Meet Clickforge,
the best SMS Marketing Platform for the Cannabis Industry

Meet Clickforge,
the best SMS Marketing Platform for the Cannabis Industry

Navigating all the roadblocks to effectively market your
business in the Cannabis Industry can be tough! Luckily, we've got you!

Yes, it is alot of text to read, but I promise you, it will be worth it.

There are many roadblocks and rules you have to navigate in order to sucessfully market your Cannabis Business in Canada. Between CASL (the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation). The federal Cannabis Advertising rules AND the rules the phone carriers have imposed.. well, we feel your pain. I am happy to tell you, that it infact possible to sucessfully run targeted SMS campaigns for the Cannabis industry with some creative marketing techniques. These techniques have proven very effective in not only keeping all of the rule-makers happy, but also doing great things for the companies bottom line.

Because you are in the Cannabis Industry there are a few more rules and procedures that you will have to follow to keep from getting your numbers blocked and stopped dead in your tracks. So its very important that you read this carefully. If you have questions, I encourage you to reach out to our sales team so that we can walk you through the nuances. This will save you time and keep you from getting blocked.

I have seen many companies try to sucessfully pull of SMS Marketing for the Cannabis Industry and I have seen equally as many of them fail. I cannot stress enough how important the “Golden Rules” are when it comes to any kind of marketing in this space (especially regarding Cannabis).

Before I get started, I strongly reccomend that you do not take my advice as legal advice – it is not. It is based on the research we have done and the experiences we have seen with companies sucessfully navigating this industry. I strong urge you to see legal advice to confirm what I am saying.

From the Governments perspective, one of the biggest things they focus on is ensuring that your audience is 18 Years Old (or more) – or the age of majority in whatever province you are advertising in.  They DO NOT want advertising being seen by minors (for obvious reasons).  I am in Alberta, so this is going to be mainly talking about your viewers being 18+ years old. However, just because I don’t say throughout this article, it SITLL means that they must also be above the age of majority in whichever province you are advertising in. This means they must be 19+ years if they are in BC. They will hold you completely responsible for ensuring that your Marketing Lists are only people that are 18+ years old. The burden of proof remains strictly on your lap (meaning if questioned, you are required to prove that you list in accurate, that everyone is legal age and how you know this to be true.

You also cannot actively promote the USE of Cannabis. This means that showing any media items that depict any type of Cannabis Product being used or consumed is a BIG No No, regardless of if the audience is legal age or not.

CASL – If you don’t know what this is, it is the Canadian Anti Spam Legislation (CASL). It dictates what you are allowed to do as a business, who you are allowed to market to through digital means (email, sms, mms), for how long, how you are growing and maintaining your marketing lists and dicates your un-subscribe requirements. If you havent taken a look through it, I suggest you do. Mainly, you need to understand the difference between Implied Consent and Express Consent – they are very different. There are a number of sites you can go to that will explain the act in detail without reading through the entire Legislation Itself. Nonetheless, you can find info on the legistlation here: https://fightspam.gc.ca.

I will post an article on this in our blog that goes into more detail.  This is just a high level overview of what you need to be aware of.

From the phone carriers perspective, you are not allowed to send any direct Cannabis References out over their network. Doing so will get you filtered and if you continue, you will eventually get your number blacklisted.

After all of this, I’m sure you’re wondering how you can actually do it… well, its actually pretty simple – you just need to think creatively and outside of the box. Hense, the “Golden Rules”. The Biggest thing to keep in mind when building your SMS message is to focus on the offer not the product. This will allow you to reach your customers and get your offer across without tripping any alarms or getting blocked.

There are 4 main things every sucessful SMS campaign should have. Keeping in mind, you want to keep your entire message UNDER 160 characters if you can, otherwise your message will get split into 2 messages – not the end of the world (but your costs will go up). So take your time, play with words and make it as clear, concise, and as short as possible. You should always ensure your messages include:

  1.  Your Brand: Identify your brand without using Cannabis verbiage or terms. IE: “Hey Its Nova here!” instead of saying “Hey its Nova Cannabis here.” This will let your reader know who you are.
  2. Your Promo or Offer: Something Clear, Concise, to the Point ie: “All orders get 20% off for the next 24 hours” or “Save 20% today only using code [XXXX].
  3. A deep link or call to action: If you receive orders on your website, include a link to the page that allows them to purchase quickly and easily (as simple as possible), if your URL is short enough (and does not include Cannabis references or verbiage) use it, this will help with brand recognition. If it contains Cannabis Verbiage or References use a URL shortener (like bit.ly) or a landing page. Keeping in mind, a link (especially a bit.ly) can increase your spam score. If you take orders via phone and not online, simply tell your reader to reply to that message to order, or to call/text the number that will take their order.
  4. An Opt-Out: ALWAYS include a brief message at the end “Reply STOP to Unsubscribe” or something similar. The carriers LOVE seeing this as it follows protocol and lowers the chances of you being a spammer. When they don’t see it, In my experience, its only a matter of time before you get shut down.

