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As a small business owner in the cannabis industry, there are so many decisions to make when it comes to marketing your business. You may be thinking that the email platform you choose doesn’t matter; they’re all the same right?
Unfortunately, cannabis email marketing is not that simple. Many platforms restrict or prohibit content related to your business.
The Cannabis Creative email team has done the research for you and compiled a list of email marketing platforms that currently claim they allow you to market your cannabis business. This guide contains a range of email platforms at several price points to help you choose the right solution for your business.
We’ve even taken it a step further for you by going straight to the source. Rather than simply consulting the terms and policy pages, all answers in this guide come directly from customer support or sales representatives from the platforms themselves. Please be aware that these conversations were conducted in March 2022 and that businesses can change their policies at any point.
The interaction with each of these platforms began with the following message:
“Hello, I am working with two clients on email marketing. They are in the cannabis industry and we are searching for a cannabis-friendly email marketing platform. What is your company’s stance on cannabis industry marketing?
Both are operating legally in their states, one is a cannabis dispensary with a brick and mortar location and one is a CBD company with a heavy eCommerce focus.”
Cannabis Friendly Email Marketing Platforms
As of March 2022 here’s what we found:
Alpine IQ – CBD and THC Content Permitted, Cannabis-Centric Platform
Alpine IQ is a platform specifically dedicated to cannabis businesses of all types. They have an extensive suite of features that are customized with your business in mind.
Alpine IQ offers not only email but also loyalty programs, direct integrations with your dispensary menu (if you have one), and more. You don’t even need an answer from their sales or support team to know that they are a cannabis-centric email platform!
Email Octopus – CBD and THC Content Permitted
Email Octopus is one of the small to mid-size platforms available today. They gave a blanket statement of ‘yes’ assuming everyone on your list is subscribed.
Everyone on your list must subscribe before you send them any email communications to be compliant with current privacy and email consent laws.
Emurcury – CBD and THC Content Permitted
Emurcury confirmed in their message that they do support the cannabis industry as long as all subscribers willingly opt-in to receive email communication.
Flodesk – CBD and THC Content Permitted
Flodesk stated that it is cannabis-friendly, as long as you are operating legitimately within your local laws.
They have an affordable, flat-fee subscription model that gives you access to unlimited emails, subscribers, and all the platform’s design features as long as you keep paying. Flodesk’s templates are easily editable and aesthetically pleasing, reminiscent of Canva templates, but for email.
Hubspot – CBD and THC Content Permitted
The representative from Hubspot took the time to speak with compliance to ensure an accurate answer on their stance. Their team confirmed that they do support many cannabis clients as of now and cannabis (both THC and CBD) fall within their acceptable uses.
Hubspot is not only an email platform but a full customer relationship management (CRM) system with many sales and tracking features in addition to their email platform.
★ Klaviyo – CBD and THC Content Permitted
Klaviyo stated in their message that they support cannabis clients with their email services. In fact, Klaviyo is currently our choice for cannabis email marketing clients.
We have been running many accounts through Klaviyo because of their robust features that put you in charge of your analytics and give you plenty of options for your messaging and automation.
In our experience, Klaviyo is one of the easiest-to-use platforms that has affordable plans, making them especially accessible to small cannabis businesses.
MailerLite – CBD and THC Content Permitted
MailerLite has a thorough policy. They review the account before you ever pay or start sending messages, meaning you are protected from losing contacts due to an unexpected account shut down.
As long as your business has a physical location where the business is run (often required by law anyway) you are eligible. MailerLite’s policy is clear and their features are on par with other platforms, making them an option for CBD or THC promoting companies.
Moosend – CBD and THC Content Permitted
Moosend was very straightforward in their support chat; they stated that they are cannabis-friendly, and you can send emails through them to your list. They also have useful features for sending email and reporting and are affordable to implement and use on an ongoing basis.
CBD Only Email Marketing Platforms
Active Campaign – CBD Content Permitted, No THC
Active Campaign stated that they cannot work with any company promoting THC, but they are an option for companies offering exclusively CBD. They have extensive features and integrations and are a viable option for CBD-only businesses at this time.
Email Marketing Platforms that Prohibit Cannabis Content
Constant Contact – THC and CBD Photos Prohibited
Constant Contact is one of the largest email platforms around, one that businesses have been using for a while now. But, as a cannabis business owner, you should be aware of their policies. According to their representative, you can “promote” a brick and mortar location, but no eCommerce or images of your cannabis or CBD products.
In today’s world of email marketing, there is no message without engaging product photos and product listings. Constant Contact’s strict limitations on cannabis imagery and links would prove a challenge to use effectively for your marketing campaigns.
Mailchimp – Vague Policy on THC and CBD
Mailchimp provided a fairly vague policy in response to our question. There is no distinction between CBD and THC in the initial communication. The policy is not defined enough to ensure that your account could not get deleted if they did a check on it and determined that it broke some of those rules.
However, Mailchimp’s Acceptable Use Policy states that any content created to send, display, advertise, or sell “illegal goods or services” is prohibited.
Business owners should be wary of Mailchimp’s ambiguity surrounding “illegal goods or services” as it is unclear if cannabis-related content falls into that category.
SendinBlue – CBD and THC Content Prohibited
Sendinblue does not support any cannabis-related content.
Cannabis Creative Can Help You Navigate Email Marketing
Whether you want to increase foot traffic to your dispensary or boost your presence on the web, first impressions are critical. With decades of marketing, web design, and SEO experience, our team can help grow your business, drive sales, and set your cannabis brand apart from the competition.
Here at Cannabis Creative Group, we have a team dedicated to all things email and can help you select a platform, set up your automated messages, build your contact list, strategize ways to grow your audience, and create monthly emails for your subscribers. Contact us to get started on an email marketing project today.
Disclaimer: These conversations took place between February to March 2022. Policies are subject to change depending on the decisions of each email platform. Businesses are responsible for making their own decision when it comes to email platforms and should consult their own legal team. Cannabis Creative is not making any explicit recommendations and is not responsible for any action taken by these email platforms.