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The Most Straightforward Guide to SMS Marketing For Dispensaries

published on August 20, 2021
by James Hammer

In this day and age, many people consider text messaging to be old-fashioned. That is quite unfortunate since it causes plenty of businesses to dismiss the idea of using text messaging as part of their marketing strategy. Some don’t even consider it as an option for reaching out to their customers. However, SMS (Short message service) is very much alive and offers some unique opportunities to reach out to customers in the least likely of places. Using a novel way to reach out to customers can result in far better engagement. 

Dispensaries are limited in the way they can market their business. The amount of restriction placed on them is nothing compared to other retail businesses. Fortunately, SMS marketing is one of the many ways they can continue to reach out to customers in a highly effective manner. 

If you are just starting your dispensary, then that means you are currently limited by strict marketing budgets. While email marketing is efficient, text message marketing offers a unique opportunity. There are many reasons why dispensaries should use text messaging as part of their overall marketing campaign, such as: 

  • 90% of people read their text messages within the first three minutes of being received.  
  • Surveys have found that 80% of people currently use text messaging for business purposes.
  • Text messaging converts customer acquisition costs from a mere $20 to just pennies. 
  • More than five billion people globally send and receive text messages. 
  • 20% of customers prefer using text messaging over phone calls when engaging with businesses.

As you can see, SMS marketing has some impressive data backing up how useful it can be in terms of marketing your dispensary. If you haven’t implemented SMS marketing as part of your marketing strategy, then you should consider doing so. For this reason, we are going to go over everything you need to know about SMS marketing in this guide. 


What is SMS marketing?

SMS marketing (Short message service) is a marketing technique that utilizes text messages to communicate with customers. These text messages send out targeted promotions and transactional messages through the power of text messaging. These text messages allow your dispensary to communicate updates, alerts, and promotional deals to customers who have opted in to receive text messages from your dispensary. At times, these communications may be a one-on-one conversation between you and the customer. It could be automated text messages triggered by customer action.


Why is SMS marketing critical for your dispensary?

SMS marketing is a severely underused marketing channel for the most part. Since it’s one of the least used channels around, it’s an excellent tool to improve your dispensary’s marketing efforts. Consider this, over 97% of American consumers currently use a mobile device of some kind. Text messaging is not a channel where most of these customers are expected to receive a marketing message. With the number of applications out there that people use, such as emails or their social media feeds, to receive promotional deals, it’s no wonder they would be surprised by such a tactic. 

Of course, unlike SMS messaging, they tend to generally ignore the promotional deals that litter up their email inboxes, and social media news feeds. Since they are constantly bombarded with these deals, they have learned to ignore them. When it comes to SMS, it feels more refreshing than the other channels. People are far more likely to open up a text message and read it due to its rarity. SMS has one of the highest open rates of any other marketing channel. 

Despite what most people may think, text blasting is one of the most meaningful marketing strategies available to your dispensary. Since most people are open to this type of communication, it’s become an excellent option for any dispensary that wants to boost sales and engagement. 

For dispensary owners, learning how to use SMS marketing is extremely beneficial for your business. For dispensaries, relationships with customers are essential, and text messages provide an excellent way to nurture relationships. These text messages can be used to show your customers that they’re important to you and even make them feel special. For instance, you could offer a promotional deal for people who are subscribed to your SMS list. That makes them feel as if they are part of an exclusive insider club that gets all the great stuff before anyone else. 


What’s the goal behind SMS marketing?

Take a moment to ask yourself what you wish to achieve with your dispensary through your marketing efforts. There are several things you could achieve with SMS marketing, such as:

  • Acquiring a better ROI than your other marketing channels
  • Boosting the sales of your cannabis products
  • Increase the amount of traffic your dispensary gets on certain days
  • Growing your presence to get more customer
  • Having the competitive advantage over your competitors


To successfully pull off text message marketing, you need to ensure you have the appropriate tools to do so. However, keep in mind that sending out a bulk of text messages is not free. Fortunately, SMS marketing is one of the less costly forms of marketing and a better option compared to running a Facebook ads campaign. However, there are still ways that it can become too expensive for some. SMS marketing is different compared to using an email capture bot, which is much cheaper between the two. 

Furthermore, some of the best marketing tools around are chatbots. And when it comes to sending out emails, you can send out as much content as you wish, with most of it not even having to relate to sales. 

When it comes to sending a text message, you are going to pay a fee to get directly into the customer’s SMS inbox, which is a place most people do not want to be disturbed. For that reason, you want to make sure that the message you are sending them provides an excellent, high-value offer that the reader will enjoy. 


Successful tips for SMS marketing

When SMS marketing is correctly executed, all of the goals mentioned above will be within your reach. However, since sending out these text messages are going to cost you resources, you need to ensure several things. 

Concentrate on sending out real value through promotions such as exclusive promotional deals and invites. Most people tend to be more strict on who is allowed to text message their mobile home than they are about who’s sending them emails. You need to also closely watch your targeting and audience segmentation. You won’t be texting a person more than once if you send them an irrelevant message or if you are incapable of personalizing those messages. 


Types of text message marketing campaigns

Knowing about the various types of SMS marketing campaigns will assist you in developing a course for long-term success. Here is what your SMS marketing look like for your business:

  • Alerts and notifications: Let your customers be aware of product arrival, restock, events, or updated store hours.
  • Loyalty programs: Rewarding returning customers with discounts or free products at established milestones
  • Personalized text message: Sending out personally designed messages that make the customer feel special and valued. 
  • SMS coupons: Sending out coupons for online or in-store purchases. 
  • Text promotions: Sending out a text message providing discounts or special offers.
  • Text-to-win competitions: Stir up excitement with a gift card or free product.


Basic SMS terminologies

Before you can even begin setting up your SMS marketing campaign, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with some critical SMS marketing terminology: 

  • Disclaimer: A legal notice that customers need to see during the signup, detailing that text message and data rates may apply.
  • Keyword: A unique world where customers text your business when they decide to opt-in to your text messaging campaign.
  • Opt-in and Opt-out: A process that allows your customers to sign up to receive text messages from your dispensary or stop receiving them. 
  • Shortcode: A five-digit number associated with your dispensary.


How regularly should you message customers?

Similar to any marketing attempts you conduct on social media sites, it’s entirely fine to send out a few messages during the start to welcome the new customer and get them settled. If anything, they will most likely be expecting interaction the moment they signed up for your SMS marketing campaign. 

Once this moment has started to cool down, you want to ebb away from your communications a lot. That said, you need to remind them that your dispensary exists. Text them monthly by providing them with promotional deals or offerings. 

The messages you send out to them should be short and to the point when it comes to SMS marketing. Generally, the best thing to do is keep your characters below 150 or just a few sentences. You should also include a response option such as “reply one for yes, two for now” to save up space on your messages. The customers should not be forced to scroll through a wall of text to finish the message. Save your much longer messages for other channels such as email and social media. 



SMS marketing offers dispensaries an excellent opportunity to get their name out there. It provides a load of benefits that most people are unaware of and remains an untapped resource. Take advantage of this marketing strategy and start blasting your customers with text messages that offer excellent promotion deals and reminders. Remind your customer of the value you provide them and watch as your sales and engagement skyrockets.