5 PROVEN - Strategy to Launch
Your Cannabis Website

You're just about there. You have been working tirelessly for months to get your custom built cannabis site to finish line.

Over the last 12 months, you have been perfecting the design and it looks amazing. You have been working relentlessly with your team to build your own cannabis business, creating your own brand and you're hitting the green rush at the perfect time.

It's now finally time to launch your cannabis website and share it with the world… it’s go time!

Your ecommerce solutions for cannabis is finally ready

Launch day comes, you tell all your friends about it and crickets…. 80 visitors and 5 sales and your know every person that ordered. Surprising this is not that uncommon if you're not that tech-savvy.

Some people have the most outlandish expectation with respect to e-commerce and the humongous world that we call the Internet. They truly believe that Kevin Costner's Field of Dream analogy is true “build it and they will come “ but nothing could be farther from the truth if you're trying to promote or sell weed online.

You must have a comprehensive digital strategy that ensures you reach each planned milestone along the way and that you have the ability continually pivot and innovate to ensure your success as cannabis entrepreneur.

The biggest objective of any startup business should be trying to break even as soon as humanly possible. If you have been there before, you know flying in the red is a constant stress. It's frankly a ticking time bomb, you may raise money that lets you breath for minute or two but the reality is, being dependent on investor’s money to continually move your business forward sucks… Shitty sleep, stress and its alway interferes with other parts of your life.

So, we have put together 5 proven strategies to launch your cannabis website, all of these pre-launch campaigns have been successful in different industries. We believe that anyone of these five strategies can be used to launch your weed business successfully.

If done correctly it will help your business in so many ways but here is a short list featuring 3 points to get you to start to think about what you’re going to have to do to come out on top.

1.Team Excitement - no disappointment out of the gates will get your team firing on all cylinders right out of the gates and it will keep the team morale high. Always set low expectations with the people around you though, the massive success stories we all hear about of companies having overnight successes are anomalies. So, make sure the team has realistic goals for your launch campaigns in order to avoid the feeling of being deflated.

2.Your Overhead Burn - as soon as you press “GO” you have a completely different job to fulfill every day - logistics, marketing, customers services etc… the reality is that not one person will perform all of these tasks, so your burn, that is, the money you spend each month, will increase considerably after you launch.

3.Raising money - to raise money in the early stage before the business is proven is a costly endeavour. Make sure you give yourself enough time to allow your cannabis business to get to point where it is self-sustainable. Our best advice is: follow our blog.

1- Refer a Friend and Earn Rewards - Everyone Loves a Gift!

We have seen the invite friends pre-launch reward campaign executed in a wide variety of industries over the years.

The principal behind them is fairly straight forward… your users earn rewards based on the number of friends they invite to your website. Usually you set milestones like “Invite 5 friends and receive product X” followed by “Invite 10 friends and receive for FREE product X” and so on and so forth.

Once you have your parameters all ready to go, set a date and start researching on how to build your list out. When doing this research focus on niche segment where you see product market fit.

To be clear, this is not a media outreach strategy because media will not really care unless you execute your pre-launch extremely well and then package up your results as a new and innovative company in the cannabis space.

PROS: The product you giveaway should reflect a CPA (Cost Per Acquisition). Meaning, you have to be comfortable giving away a lot of product. If, and only IF, you product is great then this can instantly get your product into the hands of early adopters who become advocates of you brand. Word of mouth marketing is king.

CONS: You more or less have to build a completely independent website strictly for the campaign, so time and cost are factors... especially if you're a developer. Also, you need to ensure the system can't get gamed by your community so that you avoid being taken advantage of.

2 - VIP Approach - Create the perception of a lineup at the door.

Ever wanted to get in the club and jump the line so you didn't have to wait behind the other 50 people in front of you while you see other people that have some inside hook, where they just walk in?

