Email marketing is a powerful way to drive sales and grow your customer base. And for CBD business owners in the UK with limited opportunities for marketing, it’s vital. If you’re ready to make building your mailing list your top priority, let’s get started…

Why is a mailing list so important for a Cannabis or CBD business?

Mailing lists are powerful because, unlike your social media following, you own the list. You can send email offers and updates that are delivered directly into their inbox. And, by building relationships with your clients, there’s a much high chance that next time they’re thinking about buying a CBD product, that they’ll choose to purchase from your business.

How can CBD businesses leverage their mailing lists?

There are many ways to grow your mailing list, but the most effective is to use opt-ins (such as those offered by OptinMonster), to encourage new users to sign-up. Here you can get creative, offer them a discount on their first order or a free download guide – something that has value that a visitor will be willing to receive in exchange for their email address. Once you have their email address, you can send special offers, additional discounts, share details of new launches, and educate them about your product offering.

In particular, you should focus on:

Welcome Emails

Welcome emails have an open rate of 82% and a click-through rate of 26%, making them a great opportunity to share information about your brand and move subscribers closer to making a buying decision.

Abandoned Cart Emails

Over 81% of shopping carts are abandoned before checkout, but rather than seeing this as a negative, see it as an opportunity to stand out from the competition. Most companies don’t take this crucial step, but sending a mail sequence can reduce the drop-off rate significantly, which means that you get more sales just for sending a couple of emails on auto-pilot. Send an email that reminds them to checkout, or one that addresses roadblocks to purchasing such as FAQs on quality, or information on shipping and returns. If that doesn’t get them to checkout, you could send them a time-sensitive discount offer to get them to complete the purchase.

First-Order Emails

This is the perfect way to build trust and encourage loyalty, and you can use the opening to offer upsell and cross-sells. And it impacts your bottom line. Studies suggest that acquiring a new customer costs about 5 times more than retaining an existing one and increasing customer retention by just 5% can increase profits between 25 and 95%. As an added bonus, if you can convert them into brand advocates, they will boost your reputation too.

If you want customers to become loyal to your brand and make repeat purchases, here are 4 emails you can add to your first-order sequence:

  • Check-in / Order Update Email – send this immediately to find out whether the customer was happy with the experience. Make it easy for them to ask questions or follow-up.
  • Delivery Email – two days after the delivery was scheduled to arrive, send a quick email to find out if they receive it and that they’re happy with the product.
  • Request a Review – two weeks after the customer has received the product ask for feedback on the product and the buying experience (which you can use on your website as social proof).
  • Send a Promo Email – a month after the initial purchase send the customer a time-sensitive discount on a related product to encourage another sale.
Re-Order Reminders

When they make their CBD purchase, you can set a mail to go out a month or two later when they’re likely to need to re-order. If you offer a great service and a high-quality product, you have an excellent chance of successfully reminding them to re-order. The stats show that you’re around 60 – 70% more likely to get them to repurchase, which is much higher than the success rate of selling to a new customer (which is somewhere between 5 and 20%).

Can I use Mailchimp to send newsletters for my CBD Business?

Most websites use opt-in software such as OptinMonster to capture the email addresses of website visitors. These details are then piped into email marketing software such as Mailchimp. But the main issue with Mailchimp and others is that they control your subscriber list and what you can and can’t send in your newsletter.

For Mailchimp, in particular, we know of a case where a client’s Mailchimp account was shut down as they were promoting CBD products in their emails. The products they were promoting were completely legal, but the account was shut down due to compliance issues. We’ve gone in and checked Mailchimp’s terms and conditions, and there is no mention of CBD at all.

We got in touch with Mailchimp and they confirmed they do not accept companies selling CBD products.

Should I Still Use Mailchimp?

This is only one case we have heard of Mailchimp shutting down someones account. Having spoken to others in the industry, it is still the most popular newsletter extension to use. If you are to continue using Mailchimp, they have a great function whereby you can export your subscribers list. By doing so, you are backing this up, just in case the worse did happen.

Click here to see how to ‘View or Export Your Contacts’ in Mailchimp

What are the alternatives for CBD businesses?

A self-hosted email marketing plugin that integrates with your WordPress site is a much safer option. You control your mailing list and are protected against the risk of having your account shut down.

Plugin providers such as Mailster and The Newsletter Plugin make it easy to create, manage and send email newsletter campaigns. And they integrate with the top sending services such as SendGrid, mailgun and SparkPost so you can send newsletters without the fuss.

We always remind our customers that the most important thing is to remain in control of your business, which means staying in control of your website and your customer base. This is why platforms such as Shopify or newsletter solutions like Mailchimp are such a problem. It’s your business, but they have the power to shut down your site or delete your mailing list without letting you know. And, because they don’t accept CBD products, it doesn’t make sense to use their services and put your livelihood at risk.

This is why we continue to advocate a WordPress website set-up that’s easy to update and use, and won’t be shut down. And we recommend an integrated opt-in functionality such as OptinMonster that, in their words, “absolutely do accept legal CBD companies”. Website opt-ins can then be piped into a self-hosted newsletter and email marketing systems such as Mailster or the Newsletter Plugin so you can keep in touch with your clients without the worry of getting shut down.

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