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Cannabis Email Marketing The Ultimate Guide [2024]


Email marketing is especially crucial for cannabis businesses due to unique regulations and advertising restrictions that limit traditional channels such as TV, radio, and social media. This challenge presents unique opportunities for direct customer engagement.

One of the biggest advantages of email marketing is that it allows cannabis companies to own their marketing platform (so to speak) rather than relying on rented ad spaces. When businesses capture email addresses, they own the audience and their attention. This ownership means that companies are not subject to the changing rules and policies of third-party platforms.

Owning your marketing platform gives you full control over how and when you communicate with your customers. Email marketing provides a direct line to customers, enabling personalized communication and relationship building that other channels may not support. Through targeted emails, businesses can share updates, promote products, and build strong relationships without worrying about external restrictions.

This method helps to engage customers more effectively and ensures that your marketing efforts are based on a strong foundation that the business controls, providing stability and consistency in reaching out to customers.

The Importance of Email Marketing in Cannabis

Here’s why email marketing is vital for cannabis businesses:

  1. Reliable Communication: Email provides a dependable way to communicate directly with customers, unlike social media platforms that may shadow-ban or limit cannabis content. With regular newsletters, promotional emails, and personalized messages, businesses can keep customers informed and engaged despite advertising restrictions.
  2. Building Relationships: Email marketing is highly effective in building and maintaining customer relationships. By sending targeted emails, companies can cater to the specific needs and preferences of their audience, fostering a sense of loyalty and trust. This is particularly important when other channels are restricted.
  3. Driving Sales: Well-crafted email campaigns can highlight new products, offer special discounts, and encourage repeat purchases. This direct line to customers can significantly boost a cannabis business’s revenue and growth, making email marketing an essential tool for navigating regulatory challenges. Email marketing can be a predictable revenue generator when done correctly. 

Through email marketing, companies can navigate the unique advertising challenges of the industry while effectively reaching and engaging their target audience.

Choosing the Right Email Marketing Platforms

Choosing the right email marketing platform is critical for cannabis businesses. Look for platforms with features that meet the industry’s unique needs and challenges.

Cannabis-Friendly Features

When evaluating email marketing platforms, cannabis businesses should look for the following key features:

  1. High Deliverability: Ensuring that your emails reach the inboxes of your customers is vital. Platforms with high deliverability rates help avoid spam filters and ensure your messages are seen.
  2. Comprehensive Segmentation: Effective email marketing relies on sending the right message to the right people. Platforms with advanced segmentation capabilities allow you to categorize your audience based on various factors, such as purchase history, location, and preferences. This ensures your emails are relevant and personalized.
  3. Advanced Automation Capabilities: Automation saves time and ensures consistency. Look for platforms that offer automated workflows, such as welcome emails, abandoned cart reminders, and personalized product recommendations. These features help maintain engagement and drive sales without manual intervention.

Recommended Platforms

These email marketing platforms are known for their cannabis-friendly policies and comprehensive features.

Klaviyo: Klaviyo is an excellent platform, particularly known for its powerful segmentation and automation capabilities. It integrates well with e-commerce platforms, making it ideal for cannabis businesses that sell products online. A dispensary could use Klaviyo to send personalized product recommendations based on previous purchases, enhancing customer engagement and driving repeat sales.

Compatibility: Both cannabis and CBD are permitted.

Moosend: Moosend offers an all-in-one platform with email automation, customizable templates, A/B testing, and powerful integrations with CMS, CRM, and eCommerce platforms. It is highly suitable for cannabis businesses, providing tools for managing email campaigns, creating automation workflows, and analyzing performance.

Compatibility: Both cannabis and CBD are permitted.

Drip: Drip is a powerful email marketing platform with advanced automation and e-commerce integration features. It is particularly well-suited for cannabis businesses with an online store, as it allows for sophisticated customer segmentation and personalized email campaigns. A cannabis company could use Drip to send targeted promotions based on customers’ browsing behavior and purchase history, driving higher engagement and sales.

Compatibility: Both cannabis and CBD are permitted.

MailerLite: MailerLite is ideal for beginners and small to medium-sized cannabis businesses. It includes features such as customizable pop-ups, landing pages, rich text editors, and email automation. It also provides detailed analytics and high-volume email-sending capabilities.

Compatibility: Both cannabis and CBD are permitted.

AWeber: AWeber provides a drag-and-drop email editor, templates, automation, A/B testing, and segmentation. It also includes a landing page builder, making it easy to create and manage email campaigns.

Compatibility: Both cannabis and CBD are permitted.

GoHighLevel: GoHighLevel is an all-in-one marketing platform that includes email marketing, CRM, landing page creation, and more. It is designed to help cannabis businesses automate their marketing processes, manage customer relationships, and drive sales through targeted email campaigns.

Compatibility: Email marketing for cannabis and CBD is permitted with proper age gating and compliance with local laws.

