Subject lines determine whether your subscribers will open, read, and take action on your message or offer. This means subject lines are the most important part of your cannabis email. Will your subject line entice a subscriber to convert to a sale or will they flat out ignore it? Even worse, are your subject lines triggering the spam filter?
Subject lines compel your subscriber to open your message and present an opportunity for your brand to grab their attention and stand out in a crowded inbox. If you want to learn more about the importance of subject lines and how to win more business with cannabis email marketing, make sure to read our blog on how to supercharge your subject lines. Now, we know how important it is to have a subject line that encourages opens and produces clicks, but what does it look like to put this into practice?
How to craft a cannabis email subject line to boost open rates
Personalize Your Subject Lines
Using personalization in your subject lines improves open rates. According to Campaign Monitor, studies have shown emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened than those without, and Rich Relevance found that revenue is 5.7 times higher in emails that employ personalization.
The beauty of building first party data for your cannabis customers is that it helps you create a personalized shopping experience for your dispensary. You can personalize your subject line using multiple data points, including first name, location, transaction history, browsing history, birthdays, anniversaries, and more.
- Marie, thanks for being a loyal customer
- Kristin, the items in your cart are 20% off!
- Thanks for attending our event, Andy
- Can’t decide, Jim? Visit our store for budtender recommendations
- We’d love your feedback, Jay!
- Clearance Sale: 50% off [regional product]
- Personalize by geography or location. If you’re a Multi State Operator, make sure your subject lines and segments reflect the proper information and audience for local or regional deals and products so that your customers aren’t upset if they can’t opt in to a promotion.
Use Urgency or FOMO (fear of missing out)
Time-sensitive offers are a great way to create urgency and close the sale! You can also use limited time offers to create FOMO (fear of missing out) by emphasizing exclusivity, scarcity, and urgency. Just be weary of using the words “limited time” or stuffing other spam keywords in your subject line. Here are some examples of urgency-oriented subject lines.
- Going, going, (almost) gone
- Today only: 25% off wax
- Don’t miss this: 10% off storewide expires TODAY
- The countdown has begun… 50% off won’t last ⏰
- 25% Off CBD, Flower, Gummies and More!
Welcome Email Subject Line Examples
Welcome emails are a great way to engage with new subscribers and make a good first impression. In fact, according to Campaign Monitor, welcome emails have on average 4x the open rate and 5x the click-through rate of a standard email marketing campaign.
Welcome emails should be sent in a timely manner in order to engage and connect with your new subscribers and capitalize on their interest in your brand. Here are some cannabis welcome email subject line examples:
- Welcome! Your new member discount code is here
- Here’s what you need to get started
- Thanks for subscribing!
- Welcome to the fam, Michael!
- Thanks for signing up!
- Welcome to our cannabis community!
- You’re In! Enjoy this welcome offer…
Abandoned Cart Subject Line Examples
Let’s say someone visited your website, added something in the cart, but never completed the purchase. How can you encourage your subscriber to complete their purchase? According to Moosend, “45% of cart abandonment emails are opened; 21% of all are clicked on, while 50% of the users clicked purchase.”
An abandoned cart email is a reminder to customers who have added items to their cart but haven’t completed the purchase. By sending an abandoned cart email, you can encourage customers to finish their purchase and complete the sale. Showcasing the items in the cart or providing an incentive (such as a discount) can also help persuade customers to complete their purchase.
- Your edibles are waiting
- You left some sticky pre-rolls in your cart
- Did you forget something?
- Derrick, Your order is waiting!
- Hurry! Your cart is expiring!
- Empty your cart with 15% off
- Items in your cart are selling fast!
- What are you waiting for?
Re-engagement Subject Line Examples
It’s bad for your email deliverability to send emails to unengaged subscribers. But before you go suppressing them on your list, try to win that business back!
Re-engagement campaigns are email marketing campaigns or automations that are focused on winning back inactive subscribers. According to Marketing Sherpa, email marketing lists degrade by about 22% every year. That means you need to have a proper list growth and re-engagement strategy in place to maximize returns on your email program. You need a plan to re-engage inactive subscribers so you aren’t leaving money on the table. It’s your last chance to remind them of the value you add and gain back that business.
