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Building a better wellness communications strategy

Published by: LifeWorks,

You send your newsletters and hang posters. You host benefits meetings and give your staff wallet cards with EAP contact information on them. And you still haven’t seen improvements in employee well-being.

The issue? You’re not getting employees excited about any of your wellness benefits.

In fact, our latest survey found that one in three employees say their employer needs to improve their ability to get them excited about their wellness program.

Luckily, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel with your wellness communications strategy. You just need to think like a marketer.

Here are some marketing strategies worth adopting:

Master the Email

Our survey found that email and internal newsletters are among the most preferred methods of communication. If you can actually get employees to read wellness content, you can boost awareness of topics like self-care and emotional intelligence. But you can also fuel enthusiasm about specific wellness program activities.

This is where you need to think like an email marketer. It’s their job to know how to write compelling subject lines, which is what makes or breaks the likelihood that employees will read your message.

To boost open rates, keep subject lines concise. If your subject line is more than 50 characters, mobile devices will likely cut them off. You want employees who check their email on their phone to be able to understand exactly what your message entails.

Language is also important — forget the jargon and keep it simple. Action-oriented words, in particular, are vital because they create excitement and a sense of urgency.

Email marketing experts also know how to keep content sharp and engaging. Your email and newsletter content can drive more employees to your wellness program, but it needs to be appealing.

If your staff sees big blocks of text when they open your message, they’re not going to spend much time reading it. Instead, break up the copy into small paragraphs and include visuals that relate to the content. This creates an appealing flow to your message, which should end with a clear call-to-action, like signing up for a wellness challenge.

Segment Employees

According to our survey, each employee demographic has their own unique interests and goals when it comes to wellness. For example, female survey respondents said they were interested in stress management training, whereas male respondents were more interested in financial wellness programs.

If you try a one-size-fits-all approach, your staff likely won’t have much interest in most of your promotional materials. Those who want to learn about saving for retirement won’t care about a weight loss challenge, for instance.

This is where segmentation comes in. Marketers divide their potential customers into groups, known as segments. They group them together based on key characteristics so they can personalize their marketing strategy to each group. You can do the same.

The easiest way to segment your employees is to gather data on what employees are interested in, then build a content plan around that. Conduct surveys, and identify what aspects of your wellness program are being used by which demographic. Consider each employees’ age and gender when you’re creating groups.

Then, distribute educational content and promote activities centered on topics relevant to each employee group’s interests and goals.

Use Visuals

Nearly eight out of 10 employees say visuals are important in wellness program promotional materials, our survey found. What’s more, certain employee groups favored specific kinds of visuals.

For example, more men were interested in seeing visuals with a man exercising than women. This is likely because they want to see visuals that are relatable to them.

Employees also want to see visuals that align with the their wellness goals. More women are interested in weight loss so when promoting your weight management program, include visuals that feature things like scales and healthy foods.

Marketers fully understand the growing appeal of visual content. Social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, that center on visual content are the most popular platforms. This is why marketing experts are investing more into visual content.

In fact, the 2015 State of the Industry Report from Digiday and Chute found that visual content, on average, performs 4.4 times better than text-based content alone.

When you create your wellness communications strategy, identify what visuals to include in your content. Each circumstance calls for a certain type of visual.

For example, a short video is best if you’re demonstrating how employees can access their EAP portal online. An infographic is perfect for showing employees the health benefits of adopting a better sleep routine. If you want to spark motivation for your employees’ wellness journey, share quote cards. This way, they respond to your content in a more engaged manner.

Encourage Referrals

When it comes to wellness communications, our survey found that another top preferred method of communication is word of mouth. Employers who center their workplace culture around employee well-being are better equipped to drive word of mouth.

To encourage employees to get their colleagues to participate in your wellness program, look to referral marketing solutions.

Referral marketing is organic growth — customers tells others about your product. So if you love your new yoga mat, you tell your co-worker about it, which leads them to consider purchasing it.

Companies with referral programs will offer discount codes to customers at checkout if they refer someone to their website via email or social media. Not only is this simple for the customer, but also they enjoy a financial incentive if they participate.

Adopt this strategy to drive more employees to your wellness program. A fun way to do this is to offer fitness challenge participants gift cards to health food stores if they share their progress with their co-workers.

When you think like a marketer, you’re bound to get your staff excited about your wellness program. The more participants, the bigger employee well-being improvements you see.

Ready to improve your wellness communications strategy? Download the full report today!

Make your employees feel loved