Dispensary Text Message Marketing: What You Need to Know [2024]

May 8, 2024 | By Sam Pelton
woman purchasing products at store

With the rising legalization of cannabis, if you’re a dispensary owner or marketer in this highly competitive field, it's important to stay ahead of the game in terms of marketing.

One effective marketing method is dispensary text message marketing. This form of marketing allows dispensaries to communicate directly with their customers in a way that’s quick, convenient, and effective.

Continue reading to explore what dispensary text message marketing is, why dispensaries should use it, and how to use it to your advantage.

What Is Dispensary Text Message Marketing? (And Why Should You Use It?)

Dispensary text message marketing is a form of mobile marketing that allows dispensaries to send promotional messages, updates, and information to their customers via text message (or SMS).

SMS marketing is highly effective because it allows dispensaries to communicate directly with their customers in a way that is quick and convenient. 98% of texts are read, after all—so if you’re sending texts, you can be confident that people are actually reading them.

(The same can’t be said for other forms of marketing, such as email or social media.)

Since engagement with SMS is much higher than most (if not all) other forms of marketing, you can save time by not having to send as many messages in order to make an impact on your sales.

With texting, dispensaries can reach customers where they’re actually looking: their phones. More people seeing your messages means more people paying attention to your business and your products.

And that translates into more business for you.

How Does Text Marketing Work?

The process of text marketing is as follows…

Get people to opt in to receive your texts

  • Businesses often incentivize people to subscribe by offering some kind of benefit (like a discount or a free product or an entry into a giveaway)
  • You also want to make sure to communicate the value that people will be getting out of the texts they receive

Optionally, organize your customers into targeted groups

  • You can organize your customers into targeted groups immediately when they sign up, as a part of the sign-up process, or you can do it at any point in their journey
  • Some examples of groups you could organize your list into would be: prospects, leads, one-time customers, regular customers, etc.

Schedule out your texting campaigns

  • You’ll need to determine what types of campaigns you’d like to run, and then you can schedule those campaigns out for the times that you’d like them to send
  • You can also set up drip campaigns to go out automatically

Analyze the results

  • To analyze your results, you can view metrics such as how many people clicked on the links within your texts, how many people opted out, and how many people responded
  • You can then use your campaign analysis to determine ways to improve your future campaigns

Other elements of text marketing…

  • You’ll need to make sure that you honor opt-outs—people can automatically opt out of your texts by replying with the word STOP at anytime, and they’ll be immediately removed from your text list
  • You can monitor the replies people send back to your texts, and you can respond back using a chat-like inbox (which also allows you to organize your individual conversations with your customers)
  • If you prefer not to monitor replies (or simply don’t have the capacity to monitor replies), you can set up an automated response that says something along the lines of, “Replies are not monitored,” and can include an alternative method of contacting your business within that auto-reply
  • You can also set up other automated replies that are triggered by particular words your customers text in—in this way, you could build a library of auto-responses (or Smart Replies) that could help answer a lot of their questions
Infographic of texting features

As long as you’re operating legally, you can legally send text messages to your customers.

That being said, the mobile carriers have their own regulations that must be abided by; otherwise, they will filter out your messages and prevent them from being delivered. In this way, SMS marketing for dispensaries is different from marketing for other types of retailers.

Let’s dig into those differences a bit…

How Is Dispensary Text Message Marketing Different from Other Kinds of SMS Marketing?

Cannabis dispensary owners and marketers have some unique considerations to take into account due to the nature of the product.

Currently, the mobile carriers do not like it when any text marketing messages are sent that contain references to cannabis. Thus, dispensaries can’t send messages freely like other industries can.

However, that doesn’t mean that you are unable to use text marketing at all. It just means that you have to tread lightly, or else the carriers may start filtering out your messages and prevent them from being delivered (as mentioned in the previous section above).

Specifically, you can’t make any mention of or reference to the specific products you’re selling, including references to CBD or hemp, and you can’t include any images of cannabis-related products.

With those restrictions in mind, you may wonder, “So how can I actually use text marketing if I can’t actually mention my products or my business?”

There are a couple of ways you can still use texting even without specifically mentioning your product…

Be generic

You can still mention that you’re having a sale or that you have new inventory, without specifically mentioning what product the sale is for or what the new inventory is specifically.

