The Secret Sauce for High Member Engagement in Tobacco Cessation

The Secret Sauce for High Member Engagement in Tobacco Cessation

With any digital health program, member engagement makes or breaks the solution. This is also true for our program, which helps people overcome tobacco addiction.

As a seasoned marketing professional, I maximize the ROI for clients through strategic campaign development, planning, and execution. And in every place I’ve been, there is one constant that always rings true: Amplifying a message doesn’t change anything if no one is listening.

Deep Understanding of the Audience

To capture someone’s attention, it takes a deep understanding of how they think and feel. Messaging and visuals that convey “we know your struggle, we can help you achieve your goals” can produce powerful results.

At EX Program, we combine several unique assets to create communications that spark interest and drive engagement. Our internal team has more than 20 years of experience inspiring people to live tobacco free. And, our partners at the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center have been helping tobacco users for over 30 years. That collective expertise is unrivaled for tobacco cessation solutions.

In addition, we draw on the rich insights from members of our EX Community who post about their quitting journey. These are moving stories about the ups and downs of quitting that arm us with the words and topics that resonate with tobacco users.

Plus, our EX Coaches routinely share anecdotes from participant interactions about the fears and concerns tobacco users bring to the quitting process.

And finally, we leverage feedback gathered during extensive user-centered product development work to inform our communications.

The end result? Powerful communications that speak to tobacco users to let them know “we get it.”

What Works with Member Engagement Marketing

Here are a few things we’ve found effective to engage tobacco users in quitting:

  • Carefully select words and imagery: We test the best ways to get cessation support in front of tobacco users and engage them in tools that can help them quit and stay quit.

For example, we test ads, including those below, to uncover what wording works best. Here, we tested wording around the value of receiving social support for quitting.

The results: The ad on the bottom had a 100%+ higher click through rate and a 57% higher registration rate.

Why did the ad on top perform better?

We typically see higher click rates when we use numbers and the word “FREE” in headlines (i.e. “1 Free Way…”). This type of messaging directly speaks to some priority populations as it considers sensitivity to monetary implications.

Additionally, the ad on the bottom incorporates the personal pronoun “we,” which establishes trust to the individual.

As another example, when we built a campaign to engage African Americans who smoke menthol cigarettes in quitting, we tested messaging and imagery for 3 different concepts.

Guess which concept had the best results:

The winner that drives the most member engagement is "its not cool."

Answer: It’s not cool to get lung disease.

This campaign resonated with our intended audience as the imagery and messaging felt authentic, relevant, and relatable to African American’s unique experience with tobacco use. The other concepts, though aligned with the audience, were likely viewed as negative or environmentally focused.

  • Use expected—and unexpected—channels: It’s crucial to use tried and true methods as well as test new ways, too. We provide flyers, posters, emails, social posts, intranet and digital ads, direct mail and other expected promotional elements.

In addition, we partner with clients to test other communication channels. We’ve seen great results with signs placed near outdoor smoking areas, mirror clings in bathrooms, Zoom meeting backdrops, and even digital ads on trucks that circle certain locations.

  • Measure every tactic you can: Data are in our DNA. When we provide assets to a client, we measure the impact of each asset. This allows us to help clients make data-driven decisions about which promotions and which assets drive the highest enrollments.

For example, we can tell clients how many registrations came from email vs. a “stall talk” flyer placed in bathroom stalls vs. a flyer given out at open enrollment. This helps us guide clients to do more of what works and where to invest more of their energy.

Benefits of Our Expertise with Member Engagement

Engagement obviously doesn’t happen overnight. It takes strategic planning, thoughtful implementation, and rigorous measurement to happen in a meaningful way.

The good news is that we can help jumpstart engagement in tobacco cessation among your employees and members right from day one. Our deep knowledge of tobacco addiction and history of effectiveness with promotional campaigns can help you spark member engagement from the start.

To see examples of our effective promotions and learn more about our approach with member marketing, please complete a Contact Us form today.

For additional tips on how to promote tobacco cessation, view our blog Promote Quitting in Healthy Lung Month and Emotional Wellness Month.

Allison Dongoski

Member Marketing Manager

Allie Dongoski drives membership and continued engagement in the EX Program for clients. Dongoski brings over 10 years of strategic marketing and customer engagement experience. She has a Master of Business Administration, with a concentration in marketing, from the American Public University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Coastal Carolina University.

Human Resources Today