It wasn't the first suspension Gunther had experienced. (I also use Mailchimp for my cannabis newsletter, Word on the Tree, and have never experienced problems with sending it.) Marijuana businesses routinely have their Facebook ads rejected and their Instagram accounts shut down -- ostensibly for violating the services' policies against promoting illicit drugs. Still, the company found that a newsletter to its partners failed to send earlier this year. But unlike Gunther's experience, Mailchimp informed the company that it would have to look elsewhere for an email marketing service when its digital marketing firm pushed back on the decision. DeMena doesn't understand why other companies in the space can continue using Mailchimp for their email newsletters. "We got no feedback from Mailchimp as to what it was that the bot found in our newsletter," he said. "This algorithm or bot doesn't flag Mary's Medicinals and they make very similar products as us." Indeed, Mary's Medicinals, a Colorado-based producer of medical marijuana products, has used Mailchimp to send emails to dispensaries and wholesalers.
A customer shops at a cannabis dispensary in Portland, Oregon. Marijuana brands have struggled to market their products through traditional means. (Photo by Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)
On Monday, a marijuana newsletter’s account was temporarily suspended by the email marketing service Mailchimp. Like others who work in digital media, Shea Gunther gets antsy about missing deadlines. When the Monday edition of MJToday Daily failed to send, he discovered that the email service had temporarily suspended his account.
It wasn’t the first suspension Gunther had experienced. At the beginning of June, the content of his newsletter similarly tripped up Mailchimp’s automated system, flagging his account. He said it took Mailchimp about two to three hours to fix the problem. “We had one of the highest performing newsletters they had ever seen,” said Gunther.
Which is why he was surprised when it happened to him again this week.
“To their credit, once they actually looked at it, Mailchimp said, ‘You have a legitimate [newsletter],'” said Gunther. “But [their] reliance on an automated system impacted my business for two days.”
This time around, Gunther said it took five to six hours for the company to remedy the issue. Representatives from Mailchimp assured him that they had taken steps to ensure that such a suspension wouldn’t happen again.
(I also use Mailchimp for my cannabis newsletter, Word on the Tree, and have never experienced problems with sending it.)
As the marijuana industry continues to grow, the federal-state conflict in cannabis laws is causing marketing problems for companies within the industry. Marijuana businesses routinely have their Facebook ads rejected and their Instagram accounts shut down — ostensibly for violating the services’ policies against promoting illicit drugs.
But the marketing headaches affect even businesses that don’t deal directly with the…