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The One Thing Your Health Coaching Website Must Do

I look at health coaching websites all day. I review my new clients’ existing websites and I give feedback to my team on how to better the sites we’re building. From the freebie template sites to highly customized websites I see, there is one thing that must be front and center to make that site effective for building a health coaching business: the optin box.

Also known as a sign-up form, the optin box is the place where your website visitor shares their name and email address (or at least their email address) to join your list and receive emails from you. Unless you’re already a mini-celebrity in your field, potential clients and customers are rarely going to join your list these days without a strong incentive to do so.

Everyone is bombarded with too many emails and too much social media, so before someone decides to add one more source of info to their inbox, they’re going to need a very good reason. There are three steps to making your website visitor sign up for your list. This is called Lead Capture and I’ll share a few tips on how to make this easy and effective.

1. Give them a really good reason

The most important part of your free gift is its title. Yes, the actual content should be valuable and delivered in a professional manner, but no one’s going to see it if the title’s not attractive. I’ve had clients spend weeks crafting the perfect video or ebook to offer as a free gift, and then they throw it up on their website with a wonky looking sign up form and the words “Free Gift” and then wonder why no one’s biting.

Start by being crystal clear who your ideal client is and what their top challenge or concern is. Create a free gift that answers one of their concerns in an easy-to-digest manner. Write a title that makes it clear who the gift is perfect for, what the gift is, and what benefits they can get from receiving and using it.

For example, the title “Free Tips to Lose Weight” sounds too generic and uninteresting. Something like “Free Video: Discover My Top 5 Secrets to Easy Weight Loss for Busy Women” is much more enticing. Now I know it’s a video, it’s 5 tips (that’s easy to digest, I don’t feel like I’m making a huge commitment downloading 100 tips that will just overwhelm me), it’s about losing weight, it’s made for women and I feel like it will be simple and straightforward (because I’m already too busy!)

2. Make it easy to join your list

The most effective sign up forms have the inputs for name and email address (or at least email address) right there in the box. It’s not just a link to go to a page or form to sign up, but they sign up right then and there. People are busy and distracted, so don’t add extra steps. Also don’t ask for First Name, Last Name and Email Address. Don’t ask what state they’re in or anything else that might cause them to hesitate and move on. All you really need is the email address, though having their first name helps make your emails feel more personal.

Make sure the invitation to get your free gift is easy to see from every page of your health coaching website. Also share a link to the free gift optin box in your email signature, in your social media posts and when you’re talking with people in person. Tell everyone about it, frequently.

Keep the emphasis on the free gift, not on joining your list or getting your newsletter. Neither of those things sounds terribly attractive, especially these days, so make your invitations about the awesome free video, recipe ebook, top ten tips, or guided meditation that you’re offering. You can add “plus you’ll get my bi-weekly (or monthly) tips” so they know they’re joining your list, but stress the tips, recipes, valuable articles or videos they’ll get, and avoid emphasizing words like “list”, “newsletter” or “subscription”.

In other words, as always, keep making it about what’s in it for them.

Once they sign up, be sure the process of receiving their free gift works well. They should receive an email immediately and automatically letting them know the next step to take (usually clicking a link to confirm their opt-in) to receive the download link or other access. Have an auto-responder set up to thank them, offer a few words of support or encouragement (related to the free gift) and a reminder of what to expect from future emails.

You can also set up a second auto-responder approximately one week later inviting them to take the next step and schedule a Breakthrough Session.

3. Follow up and stay connected

The point of offering a client-attractive free gift incentive to build your list is to eventually convert those subscribers into health coaching clients or customers. Not all of them will convert, and some that will may take months or even years to do so. It’s important then to be consistent. Take steps to build your list frequently by sharing your free gift offer, and write to your list regularly.

Start writing at least once a month and then increase to at least twice every month. Offer the tips, recipes, articles or videos you promised, with an emphasis on providing value, and also invite them to take the next step, which for health coaches is usually to schedule that initial consultation or Breakthrough Session.

It’s important to offer that next step consistently, but not constantly. Offer valuable content regularly and you’ll create a solid base of people interested in what you have to say. You don’t need to write long, elaborate emails to your list. One short article, 5 tips or a recipe is enough. People are busy and over-saturated with information as it is. Don’t add to that. Keep things short and sweet and they’ll appreciate it.

Even if your website has little else to offer at this point, and it’s not custom branded or monetized, be sure that it can at least capture leads. Be sure that anyone who finds your site, whether through a Google search, word of mouth or a social media link, is invited in a clear, easy and attractive way to stay connected with you.

If you need support getting started with your website, updating it to include a free gift optin box, setting up auto-responders or anything else to make your health coaching business successful, please get in touch today! Start with my free quiz assessment to discover “How AWESOME is Your Wellness Website?” by clicking here.

To schedule an Awesome Business Breakthrough Session, click here and use coupon code HCW20 to save $20 (exclusively for Health Coach Weekly readers!)

To you and your awesome business,

Heather Cottrell

Heather Cottrell shows coaches, bloggers, wellness pros and other mompreneurs how to grow your business online. Get expert support and coaching around content creation, social media strategies and digital marketing specially designed for creative professionals with a mindset for success. Find Heather Cottrell Business Services at and on Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | LinkedIn.

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