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CBD Marketing Guide: From Strategy to Action Plan for 2023

Reading Time: 7 minutes

After the commercial hemp production legalization and Farm Bill 2018 edition, CBD product sales in the U.S. have jumped significantly. Many DTC (direct-to-consumer) brands just launched in the emerging market by offering their CBD and hemp oil products.

Although selling these products is legal, CBD merchants and ecommerce marketing professionals face limitations in marketing them. All the most typical DTC brand marketing channels – retargeting on Google, paid ads on Facebook, Instagram, etc. – become inapplicable due to still developing but strict channel advertising rules and restrictions.

So if you sell CBD cosmetics or other CBD and hemp oil products, how can you make your business powerful, yet sustainable?

Luckily, the biggest ecommerce platforms – Bigcommerce and Shopify – have expressed their readiness for such businesses. Omnisend with it’s extensive marketing automation possibilities, has also joined this team and shows support for CBD and hemp oil products’ sellers.

Also, more marketing channels can be employed to help you with customer acquisition as well as successful retention. Carry on reading and find out more about how you can help your business grow.

Best Marketing Channels for CBD Businesses To Acquire New Customers

Acquiring new customers is a top priority in every growing business. Apparently, 40% of U.S. consumers aged 21 and above claim that they would consider trying CBD.

So there is a great pool of customers out there. The only thing you have to do is to get them to find your business and start buying from you.
That’s easier said than done.

While today’s most common digital channels are still evolving in their positions about CBD product advertisement, marketers should rely on more “old-school” marketing channels and find smart ways to boost their brand awareness.

In this situation, offline channels like shareable prints, fancy postcards, billboards, radio shows, and podcasts can help you attract new audiences. Also, with different marketing tools, you can find ways to reach your target audience.

As a matter of online marketing, there are a few key strategies that can’t be ignored:

  • Your website optimization for search engines. CBD products have restrictions on Google ads, but organic search is something totally different. Building your site with SEO in mind will help you get high positions in organic search. In addition, it will be more cost-effective than regularly paying for ads.
  • Influencer marketing. Since influencers aren’t considered as advertisers, letting them speak about your products is the best, and, so far, the only way to get on social media, build your brand awareness, and collect the testimonials that the broad audience could see. Check out this great example of Zenpup approaching influencers.
  • Collaborations with other brands. Unexpected projects with other well-known brands might deliver good buzz on media. For example, a recent Glossier and Bark dog toy collaboration. That was a huge surprise for customers as well as a success for both brands.
  • Content marketing. Creating your own content is vital for both customer acquisition and retention. First of all, writing a blog full of keywords is great for organic search and attracting new visitors. Secondly, gated content will help you collect emails. And if you have original, educational content, you will be able to provide your customers with more value and keep them around for longer.

So these are the most effective and safest ways to acquire new customers for CBD brands.

Now let’s look at what tools you should arm with for successful customer retention.

Best Marketing Channels for CBD Businesses To Retain Customers

Customer retention strategy is as significant for any business as the new customers’ adoption.

See the chart below on how the proportion of acquisition vs. retention distributes according to business maturity.

Customer retention stats

Sophisticated retention tactics will help you save a lot of money because it’s 5-25 times cheaper to keep a customer than to acquire a newbie.

Also, existing customers tend to spend significantly more; their average order value is higher. Surveys claim that if you increase customer retention by just 5%, you can expect to increase profits by 25-95%.

These facts prove the value of a well-thought-out strategy on how to provide first-time buyers with excellent experience and how to approach them afterward so they would become your loyal brand advocates.

So here is what you can include in your CBD marketing strategy:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Email marketing

While due to social media limitations, it might be tricky to implement affiliate marketing in its full scope, text messages and emails are something totally different.

These two channels are very private, personal, and brands that use them yield great marketing results. So the biggest my bet would be on combining these two channels.

5 Tips For Using the Email Channel For CBD Marketing

Email channels might seem like one more “old-school” way to approach the customer. However, it remains the most effective and generates the most significant revenue compared with other marketing channels, so far.
So take these following five tips and squeeze all the juice out of that promising channel.

1. Set Up Email Capture Forms

To be able to outreach your customers via email or text messages, first of all, you need to have such customer/visitor data.

A few different signup forms placed on your website will help you collect that data.

