High Returns: Crafting Buzz-Worthy 420 Marketing Campaigns

420 is the biggest sales day of the year for cannabis dispensaries, delivery services and brands! And with each year the sales numbers get even bigger! As the cannabis industry continues to flourish, 420 has emerged as the “Black Friday” of weed. It’s a time when businesses connect with consumers, drive sales, and solidify brand relationships that set them up for the rest of the year. In this guide, we’ll explain the essential components of crafting successful 420 marketing campaigns, covering everything from discounts and giveaways to events and brand activations. Whether you’re a dispensary owner, a cannabis brand, or a marketer looking to capitalize on the most lucrative month of the year, this guide provides the insights and strategies you’ll need to stand out from fierce competition and target profitability.

420 Marketing Campaigns

420 Discount and Promotion Strategy

420 discounts are a double-edged sword for cannabis dispensaries. While the statistics from Headset’s article, “Understanding the 420 cannabis holiday & consumer purchasing trends,” say that sales in 2021 increased by nearly 113% compared to an average day, discounts drastically reduce profitability. Even though discounts remain a staple for boosting 420 sales, retailers are beginning to realize that everyone is discounting for a whole week before and after the holiday. In fact, Flowhub notes in this article that, “69% of all 420 transactions included a discount in 2023.” Along the same lines, Headset says in this (older) article, that only 9% of stores abstained from special discounts in 2017.

Although customers expect discounts on 420, simply slashing prices across the board could bite you in the long run. Instead, a strategic approach to discounting on 420 involves identifying high-margin items, setting clear sales goals, and determining the optimal duration of promotions. In that same article, “What will people buy on 420?“, Headset noted that out of 186 stores surveyed, 62% offered discounts on a limited selection of products. Fifty-five stores discounted only 10-20% of their inventory, while another sixty-one stores discounted 20-30% of their products. Only fourteen stores opted to discount over half of their product offerings.
Here, we’ll walk you through key discounting strategies for dispensaries, providing insights into their utilization and best practices.

  • Bundle Related Products: Bundling related products not only simplifies the decision-making process for customers but also increases the perceived value of offerings. By combining top-selling items or introducing new SKUs as pre-bundled packages, dispensaries can streamline sales processes and boost product awareness.
  • Loyalty Program Discounts: Offering discounts as incentives for joining a loyalty program cultivates customer devotion while driving sales. According to MJ Biz, “Over a 90-day period, the average basket spend among retailers with loyalty programs was 13% larger than the average spend at retailers without such a scheme. Loyalty-program baskets also had more items per basket and slightly higher item prices.” Dispensaries strengthen relationships with their most loyal patrons by providing exclusive benefits and rewards.
  • Minimum Cart Subtotal Discounts: Implementing discounts that require a minimum cart subtotal to qualify encourages customers to add more items when they purchase. This strategy increases revenue per transaction and incentivizes customers to explore additional product offerings. By setting attainable subtotal thresholds, dispensaries can balance driving sales and maintaining profitability.
  • Percentage VS Dollar Amount Discounts: Percentage (e.g., “10% off edibles”) and dollar amount deals (e.g., “$5 off topicals”) are popular and effective ways to communicate discounts. Most people don’t like doing math in their head, so offering a “dollars off” approach makes the discount more tangible for most people. However, a percentage incentivises them to spend more – for a larger dollar amount off. A rule of thumb; whether it’s a percentage or a dollar, opt for the biggest number. It makes the deal sound better either way. For example, “20% off $50 or more” sounds like a better deal than “$10 off your total.”
  • BOGO Discounts: Buy One, Get One (BOGO) deals are powerful incentives that drive customer purchases. Whether offering BOGO or Buy One, Get One Half-Off, dispensaries can use this discount strategy to clear inventory or promote specific products. Simplifying the deal structure and ensuring transparency in promotional messaging can enhance customer trust and engagement.
  • VIP or Exclusive Offerings: Recognizing and rewarding loyal customers with exclusive offerings fosters a sense of appreciation and incentivizes repeat business. Through early access sales, exclusive merchandise, and additional savings, VIP, or loyalty programs can strengthen customer relationships and drive long-term loyalty. By personalizing offerings based on individual preferences and purchase history, dispensaries can create tailored experiences that resonate with their most valuable customers.

