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Boost Engagement in Your Tobacco Cessation Program

Boost Engagement in Your Tobacco Cessation Program

So, you added a digital tobacco cessation program for your employees or members. Now what?

If you’ve offered other wellness programs, you know providing programs is the easy part. The challenge lies in engaging people to act. By offering a digital program, you’re one step closer to increased engagement.

A recent Willis Towers Watson study shows programs that promote the use of new technologies are strongly linked to more positive attitudes about a company’s wellbeing efforts and to health engagement.

Another critical (yet often forgotten) linchpin to boosting engagement is making sure the right people see the right message about the program at the right time. To achieve this, it requires an effective, consistent promotional plan.

Right people for your tobacco cessation program

When you think about your audience, be clear about who is eligible.

  • For employers, are you offering the program to employees and adult dependents?
  • For health plans, are only members eligible to participate or can their families participate too?

The right people to target with your promotions might also include those who get the information out to others. Tangible pieces people can take home help with this. Business cards, tear-off sheets or brochures/flyers can be useful aids to distribute to the right audience at the right time.

Right message to connect participants to the program

The right message with a tobacco cessation program always makes it easy for people to act. With a digital quit-smoking solution, including a link directly to the registration page in every digital communication (electronic newsletter, email, text message, Facebook post, etc.) is essential.

Right time to learn about tobacco cessation

While 75% of employers cite keeping employees engaged year-round in benefits as their top challenge, very few companies communicate about benefits throughout the year. With a tobacco cessation program, this simply doesn’t work.

Key tips to remember about the right time to learn about your quit-smoking program:

  • It takes many (many) times for participants to hear about the program before they will remember it when they need it. Plus, it’s important to remember that motivation to quit and interest in taking advantage of a quit-smoking program might wax and wane.
  • The key is to stay top of mind so that when a tobacco user IS ready to quit, they remember where to go and what to do. To achieve this, it requires a creative approach – with multiple mediums and different messages.
  • Depending on your environment, these mediums may include posters, emails, newsletter articles, videos, digital displays, Facebook/intranet posts, tweets, text messages, paystub inserts and more.
  • Changing the message or images used quarterly is best practice for posters, flyers, digital displays and emails/newsletters in a workplace or clinic, as different seasons or events can trigger participation. Social channels such as Facebook require more frequent messages with weekly or monthly posts about the program to stay in front of employees or members.

Measure and refine to find what works best 

After you launch your program, it’s also critical to evaluate what works to engage your population by looking at the numbers and adjusting accordingly. Do you see a spike in interest or registrations after sending out emails? Do you receive a lift in engagement from text messages? Is one message more impactful than others?

Embedding measurement tools and using available reports on engagement and enrollment can help you tailor and target your messaging more effectively.

At the EX Program, we provide:

  • Quarterly and seasonal promotional materials to help you keep the program top of mind among employees or members;
  • Quarterly reports on engagement and enrollment; and
  • Targeted communications to boost engagement among your unique population.

To start a conversation about how the EX Program can help you engage more of your population in tobacco cessation, visit Contact Us.


Jessie Saul, Ph.D.

Client Success Director

Jessie brings 20+ years of experience in program evaluation and strategic planning with tobacco cessation. She applies this deep understanding to help clients improve program performance and reduce tobacco use among populations. She earned her Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from Cornell University.