Email marketing is considered the second most used method to distribute content, and for good reason:
- It leverages the huge number of email users worldwide,
- It’s among the most reliable methods for nurturing leads and content distribution, and
- It delivers results.
Dispensaries and Email Deliverability: The Challenge
However, email marketing could also be easily abused, which is why email spam filters and spam laws are constantly being improved and reinforced:
- According to a study, around 16% of emails never get delivered to the inbox
- Spam emails account for a whopping 47.3% of global email traffic
- The bounce rate for retail industries (which included dispensaries) is 26% — much higher than the 9% average email bounce rate for all industries
This challenge is all the more amplified in highly regulated industries like cannabis. For one thing, not all email marketing service providers accept cannabis-related emails.
Another challenge is that the content of your email could easily be flagged, which we will discuss in more detail in the next section.
Email Deliverability Tips and Tricks for Dispensaries
How can dispensaries improve your email deliverability and avoid getting tangled in spam filters? Here are some tips and tricks to help you:
1. Avoid trigger words or flagged wordings
Spam filters block messages if there are any flagged wordings in the copy but most importantly, in the subject line
Avoid trigger words:
There’s also an exhaustive list of general email trigger words to watch out for — over a thousand, in fact. But for dispensaries, try to avoid the following:
- Calls to action that seems “urgent”: Open this / hurry / act now
- Marketing: free / free sample / dear friend
- Health: get rid of pain / cure your medical condition
What are ways to get around this?
- Try to be subtle with your copy, especially when promoting a special promo for your products. Provide a teaser and reserve the more detailed copy on your dedicated landing page.
- Avoid any and all medical claims. This is the primary pitfall of many cannabis-related emails.
- Emojis can provide a fun alternative to flagged wording.
For example: Instead of “Check out this flower drop,” use “Check out this 🌼 drop” instead.
2. Ensure all metadata is accurate
Metadata in emails is the information in the Date, From, To, and Subject of your email.
Having misleading metadata or thumbnails in your email could lead to your message being filtered as spam. Additionally, any misleading information that’s intended to trick users into believing the content to be something else is against both CAN-SPAM and CASL laws.
Spam filters are more likely to flag your email if it’s addressed to your recipient’s email address and not their name. Alpine IQ recommends that you use our macros to personalize the “To:” field of your email. Also, spam filters will check if your recipients already know you. This is why it is important to use a verified domain to send your messages.
3. Tailor your content to boost engagement
A practical tactic to boost engagement and reduce high unsubscribe rates is to segment your subscribers and then tailor your email content to their interests, needs, and preferences. In a study, it has been found that 72% of consumers prefer to engage with personalized messages over generic ones.
Alpine IQ recommends using the available personalization macros in the email builder to create a more personalized email experience.
4. Provide quality email content
The quality of the content constitutes the majority of the factors in determining whether an email is spam. Here are some tips to avoid being flagged by spam filters:
- URLs: Use descriptive text instead of naked URLs as the link text. Avoid using URL shorteners as well.
- Links: Make sure all links included in your email are working properly.
- Images and text: Balance the ratio of images to text and links to texts. Be also sure that images are mobile-responsive and are optimized for web viewing.
- Grammar and spelling: Emails with poor grammar and spelling errors could make it appear unprofessional, and recipients may likely report your email as spam.
5. Properly format your email
Another factor is the formatting of your email. An unprofessionally formatted email does not only make your content look spammy, but it also affects your bounce rate and engagement. Avoid the following formatting mistakes as much as possible:
- Using all caps
- Using multiple punctuations (e.g., “Hello!!!!” or “What do you think?!?”)
- Using too many colors
- Using too many different font styles and/or font sizes
Dispensaries and all cannabis-related businesses have a thin line to walk on when it comes to marketing and promoting your brand. The key here is to be subtle and be constantly vigilant with regulatory updates.
If you need help with any of your email marketing or general marketing needs for your dispensary, Alpine IQ is here for you.
We have a wide range of AI-powered marketing solutions that are specially created for cannabis brands — from email and SMS/MMS marketing, message delivery assurance, native ads, push notifications (native or browser), and down to loyalty and referral programs.
Visit us at https://alpineiq.com/ to learn more!