How to Market Online Wellness Programs
Learn ways to improve marketing strategies for your online wellness programs, from email drip campaigns to referral programs, at Healthie.
Wellness programs and challenges are becoming an increasingly popular way to work with clients in a group setting, while still supporting them as they work towards their health and wellness goals. With a program, you can reach both current and prospective clients, increasing engagement among existing clients and boosting revenue.
As programs typically contain pre-created and pre-loaded content, such as documents, videos, handouts, and educational resources, they require time to be built up initially. Over time however, the program can continue to run, generally with little oversight — creating a source of passive income for your wellness business.
When creating a wellness program designed to attract new clients, the next step is to create a marketing strategy. Have a clear plan as to where, how, and how often, you’ll market your program will help to ensure that your program continues to be of interest to prospective clients. Ultimately, your marketing strategy will help generate consistent revenue for your business.
Leverage the following marketing strategies to ensure your wellness program is a profitable new revenue stream for your business.
When and Where to Market Your Wellness Program
Any wellness program requires time to market properly, ensuring a larger initial number of participants. This is especially important if there are engagement aspects to your program, such as a support group or group chat. With more participants, you can ensure that levels of engagement and peer support are higher, as well as help to demonstrate the value of your program. Of course, more participants enrolled also means more revenue generated.
Ideally, you want to block off at least 4-6 weeks in advance to market your program. Prospective clients may need a few touch-points and incentives to nurture them into enrolling. If you have a set start-date for your program, give yourself the month prior to work on your marketing campaigns, which may include emails, newsletter announcements, in-person promotions, referral marketing, and distributing marketing materials.
Be strategic about where you’re marketing as well. Leaving business cards or flyers everywhere might mean that a bunch of people see them, but it doesn’t ensure those who are the right fit for your program will. Once you’ve determined who your ideal program participant is, take the time to make a list of places/avenues where your participant may live. This includes social media. If your target is women above 50, then they are statistically unlikely to be using Instagram as a way of learning about wellness. They may, however, be using Facebook. Identifying the best channels for marketing your program will help you to prioritize your marketing strategies, and make better connections with your target client.
5 Ways to Market your Program or Challenge:
1. Send an email campaign
Email marketing is an extremely effective way to market your wellness program or challenge, and despite what some may say, email is far from dead. Studies have shown that email marketing is 40 times as effective as social media, and buying from email campaigns occurs three times as fast. Email campaigns are designed to pique the interest of your prospective clients, tell them more about the challenge or program you are offering and push them to move toward signing up. You can advertise it in your newsletter or current mailing list so that you reach both current and prospective clients.
Be strategic about your subject line.
Your subject line is the “first impression” you make on your audience. If the subject line you choose doesn’t pique the interest of the recipient, then your campaign won’t be effective. Your subject line should make your audience want to actually open the email, so that leads can convert to paying clients.
- Add personalization: Adding personalization to your subject lines will help leads relate to you as a provider and make them feel as though the email was meant for them. Use merge tags to personalize your subject lines with each recipient’s name or location, to show your audience you’ve taken the time to write out an email of which the contents will directly benefit them.
- Be descriptive: Sometimes, it’s better to be direct and descriptive than trendy in your subject lines. Instead of beating around the bush, be clear about what the email is about, so recipients can decide if this is an email they want to take the time to read and engage with.
- Keep it short: We know that if a subject line is too long, it will get cut off in your inbox. Keeping your subject line short will ensure that you communicate the topic of your email clearly to your recipients without any extra effort to read the longer subject line.
- Limit punctuation: Punctuation in your subject line can push the language to be both too formal or informal. Too many exclamation marks can feel unprofessional and aggressively excited to clients, while adding too many periods can feel “strict.” Find the balance that feels open and welcoming to clients, but still shows you are a professional provider.
- Use emojis carefully: While emojis add a level of fun and familiarity to your email, they can also come off as loud and unprofessional. We recommend adding one emoji to your subject line to set it apart from other emails in the inbox and make sure it catches the attention of your audience.
Build a connection with prospective clients
Every email you send advertising your program provides an opportunity to develop a relationship with your prospective, and current, clients. Over time, and through these series of touch-points, prospective leads can be nurtured into becoming a paying customer.
You can build stronger connections by speaking to the challenges that your prospective client faces, and the transformation that they are hoping to achieve. Leave out the cut-and-dry information, and instead think about building a human connection. Sure your client may be looking to lose weight, but talk to them about the struggle, the challenges, and how your weight loss program helps them to achieve their goals.
Provide a drip of valuable information over time
When marketing your wellness challenge or program, you may be marketing a concept that is completely new to some or all of your leads. While some may have participated in plenty of wellness challenges, some clients may have no idea what participating in one entails. Create an email campaign that, over time, shares the benefits of your wellness program, and what the program looks like. What is the value that they receive, and the goal they will accomplish? You want to block off 6 weeks prior to your program so that you can send a few emails over the course of time that nurtures your interested prospect into enrolling.
