Email marketing is as simple as it is successful. You get your audience’s contact info, then send them a compelling message. Before you know it, they’re your customer.

That sounds simplified. But there’s a reason email marketing leads to 180% more conversions and, according to some sources, has a whopping 44:1 return on investment. Of course, getting to that point is far from automatic.

The CBD industry has long faced marketing and credibility challenges that can be difficult to overcome. To be successful in CBD email marketing, you have to get it right. This guide will help you do just that.

Illustration of CBD tincture.4 Basics Steps Before You Jump Into CBD Email Marketing

Let’s start with the basics. What we’ll discuss in this section is not limited to email marketing. Still, it includes a few crucial elements that you absolutely need before you hit send on that first message.

Start here. Then, work your way towards the actual types of emails, best practices, and marketing integration.

1. Know Your Brand Promise

You may hear about this concept as anything from brand promise to differentiator or value proposition. The basic meaning is the same: it answers the question of what your business is actually about. In other words, what can you provide your customers, both tangibly and intangibly, that other businesses in the CBD industry can’t?

Your brand promise has to both truly represent your business and match up with audience needs. Otherwise, you’ll either fail to follow up or shout into the void. That starts with defining it, in a sentence or two, as your core competency and advantage compared to your competitors.

2. Identify Your Brand Voice

Your brand voice is the personality with which you communicate to your audience. In CBD, simply talking like any other small business probably won’t work. You need to be personable, but also maintain your balance to stay credible and authoritative. Once you identify your brand voice, every piece of communication (including all your email messages) should reflect that personality. 

3. Understand Your Marketing Goals

What, exactly, are you trying to achieve? Are you looking to merely raise awareness of CBD products in general, or do you already have a large interested audience that just needs that final push to become customers? Your marketing goals will inform the types of emails and calls to action that you build.

4. Find the Right Email Provider

Finally, you need to find a platform that helps you send messages out correctly. The still somewhat murky legal situation of the cannabis industry can make that difficult; even though CBD is legal from a federal standpoint, some providers tend to restrict their platform to exclude the entire industry. Find a provider that you know will support you and your business.

5 Types of CBD Marketing Emails to Support Your Business

In many ways, email can be the backbone of your digital strategy. It allows you to engage anyone from visitors who just heard about you to long-time customers. To accomplish that feat, you can leverage these five basic types of marketing emails relevant to any CBD business.

1. Helpful Content

These types of emails focus on value above sales. They aim to offer general tips, industry trends, and other items that build credibility in the eyes of their recipients. They’re immensely valuable if your goal is education about your CBD products as a precursor to sales. In digital marketing, you might also see this content referred to as nurturing emails. 

2. Sales and Promotions

On the other end of the spectrum, you have simple sales and promotional emails. As their name suggests, these messages alert your subscribers about special sales or offer coupons. If you’re just looking for that final revenue conversion, they’re a perfect push to get across the finish line.

3. Email Newsletters

Nestled between the first two email types are email newsletters. Sent on a regular cadence, newsletters tend to be a summary of a variety of topics that are interesting to the audience. That might include industry articles and trends mixed with current sales or new product announcements. The common denominator, once again, is audience relevance.

4. Welcome Emails

How you welcome a new customer can make all the difference. Do you leave them alone, or make them feel like their purchase matters and help them on their way? With a welcome email (often a simple message just thanking them for their purchase, sometimes more in the form of a survey or loyalty program), you can do just that.

There’s a reason that welcome emails have a 91.43% open rate, by far the most among these types of content.

5. Transactional Emails

In addition to marketing and engagement, emails also play a core role in simply conducting regular business. Transactional emails help you get crucial information to your audience:

  • Confirm a subscription
  • Confirm an order
  • Confirm shipping
  • Confirm and address change
  • Request reviews
  • And much more

The critical part of these email types is clarity. You need to get to your point quickly, putting the most important information first instead of obscuring some information.

Best Practices in CBD Email Marketing

For all the above email types, some basic best practices apply. In the cannabis industry, you face an obstacle of audience skepticism, especially for first-time customers. These best practices can help you overcome that obstacle.

