. Text message marketing is no different.
The messages you send out should be enabling your business goals. Looking to increase sales? Your campaigns could center around increasing the average amount spent in a transaction. For instance, if your average sale is $30, you could run a campaign offering $5 off of a purchase of $50 or more. This increases your average sale by $15 after the discount.
Other goals can be focused on in the same way. Looking to swell your loyalty lists? Send SMS VIP only messages offering early access to highly anticipated new strain or letting loyal customers know when a shipment is expected of a particular bud that sells out quickly.
2) Be Strategic About Timing
Did you know that 90% of text messages are read in the first 3 minutes after they are received? That means the timing of your messages is important.
Letting your customers know about an event at your location days ahead of time won’t work as well as letting them know hours beforehand. Remember that SMS marketing is a very “in-the-moment” style of messaging. Unlike email marketing, where open numbers grow over the 24 hours after an email is sent, SMS messages are received, read, and acted on in minutes.
3) Segment your Lists
A customer’s phone is the most personal of their electronic devices. If they have permitted you to message them this way, you should respect that. One way to show that respect is limiting blasts that aren’t specific or personal.
Use the information you do have about your customers to segment them into lists. Do you have some medicinal customers and others that are looking for recreational products? Put these into different lists and gear your campaigns and offers to those groups. Your response rate will be higher and your loyal customers won’t feel like they are just a number in your CRM.
4) Test Different Offers
It’s dangerous (to your business) to assume you know what offers will work best to draw your customer’s in. But because of SMS’s quick turn around on campaigns, you can quickly see which messages were a flop, and which drew customers like bees to honey.
For instance, you could split your list and send out two different messages to your SMS subscribers. One says customers can get $2 off of $20, the other offers a 10% discount. On a $20 purchase, the offer is the same. But your customers might not see it that way. Testing like this can give you insight into what works best for your customers.
5) Include a Clear Call to Action
Imagine you’re new to recreational cannabis, and someone hands you a blunt but no lighter and no instructions. What do you do with it? What happens next? It seems like a great thing if only you’d gotten some direction.
A call to action in your SMS messages is like that. If you send your customers a message but don’t give them clear direction on how to act on it, it becomes confusing, not helpful or enjoyable.
A message that says “Come in today for a free pack of rolling papers. Offer expires at midnight” is clearer than “We’ve got rolling papers”. One lets the customer know exactly what’s going on. If they come to your dispensary today they will get a free pack of papers. The other is vague. When should they come in? Don’t you always have papers? Why is this message special?
A clear call to action lets your customers know what action to take, and when to take it to get the most benefit.
6) Keep Your Messages Short and Sweet
SMS messages have limits. Some of your customers may be limited to 160 characters, so your messages have to be short, sweet, and get to the point quickly while remembering to make it clear the action you want the customer to take.
What information do they need to get them to meet the goal of your message? Do you have a new product they might like? “Come in today to try our new edibles. Want more info? Click here.” In just a few words it’s clear that you have new products at your location that your customer might be interested in, and a link can direct them to more information without overrunning their text buffers.
7) Measure to Track Performance
If you aren’t measuring your campaigns, how do you know if they are working?
The best way to know if your campaigns are effective is to measure their results. With hard numbers around the performance of your SMS marketing efforts, you’ll have a better idea of what messaging resonates with your customers, or when the best time to send a text about a sale.
Measurement becomes particularly important when you begin testing your messages. How do you know which offer, which call to action, or which product messages perform the best? Measuring your campaign’s results is always important, but when you’re testing it is essential.
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