5 min read

Guide for Dispensaries: Gain New Patients

September 26, 2017

Gaining patients can be difficult for a newly opened medical marijuana dispensary. With so many medical marijuana dispensaries already in the market, it can seem impossible to cut through the noise and establish your brand.

While it may be daunting at first, the most important thing to remember is persistence. Fortunately, we've created an easy guide that can steer your business in the right direction. Follow these simple steps and you'll see an increase in new patients in no time.

Patient Referrals

Creating an on going referral program for your medical marijuana dispensary will be essential when building a customer base. Enlisting your current customers to go out and spread the word is an effective way to grow your business. Of course, you'll need to make the deal appealing for your existing customers, possibly offering a free eighth for each referral but keep in mind this is a long term investment.

Medical Marijuana referral

Make it a point to let your customers know that the number of referrals is unlimited, so they'll relish the opportunity to introduce friends, family, co-workers, and fellow cannabis users to your brand. Word of mouth is by far the one of the strongest forms of advertising, so continually pushing your referral program will definitely pay dividends.

Medical Marijuana Events

Hosting events at your medical marijuana dispensary can be tricky because of consumption regulations but with a little ingenuity you can produce a successful event that keeps customers coming back. It is so important for a brand new dispensary to have a launch party. You may not need to organize the launch party the very first day of business but try to plan it at least within the first few of weeks. Spend a little on advertising materials for the event to build hype and inform patients. Offering deep discounts and first-time patient gift bags will guarantee a solid turnout. A launch party will be the first impression most of your patients have of your brand so customer service needs to be excellent. 

Medical Marijuana BBQ

Another opportunity to host an event is an annual customer appreciation day. These events are always popular and if you have the capability to incorporate a BBQ or DJ, you'll see a great response from patients. It's important to remember these events are a chance for you to get to know your customers, build relationships, all while making sales and growing your base. Holiday events such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and of course 4/20 will set a precedent that customer loyalty and satisfaction are a high priority.

Marketing Promotions

While referrals and events are great methods to gain new customers, it's the patient data that is so important. Collecting every patient's email and phone number will give you the marketing edge you need to succeed. This information can be used to send out SMS and email campaigns that notify patients of discounts, referral programs, future events, and limited-time promotions. While it's important to refrain from bombarding your patients with too many emails or text messages, a well-timed campaign can increase customer traffic and convince a patients to return.

Medical Marijuana marketing

Social Media

The power of social media is undeniable. To be honest, it might be worth hiring social media guru to run your social media platforms during the first few months of business. Medical marijuana dispensaries face some unique challenges in the social media world as Facebook doesn't currently allow paid advertising for marijuana related businesses. However, this is only a small hurdle that can be easily overcome using strategic social media techniques.

Medical Marijuana social media

Every email campaign should include 'buttons' to all of your social media accounts. Also running organic promotions for patients who Like and Follow your accounts will boosting those numbers. Always remember that social media is a community so liking other pages and users is encouraged and will help increase your own followers. Media alone can draw in customers. Photos, videos, and now live stories can really help you tell the story of your brand. You'll quickly notice that high quality media will generate the most engagement and return on investment.

Online Presence

Increasing your presence online will require a little research, knowledge of SEO, and perhaps a modest advertising budget. Firstly, you'll want to be included in the major medical marijuana dispensary listings such as Weedmaps, Leafly, THC Finder, and other emerging platforms. These resources will generally list your business for free and increase overall awareness.

Medical Marijuana advertising

You'll also want to make sure your website has good SEO to improve your Google ranking. The majority of new customers you receive will likely find you online as opposed to print advertising. So if you're going to spend those valuable advertising dollars make sure they count by being selective when choosing sites on which to advertise. Once you've decided where to advertise, monitor how the advertisement is tracking. Analyze your click-throughs compared to online referrals to ensure your spending wisely.

A Patient Gained is Product Sold

The medical marijuana industry is already generating millions of dollars in revenue and as more state's legalize it's use, the more opportunity arises. If you're thinking of opening your own medical marijuana business or have recently opened your doors, try these methods to gain new patients. Establish a system of consistency and your persistence will pay off.