• Jeffrey Harris

SMS Marketing is a Key Dispensary Marketing tool to Grab Gen X Cannabis Customers

While younger generations might capture a larger share of the cannabis retail market, Gen X is gaining steadily as the group turns toward cannabis more frequently for both recreational and medical use.


When it comes to creating a dispensary marketing strategy to engage specifically with this target audience, it’s important to consider how dispensary SMS marketing could play a key role in increasing sales.


Born between 1965-1979, Gen X grew up while the War on Drugs was in full force, and, consequently, generally hold rather conservative attitudes toward cannabis use. That being said, those beliefs are slowly shifting as cannabis becomes legal and Gen Xers watch their Gen Z children become recreational cannabis consumers.


Over 82 million strong in the U.S., they tend to be independent, resourceful and self-sufficient, with a healthy dose of pragmatism, skepticism, and suspicion of their Baby Boomer parents’ values. They are nostalgic and place great value on family, responding best to content marketing that hits upon those trigger points.


Caring for Cannabis - Gen X Style

According to Headset consumer research, Gen X is one of the fastest-growing legal cannabis market segments, making up more than one-third of recent cannabis dispensary sales. Our own latest three-month study shows that Gen X purchases flower, edibles, cartridges and pre-rolls most frequently, but generally stays away from concentrates, topical and tinctures.


This is most likely due to the fact that flower and edibles generally fall in the medical marijuana category, while concentrates are more of a party lifestyle product more suitable to Gen Z.

This may change as Gen X ages and the medical benefits of the least popular categories of products become more relevant in their lives. In addition, Gen X is second only to Millennials in total number of dispensary visits and total spending, and second to Baby Boomers in the average amount spent per visit.


Mostly Mobile: Gen X and Dispensary Digital Communication

With this in mind, let’s talk about how Gen X uses mobile devices and responds to digital marketing campaigns. A whopping 92% of Gen X own cellphones, with 60% using their smartphones daily. They only trail Millennials by 30 minutes for average daily screen time and spend 21 hours per week on their smartphones.


When it comes to texting in particular, a recent study shows that 70% check their phone notifications 1-3 times per hour; 86% already receive texts from businesses, and 76% wish that businesses would communicate with them more frequently via text. That includes cannabis businesses.


SMS marketing campaigns can provide a lucrative opportunity for marijuana dispensaries looking to reach Gen X consumers. They are increasingly open to engaging with the cannabis industry, are addicted to their phones.


They also expect to receive rewards and offers for their loyalty. It is no longer just a bonus to have a text-based loyalty program for your dispensary, it has become the go-to marketing strategy for increasing customer retention and revenue.


Of the many dispensary marketing ideas out there, SMS marketing is a fairly easy and affordable way to get Gen X customer’s attention. And most importantly, this isn’t hypothetical – it’s proven effective: SMS messages have a 98% open rate and 90% of those are opened within the first 3 minutes!


SMS Marketing for Gen X

SMS helps circumvent a regulatory obstacle that cannabis companies face: dispensaries are essentially prohibited from all forms of public advertising – such as billboards, radio, TV, online advertising and social media marketing – in order to protect minors. SMS marketing is a cost-effective dispensary marketing strategy that directly targets specific adult consumer groups, increasing foot traffic, and brand awareness.


Additionally, text message marketing allows consumers to easily opt-in to receiving advertising, which solves another piece of the compliance puzzle.


Gen X is more receptive to messaging about nostalgia and family prefers evidence-based statements, and is interested in saving time and effort when engaging with businesses.

In short, this demographic wants to be offered well-defined, safe, valuable products.


Gen X is a rapidly-growing cannabis market – with more disposable income than younger generations – and is primed for receiving dispensary digital marketing through text messages because of their significant smartphone usage.


Dispensaries that utilize SMS campaigns that capitalize on these insights will capture Gen X’s attention and see a considerable return on their investment.

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