Use a shorter subject line with a clear call to action.
- We miss you. Here’s a free joint to prove it
- To be blunt, we’d like to start over…
- Come on back – we made online ordering easier
- [First Name], this is our final offer
- [First Name], it’s been a while. Here’s a gift for your next purchase
- You’ve been Missing Out (And We Miss You)
- Still Want Us In Your Inbox?
Promotional Discount Subject Line Examples
Every retail dispensary has weekly deals or special promotions to share with their fans. How do you stand out in the inbox and compete with the noise to get someone to purchase off of you? Here’s a few cannabis email subject lines promoting special offers or discounts.
- Stop everything! Up to 50% off storewide
- Your favorite strains are 20% off
- Concentrates You’ve Had Your 👀 on, now 15% OFF!
- 🔥 This Sale Is Lit 🔥 20% off all pre-rolls
- Want 10% off your next order? Order today
- A special offer for our best bud
- Don’t let these deals go up in smoke
Education and Content Promotion Subject Line Examples
Not every email should be sales-focused. Your customer journey and email planning should include providing value to your subscriber base through educational content. This could range from sharing recent blogs (5 ways CBD helps with pain management), local cannabis community events, or another way your brand can add value to your subscribers.
Why did they subscribe and what value do they get out of the relationship with you? Deals? Community? Events? Education? Most cannabis consumers lack the in-depth industry knowledge of cannabis executives and their teams. Tap on your budtenders and share favorite strains, tips for picking their next wax, and so on.
- Don’t let stress stress you out
- Take a chill pill. Shop edibles now.
- 5 ways CBN is changing the industry
- 6 benefits of CBD oil
- Your Guide to Better Sleep
Testimonial Subject Line Examples
Testimonials, google reviews, and other social proof is important for getting repeat business. User generated content and other social proof helps your audience connect with your brand and community. Remember to highlight your success stories in your email campaigns to establish and build brand trust and loyalty.
- Our Best Kept Secret..
- The reviews are in
- Everyone’s talking about ______
Newsletter Subject Line Examples
Do you roll up your content each week into a weekly newsletter for your subscribers? If you’re spending time putting together details for a newsletter, you want people to actually read it. Is your subject line strong enough to get a subscriber to open and read your email? Does your subject line align with and reflect what is in the newsletter?
- February Newsletter (with a special bonus!)
- 8 Industry Trends Impacting Your Bottom Line
- 5 new products you must try!
Replenishment Subject Line Examples
Automated replenishment flows can be set up in email service providers like Klaviyo to deliver personalized, timely, and relevant information related to their order history. Use these emails to drive repeat business and remind your customers to re-up on their stash.
- Getting low on wellness?
- A special offer just for you
- Time to re-up on your order
Event Subject Line Examples
Event emails are popular, whether it’s a self-hosted event, a sponsored event, or just an event you will be attending. You want to reach out ahead of time to communicate with your audience, providing key details about the event.
- For your eyes only
- Invitation only (& you’re on the list!)
- Score 200+ connections with this networking tip
I appreciate this kind of email, especially for business to business (B2B) use. It tells you what to expect and what value you’ll get out of the event before you even open the email!
Post Purchase Subject Line Examples
What happens after someone completes a purchase online or in-store? How are you thanking and nurturing your customers and encouraging repeat business? This is a great way to nurture your cannabis customers and build loyalty. It also creates a more streamlined shopping experience with your dispensary when customers get follow ups and thank you’s for their recent purchases.
- A TOKEn of thanks for your recent purchase
- Thank you! Save $10 on your next order.
- Thanks for shopping with us
- Thanks for your order
- Great news! We’ve got your order ready
- Thanks for being a loyal customer
4/20 Subject Line Examples
There’s no bigger holiday for retail dispensaries than April 20 (also known as 4/20, 4-20, 420, or 4:20). Promoting the marijuana holiday and cutting through the noise is important for driving more traffic to your store leading up to the big day.
- Celebrate the Holidaze with 25% off online orders
- 420 offer inside
- Celebrating 420 with 20% off all online orders
- Today only: Celebrate In-Store and Save
- [First Name], Top Ten 420 Events in [Your City]
- Stock up for 4/20 and get a $1 joint
- $12 Wax and Shatter all week long!