To maximize your discounting strategy on 420, avoid complicated discounts at all costs. Complex promotions can confuse customers and dilute the perceived value of discounts. It’s essential to offer straightforward and easy-to-understand promotions, such as BOGO deals or percentage discounts. Dispensaries minimize strain on resources, customer frustration, and human error at POS when they opt for clear and simple discounts.

420 Giveaway Ideas

For a highly competitive day like 420, where customers look for the best deals and unique experiences, giveaways can be a compelling method to generate a buzz before your event and incentivize online orders throughout the day. By offering enticing prizes or free merchandise, dispensaries can attract attendees and stimulate interest in their event. Suddenly, everyone’s buzzing with excitement, telling their friends, and marking their calendars! People love getting free stuff, right? So, they’re more likely to show up just for the chance to snag some cool swag or win a prize. Plus, it adds an extra element of fun and anticipation to the whole event. Here are some giveaway ideas tailored for dispensaries or cannabis brands looking to differentiate themselves:

  • Year-long Weed Giveaway: Emulate Skymint’s approach by offering a year-long giveaway through a loyalty program. Provide customers with a monthly coupon allowance for free weed, creating an ongoing incentive for them to choose your dispensary over competitors. 


source: metrotimes.com


  • Stash, Cash, and Dash Giveaway: Follow 22Red’s lead and organize a grand giveaway event with enticing prizes. Offer a substantial amount of premium flower and a vacation package to a desirable destination like Sedona, Arizona, and include additional perks such as a Visa gift card for gas and food expenses.


Stash, Cash, and Dash Giveaway

source: azmarijuana.com


  • Cash and Product Giveaways: Take inspiration from the Mint Dispensary in Arizona and host a series of cash and product giveaways to celebrate National Cannabis Day. Offer a sizable cash prize to one lucky winner, along with a range of product giveaways to spread the excitement among participants.


Cash and Product Giveaways

source: mintdeals.com


  • 1 Pound of Marijuana Giveaway: Mirror Brute’s Roots contest by offering a generous giveaway of 1 pound of marijuana. This bold and attention-grabbing prize is sure to attract participants and generate significant buzz around your cannabis dispensary’s 420 event.


1 Pound of Marijuana Giveaway

source: instagram.com


  • Exclusive VIP Experience Giveaway: Create an exclusive VIP experience giveaway for a select number of lucky winners. Offer behind-the-scenes tours of your facility, private consultations with budtenders, and VIP access to special events or product launches, providing winners with a memorable and personalized cannabis experience.




  • Customized Merchandise Giveaway: Design custom-branded merchandise such as apparel, accessories, or cannabis-related products and organize a giveaway for customers to win these exclusive items. Branded merch promotes visibility and encourages community and loyalty among participants.


customized giveaway


  • Interactive Social Media Contest: Engage your audience through an interactive social media contest leading up to 420. Encourage participants to share their favorite cannabis-related stories, photos, or experiences using a designated hashtag, with the chance to win prizes such as gift cards, product bundles, or exclusive event invitations.


Interactive section


  • Charitable Donation Match Giveaway: Demonstrate your commitment to social responsibility by organizing a charitable donation match giveaway. For every purchase made on 420, pledge to match a portion of the proceeds and donate the equivalent value to a local charity or community organization, encouraging customers to support a worthy cause while celebrating the occasion.




  • Cannabis Care Package Giveaway: Curate a deluxe cannabis care package containing a variety of products such as flower, edibles, concentrates, topicals, and accessories. The giveaway bundle could also double your discount bundle, or you could make it a little more special and exclusive.


care package


  • Golden Ticket Giveaway: Hide golden tickets inside select product packaging or offer them as random surprises to customers throughout the day. Each golden ticket grants the recipient exclusive perks such as VIP discounts, free merchandise, or priority access to future product releases or events.


golden ticket


  • 420-Themed Art Contest: Encourage creativity and community engagement by hosting a 420-themed art contest. Invite customers to submit original artwork inspired by cannabis culture, with prizes awarded to the top entries. Display the winning pieces in-store or online to showcase local talent and nurture a sense of artistic appreciation in your neighborhood.
420 themed


  • Cannabis-infused Culinary Experience Giveaway: Collaborate with a cannabis chef or local cannabis tour guide to create a cannabis-infused dining experience for giveaway winners. Treat them to a gourmet meal featuring carefully crafted cannabis-infused dishes, providing a memorable and indulgent culinary adventure on 420.




  • VIP Concert or Festival Tickets Giveaway: Secure VIP tickets to a popular music festival, concert, or cannabis-themed event and offer them as giveaway prizes. This prize package might include exclusive access to premium seating, backstage tours, artist meet-and-greets, or other perks.


