7 Golden Rules for Text Blasts in the Cannabis Industry

Important Links

This Roadmap explains how to build a Text Blast Campaign without getting blocked.
Take a look at our SMS Blast Packages designed for the Cannabis Industry and find one that works for your business.
Register on Clickforge, our Next Generation SMS Marketing Platform and start reaching your customers today!

There are Many Roadblocks to Navigate
when advertising in the Cannabis Industry.

The 7 Golden Rules, along with the Article on Navigating an effective SMS Blast campaign will help you to understand the "Do's" and "Don'ts" when building a campaign. The most tedious and difficult part of attempting to advertise in this industry is that if you do not do it correctly, You Will Get Blocked and then its game over. The carriers and the CRTC do not give second chances often in this industry. This is why it is so imporant to have a firm and solid understanding of how to navigate them.

The 7 Golden Rules:
to Advertising in the Cannabis Industry.

No Active Promoting of Cannabis Use
Your marketing messages cannot contain any media or verbage promoting the actual use or consumption of Cannabis. This means, you cannot show pictures of people consuming, smoking or using any types of cannabis products. You also cannot have any verbiage in your message that is encouraging people to consume, start to consume or consume more Cannabis than they currently do.
No Written Cannabis references
There are certain words that the Major Phone Carriers monitor messages for. When these words are found, they are flagged, filtered and then eventually blocked and blacklisted. Always stay away from using specific Cannabis words, an example of some of these are: Cannabis, Distillate, Joint, Reefer, Marijuana, 420, Indica, Sativa etc. Basically any word that references anything to do with Cannabis that doesnt have any other use. Words that have multiple meanings operate in a grey area (ie: joint, blunt) so refrain from those words if possible. Grey area words like that do not get flagged and filtered by a system, but they could be flagged to be looked at by a human, whom after seeing the context that you're using them in, could blacklist your number.
ALWAYS Include an Opt-Out
Carriers specifically watch for this, at the end of your mesages ALWAYS include "Reply STOP to Un-Subscribe" or something similar. Our SMS platform will recognize: STOP. STOPALL, UNSUBSCRIBE, CANCEL, END OR QUIT, If the users reply message includes any of these words, the system will automatically opt-them out and future messages will not be permitted. They can RE-Subscribe by replying with: Start, Yes, Unstop. When you include the opt-out message at the end it greatly helps lower the chance of your messages being flagged as spam.
Everyone on your list must be legal age
It is your sole responsbility to always ensure that everyone on your marketing list is legal age. Legal age is anyone 18+ or anyone over the age of majority in the province that you're marketing in.
Use URL Shorteners (if needed)
Marketing best practice is always to give the user a link to click on. However, you only have 160 characters in an SMS before your message is split into 2 SMS messages (and your send cost doubles). Messages with links also have a higher chance of being detected as spam. If you have a shorter URL and can fit it in without going over the character limit, do it (as long as it does not have any cannabis references in it, if it does, you will get blocked). URL shorters like Bit.ly hide the references in the URL so they arent seen my the machines monitoring them, but they also increase the spam rating, so it is a trade off that you need to decide if it is worth it or not.
You must have either Implied or Express Consent.
Because SMS marketing can seem a bit invasive, the CRTC is very sticky on this one, and if you get caught not following the rules, the penalties can be very expensive. Everyone on your list must have either Implied Consent (and you must still be within the 2 year time frame where it is valid) or you must have explicit consent (this doesn't have a time limit). You must also respect your customers wishes. If they ask you to unsubscribe, you must immediately remove them. As well, all of your marketing messages must have an un-subscribe option, The most important part of this is: The burden of proof is on you to prove. So ensure that you keep records of all of your consents.
Focus your messages on the Offer, Not the product.
The easiest way to navigate all of these grey areas is to focus your messages solely on the offer or promotion without involving the product. IE: "Hey! Nova here, Order today and save 15% using promo code [XXXXX`}"`, "Order Today and get 20% off everything on our website", "Good Morning! Fire and Flower here, All orders for the next 24 hours qualify for a free gift" etc. Always include 4 things in your messages: Identify your brand, A promotion or discount, a call to action and a time frame (it creates urgency). All of these SMS examples are short, concise and to the point. None of them include Cannabis references yet all get the point across to the consumer.
Forgenet Technologies Corp.

Software Development, Web Development, Marketing Strategy, Business Intelligence and Strategic Planning – Proudly Canadian!


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