Cannabis Customer Retention Blueprint 2023

Cannabis email marketing and cannabis text message marketing are the most effective digital marketing channels that a cannabis brand can leverage to impact customer retention rates.

Cannabis Customer Retention Challenges 

“Get 20% off for first time patients and customers.” Why would a cannabis user ever go to the same shop when in many recreational markets and a handful of medical markets they are rewarded gifts for being a first time customer? In competitive cannabis markets it can be a challenge for cannabis dispensaries to retain customers. Cannabis retail leaders have caught on to the fact that a loyalty program is absolutely necessary if you do not want to depend on new customers to pay the bills. The issue is that most cannabis companies fail to optimize their campaign with a data driven approach or they are not leveraging other cannabis digital marketing channels to their advantage  

Here is a guide that will act as a checklist to make sure your cannabis brand has an optimized loyalty program that is centered around email and text message marketing. 

Cannabis Email Marketing 

In order to have an effective cannabis loyalty program cannabis email marketing will have to be the lifeline of the campaign. Before you say email marketing is dead and that SMS text has surpassed it, understand that, according to hubspot 99 percent of email users check their email inbox every day. Many marketing specialists claim that email marketing is the most effective digital marketing channel, even over SEO and social media. 

The 3 best cannabis email strategies to leverage in combination with each other are: 

  • Subscriber Segmentation – Using customer insights, cannabis marketers have the ability to create email list categories that help with optimizing customer personalization. Segments can be geographical – in state and out of state list or even customer demographics like gender, age, and product selection would aid in creating targeted messaging. 
  • Message Personalization – Cannabis Brands must connect with the customer inorder to retain business and repeat sales. Adding features like birthday rewards and addressing a customer by name in an email will go a long way. You should use your loyalty program to track customer purchases and use that data to customize promotions and messaging that will drive customer retention rates in the positive direction. 
  • Cannabis Email Automation – Automated message sequencing allows cannabis marketers to cast a larger net. Cannabis business owners can save time and money by managing large email lists when they integrate automated sequences. Review reminders after a purchase can boost a reputation campaign, and automated abandoned cart messages can save sales that otherwise would have been lost. 

Cannabis SMS Text Message Marketing 

Although email marketing is still king, SMS text blasts are very effective. Loyalty programs should have a multi-channel marketing approach in order to connect with cannabis customers from different touch points during the customers journey. Using both email and text together is like adding THC to a CBD tincture and creating a more full spectrum product. 

Text message marketing has stricter opt-in regulations than email so it is important to make sure your list was built in a compliant manner. 

Text message marketing can be viewed as more invasive than email marketing. The frequency of your messages can vary depending on subscriber segments. We recommend starting with 1 message per week or even 1 bi weekly. Email marketing can be more frequent. It’s always important to optimize email for mobile so that way you can still connect with them through their life line, without being annoying. 

Cannabis Mobile Apps 

A good way to increase your online sales is to consider introducing a loyalty mobile app for your cannabis customers. Giving them the ability to place orders, use promotion codes, loyalty points, and other rewards directly on their mobile device will set you apart from other cannabis brands and increase conversion rates. 

The best cannabis loyalty tool is AlpineIQ. This platform will allow you to remain compliant and run all of the campaigns we mentioned above. They also have a development team that can help you create a custom app for your cannabis business.

Creative Loyalty Program Ideas 

  • Refer a friend program – Incentivize your customers to refer a friend or family member that has never shopped at your dispensary before. This will bring new customers into your store and allow your current customer base to get a deal that will entice them to shop for more products. An example would be: Refer a friend, receive a free pre-roll. 
  • Customer reviews program – Reviews are important to dispensaries because they add credibility and establish trust. Encourage your satisfied  customers to review you on Facebook, Weedmaps, Google, Leafly, Yelp, etc. for a chance to receive loyalty points or a free product. There is a slight risk of someone leaving a poor review; however, they are probably more likely to write something positive since your giving them a gift in return. 
  • Product push campaign – Incentivise customers to buy products you are looking to push harder than others by giving them double points when they buy the highlighted product. Vertically integrated brands that sell their own flower or concentrates at their retail location can benefit from deals like this because the profit margins are higher than vendor products. 
  • Personalized reward program – Personalization is key when it comes to connecting with your customers. Give your customers a reward for birthdays, customer anniversaries, and transaction milestones. A great example of this is rewarding the customer who hits a shop milestone of 1,000 customers served. 
  • Social Media incentives – Rewarding your customers for following or engaging with your brand’s social media accounts is a great way to increase your following and likes. It also benefits the customer because they are able to receive a reward. 

Non-Retail Cannabis Brands Loyalty Program. 

If you don’t have a retail license, but you’re interested in finding a solution that allows your brand to connect with the end consumer, or you’re looking for a way to send messages to your retail partners about whole sales promotions then you should consider adding a loyalty campaign to your marketing strategy. 

Email marketing and SMS text messaging is just as important to cannabis cultivators and cannabis processors because it’s a direct way to establish a strong connection with your audience. Maintaining shelf space at retail locations is critical to running a successful cannabis brand. Automated email sequences can help your brand stay on top of weekly menu blast, promotions, and new product information. Cannabis producers should segment their list between retail partners and end consumers. 

One of the best selling points a brand can use to get some shelf space is to show the retailers that they are supporting the marketing efforts of the brand, so the dispensary will have sales and marketing support from the vendor to help push the products. Having a strong email list that allows brands to send messaging to end users is powerful. Loyalty programs should be the focus for all cannabis brands and retail locations. 


Social media marketing is what all cannabis business owners are focused on, but channels that allow brands to directly send unfiltered messages to customers will have a much greater impact on ROI then platforms like Instagram that don’t allow brands to speak their truth or advertise their products. 

Cannabis brands have to effectively use omni-channel marketing to connect with the customer at different touch points during the customer’s journey. Social media has to be a key player; however, SEO, Reputation management, and Loyalty optimization are just as important when it comes to driving sales and growing revenue. 

Optimize Cannabis Email Marketing and SMS Text Message Marketing

Does your in-house team do a great job of optimizing your customer data list? Does your team have the time and resources to drive repeat sales with your email list? If you need a team of cannabis marketing specialists who are able to maximize your loyalty program and drive your customer retention rate to an all time high, then you should consider working with Dagga Digital Marketing. 

We have an omni-channel digital marketing approach that allows us to help our clients establish market authority. They leverage this authority to build additional revenue streams and scale their business.