the emoji effect and cannabis marketing

From the evolution of text-based emoticons to modern-day electronic ideograms, people have utilized emojis like digital hieroglyphs to add color and character (pun absolutely intended) to their communications. It seems every time a device updates there are new and exciting images for us to decorate our messages with.

did you know: the word “Emoji” comes from a combination of Japanese characters ‘e’ meaning “picture” and ‘moji’ for “character.”  

Experts insist that emojis can be a powerful resource for helping your marketing messages make waves with your audience. With the cannabis marketplace continuing to grow into the 21st century, text message marketing is a crucial element of any effective cannabis CRM and rewards program.


how emojis can impact your cannabis CRM

There are many ways emojis can enhance communication. One of the most significant ways is by allowing you to express something that words just can’t.  Not only do they give your text a personality, but they also provide a sense of feeling. Even in a professional setting, a properly placed emoji can add some much-needed emotion to your message.

So how exactly can emojis improve performance on a cannabis marketing platform? Luckily, a lot of hard work has already been done for you. Years of market research has gone into the impact of text messaging and emojis for digital marketing, and there are a few areas that should really stand out for cannabis dispensaries.

making your message memorable

A study examining over a decade of data found that participants who were sent messages with emojis were more likely to remember the marketing campaign than those who were sent messages without emojis. For cannabis retail owners, this means creating stickier text marketing campaigns and increasing retention rates long after they’ve viewed your campaign. Emojis can also reduce uncertainty and hesitation in a customer’s decision-making process of whether or not to respond to your messages.

As the movement for cannabis legalization builds momentum, the fight to connect with your customers will only become more competitive, and creating stickier and more inviting campaigns can give you the competitive edge you need

promoting a friendly connection

Additionally, the previously mentioned study also discovered that emojis can actually cause customers to perceive your company as both informed and friendly. Slipping in a colorful tree icon or a well-timed winky face can make your audience feel a better sense of connection to your company. Studies show that 45% of consumers think companies take themselves too seriously. A touch of the informal makes a brand seem more down to earth and easier to connect with.

For a cannabis rewards program, establishing that connection can turn repeat customers into loyal customers. Any dispensary worth its CBD salt scrubs should know how important it is to build meaningful relationships with patients and consumers. With customer retention being a primary focus of the springbig cannabis CRM and loyalty platform, adding emojis is just one more way we aim to support dispensaries in better connecting with their customers.

convey a sense of competency

While this may come as a surprise, this study even suggests that participants perceived sources that used emojis in their messages as more competent compared to those who did not. So not only can those little symbols in your texts build a more genuine connection with customers, but they also help position your brand as an expert in your industry.

This may seem counter-intuitive because emojis are often considered less corporate and more casual, causing businesses to be hesitant in utilizing them. However, the modern cannabis consumer can more easily relate to a brand that applies the appropriate emoji in its messaging. It shows that you’re comfortable with your audience and confident in your product.

increase overall engagement

Apple first adopted the emoji keyboard in 2011 with iOS 5. This was a pivotal moment for the emoji effect. Only a month later, emojis made up 10% of all text on Instagram. If this tells us anything, it’s that the importance of emojis in social engagement cannot be overstated. According to related resources:

We already know that text messages have an open rate of 99%, so one can only imagine how incorporating emojis into text messages will further promote engagement on a cannabis marketing platform.

the basics of emoji etiquette

In this era of digital advertising, cannabis culture is getting room to grow. SMS and MMS messaging is a cornerstone of a strong cannabis marketing platform. But before you start dropping dancing ladies and pizza slices into your texts, keep in mind some basics of emoji etiquette for your cannabis rewards program.

We’ve talked a lot about the potential impact of emojis on your cannabis marketing platform, there’s still a right and a wrong way to use them. So how should you use emojis to increase sales?

be creative, not confusing

If you want to upgrade your dispensary customer’s text experience, get creative! There might not be a Gorilla Glue emoji (yet), but don’t let it stop you from building your own! Just plug in a gorilla emoji and boom, art imitating life.

However, be careful not to get too abstract in your emoji art. Leaving room for misinterpretation can be counterproductive. While the cannabis space may be pretty unorthodox for the emoji keyboard to keep up with, make sure your unique audience can interpret your meaning. Show your ideas to your team and see if the message is clear and engaging. You can always check the visit and click rates in response to your messages on the springbig dashboard so run A/B tests to see what type of emojis received the best response.

keep it relevant

As important as it is to be creative, make sure your use of emojis is relevant to your cannabis rewards. For instance, if you are featuring a specific product or brand in your campaign, don’t throw in an unrelated set of symbols just to fill space. It can distract from your primary focus and confuse your customers.

For example, if you use your cannabis CRM tools to alert your customers about a sale on CBD oils, adding the cigarette emoji is probably not best suited for this situation. Developing a consistent message for your rewards members can help to further establish your brand.

Not to mention, some emojis will come in handy for replacing words that would otherwise be filtered by wireless carriers. For example, a cigarette emoji is a perfect substitute for “preroll.”

don’t overdo it

You can have too much of a good thing, and you don’t want your patients and customers to get burnt out on your messages. When using emojis on your cannabis marketing platform, be careful not to overdo it. Some companies will think that saturating their texts with gratuitous emojis will increase user engagement or indicate they are keeping up with trends. Sadly, this can be counterproductive because it can actually get you filtered as spam by wireless carriers and alienate some users.

This strategy has been seen before on social media, as companies fill entire tweets and posts with a pattern of emojis. This might seem like a clever strategy to some, but the truth is it comes close to the edge of “WE GET IT” territory. Make sure your use of emojis is tasteful and feels natural.

No one knows your dispensary or your customers better than you, so create a strategy that works best for you. Adding emojis to your text marketing campaigns can enhance the customer experience, add personality to your communication, position your brand as an expert in the cannabis industry, and increase engagement on your cannabis marketing platform. Make sure you are getting the best out of your rewards program by using these powerful little tools. Needless to say, that little yellow smile goes a long way!


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