Marketing & Metrics

How Seasonality Affects Health and Fitness Apps

Yogaia, a health and fitness app

How can you apply insights from the gaming world to building a health and fitness app? From her days working on Angry Birds, Kaisa Soininen became an experienced product manager and user acquisition (UA) marketer for mobile games. Kaisa now leads product and operations at Yogaia, a health and fitness subscription app, as Yogaia’s COO and Chief Product Officer. In this post, Kaisa shares a few gaming UA and product insights and how she’s applied them toward developing a health and fitness app.


Understand what seasonality means for health and fitness apps. Then, invest wisely

First, you need to understand seasonality for your app, industry, and audience. When are your customers most likely to purchase? 

For health and fitness apps, the weeks leading up to Christmas are actually really dry. Between decadent holiday parties, shopping for gifts, and traveling to see family, health and fitness are just not top of mind for most people at that time of year. For health and fitness app developers, investing in UA at this time of year is likely a waste of both time and capital, since conversion rates will be low. 

On the other hand, we’ve found that people’s mindsets change rapidly right after Christmas, and especially on January 1. As people begin thinking about New Year’s resolutions and getting their health on track, you’ll probably see major improvements in conversions. You may see ads that were simply not performing well prior to January 1 suddenly become exceptionally profitable. 

You should also understand how long seasons last for health and fitness apps. For Yogaia, even though the first week of January is the best week for us, the entire month of January is also really good. It’s not just about investing in UA for certain days, but in being thoughtful in how you spend leading up to the day, the day/week of, and the weeks afterwards.


Long-term commitments are great for customers who want to change their health and fitness for the better

At Yogaia, we’ve been focusing on driving customers to purchase annual memberships. If you want to see an actual impact on your health and well-being, you need to be able to commit to health routines for longer periods. Using an annual subscription model makes sense for our customers, especially in January when people are ready to commit to new health routines. 

The upfront payment of 12 months works well for us too. It’s great for cash flow, especially if you invest heavily in marketing at the same time.


When you deliver outstanding value to your customers, they’ll be ready to pay

Don’t be afraid to price high if you’ve truly built a great service. We’ve found that lowering subscription prices does not necessarily lead to an increase in conversions. We’ve found that even if it does, the improvement in conversion rate is not big enough to compensate for the loss in revenue.

My philosophy is to always provide greater value to your customers than what they’re paying. So listen to your customers!


Hire for passion

The best games are great at grabbing attention and then maintaining engagement over a long period of time. But it takes a lot of talent, patience for the iteration process, and attention to detail in your analytics to get there! When you’re in the middle of ruthless rounds of multivariate testing, what keeps you going and sharp is passion. 

The best gaming companies build teams that are passionate about what they do and the product. health and fitness app founders can take inspiration from this, too. Don’t overlook passion as you build a team. Look for hires that will be passionate about what you do and in building a great service.

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