These platforms not only support the unique needs of cannabis businesses but also provide the tools necessary to create effective and compliant email marketing campaigns. By choosing the right platform, cannabis businesses can enhance their marketing efforts, build stronger customer relationships, and drive sales.

Building Your Email List

Building an email list is essential for cannabis businesses to leverage email marketing effectively. Consider these strategies to attract and retain subscribers.

Compelling Offers and Value Propositions

  • Exclusive Deals and Discounts: Offer a discount on first purchases or access to special sales and promotions exclusively for email subscribers. This attracts new subscribers and encourages purchases.
  • Informative Content: Provide valuable and interesting content such as educational material about cannabis, guides on different strains, usage tips, or updates on industry news. This makes your emails a go-to source for cannabis information.
  • Loyalty Rewards: Implement a loyalty rewards program where subscribers earn points for purchases that can be redeemed for discounts or free products. Promote these rewards exclusively through your email list.
  • Exclusive Access to New Products: Give email subscribers first access to new or limited-edition products, creating a sense of exclusivity and urgency.
  • Personalized Recommendations: Offer personalized product recommendations based on preferences and purchase history, adding value and relevance to your emails.
  • Clear and Compelling Sign-Up Forms: Clearly state the benefits of joining your email list on sign-up forms. Highlight exclusive deals, informative content, loyalty rewards, and other value-added services.

By focusing on these strategies, cannabis businesses can build and maintain a strong email list. Providing clear value and compelling reasons to sign up will help attract and retain subscribers, ultimately driving customer engagement and sales.

The content you share with your subscribers should be valuable, engaging, and relevant to their interests. Delivering on the promise of why they signed up is crucial; breaking that trust can lead to high unsubscribe rates and damage your email sender’s reputation by increasing the likelihood of emails going to spam filters. Another strategy to look at is your content ideas to resonate with cannabis consumers to help you stay ahead in the competitive market.

Content Themes and Ideas

  • Engaging Welcome Emails: Send a welcome email that reinforces the benefits of subscribing. Include a special offer or valuable content to show appreciation and set a positive tone for future communications.
  • Consistent Value Delivery: Ensure every email provides value to your subscribers to keep them engaged and reduce unsubscribe rates. Regularly offer exclusive deals, share informative content, and remind them of loyalty rewards.
  • Feedback and Adaptation: Regularly ask for feedback to understand what subscribers find most valuable. Use this feedback to improve your email content and offers, ensuring you meet their needs and preferences.
  • Educational Content: Share informative articles and develop a series of educational emails about cannabis. Topics could include health benefits, usage tips, the science behind different strains, and the latest research on cannabis. This positions your brand as a knowledgeable resource and builds trust with your audience.
  • Product Updates and Promotional Offers: Keep your subscribers informed about new product launches, updates to existing products, or changes in availability. Highlight the features and benefits to generate interest. Additionally, send special offers, discounts, and exclusive deals to your email list. Ensure these promotions feel exclusive to foster a sense of community and loyalty.
  • Personalized Promotions: Use data from your segmentation strategies to create personalized promotions. For example, send personalized discount codes on customers’ birthdays or offer discounts based on past purchases. This shows appreciation and encourages repeat purchases.
  • Customer Stories and Testimonials: Feature testimonials and stories from satisfied customers. This provides social proof and helps potential customers relate to real-life experiences, making your brand more relatable and trustworthy.
  • Industry News and Updates: Share the latest news and trends in the cannabis industry. Keeping your audience informed about the broader industry can increase their engagement and interest in your emails.
  • Loyalty Program Highlights: Regularly update your subscribers about your loyalty program. Highlight the benefits of joining, showcase new rewards, and remind them how they can earn and redeem points. This keeps your loyalty program top-of-mind and encourages ongoing engagement.
  • Exclusive Webinars or Events: Invite your email subscribers to exclusive webinars or virtual events where they can learn more about cannabis, interact with industry experts, or participate in Q&A sessions. These events provide added value and can strengthen your relationship with your audience.

Design Best Practices

A well-designed email can significantly impact its effectiveness. Check out these tips for creating visually appealing and accessible email campaigns:

  • Clarity and Simplicity: Keep your design clean and straightforward. Use easy-to-read fonts, plenty of white space, and a clear layout. This enhances readability and ensures your message is easily understood.
  • Visual Appeal: Use high-quality images and graphics that resonate with your target demographic. Ensure that the images are relevant to the content and enhance the overall message. For instance, use images of your products, lifestyle shots, or educational infographics.
  • Accessibility: Design your emails to be accessible to all users. Use alt text for images, ensure sufficient color contrast, and choose fonts that are easy to read on all devices. This ensures that your emails are inclusive and can be enjoyed by everyone.
  • Mobile Optimization: With many users accessing emails on mobile devices, ensure your emails are mobile-friendly. Use responsive design techniques to make sure your emails look good and function well on all screen sizes.

