Marketing Automation for Dispensaries

By Arnab Mitra

The right marketing automation platform can help ensure the long-term success for dispensaries

What is Marketing Automation?

Typically when most people think of marketing automation, they imagine a platform that automates activities such as lead scoring, customer segmentation, cross-selling and campaign management. Well that type of automation is primarily for B2B companies, who are looking to reach a mass audience at once. Plus, B2B marketing automation platforms usually only provide one channel, which is email, to reach their customers.

B2C companies are looking to grow their brand and reach their customers through personalized messages. A B2C marketing automation platform helps businesses understand where each individual customer is in their journey and determine what actions need to be taken to move each customer forward. Plus they get the option of multiple channels to reach their customer, including email, text message, IM, push notifications and more.

Why is Marketing Automation Important for Dispensaries?

The first obvious reason why marketing automation is important is for the simple fact that reaching your customers is now automated; you don’t have to send out messages yourself. Thus helping save time and scale your reach at once. But marketing automation is much more important than the simple reason of saving time and scaling your reach. At SailPlay, we believe the automation of these activities helps dispensaries be able to deliver the right message at the right time to the right customer, helping the long-term success of the business.

For example, knowing where each of your customers are in their journey helps you to not only segment them into different groups, but also create specific campaigns per group. Through marketing automation you will know if you have a new lead, repeat customer and loyal customer, helping you tailor a campaign for each group.

New Lead Campaign

Each time a new lead visits your dispensary or your website, run an email or SMS campaign to provide them with a discount code to entice them to make a purchase. And after their first purchase, send a communication one day later to ask them about their experience and the product purchased.

Repeat Customer Campaign

For any repeat customers, you know which products they have purchased in the past. Run campaigns that are specific to the product groups they have purchased before. These customers are more likely to engage in your campaign if they are interested in the product.

Loyal Customer Campaign

For loyal customers, run exclusive campaigns based on their specific past purchases. For example, if John prefers to purchases edibles, run a campaign for John about an exclusive offer on a new edible.

The more personalized your campaigns are for your customers, the more engagement you can expect. According to Experian, there is a 26% increase in engagement with a personalized campaign when compared to a non-personalized campaign.

Plus with more engagement, your chances of increased sales greatly rise. According to a VB Insight study, 80% of businesses that use marketing automation have seen an increase in leads, with the majority being quality leads.

What Dispensaries Should Focus On For Marketing Automation 

With there being so many marketing automation software companies to choose from, we thought we would help you focus on a couple of key features.

B2C Marketing Automation

Be sure to choose a B2C marketing automation platform. When you search for “Marketing Automation” through Google or any search engine, you will find many B2B marketing automation platforms. B2B marketing automation platforms are different because B2B platforms are interested in bulk marketing and messaging, while B2C platforms are focused on the personalization and customer journey. And as an FYI, some B2B platforms will say they have a B2C platform as well, but they will be focusing most of their features to B2B since there are more B2B companies using marketing automation.

Selecting More Than Just an Email Service Provider

If your goal is to just send out emails, then choosing an email service provider is the way for you to go. But if your goal is to go beyond that, then choose a B2C marketing automation platform. With a B2C marketing automation platform you should expect the following:

  • Loyalty Platform: Through a loyalty platform, you can build out a customer loyalty program that will help increase customer retention. Through the loyalty platform, you can create a rewards system, providing your customers for points for various actions, including purchases and social media actions.
  • Communication Platform: Within the communication platform, you can create powerful email, SMS, IM and push notification campaigns to reach each customer with the right message at the right time.
  • CRM Platform: The CRM platform helps you manage your entire customer list from one place. Through the CRM you can create customer segments, dive deep into each customer and more.
  • Analytics Platform: Within the Analytics platform, you can analyze your clients’ actions, their purchases, and socio-demographic data. Plus you can measure the effectiveness of your loyalty program, marketing campaigns, promotions and more to improve future results.

Before it gets too saturated, dispensaries need to invest in marketing automation. As stated, marketing automation can help your dispensary create a personalized experience for each of your customers, leading to higher engagement and ideally more sales.

About The Author


  1. Rick

    Arnab, found your post interesting and quite relevant for the cannabis industry as a whole. I still don’t see much of anything I would consider great marketing out there on social for either legal or medicinal cannabis, but perhaps that’s because I live in PA?

    Your mention of loyalty programs and the ability to personalize is so important – as well as the ability to be nimble.

    1. Arnab Mitra


      I agree that marketing legal or medicinal cannabis is still a bit tricky due to various federal laws and terms and conditions companies follow. For example, many email service providers can actually cancel the account of dispensaries or other legal cannabis linked businesses without any notices due to their terms and conditions. There are some providers out there, such as SailPlay, who will not cancel the account of any legal cannabis linked businesses because.

      Loyalty programs and their personalization is extremely important to the early players in this industry. As the market becomes saturated with competition, it will become so much more difficult for businesses to differentiate themselves.

  2. David

    Will marketing automation be good for the future? Where can I see marketing automation in the upcoming years? Also which is the best among Marketo, Aritic Pinpoint and Hubspot?

    1. Arnab Mitra


      I believe marketing automation will be a major need going into the future. Marketing automation will free up marketers from manually needing to manage every marketing task; thus helping them focus on bigger picture items.

      Over the coming years, you can expect marketing automation to add additional features to automate additional marketing tasks. Currently most marketing automation platforms are great for CRM, email and analytics services. But heading into the future, we can expect them to incorporate social media campaigns, text message campaigns and more.

      And as for who is the best marketing automation platform, well I would say that is dependent on your business. For example, Hubspot and Marketo are two marketing automation platforms that are specialized for the B2B market. While their platform can work for a B2C company, there features and services are more specialized for the B2B market. As a result, B2C companies cannot expect this platforms to track purchases at the customer level. If you have a B2B company, then I would recommend to receive a demo from each company you mentioned and see which platform best fits your business needs and budget. And if you have a B2C company, then research B2C marketing automation platforms, like SailPlay, to see which one fits your company needs and budget the best.

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