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10 Surefire Ways to Acquire New Customers (and Keep Them Too!)

As a mail order marijuana (MOM) dispensary selling weed online in Canada, the success of your business relies on your ability to secure sales. After all, if no one buys what you’re selling, you don’t make any money.

But growing your online business (no matter the industry) goes far beyond just getting people to click “Buy.” You have to know how to acquire new customers so your business can continue to grow. But more importantly, you have to know how to build loyal relationships with existing customers since it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep the ones you already have.

If you’re looking for ways to get new customers, as well as ways to keep the ones you have coming back for more, keep reading. We have lots of creative ways to get people to engage with your brand, visit your online weed shop, and of course, buy their favorite cannabis products from you – every single time.

1. Hold a Sale

If you’re looking to drive new customers to your online dispensary, you should definitely be holding regular sales you can promote across multiple channels, like our Featured MOM Canna Wholesalers does. Though this strategy shouldn’t be your only means for getting people interested in your brand, people rarely turn down a good deal.

discount example - canna wholesalers

You can promote your deals in email newsletters, on social media, your website’s blog posts/landing pages/homepage, and even on mail order marijuana dispensary directories like ours (see our Weed Deals page for inspiration).

weed deals

And the great thing about BuyMOM.ca, is that not only do we have an exclusive weed deal section for potential customers to check out, we’ll highlight the fact that you hold great discounts and deals on your website in our reviews.

Bonus Tip: if something runs out of stock because of your amazing sale, don’t show it in your list of available products. This is frustrating to customers and can cause them to look elsewhere for their products. This same concept should be used outside of sales too. No “Out of Stock” copy should ever be used if possible. You don’t want to risk a bad review because you didn’t have what someone was looking for. Out of sight, out of mind is best.

2. Run a Competition

Another easy way to get more people to your online business is to hold a competition. Not only are they fun for people, contests offer you an affordable way to spread the word about your growing business.

competition example - herb approach

There are different kinds of competitions you can hold to garner interest in your brand and boost engagement:

  • Photo Caption Contest: visually promote your brand and let people have fun.
  • Sweepstakes: encourage people to sign up for your email list, follow you on social media, like or share a social media post, comment on blog posts, or check out certain products in your dispensary.
  • Essay or Video Contest: have people create original written or video content that relates to your brand.
  • Selfie Contest: let users take selfies with your products and upload them to social media using a hashtag you choose.
  • Social Media Involvement: require people to “tag a friend” or “like” you on social media to get an entry into the contest.
  • Trivia Contest: this is great for those that want to enter your competition while on your website. Have people answer trivia questions related to your brand, give up their email address, and enter for a chance to win.
  • Product Giveaway: give away some of your best products to a random winner for participating (e.g., following on social media, tagging a friend, answering a fill in the blank question, etc.).

There are so many ways to get new and loyal customers interacting with your brand across the internet. Take advantage of the fact that people love to win free stuff and promote your business at the same time.

3. Add Social Proof

Want one of the best ways to convince people you’re the company to do business with? Use social proof. 84% of people trust online reviews (and other forms of social proof) as much as their own friends. In other words, the testimonials people are reading have a major impact on people’s buying decisions.

review example

Here at BuyMOM.ca, we understand the importance of honest reviews. That’s why we give people the chance to review the dispensaries we include in our directory, so others can gauge whether they want to buy too. Of course, not everyone knows they can leave a review on our website. That’s why adding a BuyMOM.ca Review Badge on your website is so important. The more places that showcase positive reviews of your dispensary, the more likely you are to secure more sales.

Here are other types of social proof you can add to your own website to help encourage people to finalize a purchase:

  • Expert or industry thought leader approvals or certifications
  • Celebrity or influencer approvals and promotions
  • User feedback, testimonials, star ratings, and proof of product use
  • Numbers or crowds (the more people signing up or using your products the better)

No matter what kind of social proof you use to grow your business, make sure it’s real, honest, and positive.

4. Create a Sense of Urgency

Psychologically speaking, the concept of FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is a real thing. If you can instill a sense of urgency in potential or loyal customers, they’re more likely to buy from you right now.

Many consumers respond positively to sales that have an end point. For example, one of our Featured MOMs, Chronic Store, is taking advantage of the 420 weekend by running an exclusive sale that lasts only for a few days. When time is up, so is the sale.

sense of urgency example - chronic store

Other things you can do to instill a sense of urgency include:

  • Adding a countdown timer to your website showing people when a special sale will end
  • Having a product pre-launch with a sign up list
  • Showing that very little inventory is in stock (whether it is or not)
  • Using power words like: Hurry, One Time Only, Limited, Before It’s Gone, Today Only Clearance, Now, etc.
  • Offering a bonus incentive (remember, people love free stuff!)
  • Using colors like red, yellow, and orange to spur action – studies show this works
  • Offering one-time only upsells and cross sells in follow up emails after a purchase has been made

People are more willing to buy from you if they feel like this is their only chance to do so at a great price. Plus, people remember their buying experiences and are more likely to come back and buy again if you have an amazing deal that pressured them to act fast in a good way.

5. Use the Holidays

If you like the idea of holding regular sales, but don’t want to do them too often, try capitalizing on popular holidays throughout the year instead. For instance, popular MOM Herb Approach is using today’s 420 holiday to run a weekend long sale.

holiday sale example - herb approach

Not only are they using this holiday to run an amazing sale for customers new and old, they are instilling the sense of urgency we mentioned above to get people to buy now or miss out forever.