Add in a call-to-action, to turn a prospective client into a paying client
A “call-to-action” is a button that you include in your email, asking a lead to take the next step. In each email, offer clients the option to sign up for the program or challenge, so they don’t have to go through any extra steps of searching for the sign up on your website. Calls-to-action eliminates the “in-betweens” of signing up with you and allow clients to join your program without any hesitation.
A particularly effective call-to-action that tends to compel prospects to buy includes offering a time-limited discount, or simply including a sense of urgency. If prospects only have a limited time to enroll, they may fear “missing” the opportunity to join. Surveys have shown that 68% of millennial consumers would make a purchase within 24 hours for fear of missing out on the experience. The same goes for a limited-time discount, and “early-bird” sign up offers. When interested prospects see that they have a short amount of time to take advantage of a lower rate, they are more likely to click.
2. Gain enrollments through your referral network
A strategic way to reach customers in your target market is to reach out to other providers in your network across different specialties. Other healthcare providers can easily mention the program to their clients if they think it may be a good fit. For example, if your program is designed for clients with diabetes, reach out to any endocrinologists in your area, and let them know how your program can benefit their patients. Other wellness professionals care about the value and the improved outcomes that your services can offer. Utilize the data from your program as you run it over-time to show outcomes.
- Collect baseline metrics from clients to show change in health metrics
- Run reports to show what % of clients have completed your program
- After completing a program, share a progress note with other members of your client’s care team. Outline what your mutual client accomplished during the program, and what health outcomes can be seen.
For more direct forms of marketing, you can ask providers or clinic directors to put postcards with program information around the office so that interested clients can have the sign up process easily accessible. As you build relationships with your referral partners, they will be more open to having your market your services to their clients.
Tip: With Healthie’s Referring Provider feature, you can see a list of all providers that refer clients to you. This makes it easy for you to find the right provider to ask about marketing your program, based on your target audience and their specialty.
3. Strategically post in Facebook groups
Facebook Groups can easily be used to market your wellness programs and challenges with current or prospective clients. To join a new group, click on the “Groups” tab on the left side menu. This will load suggested groups for you, as well as groups that your Facebook friends are in. This will help you find relevant groups for you to join as a provider, whether they be accountability groups, groups within your client niche, or even groups of other providers. You can also simply search for your specialty or client niche to find eligible groups to join.
For example, if your target client is moms with young children, then you may look to join the local parenting groups for your area.
Once you’ve found a group or two that you feel it would be productive to market your program in, start posting. Be strategic though; as we mentioned above, start advertising your program a few weeks before it starts, and post consistently about it within the group. Instead of posting once when you first join, posting about your program and how to sign up once a week for a few weeks will keep the program top of mind for prospective participants and increase the likelihood of them signing up. Marketing within a Facebook group also eliminates the in-between step of having to go online to sign up; just include the link to your program and clients can sign up with ease.
Before posting, be sure to check if you need admin approval to market your services. Consider offering a special “discount” specifically for the group, to help sweeten the offer.
4. Collaborate with wellness professionals
Another way to reach new leads is to collaborate with other wellness professionals for your program or challenge. Most providers are willing to work together for mutual gain. Not only are you both able to expand your client base, but you will also have established a new or strengthened a previous network connection that may lead to more opportunities in the future.
Reach out to another provider and ask if they would be willing to 1. Run and build the program together, which will double your client base, or 2. Market your program to their clients, and contribute to a module in your program to receive exposure to your participants. Both of you will have the opportunity to reach new clients, which can be especially beneficial if you each have different specialties and can share and refer clients in the future.
For example, ask a local gym or fitness center to advertise your program to their members, in exchange for allowing them to include a workout video in your program (with credit given). This is a win-win for both parties, as each of you gets exposure to new clients and a chance to expand your network.
5. Add your wellness program to your website or landing page
The simplest way to market your program? Put the information on your website or blog. On your services page, you can include a section that allows clients to just sign up for a program to get started with you. This allows them to begin working towards their goals and get to know you as a professional without the pressure of committing to working one-on-one together for an extended period of time. Easy online purchasing and enrollment allows you to capture interested prospects at the time that they are ready to take action. In the realm of marketing, this is critical in converting prospects.
Another way to ensure every visitor to your site is aware of your program is to include a pop-up on your home or services page that prompts clients to sign up or learn more about the program. This way, when leads explore your website, they are automatically introduced to an easy way to explore you and your services before making the commitment to work one-on-one together.
If you don’t have a website, you can also create a landing page at a very low cost, which will help to boost your online presence and increase the legitimacy of your program.
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