Third party apps
There are a number of apps provided by wellbeing-specific software providers that give an off-the-shelf solution for individual elements of the service. These can include emails, SMS, appointment management and other applications. QuitManager is for smoking cessation and Lifestyle Manager delivers lifestyle services such as Weight Management, Alcohol Support and Smoking Cessation.
There is a considerable cost to these privately provided services and our research showed that some still require a high degree of human input and have limitations in email marketing and mobile app functionality. So tread carefully.
There are many other single service third party apps available either free-of-charge or at low cost – the Drinkaware and Stoptober apps are excellent examples. Similarly health, fitness and weight management apps are in abundance. The BetterPoints app rewards users for taking part in physical activity. Well known apps such as My Fitness Pal help users monitor activity levels and food intake. The principle here is to utilise effective apps already in existence rather than reinventing the wheel locally at high cost.
SMS (text messaging) can play three roles. Firstly SMS can be used to confirm appointments and send timely reminders to maximise service attendance. Secondly users should be able to sign up to an SMS sequence of motivational messages. This would be particularly relevant for Stop Smoking, Weight Loss and Physical Activity services. Thirdly SMS can be used to evaluate the success of the services as the smoking cessation team have shown this is the best way to assess impact in the long-term.
SEO and PPC
It is important that a service provider’s website is findable. Good search engine optimisation (SEO) should feature, particularly for local search results. It may be necessary to bolster this with Google Ads (Pay Per Click) but limited to the local geography. PPC activity may also be important during particular campaigns (such as Stoptober) and for highly competitive search terms.
When auditing a site for discoverability, be sure to use verbatim search (or use an incognito browser) so that results are not skewed by your own search history.
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