  • Keep a single focus. Follow the basic attention ratio principle: instead of splitting your audience’s attention, every email should have a singular purpose. Everything in that email should drive towards that purpose.
  • Personalize your emails. Through a custom sender, personalized greeting and subject line, and even some custom paragraphs, you can make your emails more relevant to your audience. In fact, personalized emails can deliver 6x higher conversion rates.
  • Segment your email list. Don’t send the same email to everyone in your list. Newsletter subscribers may need more helpful content, while sales and promotions are more relevant to current customers. Segment your list according to customer needs, demographics, and lifecycle stage.
  • Focus on audience pain points. The more you know about your audience, the better. Ideally, your emails should specifically speak to your audience’s problems, offering clear solutions. That can include anything from overcoming prejudices related to CBD to making your products more affordable through promotions.
  • Spend time on the subject line. It’s the first and maybe the most important thing your audience sees. Even the best email goes to waste without a good subject line. Keep it to seven words or fewer, actionable, and directly related to the focus of the email.
  • Keep your email text short and scannable. In other words, don’t overestimate your audience’s attention span. Get your points across quickly, in short paragraphs (2-3 sentences at most) and bullet-point lists where appropriate. Unless it’s a newsletter, try not to go over 125 words.
  • Include a clear next step. That may be a click to your website or a sale of your CBD product on your website. Whatever it is, the next step should be obvious, ideally in the form of a button that naturally comes at the end of your content to keep the user journey moving linearly. 
  • Keep a clean subscriber list. The delivery rate of your emails can impact how likely your messages are to land in your audience’s spam folder. Keep the list clean by removing undeliverable emails and making sure that when someone unsubscribes, they don’t continue to receive emails.
  • Test every email before sending. On most email clients, you can send yourself a test or preview what the message looks like in inboxes. That helps you catch anything from typos to formatting issues, delivering a cleaner customer experience as a result.
  • Track, compare, and improve. Email analytics are both straightforward and extremely helpful. Your open rate helps you understand the relevance of the topic and effectiveness of your subject line. The click-through rate does the same for the email body. Benchmark your emails against each other, learning valuable lessons on which of the messages perform and making comprehensive updates as a result.

Dos and Don’ts for Your CBD Email Newsletter

Of the five basic email types mentioned earlier in this guide, only one requires some special treatment. Newsletters can be a vital part of building the credibility of your CBD business if used correctly.

Your newsletter provides you with an opportunity to stay top-of-mind with regular messages in your audience’s inbox. Brands and retailers are the most popular sources of email newsletters today, so chances are your audience is used to them already.

But, if you’re not careful, that popularity can also become a major downfall. Put simply, you can’t afford to land on a spam or suppression list. Through these basic dos and don’ts, you can turn your CBD newsletter into a major engagement source.

5 Dos that Elevate Your Email Newsletter

  • Keep the design clean and simple. Newsletters tend to be content-rich, more so than any other email type. The best thing you can do for user experience is making sure it’s easy to find the information and navigate through that content. Avoid unnecessary design elements or layouts, sticking with simplicity instead.
  • Optimize for mobile devices. Across industries, more than 70% of recipients read their emails on a mobile device. That’s especially important for newsletters, which need to display just as well on a phone screen as they would on a desktop computer. Short paragraphs, responsive images, and clear delineations between articles are key.
  • Only include value-adding content. Because they’re already content-rich, newsletters cannot include any superfluous content. Every sentence, graphic, and image should add to your overall purpose for the email.
  • Prompt the next step. What do you want your audience to do when they read an article in the email? This is where newsletters move away from the regular email best practices above. Each article, where relevant, should prompt your audience to take that next step, whether that’s reading the full article or taking some other action.
  • Keep your promised frequency. Email newsletters depend on regular sends. Your audience expects it. Once you move away from that frequency, you start losing goodwill. If it’s a monthly newsletter, make sure it goes out every month.

4 Don’ts that Threaten Newsletter Success

  • Don’t over-send the newsletter. While sticking to your promised frequency is vital, so is not overdoing it. You may not need that weekly send if it doesn’t actually add value for your audience. Once again, the purpose and audience needs should drive send frequency, not vice versa.
  • Don’t start to become too promotional. It’s okay to add some promotional elements to your newsletter, but the content should not become overwhelmed by it. For your audience to open your message regularly, they need to know that at least a good portion of it will help them learn something rather than push your products.
  • Don’t forget about accessibility. Around the world, around 2.2 billion people live with some type of vision impairment. That means at least some of your recipients do, as well. Make sure your newsletter emails are accessible through high-contrast designs, clear content hierarchies, and alt text for images.
  • Don’t ignore the metrics. With your newsletter, open and click rates are not as simple as we described them above. But they still matter. Dig not just into general click rates, but the types of links your audience is most likely to click on. Then, build future newsletters to focus more on those types of links.

Integrating Your Emails into Your CBD Marketing Strategy

There you have it: from newsletters to all other types of messages, following these best practices is a vital piece in building an email marketing strategy that engages potential and current customers throughout the lifecycle. It’s the first step to ensuring that you see the same type of success we mentioned in the introduction to this guide.

Of course, email marketing cannot exist in isolation. It has to be closely connected to your content marketing strategy and marketing efforts as a whole. In fact, that’s the only way you can ensure that you can build your credibility and establish your brand in the still-growing CBD space.

Getting to that integration point is not simple. You might need help. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. Our expertise in both digital marketing and the CBD industry makes us the perfect match to work with you in optimizing both your email and content marketing efforts. Contact us today to start the conversation.