How to Build a Successful Medical Cannabis Outreach Campaign
April 8, 2021 5 min. read
The medical cannabis community is getting bigger: as more and more states legalize recreational and medical cannabis, demand is growing in step alongside it, and competition is fierce.
While there are heaps of opportunities, there are a lot of risks to be wary of. For example, there are strict advertising policies for social media and search engines, certain types of content that you can’t communicate, age restrictions, and a variety of unique state laws. You also need to keep up with all the volatility and react immediately. Has the state regulation changed again? You better know that!
Let’s be honest: whatever the difficulties, you should search for opportunities to develop your business in such a high demand environment. And being online is a must nowadays. Either you play by the rules, or you’re out of the game. That’s why your sales strategy requires careful planning: so that you win your share of the market without breaking the rules.
How can you tread carefully through this opportunity rich, but still rapidly-evolving market environment? The answer is outreach. This sales tool will help you effectively boost sales without exposing yourself to unnecessary risks.
So if you are a part of the medical cannabis community search for legal and effective ways of leveling up your business, hop in, and come along for the ride.
What is Outreach?
Outreach is a method of outbound sales which you’ve probably already heard much about. It is one of the easier, more traditional ways to reach potential customers, wherein you initiate the dialog by dropping your leads an email (or cold calling). But while the effectiveness of outbound sales has long been proven, it is still quite under-valued. Why?
Focusing on reaching out to qualified leads, initiating communications, and delivering a pitch — these techniques just seem pushier than inbound ones, where customers stumble upon you because of, let’s say, your ability to generate engaging content. Especially when it comes to cannabis-based products.
But while you’re carefully navigating such a multifaceted growth industry without many of the familiar tools to promote your business, you mustn’t be too quick to give up on outbound methods like email outreach campaigns.
Are they spam? Nope, even though they might look that way at the first glance. In the case of sales outreach, you contact only those who might be interested in your products and services, which implies preliminary research, crafting relevant offers and personalizing your message. Basically, the receivers have a need or a pain point and you have a solution that you target them with. Win-win!
So, if planned well and done right, an effective cannabis outreach campaign can help you turn leads into customers and boost sales.
Why Does Cannabis Outreach Work?
Sales outreach is a universal tool for all types of companies, but what makes it such a good fit for the medical cannabis community? Here are the key advantages.
It Encourages Authentic Conversations
Let’s be honest, whether it’s medically or recreationally driven, the nature of this particular product is such that an unusual level of passion and emotion inevitably arises. Sometimes there’s a medical success story from the founders’ own family, or perhaps a decision-maker within the corporate management structure who is very compassionate about the benefits of the product.
At the end of the day, companies are started by people who truly value the product and want to talk about it. This makes cannabis outreach quite an authentic way to start a conversation.
It Reaches the Right Leads
You are not selling a WiFi router, right? Like any other medical or recreational industry, and this one specifically due to its novelty, stigma, and strict legal landscape, you don’t want to contact the wrong party.
With inbound marketing strategies, you can NEVER be 100% sure who you reach out to and who, for example, will pop in to your website’s blog or social media accounts. Outbound, on the contrary, helps you to target only the relevant leads with tailored offers.
It Bypasses Limitations
Again, your product is quite specific. Like we said, there are certain restrictions with paid digital advertising. However, you can’t sit and wait for potential customers to find you, because there’s a high chance they won’t! That’s why you really need to be active and ingenious. And the good news is — cannabis outreach campaigns are the best possible way to find and reach hyper-relevant leads.
It Operates Within a Tight Budget
Yes, the industry is growing daily, as more states legalize various cannabis-based medical products. But it’s still far below its peak. And together with great opportunities come small budgets.
An outreach campaign, by the way, doesn’t require a huge sales team finding leads manually and contacting them one by one! With many AI tools at hand (we’ll get back to them very soon) running a medical cannabis outreach campaign proves to be relatively cheap compared to inbound methods.
