It is important to meet your audience where they are at. Though billboards and newspaper ads still have their place, consumers are largely digital-focused. Cannabis friendly SMS platforms could prove to be a game-changer for the way you communicate with your current and prospective customers.
According to Statista, in 2023, the current number of smartphone users in the world today is 6.92 billion, meaning 86.41% of the world’s population owns a smartphone. According to a recent study by Asurion, Americans now check their smartphones 352 times a day, which is 4 times the amount that was determined in 2019. Consumers are undoubtedly on their phones.
Why SMS Marketing Makes Sense
SMS stands for Short Message Service. SMS marketing is the practice of sending text messages for marketing purposes. Advertisements and notifications are sent from companies directly to the phones of their customers. Legally, these consumers must opt-in to receive messages. Though that may seem like a hindrance, it actually ensures that you are reaching engaged consumers who are more likely to take action on your messages. Many SMS systems can operate on existing cannabis-friendly email platforms, making it a convenient and effective tool.
In addition, there are a lot of relevant statistics that demonstrate the power of SMS.
- At a 98% open rate, SMS has the highest open rate in the world of marketing;
- 41% of consumers prefer receiving brand updates via SMS;
- In 2022, 70% of consumers opted in to receive texts from businesses and 1 in 3 consumers checks their text notifications within one minute of receiving a text.
- It has been predicted that 72% of all Internet Users Will Only Use Smartphones to Access the Internet by 2025
- Nearly 50% of all consumers in the U.S. prefer mobile coupons
When to Use Cannabis SMS Platforms
SMS marketing is a great way to stay in contact with your customers without getting lost in the stack of junk mail or sent to the spam folder. Here are some popular use cases for cannabis SMS marketing:
- Notification of weekly sales or discounts,
- Integration with loyalty programs to remind customers of their benefits,
- Introducing new products or services,
- Order receipt and confirmations,
- Interesting news or links to blogs,
- Referral program reminders, and
- Notifications of store hours or policy changes.
This tool allows you to reach your customers quickly using a method of communication that they are already comfortable with.
What SMS Platforms are Cannabis Friendly?
The cannabis industry has made huge strides in the last decade, overcoming countless obstacles including federal legalization of hemp, individual state legalization of medical and/or recreational cannabis, banking solutions, delivery options, and more.
There are still some limitations on marketing activities for cannabis brands. Before entering into an agreement with any marketing agency, advertising firm, or SaaS company, it is important to find out whether they can accept cannabis clients and if they have experience with cannabis.
Marketers in the cannabis space have to be dynamic, creative, and well-informed to ensure compliance and success. Here is what we have discovered regarding cannabis-friendly SMS platforms:
This SMS platform is tailored specifically to the cannabis space. Unlike other platforms, there are no banned words, which means you can talk to customers in your brand’s actual voice. Simple, customizable templates allow you to message customers using personalized messages based on product interest. The biggest benefits of Alpine IQ are the ability of the platform to overcome cannabis censorship while remaining compliant and ensuring deliverability. It also integrates with some enterprise resource planning software like THSuite.
Another cannabis-focused platform, Spring Big has been around for some time and has all the perks of Alpine IQ along with the compliance benefits. When evaluating the two, consider additional features like loyalty programs and email marketing. Spring Big has put a lot of effort into creating a robust automated loyalty program that can be deployed through SMS.
Sprout – Powered by Weedmaps
This full-stack cannabis CRM has integrated sms capabilities to help dispensaries establish loyal and engaged customers. The Sprout cannabis SMS platform encourages the use of multimedia messages to differentiate and promote brand recognition through automated marketing campaigns.
Cannabis tech and analytics company Happy Cabbage has multiple software partners working in the cannabis space. Polaris is a partner SMS company that helps businesses reach their customers via SMS using data-driven strategies. This company currently uses the strategy of filtered keywords to remain compliant in the cannabis space.
What to Look for in a Cannabis SMS Platform
SMS marketing can be a valuable tool for your cannabis business. The nature and structure of your company will help determine your needs. Most cannabis SMS platforms are part of a larger CRM. This may include email marketing, customer service, point of sale, data storage, analytics, and more.
There are many popular CRM companies that can support some components of your company but do not allow SMS for cannabis businesses. It can be beneficial to minimize the different SaaS partners that make up your tech stack for cost and training efficiency. There are a number of cannabis-friendly email marketing platforms that can take care of many of your needs but not all. Klaviyo and Active Campaign are examples of popular cannabis-friendly email marketing platforms that do not support SMS.
It is important that the cannabis SMS platform you choose is built to achieve compliance with Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA), Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), CAN-SPAM Act, and any other cannabis-specific regulations. Watch out for SMS platforms that claim to skirt regulations in ways that seem shady or inauthentic to your brand. Maintain your voice and increase customer engagement by using cannabis SMS platforms that are built for the industry with compliance in mind.
Need help finding the Right Cannabis Friendly SMS Platform?
As a cannabis-specific marketing firm, the team at Cannabis Creative Group is well-versed in the platforms available to help maximize customer engagement, conversions, and brand recognition. We’re happy to help you determine the best tools for your specific business so you can continue to grow and meet your customers where they are.