According to Omnisend annual research, landing pages (with 24.82% signup rate), and interactive signup forms, like Wheel of Fortune (12.74%), work best for capturing leads. More common popup forms bring a 4.22% signup rate, which is still good.

However, the most important about the signup forms is the information that you ask for. Don’t miss your chance to add a field for the visitor’s phone number since you already asking for the contact data.

See the example of an exit-intent popup with extra fields below.


The more data of your customers you have, the more targeted campaigns you can send.

Check out this article on how to build your email list from scratch.

2. Launch Welcome Emails

Just after you launch your signup forms, focus on welcome emails, or a sequence of them.

These emails perform best when sent immediately after the visitor signs up for the list. Manually it’s impossible to track all the new leads. But you can achieve this by launching an automated workflow to onboard your new subscribers.

Welcome emails are crucial for providing an excellent shopping experience. 8 out of 10 customers expect welcome emails to land in their inboxes. There are even more reasons why you should be sending them:

  • They help you establish your brand credibility, closer connection and push your subscribers further through email sales funnel. Especially if you use small incentives for the first purchase.
  • It’s a good way to tell your story, to educate subscribers about your brand, and the benefits of CBD products in general.
  • You can once again interact with your new subscriber and showcase the best offers.

This kind of email shows great results. On average, it generates a 51% open rate and a 15% click rate, which is almost three times better than an average email campaign.

Nevertheless, welcome emails generate sales. The order rate is 2.24%.
See a few great examples of the welcome emails that send our customers:

1. Bliss Formula




3. Recover Abandoned Carts

Abandoned cart email is another effective automated workflow. 7 out of 10 carts are being abandoned in ecommerce, according to the data. So cart recovery emails have plenty of work to do.

Let’s dive deeper into this workflow’s use case.

An abandoned cart email is sent when the site visitor puts products into the shopping cart and leaves without buying them. Usually, it happens when the shopper meets unexpected costs like shipping charges or gets distracted.

The email works as a reminder: “Hey, you forget something! Grab it while it’s still there. ” These emails are highly personalized because they highlight the products that the customer has already chosen and added to his/her cart.

Take a look at the example below.


Honestly, an abandoned cart workflow is a must-have tool nowadays by every online store. Launch it, and it will help you lessen the abandoned cart issue as well as generate sales for you 24/7.

4. Launch Customer Reactivation Emails

This email or sequence of emails should be sent when your previously engaged community members stop being active: a loyal customer who hasn’t bought anything for a while, a subscriber who doesn’t open your emails anymore, etc. It mostly depends on the buying cycle or newsletter frequency.

For ecommerce sites that sell fashion products or cosmetics, we suggest sending the first re-activation email within 90 days of inactivity. The sequence of several emails always works better. We recommend creating a drip campaign of three emails and send one by one every week after the term has passed.

Usually, to win back customers that have already lost interest in your brand is impossible without incentives like a discount or free shipping.
Often, the emails say something like, “We miss you. Come back. ” See the example below.


5. Send Regular Newsletters

Sending email campaigns to your customers might be one of the key ways of communication for your business. Make sure you do it properly.
By saying “properly,” I mean the following ten best practices:

  1. find an email marketing tool that meets your current needs
  2. keep your email list clean and up-to-date
  3. keep email copy short and simple
  4. use storytelling
  5. use social proof
  6. segment your subscribers according to their behavior
  7. stick to simple email design
  8. dedicate time to subject lines
  9. use the right sender name
  10. establish a consistent email cadence

These ten are from our best practices guide for ecommerce. Check it out for more explanations and insights on how to prepare a killer email campaign and how to plan them the best way possible.

See the example below of a clean and modern newsletter sent by another Omnisend’s client – Allume:


Wrap Up

The market of CBD products is snowballing, so it’s getting harder and harder to stand out. For now, marketing such products is a challenging task. It requires creativity, non-standard solutions, and an understanding of “old-school” marketing means.

For getting new customers, you should pay attention to professional SEO execution, content marketing, and good networking with influencers. They can help you get decent attention on social media.

While social media advertisement rules are still blurred and nascent, the best online marketing channel you can trust to retain your customers is email. Master this channel, and you enjoy sales 24/7.

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Article by
Karolina Petraškienė

Karolina is a writer, content marketer, and email enthusiast at Omnisend. When she's not curating articles, you can find her in the woods challenging herself in hiking boots or off-roading her bike.

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