Using generic rather than specific language can help allow you to send texts without getting flagged by the mobile carriers.

20% off all products TODAY ONLY! Stop on by and show this text.

Another way you can use texting is to link to a gated site that holds the actual information you’re trying to communicate.

With this method, your actual text message can be something simple, such as:

Announcement from Green Thumb! Tap here to see what’s new this week: http://mbltxt.com/t8u

The link could then take you to a gated site which could require the user to acknowledge their age or to click another link. That link could then open up the actual message with the full content you’re wanting to let your customers know about.

How to Use Dispensary Text Message Marketing to Your Advantage

Now that we've covered what dispensary text message marketing is and why it's important, let's take a look at how you can use it to your advantage. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your dispensary text message marketing campaigns:

1. Keep your messages short and sweet

Particularly with texting for dispensaries, brevity is key.

Keep your messages short and to the point, and make sure they're easy to read and understand. Use simple language and don’t accidentally make references to your product, even if those references seem harmless, such as mentioning CBD.

2. Offer exclusive deals and promotions

One of the best ways to use text message marketing to your advantage is by offering exclusive deals and promotions to your customers.

For example, you could send out a text message offering a discount or a free gift, encouraging your customers to visit your dispensary and make a purchase.

This can help drive up your sales and make your customers feel like the texts they’re receiving are valuable, so that they remain interested in receiving them.

3. Send out targeted messages

One of the advantages of dispensary text message marketing is that it allows you to send out targeted messages to specific groups of customers.

For example, you could send out a message promoting a particular type of product to customers who have previously purchased that product from your dispensary.

Targeting your messages will help to ensure that your messages are relevant and useful to your customers. More relevance in your messages means that more people will connect with them and follow through with what you want them to do.

4. Use a call-to-action

As a business owner or marketer, you’re already aware of this, but as a reminder—every text message you send out should include a specific call-to-action (CTA).

This CTA could be as simple as asking your customers to visit your dispensary or to make a purchase online.

Make sure your CTA is clear and concise. Make it as easy as possible for your customers to take action.

5. Monitor your results

Finally, it's important to monitor the results of your dispensary text message marketing campaigns.

Monitoring your results will allow you to see what's working and what isn't, and to make adjustments as needed.

Keep track of metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, and use this data to refine your campaigns over time.

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Sent message analytics

Best Practices for Dispensary Text Message Marketing

In addition to the tips outlined above, there are some general best practices that dispensaries should follow when using text message marketing. These include…

Before you start sending out text messages to your customers, make sure you have their consent.

Although not always required legally, getting consent helps you make sure people don’t interpret your messages as spam. If a lot of people interpret your messages as spam and opt out, that will raise red flags with the mobile carriers and they may be more likely to filter your messages and prevent them from being delivered.

You can get consent from your customers on your own, or you can use one of the opt-in tools provided by text alert platforms, such as web sign-up forms.

2. Be mindful of timing

When it comes to text message marketing, timing is everything.

Make sure you're sending out messages at a time when your customers are likely to be available to read and respond to them. For example, sending out a message late at night is likely to be ineffective (not to mention rude and annoying).

3. Be consistent

Stay consistent when it comes to text message marketing.

Try to send out messages on a regular basis, whether that's once a week, once every other week, or once a month. This will help to keep your dispensary top-of-mind for your customers.

4. Don’t overdo it

On the other side of the point about being consistent, it's important not to overdo it when it comes to text message marketing.

Sending out too many messages can be overwhelming for your customers and may lead them to opt out of your text list. Stick to a reasonable frequency and make sure your messages are relevant and useful.

You have to know your audience and get a feel for what they’re comfortable with, but since texting is potentially a more intrusive form of communication than other forms of communication, less is often more.

5. Personalize your messages

Personalization can add a nice touch to your text message marketing.

Use your customers' first names in your messages and tailor your messages to their interests and preferences. This will help to create a more personalized and engaging experience for your customers.

How to Get SMS Marketing for Your Dispensary

You can get 50 free messages to try out SMS marketing with a 14-day free trial account. You can go ahead and get your free account now (no credit card required).

Due to the special considerations with dispensary marketing, we’d also recommend hopping on a free consultation so that you can get a walkthrough and expert advice on how to get started.

*Note that the tips provided in this article should not be taken as legal advice

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