The excitement grows every day as more and more states approve medicinal and recreational marijuana sales and more and more entrepreneurs are receiving licencing, approvals and commence preparations to open their locations. But with so much competition afoot, what steps do you need to take to ensure a successful launch and continued success?

In this blog I want to focus on the marketing efforts, as they are sometimes an afterthought considering the popularity of cannabis and dispensaries alike. But as mentioned, with so much competition, it is the dispensaries with a solid marketing plan BEFORE the doors open that will see the most early and sustained success.

If you are a dispensary owner, you are already well aware of the tens of thousands of dollars that are spent on the licensing, the build out and the product that will put you on the path to your grand opening. With so much invested, it is wise to ensure you are doing everything possible to differentiate yourself from other dispensaries in the area, as well as give potential customers a reason to CHOOSE YOU over more established shops that may have beaten you to the punch on opening. Text messaging has become the tool of choice for most shops as it is relatively inexpensive, immediate and easy to deploy. Further with a 98% open rate and an estimated 48.7M consumers projected to be opted-in to text programs by 2020, it is the smart option.

So how does securing a text platform BEFORE you open your doors benefit you and build loyalty you may ask…. First off, feedback from customers that I have received, centers on the disappointment of not knowing when the dispensary will actually open their doors. Seeing the store front, the signage and an estimated date for the opening, breeds excitement for sure, but more often than not, openings are delayed for one reason or another and the potential customer goes elsewhere while they wait.

Establishing a text platform BEFORE you open does a few things. It allows you to capture customer information, interest and a platform to keep your future customer updated of milestones during the construction phase and grand opening sequence. For instance, the Sprout platform establishes a KEYWORD for you to promote on your social channels, store signage and in print, well before you open your doors. If your new business was named, “HEMPORI” for example, Your tagline to use could be;

“For GRAND OPENING Updates and Announcements, text ‘hempori’ to 411669”

This would then capture the name and interest of a future customer within the CRM and then allow you to send weekly updates as you get closer to opening. Then upon opening you’ll have a solid base of traffic that is now knowledgeable of your opening and is incentivized to attend based on free t-shirts, discounts, food, celebrities or some other offer you may have presented. This can also be done with the website widget, which is a fancy way of saying ‘form capture’ but is unique as it is on your website and automatically enrolls folks into your text platform.

(See example: “JOIN OUR TEXT CLUB“)

Even better, using a mobile survey with this texting program would then capture information about your future customer. What strains they prefer… what brands, products, more. Knowing as much of this before your doors open then allows you to prepare accordingly as far as brands you may carry, products and maybe even store hours. All valuable information, all within the CRM and all available before your doors even swing open.

(See an example survey here: EXAMPLE SURVEY)

Being able to grow a solid base of early adopters is key to your success! Using this approach has shown to acquire 350-1,000 consumer large databases before any products are even sold. Using this CRM and texting approach, as your single-system of record now grants you the power of a single platform for your text, email, survey answers and houses the birthday, anniversary and other important dates that allow you to send pinpoint marketing texts to BUILD THE LOYALTY and build the brand!

Multi-Media Messages utilizing your logo establishes your BRAND and will give you a platform to have a little fun whether it be through images, .GIF files or other creative ways to differentiate yourself.

Further, using the aforementioned surveys and then running raffles, contests, automated birthday and anniversary texts and other options all build the loyalty to keep YOUR new customers coming back.

Lastly, targeted messages based on survey results will save you money as your text messages will not be sent to all customers regardless of their preferences, but only to those who have raised their hands and said what they actually prefer to be offered in your marketing efforts. More targeted, more eyeballs, more relevant, more traffic, more returning customers and ideally, more revenue for you!

I wish you luck in your NEW ENDEAVOR! If you would like to learn more about Sprout, and the all-in-one CRM and marketing solution we offer, in-mail me, call us at 1.888.411.1699 or visit us at www.sprout.online.