April 21, 2021
Dispensary Marketing After 420: 4 Tactics To Consider
Matt Dell

There’s one holiday that always stirs up the cannabis industry every year. You guessed it! 420.

April 20th is a day that some dispensaries plan for months in advance, figuring out which promotions to run, what products to feature, even which budtenders and drivers to helm operations.  

Marketing aims to acquire and engage the most customers possible on the date. While planning outreach is necessary, it leaves an important question unanswered.  

What happens after 420?

There are plenty of long-term revenue opportunities for dispensaries following the holiday. Keep reading for why they matter and 4 tactics for cannabis retailers to consider.

The Focus on Customer Retention

Returning customers are 9x more valuable than newly acquired ones; which is why dispensaries must also strategizeretention in the weeks and months that follow April 20th.

The holiday is a time for dispensaries to target new and existing customer preferences with follow-up marketing communications.

Without focusing on retention, retailers run the risk of losing newly acquired customers that could have become regular buyers.

Regular customers have been shown to drive 67% of dispensary revenue, with a tendency to spend generally at least 10% more than non-regulars.

Therefore, 420 presents an opportunity for dispensaries to expand their bottom-line and create more sustainable revenue for their business.

Keep reading for how to focus on retention in dispensary marketing.

Free Dispensary Marketing Guide

Segment New Customers

The first place to start with customer retention is looking at dispensary data collected on 420.  

After the holiday is an opportune moment for updating and establishing customer segments for marketing as there will likely be a bunch of new data in a cannabis point-of-sale system.

Segments are groups of data based on customer behavior. Dispensaries should create or update them to accommodate new customers post-420.

Organizing customers acquired on 420 into segments enables a retailer to start strategizing communications that align with preferences and behaviors.

It’s an essential step for identifying and preparing personalized marketing for customers, empowering dispensary marketing beyond relying solely on loyalty program signups.

Take these following ideas for segments from our recent blog post:

  • Product and brand preferences
  • Average ticket size
  • Preferred mode of service (in-store or delivery)
  • Order frequency and latency

After updating and creating customer segments, it’s time to get into outreach.

Personalize Follow-Up Marketing

Dispensaries should send follow-up marketing to targeted customer segments with messaging tailored to specific interests.

The first follow-up message a cannabis customer receives isone of the most important, as it's the most immediate representation they will have of any retailer’s brand.

Therefore, dispensaries should deliver communications that reflect awareness of individual preferences and behaviors identified via segmentation.

Here are two follow-up text message campaigns a San Francisco dispensary sent to targeted customer segments after last year's 420:

An example of dispensary 24hr ROI follow-up marketing after 420
Follow-up message targeting delivery customers and specific product preferences
An example of dispensary 24hr ROI follow-up marketing after 420
Follow-up message targeting specific product preferences  

The gains from personalizing communications per customer segments lead inevitably to more opportunities for dispensaries to sustain revenue and move stagnant inventory after 420 with marketing.

Retailers can look to using targeted discounts as a potential tactic.

Leverage Targeted Discounts

Discounting products has always been an excellent way for retailers to sell off inventory while maintaining customer interest in their store.

It's a beneficial process for dispensaries looking to retain customers that might've first bought from their store on 420.

However, the best results from discount promotions always come with using data to target customers.

Essentially, a generalized approach to discounting may not continuously engage customers; in fact, it could cause dispensaries to miss buyers and spend more on marketing acquisition costs entirely.

Targeting discounts to specific preferences and segments make customers aware that a dispensary knows what they want, increasing the likelihood of repeat purchase.

This form of marketing outreach is excellent in sustaining customer interest and reducing the potential for lost customers, which hold significant untapped value for cannabis retailers.

Deploy SMS Campaigns

One goal of most 420 marketing plans is to encourage customers to opt-in to either a loyalty program or messaging platform.

The latter is an excellent system for deploying personalized cannabis communications to new customers.

SMS campaigns typically feature a 98% open rate
and allow dispensaries to immediately engage customers before, during, and after 420.  

When used with customer segmentation, SMS marketing offers a robust way for dispensaries to keep customers interested and sustain long-term revenue.

In the weeks before April 20th, 2020, and the month after that, dispensaries saw $1.6m in 1-week ROI and over $67,000 in 1-week customer recapture from their SMS marketing with Happy Cabbage.

Happy Cabbage’s Polaris allows dispensaries to segment new customers based on the data in their POS system and deliver targeted marketing. Sign up for a demo to learn more today.  


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