How to Plan a Medical Cannabis Outreach Campaign?
Now let’s get down to business and walk you through the foundations of the cannabis outreach campaign.
1. Create Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs) and Segment the Target Audience
Every marketing campaign starts from identifying who you want to promote and sell to. And it’s particularly important for medical cannabis outreach. Otherwise, it will not only turn out to be a waste of time, but also quite a risky experience.
Why? Mainly because it is allowed in some states, but not in all. Moreover, it still remains illegal at the federal level. Imagine reaching out and promoting medical cannabis to a business that operates in a state where it is illegal?
That’s why we highly recommend creating your ICP by carefully segmenting companies based on the legal status of medical cannabis in their state. Even better, contact a legal representative in their state.
Once that’s taken care of, you can start creating ICPs and segmenting them. Most likely, you are planning to sell to dispensaries, doctors, and other medical practitioners licensed to prescribe cannabis-based products to their patients. The more detailed your descriptions are, the more segments you can create. And as a result, the more personalized the message you send to your prospects will be.
In fact, detailed ICPs will also help you to find high-quality leads that match your buyer persona. And powerful tools like LeadMachine will help you do this in no time.
2. Trace Sales Triggers
With so many challenges faced by the medical cannabis community, it would be ridiculous not to analyze your website statistics to figure out when your prospects are interested in your product and are most likely to buy.
This is why you need to monitor the sales triggers – any online activities signaling that your prospects might be interested in your products and services. Thus, you’ll not only be in the right place at the right time, but your offer will be always relevant to those you’re targeting.
3. Сreate and Tailor Messages
Having carefully segmented your potential customers and tracked their sales triggers, you can start configuring messages that will speak to them powerfully. When doing this, be sure to keep the following things in mind:
Don’t limit personalization to the decision-maker’s name; go further and try to anticipate questions they might have about the product. How can you help to answer them? How well are they acquainted with the products? Are they part of a medical cannabis community?
Your problem-solving message will be strengthened if it is based on real information that is carefully collected and organized. And don’t forget to present yourself as a person, not as a company. Personalization works that way too.
Be an Educator
As in any industry, if you just start selling upfront, you’re screwed and your cannabis outreach goes straight to the spam folder.
Your content should be educational, informative, and based on your prospects’ needs. But generally focusing on content that engages and builds trust with dispensaries and their employees, since they will be the key advisors to actual consumers, is also a great idea.
To get you off to a great start, check out AI Content Generation, a tool that will help you create unique and personalized text.
Make sure your content doesn’t violate any regulations. For example, you are not allowed to promote the health or medical benefits of cannabis, nor can your content in any way appeal to children.
If you monitor state-by-state laws, you will see completely different stories, so we highly recommend you double-check. Yeah, it’s a minefield.
Don’t expect your prospects to buy after the first email they get from you. We recommend your campaign consist of at least 4-5 consecutive emails because reply rates for follow-ups are usually higher than for one-off emails.
With follow-ups, your cannabis outreach campaign will develop conversations, make your potential customers more engaged, and build trust.
Sounds like a lot of work? In fact, it is. But the good news is that you can now automate most of the steps required, such as gathering information about customers, tracking their actions, creating messages, and sending personalized emails. This frees up your time to focus on more important things for the medical cannabis community.
Don’t Forget About the CTA
Don’t forget to give a precise and explicit call-to-action. You want your lead to do something, right? Speak up! “Let me know what you think”, “Book the free time slot”, and other appeals will give your potential customer a clue on what to do next.
These are the basic steps of building a medical cannabis outreach campaign. To get more insights, check our step-by-step guide on how to start your first campaign.
In conclusion, don’t neglect an awesome sales tool like outreach. The medical cannabis community is getting off the ground, and a conversational, human-centered, and legal approach will help you promote deeper relationships, build trust amongst potential customers, and get new leads interested in your product. That is what outreach is all about.
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