Checklist: Grade Your Health & Wellness Marketing Materials & Sales Collateral

We see a lot of marketing and sales material that just doesn’t get the job done.Somebody scribbled a few words (probably copying what they saw elsewhere)….a graphic designer made it look “pretty”……but no one asked the two most important questions about all those flyers, brochures, websites, print ads, fact sheets, and postcards:

1) “Will this attract potential customers?”

2) “Will this move potential customers to the next step?”

This guide helps you grade the business impact of your marketing materials so that you can answer those two essential questions.

Below, we’ve identified fifteen factors that exist in every successful marketing piece.  Use this guide to identify what needs improvement.

To use the guide:

1) start with your most frequently-used marketing piece

2) assign a grade to each success factor using the guide below

3) revise as needed, starting with elements graded D or F

4) use the same process to grade and revise your remaining marketing materials

Grading Guide

For each marketing piece, grade each success factor A, B, C, D, or F:

A – meets all criteria. Highly effective. True to the spirit of your business.

B – meets most but not all criteria. Factual but dry rather than persuasive and engaging. May copy some elements from competitors.

C – meets some but not all criteria. Lackluster, does not draw attention; heavily influenced by competitor’s marketing materials.

D – meets few criteria. Not original or interesting. Generally ineffective.

F – does not meet any of the criteria. Completely ineffective.  A waste of time and money.

Success Factors – Grading Sheet

Item Criteria Red Flags Examples Your


1. Headline The headline grabs
the attention
Small font.

Boring or uninteresting.

NOT the name of your business or a bland fact
statement like


“Chocolate!”, for a workshop on chocolate’s
health benefits

“Subtract your way to freedom”, for a meditation
workshop on quieting the mind


“Nutrition Classes At ABC Wellness Center”,
for a wellness center

2. Competitive
Explain why  customers experience your business, product or service as
markedly different from competitors
Don’t list YOUR

Give the reasons your actual customers mention.

Be specific


“Open 24/7″, for a card-access health club

“Yoga Alliance-registered instructors” for an
elite yoga studio

“Women’s health experts”, for a
multidisciplinary health practice


World-class service

State-of-the-art equipment

3. Tangible
Identify positive
outcomes of your program or services that are measurable, material,
physical or concrete
Don’t jump to
conclusions. Not all women want a “bikini body”. Not all guys want
six-pack abs.

“Set a new PR”, for a masters swim coach

“Knock ‘em dead at the reunion”, for a bootcamp

“Lower your cholesterol

without drugs”, for an osteopathic physician

“Stop back pain – without surgery”, for a
chiropractor and acupuncturist

4. Intangible
Identify positive
outcomes of your program or services that are not measurable, material
or physical
Focus on feelings,
not facts

“Feel confident”

“Enjoy playing with the kids again”

5. Emotional “hot
Consider the top
emotional triggers that motivate most consumer buying decisions
Don’t jump to
conclusions about customer motivation.

Desire for control


Wish fulfillment

Fun is its own reward

6. Call to action Spell out what you
want readers or viewers of this marketing piece to do next.
Answer the 4 Ws:

What do you want them to do? (i.e., register,
buy, attend, etc.)

How do you want them to do it? (i.e., phone or
online or in-person)

When do you want them to do it (i.e., by a
certain date, now, etc.)

Why will they want to do it? (i.e., limited
availability, the first 5 responses get a bonus nutrition guide)


Call 111-222-3333 to register by Fri., 6/1 -
only 20 spaces available”, for a nutrition coaching practice

“Click to download our “Corporate Wellness ROI
Secrets” white paper during June and get a free Healthcare Cost Savings
Calculator”, from a corporate wellness provider


“Contact us for more information”,
from practically every wellness business out there!

7. Product details Highlight key
aspects of the product or service AND why they matter
Don’t dump an
endless list of features and benefits

“Personal attention: never more than 10 students
in a class”, from a healthy lifestyles business

“No treadmill tedium! – Twenty different ways to
get a cardio workout”, from a health club

8. Solutions Explain the health
& wellness problem you solve, or opportunity you help customers
capitalize on
List only those
characteristics of your business, product and service that help make
people’s lives better.

“USOC-experienced coaches cut minutes off your
time”, from a sports-performance business

“Defeat Diabetes teaches you non-drug strategies
for healthy blood sugars”, from a medical wellness center


“We’ll teach you all you need to know about
healthy living”, from a fitness center

9. Written content
and text layout
Good use of white

Bullets, numbers

Short words, sentences, paragraphs


Very long
paragraphs with no breaks

Illogical or no organization

Unimportant trivia about your business

Difficult to read

Marketing gobbledygook (“world class service”)

Extensive use of light text on dark background

Text obscured by background image

Vertical text

10. Images &/or
Use photos of your
real business, real customers, real classes, etc.
Avoid generic
stock images

Make sure background images don’t obscure text

Choose relevant images – don’t promote a group
fitness class with a picture of a solitary exerciser on a treadmill

11. Business name &
key contact info
Name, street
address if you have a storefront, telephone, email, web address.
Your business name
should not be the most prominent element

Don’t put it in the headline or plaster it
across the top

Omit fax #

Can often skip web address if it obvious in your
EM address

Design for the
location where this marketing collateral will be displayed, read, etc.
Don’t assume
people will be sitting at a desk with great lighting when they review
your materials

Don’t assume that your materials will be
optimally displayed with great lighting and no surrounding clutter

For example, flyers are usually viewed from several feet away, so a very
large font is often effective for the headline and sub-heading.

The lower half of a rack cards is usually hidden
by the display holder, so the top half has to grab attention.

13. Authenticity Choose a look, feel
and tone that truly represents how customers experience your business
style marketing in a high-touch business

Blindly copying marketing themes and concepts
from similar businesses

Dry-as-dust content for a high-energy business

Use of super-fit images when you target normal

14. Interest &
At first glance,
your marketing collateral must create that spark of curiosity -
otherwise, no one will bother reading further
marketing speak”

Industry buzzwords

Your business name as headline

Content you are excited about that is not important to potential


“We’re positive we’re ANTI – anti-gimmick,
anti-guilt, anti-blame”, from a weight management program


“Family owned and operated” from a personal
training studio

Raw data on square feet, number of pieces of equipment, total poundage
of all weights

15. Appropriate
graphic design
Attracts the
reader’s eye

Guides them through the content in logical order

Points them to the call to action

No light text on
dark background

Avoid tiny text

Use of enormous images and logos that sharply
limit the amount of text that fits

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