Holiday Subject Line Examples
Beyond 4/20 cannabis email campaigns, you also have other seasonal campaigns that you want to tailor your emails messages to. From Small Business Saturday to Thanksgiving, there’s opportunity to engage your audience with unique and relevant seasonal campaigns. You can keep it simple, and stay non-denominational or secular, or whatever makes sense for your brand and values.
- Happy Danksgiving
- Yule get lit with 25% off [brand name]
- 5 Tips for Managing Holiday Stress with CBD
- Sale on oil to light up your Hanukkah
Business to Business (B2B) Subject Line Examples
Business to business email campaigns have a different audience and tone than direct to consumer emails. Finding out what’s important to your target audience and delivering that information in a way that adds value to your subscriber will help you close more business via email.
- Score 200+ connections with this networking tip
- See Our Pre-Roll Automation Workflow at MJBizCon
- This Accounting Tip Saved A Dispensary $100,000
What To Stay Away From
I provided examples above that you can modify and make your own, but do you know what to stay away from to ensure your email lands in the inbox and doesn’t go straight to spam?
Certain words or phrases in your subject line will trigger the spam filter, sending your cannabis email campaigns straight to the spam folder. Here are some best practices for what to AVOID in your cannabis email subject lines:
Avoid spam filters
Avoid using a ‘no-reply’ sender name. As Jen Capstraw of Women of Email wrote “While using this isn’t necessarily harmful for deliverability or a compliance violation, it is bad for the subscriber experience and is widely considered to be poor practice. You’re using a channel designed for two-way conversation in a one-sided manner. You’re making your audience jump through hoops to figure out how to reach you when they need support.
It has become a trend to not just accept replies, but to *invite* replies to email marketing since Apple Mail Privacy Protection has made open rates less accurate. Marketers are looking for additional wavs to entice and measure engagement since Apple Mail Privacy Protection went into effect, and asking for replies is one way many brands are doing that.
From what I’ve read from deliverability experts, a reply is the top form of engagement, so it tells inbox providers that your email is wanted and welcome, which can have a positive impact on deliverability.”
Don’t overdo it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ALL CAPS or other frills like excessive exclamation points can trigger spam filters. Unless your brand has chosen all caps as a brand strategy that you do on a consistent basis, I wouldn’t recommend it. These types of behaviors look suspicious to inbox providers.
Avoid combining calls-to-action
You should only have one clear call to action otherwise you risk confusing subscribers. Check out this example below.
This sender combines topics into subject lines frequently which does not make sense. You should give the reader one clear call to action on why they should open that email and why it is relevant to them.
This one was particularly confusing. What does the first thing have to do with the other? It seems like an attempt to cast a broad net to appeal to more people but by blurring the lines, as a reader, I am unsure what to expect and didn’t want to spend time opening this email. There was no clear path for me to convert. It could have been more personalized and direct, with one clear intention or offer. Instead of jamming in disparate topics, use the subject line to entice me by offering me a peak of what to expect if I open the email.
Another example of combining calls to actions in the subject line. This sends your audience a mixed message.
Your Next Steps for Crafting Irresistible Cannabis Email Subject Lines
So, now you know how to craft a killer subject line for your cannabis email campaigns or email automations. Just remember to keep it short, simple, and specific to your offer!
Email really is the unsung hero of cannabis marketing. It’s the channel you OWN full of subscribers who actually want to hear from you. Reaching out directly to an engaged group of consumers with content that is unique will convert subscribers to fans and create a loyal base of repeat customers for your dispensary. Creating compelling subject lines is a great way to create a lasting impression and build long-term relationships. Make sure you A/B test your subject lines to see what’s actually working and driving more revenue for your email program.
I hope this gives you the resources you need in your toolkit to deliver inspiring and revenue generating email campaigns. If you’re feeling stuck or are curious on what you can do to succeed and make money with your cannabis email program, reach out to our email experts at email@example.com for a free discovery call and consulting session on your email program.
Kristin is the CEO/Founder of The Source Marketing Group. The marketing agency is focused on elevating female-, veteran-, and minority-owned businesses.