VIP Events


Giveaways don’t just get people in the door – they keep them engaged and pumped up throughout the event, too. Attendees are motivated to participate in activities, such as visiting different booths, attending presentations, or completing challenges, all in pursuit of the coveted prizes on offer. This heightened engagement not only enriches the event experience for attendees but also builds deeper connections between guests and the brand hosting the event. By offering unique and enticing giveaways tailored to the interests and preferences of your target audience, your dispensary can effectively differentiate itself on 420.

420 Event Ideas

Events play a crucial role in promoting discounts on the 420 holiday by providing a platform for businesses to showcase their offerings and engage with customers in a more interactive and memorable way. These events serve as focal points where deals can be highlighted, creating a sense of excitement and urgency among attendees. By hosting events as part of their 420 marketing campaigns, businesses can effectively communicate their discount offerings to a captive audience and encourage immediate action.

  • Curate a Memorable Experience: Design the event to be more than just a shopping trip; make it a memorable celebration of cannabis culture. Consider incorporating live music performances, interactive demos, educational workshops, and engaging activities to captivate attendees and create a vibrant atmosphere.
  • Forge Strategic Partnerships: Collaborate with your customers’ favorite cannabis brands, local artists, musicians, and community organizations to enhance the event experience. Partnering with well-known brands or influential figures can attract a larger audience and entertain them while they wait in your (very long) line.
  • Delight Attendees with Local Food: Enhance the event atmosphere with a variety of food and beverage options. You can even partner with local vendors or food trucks to provide diverse culinary options and make your event an all-day affair.
  • Feature Celebrity Appearances: Elevate the event experience with appearances by well-known personalities or industry influencers. Consider inviting celebrities or public figures passionate about cannabis advocacy or a connection to the local community. Their presence can attract media attention and generate excitement among attendees. In Denver, multistate operator Jars Cannabis will revive the Mile High 420 Festival at Civic Park downtown, a free event with headliners including Rick Ross, Waka Flocka Flame and Kaash Paige.
  • Sponsorships and Brand Activation: Secure sponsorships from cannabis brands, industry suppliers, and related businesses to offset event costs and increase exposure. Allow sponsors to showcase their products or services through branded booths, promotional giveaways, and interactive experiences. If you can’t host your own event, you can sponsor other cannabis-related events.
  • Try an Attention-Grabbing PR Stunt: Generate buzz and media coverage by conducting creative P.R. stunts leading up to and during the event. The perfect example? For their 420 campaign last year, Zen Cannabis made a 420-pound megabar with 4.2 million milligrams of THC. Attention-grabbing stunts can generate excitement and intrigue surrounding your event. The best stunts double a photo opp for attendees to share on social media.



source: trendhunterstatic.com

Special events are opportunities for businesses to demonstrate their value beyond discounted products or services. This hands-on approach not only helps to build trust and credibility but also increases the perceived value of the discounted items. Additionally, events provide a platform for businesses to showcase their brand personality and connect with customers on a personal level. Overall, events are powerful marketing tools that complement discounts by creating engaging experiences that drive awareness, interest, and, ultimately, sales on the 420 holiday.

420 Marketing Campaigns

Once you have finalized your discounts, giveaways, and events, the next step is spreading the word to ensure maximum reach and engagement. The key essentials in this stage are your marketing strategy, targeted audience segments, and campaign execution. Your cannabis marketing strategy outlines how you will communicate your 420 offerings to your audience, utilizing various channels and tactics to effectively convey your message.

Identifying and segmenting your audience allows for personalized and targeted messaging, ensuring that your promotions resonate with different customer groups. Finally, executing your campaign involves deploying marketing materials, advertisements, and promotions across selected channels to reach your target audience and drive awareness and participation in your 420 activities. When you strategically plan and execute your cannabis marketing campaigns, targeted audiences will have both awareness and interest in your discounts, giveaways, and events on 420.

420 Marketing Strategy Example

We’ve presented numerous 420 strategy concepts, each offering various tactics to consider. Crafting your strategy involves selecting from these options to create a unique blend of discounts, giveaways, event involvement, and campaign activations. A complete 420 strategy might resemble the following:


  • Throughout the week of 420, we’ll offer tiered discounts on select products and bundles strategically planned based on our highest-margin categories.
  • Monday: 10% off prerolls
  • Tuesday: 15% off topicals
  • Wednesday: 20% off concentrates
  • Thursday: 25% off flower
  • Friday and Saturday: 42% off concentrates
  • Additionally, we’ll collaborate with a cannabis brand co-marketing partner to create a value bundle consisting of flower, concentrates, and vape cartridges, offered at a discounted price of $42 less than if purchased individually.


