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Advanced Email Marketing Techniques for Cannabis Companies: A/B Testing

Because of its low cost and high efficiency in building trust and bringing in new leads, we hope your organization has taken steps to add email marketing to your outreach efforts. This article will supply tips and recommendations to give you a more advanced understanding of what is possible with email marketing and help you get the most out of your email marketing efforts.

Let’s say you’ve set up an account with an email marketing service of your choice, imported your list of opted-in subscribers, and have your email written with the content nicely laid out. At this point you are almost ready to hit the send button, but how do you know what is going to work best for you audience?

This is where A/B testing becomes important.

What is A/B Testing?

Also known as “split testing,” this technique allows the sender to send out multiple versions of an email to a very small percentage of recipients early, in order to see which one performs better with open rates and clicks. The best performing version of the email will then send out to the rest of the subscribers on your list. It’s generally a good idea to only change and test one variable in the email in order to get an accurate picture of what is working for you.

Which variables should I test?

The subject line is the first variable you should A/B test since that is what the user will see when deciding to open the email or not. Testing the subject line will let you know what style resonates most with your particular audience. For example, you could test subject lines for an upcoming promotion at your dispensary with the following lines to see which is best for your open or click rate. Is an email subject more appealing to users by starting with a question to grab attention, or better to get right to the point with the specifics of the sale? Or do you think your audience would enjoy a Seinfeld reference?

  • Feeling anxious? Top stress-relieving strains on sale this week
  • 25% off stress relieving strains this week only
  • Serenity now! Stress relief starts here

A/B testing the content inside of your email is another smart option to see what gets a better response by observing the click-through rate. You should change some of the content between the emails such as the images that you use, the order your content flows, or the verbiage used to describe your products. You could also test something more significant, like which template you use to format the email, or what kinds of overall content to include.

The last variable where A/B testing can be extra beneficial is the send time and day for your email. This will help you to learn what time during the day your audience is most likely to open your message, as well as which days of the week. Once you run this test a few times and find the optimal time for your brand, then your audience will begin to expect your content in their inbox on a regular schedule.

Most email marketing platforms offer some form of A/B testing, including the three mentioned in our previous article. A/B testing can also be used to enhance the performance of your pay-per-click and social media ads, as well as website landing pages — just apply the principles above to your other marketing efforts to find the most effective ways to communicate with your audience.

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Authored By

Located in New York City, Aaron Apple is a digital marketing expert specializing in social media marketing, content strategy, and public relations. He cofounded HappyChap Creative Co. in 2010, a creative agency offering web design, graphic design, branding, social media marketing, and more. Aaron also plays the drums, collects vinyl records, and loves going to see live music. 

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