They say that knowing is half the battle, right? Understanding when to take action is just as important as the action itself.
The same is true in the cannabis industry when it comes to dispensary text message marketing. Knowing how to fine-tune the timing and delivery of each campaign is crucial for engagement success.
That’s why we thought it would be important to share insights into our best practices, when it comes to SMS marketing for dispensaries.
To make your time as effective and impactful as possible, Springbig put together this blog including tips and tricks on timing your campaigns, content quality, and ensuring you are targeting your best customers at the right time.
Let’s discuss why SMS marketing is superior to some of the more contemporary marketing options. As a dispensary owner you have a few different options when it comes to marketing, SMS, Email and Native apps. You may be saying to yourself, but what about social media?
Social media platforms and traditional advertisers have not recognized cannabis as a legal product, and according to their terms and conditions will not permit cannabis advertising.
As a result these platforms will discontinue your marketing campaigns, without refund. Social media is also very hard to age gate when using paid advertising and you could incur liability if a minor accesses your advertisement.
While some companies play in this gray area, eventually the hammer will come down and very quickly they could be out of business with significant liability and debt.
Texting is a crucial cannabis marketing channel because of the barrier against accessing more traditional methods. SMS is a compliant method of marketing to your enrolled consumers, that gives you the ability to understand more about them and reach them directly in their cell phones often leading to immediate action and fantastic results.
More on that later, lets begin with why SMS outperforms most other mediums of communication, like email campaigns.
SMS message marketing has become a staple of many dispensaries’ SMS marketing strategies. With its 98% open rate and with 90% of messages being opened within the first 3 minutes of them being sent, if you aren’t utilizing SMS marketing in your cannabis outreach strategy then you’re missing out.
The more dispensaries know about how to use SMS marketing messages to their advantage, the more they will benefit from having access to the fastest and most efficient texting engine in the industry.
Sending out a bulk SMS campaign to your list or a “text blast” is something we never encourage at springbig. By segmenting and creating groups or “buckets” of your customers you can avoid everyone receiving the same message that carries the impression of spam, while learning what they respond well to.
As a business owner, text messaging and your text campaign should be optimized for mobile users, sent to small buckets based on their interests and always tested for further improvement.
A helpful tip when sending texts, is to start with small buckets, evaluate your customer’s action, test alternative text campaigns, time to send, conversion rates and compare the results. Then hone in on what your peak time for engagement is and determine a time to send for each “bucket” you are approaching.
Some consumers have unique job hours and work at odd times, so using the springbig dashboard you can see when they are shopping with you through data insights and act on it.
Texting campaigns for a cannabis dispensary can range from;
They say there is a time and a place for everything, right? The same is true about text marketing and the time to send texts. Especially, because cannabis is categorized as fast-moving consumer goods. While text messages can be delivered to any place your customers are, you don’t want to catch them at a bad time. You may be asking,
Is morning the time to send SMS?
How about early right after work, is that the best time to send SMS?
Generally without local data, the best time to send SMS marketing campaigns is 12:00 pm, which avoids lifestyle oriented activities and gives professionals a chance to see your campaign over lunch during their personal time.
To open that window a little more, text message campaigns sent between 8:00 am and 12:00 pm typically have the best response. If you are operating across multiple states, be cognizant of time zones when marketing texts and adjust your best time to send.
When sending out your first message, it is important to consider the audience of the message and the contents of the message when deciding on what time to send it.
Spamming new members with offers might not be what you want to send initially, as you are likely to create unsubscribes. Starting with a “Thank you for joining” text while you begin to understand their cannabis product preferences is a great way to send the right message.
If the contents of the message contain information regarding the start of the day like morning deals, and is targeted towards early risers, then the best time to send the message would early in the mid-morning, between 8 and 11 AM.
If your SMS campaign is specifically meant to target the night owls on your customer list, then the best time to send out the campaign later in the day, to dominate evening hours.
Be wary of rush hour and sending late afternoon messages as drivers are likely on the road, not checking in with their cell phone.
If you want to avoid negative reactions and keep building your subscribers list you don’t want to gain a reputation for constantly sending messages to customers on your list, so stay clear of bulk sms.
The best practice in terms of message frequency is no more than one time per day. This is especially true if your dispensary has daily deals running, because it gives you a reason to remind your customers without them feeling inundated.
So, make sure you send marketing text messages to customers when you have something of value to communicate to them. Let it be hot sales, appointment reminders or shipping alerts, just make sure your customers get something out of your text messages rather than bombarding them with text blasts that don’t bring them value.
While we did say that texting once a day is best practice, that doesn’t mean you must text every day. If you don’t run daily deals or simply don’t feel like text messaging every day is the right fit for your operation, there are still optimal time frames to send messages since marketing text messages can be more or less effective depending on the day you send them
For the best results, the best day to send marketing text messages is Sunday, no matter the time. Now, this doesn’t mean to only send campaigns on Sunday. But if you were only going to send one campaign a week, that would be the best way to get your money’s worth.
If you’re looking to send out campaigns during the week, texts sent on Thursday typically perform well and yield high attendance rates compared to other weekdays, allowing you to generate more money.
It may be useful for your business to try to send SMS marketing messages on different days of the week, to different groups of customers, to see which day is best for each different type of messages you may have.
Typically with text marketing, tips and reminders are sent earlier in the week, while sales and promotions are sent during the latter half of the week. Whether this pattern will work for you, and whether Thursday is truly the most effective day to send your text messages is up to you to decide because, at the end of the day, each business and each customer base is different.
Weekends are big opportunities to pull in bigger sales numbers. According to Gallup data based on consumers’ self-reported average daily spending, Americans spend the most on Saturdays, followed closely by Fridays.
This is probably because more customers have the time to visit a cannabis dispensary during business hours. After all, we can’t all be so awesome that we work at our favorite dispensary (lucky you).
One best practice for SMS marketing is preparing your customers for the weekend ahead of time. Staying open late on Friday? Send a text. Have some happy hour specials on Saturday? Send a text. Closing early on Sunday and want everyone to get their supplies in time? You know what makes sense? Let them know about it!
Keep in mind, that you want people to have a little time to plan ahead to fit into their weekend plans.
If you evaluate your sales data and find that their is a ‘least popular day’ that your consumers are shopping on, consider shifting a promotion(s) to that day and maximize your weekly revenue.
Another way to increase revenue on your unsuccessful day of the week is to host an event, monthly, bi-weekly or weekly, depending on the event. Events like product introductions, educational sessions or cooking classes can drive individuals to your location. Leveraging widely celebrated holidays is another way you can throw your cannabis bash to improve your customers experience while simultaneously generating revenue. People tend to enjoy free events, and while it may add work for you, it could pay dividends down the road.
Sending messages at the wrong time is only one of the many common mistakes people and businesses make when sending out a SMS campaign.
Other common mistakes are things such as using SMS messages with the same verbiage, which leads to a decrease in deliverability and sending messages with too much content, which can cause the content to render poorly.
Another mistake dispensary owners make is using only one channel to market to your consumers. The responsiveness of your customers depends on the platform you are looking to market to them on. While text is fantastic for a large portion of the population, seniors prefer email and Millennials and Gen Z prefer apps. So vary your marketing by age, delivery system and be sure to measure.
When sending a SMS marketing campaign, there are many other factors besides the ones discussed in this article that affect the effectiveness of your messages and it is important to be mindful of those as well. Want to learn more about making an effective dispensary text marketing campaign? Read our other articles here.
Connect with us to learn more about optimizing your SMS marketing!
CEO and Co-founder of springbig