  • Customers will receive incentives for reaching certain spending thresholds:
  • For every $100 spent, receive a branded lighter.
  • For every $200 spent, earn 420 loyalty points.
  • For every $420 spent, receive a commemorative T-shirt celebrating 420.


  • On Saturday, 420, our brand partner will host a pop-up event at the store from 9 am to 5 pm. The brand partner will promote the value bundle, showcase their products, answer customer questions, and provide demonstrations on rolling cannagars.
  • A food truck will be stationed outside from 11 am to 3 pm to provide refreshments for attendees.
    From 2 pm to 5 pm, a local artist will be invited to create 420-themed portraits for customers and offer 420-themed pencil drawings for sale.

This comprehensive strategy aims to attract customers throughout the week with enticing discounts, reward them with valuable giveaways based on their spending, and provide an engaging and memorable experience on 420 through the pop-up event, food truck, and artist collaboration.

420 Marketing Campaign Plan

Now that you have your discount and promotion strategy set, it’s time to spread the word! By leveraging targeted messaging and compelling visuals, you can capture the attention of prospects and latent customers through digital touchpoints like display ads, CTV, and even video ads on mainstream websites and apps.

  • 420 Landing Page: Design a visually appealing, mobile-responsive landing page with clear messaging and call-to-action buttons. Showcase 420 exclusive deals, limited-time offers, and event details prominently on the landing page. Don’t forget your cannabis SEO tactics, optimize the landing page for search engines with relevant keywords and meta tags to improve visibility and organic traffic. Pro Tip > you can leverage cannabis programmatic advertising to drive customers to the landing page using geo-targeted display ads.
  • Programmatic Advertising: Develop creative ad sets tailored for different platforms, such as visually captivating website display ads and even engaging video ads for CTV. Think about where your audience consumes information and make sure your ads are showing up on the platforms and devices your customers use frequently.
  • Audience Targeting: Utilizing first and third party data to create targeted audiences to deliver your 420 messages to will allow you to retarget your current customers with the deals you know will get them back through your doors, and prospect for brand new cannabis customers. Take a look at MediaJel’s third-party data audience builder, Demograph, and create 21+ compliant audiences tailored to reach specific demographics, interests, and geographical locations relevant to your target market. Pro Tip > If you have a large number of first-party data points collected from VIP or loyalty programs, you can create lookalike audiences and send targeted messages to an audience of people that match your current customer profiles! Ask us how to leverage your first party data into a lookalike audience!
  • Paid Search on Google: Conduct keyword research to identify relevant search terms for 420, cannabis products, and local dispensaries and delivery services. Leverage targeted keywords and develop compelling ad copy highlighting 420 promotions, discounts, and product offerings. Implement ad extensions such as site links, callouts, and promotions to enhance ad visibility and drive clicks. Use MediaJel’s real-time analytics platform to continuously monitor and optimize campaigns based on performance metrics, adjusting bids, keywords, and ad copy to improve ROI.
  • Instagram Influencer Campaign: Identify influencers with a genuine interest in cannabis culture and a significant following within your target audience. For best results, develop creative briefs outlining campaign objectives, key messages, and deliverables for influencers to align with your brand’s voice and values. Then, collaborate with influencers on sponsored posts, stories, IGTV videos, and live streams showcasing your 420 promotions and products. Track campaign performance metrics such as reach, engagement, discount codes, and conversions to evaluate the effectiveness of influencer partnerships.
  • Instagram/TikTok Promotions: Create an editorial calendar with a mix of content formats, but be careful that your content doesn’t violate their guidelines. Leverage relevant hashtags and geotags to increase discoverability and reach a broader audience interested in 420 celebrations. To increase reach, encourage user-generated content by hosting contests, challenges, or giveaways and reposting submissions from your followers. As always, promptly engaging with your audience by responding to comments, messages, and mentions (especially on TikTok) is essential.
  • In-Store Signage: Design eye-catching flyers, posters, and banners to promote 420 deals and events inside and outside your store. Set up interactive displays or product demos showcasing featured items and educating customers about their benefits and uses.
  • Emails and SMS Messages: Segment your email and SMS subscriber list based on customer preferences, purchase history, and engagement levels. When possible, Incorporate dynamic content and personalized recommendations based on customer data to increase relevance and engagement. With consideration for your 420 strategy and launch calendar, schedule email and SMS campaigns.
  • Track Data and KPIs: Configure your POS system to capture and analyze key data points such as total sales and transactions, average order value, and customer demographics. Use advanced analytics and reporting tools to track online and offline conversions, attributing sales to specific marketing channels and campaigns. Monitor discount usage and redemption rates to evaluate the effectiveness of promotional offers and adjust strategies accordingly. Leverage insights from POS data to optimize inventory management, pricing strategies, and marketing tactics for future 420 events and campaigns.

