Health and Fitness Apps Promotional Methods: Catching the Wave of New Year Resolutions


Health and fitness apps have been a big phenomenon since 2011 and continue to gain popularity. According to Flurry data, growth in this app category is 87% faster than the industry and daily app usage is two times larger than in other app categories.

A Consumer Technology Association survey shows that 30% of adults who regularly use the Internet intend to purchase a Fitness app next year:


In two years, 50% of all smartphone users will have installed at least one health or fitness app. Sounds like a big opportunity for app developers who are thinking about creating and promoting an app in this category. App marketing agency ComboApp shares data, trends, and case studies to help find effective marketing strategies for health and fitness apps in 2016.

Why are health apps so popular?

  1. The growing adoption of wellness and fitness trackers stimulate the use of health and fitness apps. The wearables come with mobile apps that are designed for daily use.
  2. Viral component of the apps and their integration with social networks. People feel good when sharing their workout progress to Facebook, while encouraging others to do the same.
  3. The everlasting trend of a healthy lifestyle makes people turn to health apps as the fastest and easiest solution of wellness issues.

Health and fitness apps usually see download peaks during the winter holidays. US users are making New Year resolutions and getting fit is one of the most common ones. A Nielsen survey shows that as much as 34% of US users plan to use mobile apps to help them lose weight.

Stuart Hall, the creator of the popular 7 Minute Workout app (one of them, actually), has noticed a spike in downloads during Christmas and New Years in 2013-2014. As he shares in his post about the app’s success, during the first half of January, daily profit from the app increased 4 times from $50 to $200 a day.

Top 10 health and fitness apps

Let’s take a look at the Priori Data leaderboard of top grossing health apps in November 2015.

PRO PRIORI DATA - Health-Fitness

Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal is the number one app in this category with $346,486 monthly revenue. It provides free and easy exercise and food tracking and offers a premium account for $9.99. Weight Watchers is a free app from a famous brand with very costly in-app purchases that range from $49.99 to $299. Apart from food, weight and activity tracking, it offers advice from certified coaches. The Headspace Meditation app earned $160,773 in November offering in-app purchases from $12.99 to a “Forever Subscription” that costs $399.99.

7 Minute Workout Challenge is the only paid app in the top10 list. It costs $2.99 and has some in-app purchases as well. There are two magazine apps on the list, Men’s Health and Vegan Lifestyle prove that people are ready to spend smartphone storage and money on valuable health-related content.

How Should Health and Fitness apps be promoted?

The industry of wellness apps is growing and forecasts are bright. To promote an app on this highly competitive market, one should incorporate content and PR into the marketing strategy. It’s all about creating a community around an app or reaching out to existing wellness-related communities.

Target Audience. No surprise here. Flurry has defined the group of Fitness Fanatics who are the most enthusiastic fitness and health app users. They are mostly mothers ages 25-54 who lead healthy lifestyles.

Content Strategy. Content marketing is often seen as a time consuming and ineffective method by app developers. But for health and fitness apps it serves as a necessary basis for a further paid marketing campaign. Content strategy helps to attract potential customers that are interested in health-related topics. What is even more important is that it helps to retain existing users and create a base of loyal and engaged customers.

Content strategy should imply:

  • ASO. Apart from optimizing an app’s title, keywords, screenshots and description, pay attention to in-app content as well. App store search algorithms consider in-app content when ranking apps.
  • Website/Blog. It is the easiest way of sharing updates, news and content. Relevant content helps keep users engaged and gives them more reason to use your app more often.
  • Pitching bloggers and media. The more exposure your app will get in industry blogs and outlets, the more chances you’ll get for creating a brand around an app and drive organic traffic. It’s not easy to get an app reviewed by popular bloggers, so keep your pitch brief, clear and compelling.

Creating a community. People use health and fitness apps for personal goals, but they need to share progress with others or ask for advice. Most fitness apps connect users with their friends or like-minded people through social network integration and in-app feeds (MapMyRun, Runkeeper). Community provides support and engagement that makes users return to an app.

January is a perfect time for launching a health app marketing campaign. People are determined to keep up with their New Year resolutions and many of them are eager to try new fitness trackers and smartwatches. If you need help with user acquisition or getting attention from the media, don’t hesitate to contact ComboApp agency.