Need some holiday ideas? Here are some to get you started:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Easter
  • Victoria Day/National Patriot’s Day
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day (aka Black Friday)
  • Cyber Monday
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

6. Start a Blog

So, you have a thriving online weed dispensary that generates a lot of revenue, but are still looking for ways to pull ahead of the competition, drive more customers your way, and retain existing customers?

Well, many well-established online businesses go beyond their eCommerce shop and routinely publish high-quality blog content that relates to their target audience, just like Featured MOM Pure Green Express does:

blog example - pure green express

This is not a quick-fix way to boost sales, but in the long run, starting a blog to complement your MOM dispensary will help with the following:

  • Raising awareness about your brand on other channels such as social media
  • Providing great content for email marketing campaigns
  • Entertaining, educating, and informing your site visitors about your business and products
  • Establishing yourself as an authority in your field
  • Boosting SEO (ranking well in relevant search results) and driving organic traffic to your online shop
  • Encouraging loyal customers to share their favorite content with others

Again, blogging will take some time on your part. But implementing blog content into your overall marketing strategy is one of the best ways to acquire new customers and retail existing ones.

7. Email Marketing

Building an email list is the number one way to get new customers buying from you and keep the ones that have purchased from you in the past coming back for more. In fact, email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing tactic (generating $38 for every $1 spent) and has the ability to reach the widest possible audience.

email marketing example - the highclub

Here are just some of the ways you can use email in your marketing plan:

  • Send out welcome emails to new subscribers and include a first-time customer coupon to use in your store
  • Follow up with those that purchase from your shop (include a receipt, tracking information, links back to your site, and other resources they may be interested in)
  • Segment your email list based on interest or position in the customer journey so emails make sense to each person
  • Personalize emails to build longer-lasting relationships with current customers
  • Send out campaigns with newly published blog content, newly launched product information, and upcoming sales
  • Use emails to get testimonials from satisfied customers

To start your email marketing efforts, you’ll need to add a subscribe box to your website that people can easily see. You’ll also need to choose an email service provider such as MailChimp (an affordable option), AWeber (a powerful option), or Constant Contact (an easy to use option).

96% of people that land on your website are not ready to buy just yet. If you can at least get them to subscribe to your newsletter, you’ll give yourself another chance to convert a site visitor into a paying (and long-term) customer.

8. Optimize Your Site for Speed and Performance

Did you know that 40% of people will abandon your website if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds or less, no matter what you have to offer? Well, it’s true.

Many times online business owners are so concentrated on offering the best deals, products, and service possible, that they forget about the user experience customers have while visiting their online store.

A great way to improve the user experience, boost your SEO so you rank better in search results, and convert more customers is to increase your site’s speed and performance. But to start, you should measure your site’s speed so you have a good starting point. To do this, use a free online tool like Google Pagespeed Insights:

google pagespeed insights example

If you find the speed and performance of your site is lacking, try these helpful tips:

  • Enable caching
  • Use a CDN
  • Optimize images
  • Minify CSS, JS, and HTML
  • Reduce server requests
  • Reduce redirects and fix 404 errors
  • Use responsive design
  • Use a reliable hosting provider

The faster your website loads, and the better it performs for people as they navigate your online dispensary, the more likely you’ll be to generate more sales than ever before.

9. Create a Loyalty Program

All the major industry leaders are using loyalty programs to keep customers buying from them. For example, Featured MOM Canna Wholesalers has a loyalty program that you can sign up for. For every $1 you spend at Canna Wholesalers, you receive 1 point. For every one hundred points you earn, you get a $1 discount that you can apply at checkout. If you write a review, you can get an extra 50 points.

loyalty program example - canna wholesalers

As we’ve said before, again and again, people love free stuff. And if buying from you helps people earn free cash to use in your weed dispensary, you can bet they’ll be excited to do just that.

10. Calculate Customer Lifetime Value

The last strategy we’re going to mention is a little technical – but is just as important for gaining and keeping customers.

In fact, the Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) is thought to be the number one metric all growing businesses should calculate, no matter the industry.

When you calculate the LTV of a customer, you’re calculating how much revenue you can expect one customer to generate over the entire course of the business relationship. This is then compared to the cost of acquiring one single customer (in terms of sales and marketing costs) to make sure you’re making more money off customers than you are spending to earn them.

The great thing about LTV is that you have a direct influence over the customer journey and how much money might be spent buying from your business. You also control how much money is spent marketing your brand and getting new customers.

Now, you can calculate the customer lifetime value by hand, and HubSpot has a great article detailing those steps. However, if you want an easier and quicker way, use the free online metrics tool Google Analytics instead. After connecting your website to Google Analytics, navigate to Audience > Lifetime Value in your account.

customer lifetime value example

Here you’ll see the following data:

  • The channels people came from when they arrived at your online shop (e.g., organic search, social media, referral, etc.)
  • The number of users coming from each specific channel
  • The revenue per user for each channel
  • The Lifetime Customer Value, or the total revenue you can expect from those users over the course of a lifetime

Knowing this information helps you determine if you’re spending too much on promoting your brand. It also tells you which channels the bulk of your customers are coming from, so you can re-focus on advertising your business to those people. For our example above, notice that referral traffic (traffic coming from other websites that link to the online business) make up a significant amount of sales. That signals that this business owner needs to continue working on their link building strategies because referral traffic is generating them the most money.

And there you have it! 10 proven methods for getting more new customers buying from your online shop and keeping them as loyal customers that continue buying from you and only you.

As a mail order marijuana dispensary, understand that the competition is only going to continue to rise as people begin to understand the potential the weed industry has in Canada post-legalization. If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, build better relationships with current customers, and drive more new customers your way, you have to prioritize some of these strategies. It’s the only way to make it in this competitive online landscape.

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