The same type of strategy can be applied to launching a cannabis business online. If you can create the perception of a wait list or waiting line then you can ask people to perform certain tasks to skip the line that will then help YOU grow the awareness of your weed business. You set a number of tasks that allows you to jump the line, like share us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

PROS: It will cost you very little, you won’t need to give away any product, and this can be a really inexpensive campaign to actually launch your weed business.

CONS: Creating the perception that everyone wants inside is not an easy task because today we have so many options online to buy the things we want. Cannabis is no exception here. It is actually probably more relevant because everyone is rushing to get their business off the ground in an effort to join the cannabis rush.

3 - Press Releases with a Strong Narrative - Sell the world on your vision.

This is probably one of the most commonly used tactics for entrepreneurs. Partly because they drink their own Koolaid and think that their company is the best thing to happen to the world since sliced bread.

If you can sell the world on the idea that your business in going to change the weed industry then maybe this is one for you. First, you have to understand that the chances for media to pick up your story is very slim because if you are just launching, it is still more-or-less a concept and not proven. Why would they risk their repertoire over a company that has no clout?

All that being said, if you can pull off selling yourself and your vision, all it takes is one influential blog, news publication, or ambassador to catapult your business from Level 1 to Level 10 in a matter of days or weeks instead of months or years.

PROS: The potential can be huge if your story gets picked up by the correct news publications. Also, the cost is not a massive undertaking if you do it yourself.

CONS: The probability of getting picked up is low… especially if you don't have the existing relationships. A PR agency could be an option but watch out for the cash grab and agencies will not guarantee any results.

4 - Contest with a Media Partner - Buddy up with a local audience.

If there is a local media partner that you believe to be perfectly in line with your target market and narrative, then approach them and offer them free product for a giveaway. That local producer has already built the audience and more importantly that audience’s trust over the years.

When it comes to online publishers, one of their main revenue streams is online advertising so they will be open hearing your ideas if the money and the budget is there.

If you can figure out a way to engage their audience through a giveaway or something they see of value, then this might be a great solution for you to build awareness about your weed brand through a pre-launch campaign. It’s a win, win, win.

You win because you get access to a loyal following that fits your target market. The publication wins because they get to giveaway something that their community enjoys so they look good in the community’s eyes. The community wins because they get a chance to win free stuff!

PROS: The audience is there and engaged daily so the chances for success are much higher. This could be considered a safer bet with more moderate goals.

CONS: The cost is usually not a cheap endeavour. In addition to paying for the contest rewards, you need to pay your media partner a fairly large amount of money to execute it properly.

5 - Soft Launch - Work out the bugs before - You only get one chance to make a first impression.

Listen because this is REALLY important.

If all bugs are not worked out then a soft launch might be the best test for you before you hammer your marketing and outreach strategies.

This does not mean you have worked out your digital strategies in detail OR that you have tested an ROI from every channel in order to continually refine the process so that you can understand your CPA.

This simply just means that you don't have a pre-launch campaign and there is nothing wrong with this. As you only get one chance to make a first impression, if your business has a steep learning curve then you don’t want a flood of customers rushing to your site before you’ve been able to iron out some kinks because a poor customer experience could lead to you never seeing those people ever again.

PROS: Your team doesn't get sidetracked with an unknown variable. Focus on clear step-by-step milestones that push your business forward. Iron things out along the way to ensure your customer are NOT disappointed with the results in early stages of your business. This is also a great opportunity to groom your early adopters.

CONS: It may take you a lot longer to break even and that means more money up front. The need to keep your business lean and mean out of the gates is very important. As we all know, going back for money can dilute your and your team’s stake in the company and that is never a good thing.

We really hope one of these cannabis pre-launch web strategies turns your weed business into an overnight success!

With so much opportunity out there, now is the time to turn your dream business into a reality. Here at BloomKit, our team has had experience with working on all of these strategies and we’re continually on the lookout for new strategies that aid the cannabis industry to ensure our clients are successful.

Please get in touch with us if you have a really impressive case study. We would love to work with you.