This seems like a lot of items to fit into every single message in order to stay compliant, but if you play around with words, think outside the box and watch your character counts you can be highly sucessful with SMS marketing. Not many companies have figured out how to navigate all of these rules and therefore, there is not alot of competition in this space.. yet.

The Golden Rules:

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

SMS Campaigns have a
Staggeringly High Interaction Rate
in the Cannabis Industry

Huge Open Rate
In North America, 95% of Text Messages are read within the first 3 minutes of receiving them compared to eBlasts that only recieve about 20% Average Open Rate.
HUGE Opt-In Percentage
According to the Attentive Mobile consumer report, 91% of consumers have said that they would opt-in for text messages from brands.
Wake and Check
Over 90% of phone users check their phones within 30 minutes of waking up. 32% of the consumers surveyed answered that they check their phones "Immediately" after waking up.
Best way for Brand Communication
58% of consumers believe that SMS is the most effective way for a brand to communicate with them. 42.04% of consumers surveyed said that they prefered receiving 4 to 6 messages per month from Businesses. 40% said that they would like to hear from their brands two to three times per week!
Increased Likliehood to Purchase
51% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase if they recieve a text with Pictures and Media. 33% said that they didnt care if it was an MMS or SMS as long as the ad content was relevant to them.
19.3% Click Through Rate
The average Click-through rate for SMS Marketing is 19.3%, compared to the 4.2% click rate with Email Marketing. This means that SMS marketing has a staggering 459% HIgher click through rate than email.

We have some Very Aggressive Plans
tailored to your Cannabis Company.

SMS Blast Service for the Cannabis IndustryOur Entry Level
packages & prices

See below for a complete feature breakdown
All Prices Include GST
$0
Pay as you Go
A Great Place to Start
  • No Credits Included
  • Credit Purchase Cost 0.08/ea
  • Keywords $2.99/month
  • Get Started Today!
  • No Risk
  • No Commitment
$75
Select
Billed Monthly
  • 1,000 Credits
  • 1 Custom Keyword
  • 1 Free Number
  • 2-way SMS Chat
  • Overage Cost (0.075 per Credit)
  • No Long Term Commitment
$375
Choice
Billed Monthly
  • 5,000 Credits
  • 2 Custom Keywords
  • 1 Free Number
  • 2-way SMS Chat
  • Overage Cost (0.07 per Credit)
  • No Long Term Commitment

Cannabis Industry Text Blast SoftwareOur Elite Level
packages & prices

See below for a complete feature breakdown
All Prices Include GST
$699
Elite
Billed Monthly
  • 10,000 Credits
  • 4 Custom Keywords
  • 2 Free Numbers
  • 2-way SMS Chat
  • Overage Cost (0.065 per Credit)
  • No Long Term Commitment
$1499
Super Elite
Billed Monthly
  • 25,000 Credits
  • 6 Custom Keywords
  • 2 Free Numbers
  • 2-way SMS Chat
  • Overage Cost (0.06 per Credit)
  • No Long Term Commitment
$1925
Enterprise
Billed Monthly
  • 35,000 Credits
  • 10 Custom Keywords
  • 3 Free Numbers
  • 2-way SMS Chat
  • Overage Cost (0.05 per Credit)
  • No Long Term Commitment
SMS Marketing platform tailored to the Cannabis Industry

Side-by-side Feature Comparison

Programs built to fit your Cannabis Company
Pay as you goSelectChoiceEliteSuper EliteEnterprise
Setup Fee$0$0$0$0$0$0
Monthly Fee$0$75$375$699$1499$1925
Credits Included01,0005,00010,00025,00035,000
Includes 1 Free Number
Included Additional Numbers000223
Included Custom Keywords0124610
2-Way SMS Chat
Cost Per SMS Sent1 Credit1 Credit1 Credit1 Credit1 Credit1 Credit
Cost Per MMS Sent2 Credits2 Credits2 Credits2 Credits2 Credits2 Credits
Overage Cost per Credit0.080.0750.070.0650.060.05

Lets Chat!

Let us know how we can help! We will get back to you ASAP.
Call Us:
780-439-1033
780-328-0945
Email Us:
sales@forgenet.ca
(no soliciting)

Lets Chat!

Let us know how we can help! We will get back to you ASAP.

    Call Us:
    780-439-1033
    780-328-0945
    Email Us:
    sales@forgenet.ca
    (no soliciting)
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    Software Development, Web Development, Marketing Strategy, Business Intelligence and Strategic Planning – Proudly Canadian!

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