Frequency and Send times

Determining the ideal frequency for your email campaign is crucial. Sending emails too often can lead to unsubscribes, while infrequent emails might cause your audience to forget about your brand. Here are some tips to guide you:

  • Start Slow: If you’re just beginning, start with a monthly or biweekly newsletter. This helps establish a presence without overwhelming your subscribers.
  • Monitor Engagement: Pay attention to your open and click-through rates. Effective email marketing requires striking a balance between staying top-of-mind and not overwhelming your audience. If these metrics remain strong, you can consider increasing the frequency. If you notice a drop in engagement, it may be a sign that you’re sending too many emails.
  • Seasonal Adjustments: During peak seasons or special promotions, it’s okay to increase the frequency slightly. Just ensure that each email provides value and doesn’t feel repetitive.

Technical Strategies

To ensure your emails reach the inbox and avoid spam filters, it’s essential to implement strong technical strategies. 

  • Avoiding Spam Triggers: Cannabis-related content can sometimes trigger spam filters. Avoid using overly promotional language, excessive exclamation marks, and all-caps text. Instead, focus on providing value and use clear, professional language.
  • Authentication and Sender Reputation: Use authentication protocols like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC to verify your emails and improve deliverability. Maintaining a good sender reputation by regularly cleaning your email list and removing inactive subscribers also helps ensure your emails reach the inbox.
  • Optimizing for Different Email Clients: Test your emails across different email clients (e.g., Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo) to ensure they display correctly. Use responsive design to ensure your emails look good on both desktop and mobile devices.

Call to Action

Crafting clear and compelling calls to action (CTAs) is crucial for driving subscriber engagement. Effective CTAs guide your subscribers toward taking specific actions by being clear, urgent, beneficial, and visually appealing. Here are some tips to create strong CTAs:

  • Be Specific: Use clear, action-oriented language that tells subscribers exactly what you want them to do, such as “Shop Now,” “Learn More,” or “Claim Your Discount.”
  • Create Urgency: Incorporate urgency into your CTAs when appropriate, using phrases like “Limited Time Offer” or “Shop Today.”
  • Highlight Benefits: Emphasize the benefits of taking action. For example, “Save 20% on Your Next Purchase” or “Get Expert Tips Directly to Your Inbox.”
  • Make CTAs stand out: Ensure your CTAs are visually prominent. Use contrasting colors, bold fonts, and adequate spacing to draw attention to them.

Segmentation and A/B Split Testing

Segmentation and A/B split testing are essential for delivering personalized and relevant emails to your subscribers. By dividing your audience into specific segments and testing different email elements, you can effectively tailor your messages and optimize your campaigns. 


Segmentation involves dividing your email list into smaller groups based on shared characteristics. This allows you to send more personalized and relevant emails to each segment, increasing engagement and conversion rates.

  • Demographics: Segment based on age, gender, location, and other demographic factors. This helps you tailor your messages to the specific interests and needs of different groups.
  • Purchase History: Create segments based on past purchases. This allows you to send targeted recommendations and promotions that align with customers’ buying behavior.
  • Engagement Levels: Segment your list by engagement levels, such as frequent openers, occasional readers, and inactive subscribers. Tailor your content to re-engage inactive subscribers or reward loyal ones.
  • Preferences and Interests: Use data from surveys, preferences, and past interactions to create segments based on specific interests, such as product categories or content types.

A/B Split Testing

A/B split testing involves comparing two versions of an email to see which one performs better. By changing a single element, such as a subject line or call to action, and sending each version to a small segment of your audience, you can determine which variation achieves higher engagement rates. This data-driven approach helps refine your emails for maximum effectiveness.

  • Subject Lines: Test different subject lines to see which ones generate higher open rates.
  • Email Content: Experiment with variations in your email content, such as different images, text formats, or message lengths.
  • CTAs: Test different calls to action to find out which ones drive the most clicks and conversions.
  • Send Times: Try sending your emails at different times of the day and on different days of the week to determine the optimal timing for your audience.
  • Design Elements: Test different design elements, such as color schemes, layout formats, and button styles, to see what resonates best with your subscribers.

By implementing these technical strategies, crafting compelling calls to action, and leveraging segmentation and A/B split testing, cannabis businesses can enhance their email marketing efforts. This approach ensures that your emails are relevant, engaging, and drive desired actions from your subscribers.


Email marketing is indispensable for cannabis businesses, providing a direct and effective way to engage with customers despite advertising restrictions. This guide has outlined strategies to enhance your email campaigns, focusing on building a strong email list, creating compelling content, and using innovative strategies to keep your audience engaged.

Implementing these techniques will help you strengthen customer relationships, educate your audience, and drive sales growth. Choose the right email marketing platform, deliver consistent value, and adapt based on feedback to ensure your campaigns resonate with your target audience.

Start today by crafting engaging campaigns that inform and foster loyalty. Watch your engagement and sales soar, solidifying your position in the competitive cannabis market. With a well-executed email marketing strategy, your business is set to achieve long-term success.