Planning a 420 marketing campaign is a strategic investment that can yield tangible benefits for your business. Keep reading to learn about audiences that you might not have considered targeting but have a lot of purchasing power right now.

Curious about 420 campaigns that have gotten traction from non-cannabis businesses, here are some of our favorite 420 campaigns from non-cannabis brands to get your creativity flowing.

Customer Segment Targeting

Headset’s data shows that younger age groups, particularly Gen Z and Millennials, exhibited greater increases in transaction volume on 420 compared to older age groups. Additionally, within each age group, female customers had significantly higher increases in transaction volume than male counterparts. While these may be among your strongest segments to target for 420 promotions, you’ll need inclusive targeting strategies that consider more than age group and gender. Here are some audience segments we recommend targeting for your 420 marketing campaigns:

  • Younger Age Groups: Develop marketing materials, messaging, and promotions that resonate with Gen Z and Millennial demographics. Consider using language, imagery, and references that appeal to these age groups. Highlight products and promotions that align with the preferences and lifestyles of younger consumers, such as trendy cannabis accessories, innovative product formats, and experiential offerings.
  • Female Customers: Create cannabis marketing campaigns and promotions targeting female customers based on the insight that they exhibited higher increases in transaction volume compared to their male counterparts. Develop messaging and visuals that resonate with female audiences, emphasizing inclusivity, empowerment, and wellness. Highlight products and promotions that appeal to female consumers.

Other audience segments to consider when looking at your ecomm data:

  • Targeting Loyal Customers with High Average Order Amounts
  • VIP Customers
  • Category of Products Purchased
  • First-Time Customers
  • Prior, Low-Frequency Customers

Targeting the right audience segment for 420 marketing campaigns has numerous benefits including higher conversion rates, increased ROI and customer lifetime value, enhanced brand loyalty, and better insights. By tailoring promotional messages and offers to specific audience segments, dispensaries can effectively resonate with their target market.

Campaign Launch and Timing

Our best advice, no matter what strategic mix of discounts, events, and giveaways is: begin promoting your 420 specials and discounts at least two weeks ahead of the actual date. As a part of your promotional campaign, you may also consider offering incentives for pre-orders or early shopping, such as exclusive discounts or bonus gifts, to motivate customers to commit to purchases ahead of time.

There will be a big bump in sales on Friday 4/19. Because 420 is on Saturday this year, you should prepare for increased foot traffic and online orders on the Friday before. Customers will get off work and want to start their weekend celebrations early. Staff up accordingly to handle the influx of customers and ensure a smooth in-store and online shopping experience. Finally, promotions should run for at least a week after 420 to capture latecomers and extend the celebration beyond the holiday itself.

Here’s to a Busy and Profitable 420 in 2024!

From driving sales and increasing brand visibility to fostering customer loyalty and engagement, the opportunities are vast. Are you prepared to embrace the spirit of 420 and seize this moment to elevate your brand? this is your chance to leave a lasting impression on your community.

Throughout this guide, we explored the key strategies and tactics that can make your 420 marketing campaign busy, profitable, and manageable. From crafting irresistible discounts and promotions that don’t cut too deeply into margins, to planning engaging events and digital marketing campaigns, you learned how to captivate your audience and drive enthusiastic engagement.

With targeted segmentation and the right timing when promoting your marketing strategy, your messaging, and campaigns can resonate with different demographic groups throughout the entire month. We hope you enjoyed this practical advice and expert tips to help you navigate the complexities of 420 marketing and achieve your business objectives.

For fast help unlocking a successful 420 strategy and promoting your campaign on 75,000+ mainstream platforms, including CTV, reach out to our team. We can set you up with a campaign to drive e-commerce sales on the big day and long after!