Best Practices for Dispensary Text Message Marketing Ahead of Green Wednesday

November 18, 2020

Most people are familiar with Black Friday, the infamous shopping day after Thanksgiving where people wait outside of their local mall for hours to save big on Christmas gifts. In cannabis, Green Wednesday is the last big retail day of the year - it’s the day before Thanksgiving when everyone stocks up on weed for the long weekend of food and family.

Last year’s Green Wednesday saw a 40% increase in sales traffic to the four Wednesdays before it according to Headset. In those sales, smokeless and discrete cannabis alternatives saw the most dramatic increase in sales with cannabis drinks leading the pack at an increase of 93% followed by edibles which saw an 82% increase. 

The adjustments to everyday life during COVID-19 make it difficult to know how much dispensary traffic to prepare for ahead of the holidays. Thinking ahead helps your team maximize any traffic increases throughout the Holiday season making sure you make the most out of the last big shopping day of the year.

Today we’re sharing some tips and best practices for Green Wednesday text message marketing however you can use these marketing tips for other holidays like Christmas and 4/20.

Plan Your Text Message Marketing Campaigns in Advance

The first and most important tip for using text message marketing in your dispensary is to make a plan and stick to it. Cannabis shopping holidays like Green Wednesday and 4/20 might be on your mind but consistent engagement with your customers is the key to longterm success.

  • Set a regular cadence for sending text campaigns. Consumers are more likely to purchase from a company they know and trust. It’s important to stay engaged with your customers throughout the year. We suggest at least one campaign per week to your full list to keep them engaged; but no more than 2-3 campaigns within a 7 day period. 
  • Avoid sending a campaign on the day of a holiday or promotion. Sending a text message on the day of an event could result in your campaigns falling into message queues, basically long lines where campaigns wait to be sent out. When a lot of campaigns are scheduled on the same day and around the same time, it can result in your text messages being delayed. Some messages can also be carrier filtered where they are filtered for containing cannabis-specific keywords. We suggest using the broadest terms possible to convey your message.
  • Have a goal in mind for your text message marketing campaign. Are you pushing a brand partner’s product this week? Or looking to increase the number of delivery orders placed? By setting SMART goals for your text message marketing, you create a framework for an effective marketing strategy with measurable wins.

Be specific, send targeted text messages to smaller audiences

Mass texts are not your friend. While it may seem tempting to shoot out a quick message to your entire list, research shows that 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with a brand that provides personalized offers and recommendations that are relevant to them. Additionally, some carriers will filter mass text messages resulting in underperforming campaigns.

  • Instead of sending out texts to everyone on your list, try sending your Green Wednesday deal on cartridges to all of your customers interested in vape. Or a highlight of the newest holiday edibles available to all of the edible lovers on your list. 
  • Include a timeline or expiration date to increase the urgency of your promotion.
  • Make it feel exclusive - ex. a reward for being a part of the text club.

Avoid carrier filtering by following best practices

Phone services carriers work hard to protect their customers. Similar to other marketing outlets like social media and digital advertising, cannabis is still heavily restricted. The best way to make successful campaigns is to avoid carrier filtering with these best practices.

  • Time is of the essence. Don’t wait until the day of to send thousands of texts. Send them in the days leading up to the sale so your deals are already top-of-mind and your messages don’t wait in the queue.
  • Link relevant URLs to your message so your message is not mistaken for spam
    • Example: Add the menu link if you're encouraging them to order online!
  • Follow Carrier Guidelines to increase deliverability. This includes not using restricted keywords like joint, preroll, etc. Not sending a high volume of texts every once in a while, but establishing consistent engagement with your lists.

Other Cannabis Text Message Marketing Best Practices

  • Include the name of your dispensary, especially if you're not including a link to your store page or menu. Some customers may get texts from more than one dispensary so it's crucial they know it's you!
  • An explanation of why you are texting them.
    • Example: limited supply notices, strain alerts, event notifications,
  • A clear call to action. 
    • Example: Buy now! Order delivery today! Get some delivered this weekend!”
  • Avoid heavy use of all caps in the message.
  • Avoid use of any suspicious URLs.
    • Note: If your message contains a shortlink, ensure that it begins with 'https'-- 'http' will cause delays in your message sending.
  • Don’t use aggressive language.
  • Send time must be between 8am and 9pm local time according to TCPA regulations.
  • Send a test message to yourself or a co-worker to proofread for grammar and typos.
  • Consider the type of campaign and best time of day to send the message.
  • Add emojis (sparingly)! 

Looking to start using text message marketing in your cannabis business? Learn more about Blackbird and our suite of marketing tools for cannabis operators HERE.

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