Wellness copywriting explained

Connect with a wellness copywriter

Wellness copywriting – and wellness copywriters – use their persuasive skills with words to help brands promote products, services and innovations that support a healthy and holistic lifestyle. Wellness brands need to develop a unique voice to compete with a growing number of competitors and engage consumers’ attention. 

At 42group, we work with a range of wellness businesses and brands, helping them to create connections with their customers. Content and copywriting for wellness brands involvces using consumer techniques to raise awareness and increase understanding of the physical and mental benefits of their products, services and solutions. 

If you’re searching for a wellness copywriter, a freelance wellness copywriter yourself, or exploring the potential for your brand this guide is for you. Learn what an expert health and wellbeing copywriter can do for your brand – and the impact they can have on your future.

Section 1: Understanding Wellness Copywriting

The wellness industry is growing massively, but what is it? You can find a great explanation here from the Global Wellness Institute:

“Wellness is not a passive or static state but rather an “active pursuit” that is associated with intentions, choices and actions as we work toward an optimal state of health and wellbeing. Second, wellness is linked to holistic health—that is, it extends beyond physical health and incorporates many different dimensions that should work in harmony.”

(There’s a lot more about healing modalities, treatment and so on that can get confusing!)

This is a definition of wellness, but what are wellness brands and businesses? It’s a broad term that can encompass a huge variety of companies, including:

  • Vitamin and supplements suppliers
  • Mental health services and support
  • Fitness providers
  • Health centres, gyms and class providers
  • Physical care and beauty
  • Yoga (and other classes)
  • Healthcare apps
  • Online healthcare courses

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it provides an overview of the sheer breadth of the wellness industry and the sectors that may require copywriting and content support.

When we talk about copywriting and content were 

  • Websites
  • Blogs and articles
  • Promotional materials
  • App copywriting
  • Landing pages
  • Whitepapers
  • Emails
  • Ads
  • Page titles, meta descriptions and other SEO essentials

Wellness copywriters can provide the words you need for any purpose. 

Wellness Copywriting 

Wellness brands and businesses aren’t health providers like the NHS, but they operate in a similar space and the claims on their sites – including all copywriting – is covered by regulation. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency are both involved in ensuring all claims accurate and 

What does this mean for wellness copywriting (and wellness copywriters)?

Businesses and brands can’t make any claims of improving health, treating conditions, or having a positive impact on health unless there is clear evidence to support every claim. The purpose of this is to ensure that buyers are 

Treatments, therapies and medical devices go through a long and expensive process of validation and approval to ensure that they do what they say they do. Every drug prescribed by a doctor has been through years – potentially decades – of testing and trials to understand its impact and efficacy, as well as any contraindications (side effects, to you and me). (This is a good outline of how medical devices are approved for use in the UK.)

Basically, wellness brands need to ensure that every claim, statement or piece of copy on a website, app, flyer or email is accurate and honest. 

We can illustrate it with an example. Let’s say you’ve developed a new mental health app that offers users the chance to access online therapies.

You could say: “Talking therapies can help adults to effectively deal with mental health challenges. For some, talking therapies can be as effective as medication.” (You can find evidence to substantiate this here.)

But you could say: “Our talking therapies app is more effective than medication in helping adults deal with mental health issues.”  (You could say this if you’d completed a clinical trial, but that might cost you tens of millions of pounds.)

Navigating this complexity is one of the biggest challenges a copywriter faces and it’s not easy. Pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers will normally ensure that all content goes through several approval stages (clinical, legal and corporate), but wellness brands may not have the cash to do this. 

The solution is to work with an agency that understands the regulations, complexities and constraints of communicating around health, wellbeing and wellness. Entrusting your business or brand to an unskilled freelance wellness copywriter or generalist agency could land you in trouble with regulators with the power to shut your business. 

Is it worth taking the risk?

The Core Skills of a Successful Wellness Copywriter

We’ve spent significant time on the legal and regulatory requirements a wellness copywriter must operate within. These are challenges, but they don’t need to constrain creativity. 

Here are some of the core skills you should look for in a wellness copywriter or specialist health copywriting agency:

  • Creativity: Wellness brands operate in an increasingly crowded marketplace, where they’re jostling for positions with thousands of others. Take online vitamin and supplement sales, for example. Copywriters will need to find creative and engaging ways to cut through the noise and create connections. Simply saying the same thing as others will quickly see your brand disappear as others with a more unique voice will grab attention and capture clicks. You want a copywriter that’s able to find the angle to connect with your audience that others have ignored. 
  • Experience: Wellness copywriting isn’t a job for an inexperienced writer. The legal and regulatory risks above are there – and it’s important your copywriter understands them and can operate within them. Ask questions, review work examples and ensure your copywriter is confident and capable as well as creative. Ultimately, it’s your neck on the line if they get it wrong. 
  • Process: Copywriters are creatives, but this needs to be channelled through a process. At 42group, we have a clear copywriting process that begins with gaining audience insights, creating a strategy (or brief for a single piece), and managing this all the way through from content creation to proofreading and publication. Our processes keep clients in touch and in control at all stages, which we find it vital to ensuring their voice is captured. 
  • Storytelling skills: Storytelling in content and copywriting is crucial. We can consider our lives as a journey with a series of challenges. Wellness providers can tap into this, providing a narrative (before and after) for their products, services and solutions. 
  • Sensitivity: Wellness providers are filling a gap that their audience may experience. Fitness companies are selling an improved body. Supplements providers are selling the hope of a healthier life. Yoga providers are promoting the chance to improve flexibility. It’s easy for wellness copywriters to point out problems in peoples’ lives, but it’s lazy, crass and cruel. The best cpywriters can approach even the most challenging subjects (weight and body image are some) with clarity and sensitivity. This is the type of copywriter that you want to work with.
  • SEO insights: It’s sad but true that SEO is a vital part of what a copywriter does. That means understanding the keywords that connect you with your audience and using these appropriately and effectively. (There’s a lot more to it than that, which we cover in our guide to healthcare SEO.)
  • Speed: Creativity can take time, but copywriters need to be able to originate ideas and iterate quickly. Speed shouldn’t inhibit creativity. In fact, it can inspire it – forcing copywriters to get creative within clear boundaries. The ability to produce work at speed means your copywriter (or health copywriting agency) won’t hold you back.

Finding the best wellness copywriter for your brand

The challenge for every business is to try and find the best wellness copywriter for their brand. There’s no simple answer here and it comes down to communication preferences, organisational priorities and personalities. 

Here are 10 tips for getting the best out of your wellness copywriter and building an effective relationship:

  1. Create great briefs: Every great piece of content starts with a great brief. A single sentence or few lines on a page won’t convey the complexity of your product, the demands of your audience or the importance of your message. Investing in a brief is the number 1 best tip to connect with your copywriter (and audience).
  2. Set realistic goals: Too many clients expect too much from copy and copywriters. Great copy can captivate and convert but it’s part of a much wider marketing and advertising strategy. Set realistic goals for your copywriter – and ensure you’re not asking too much. 
  3. Communicate timelines (and deadlines): It’s urgent, right? (It’s always urgent.) But how urgent? Clear timelines, instructions and deadlines keep things honest. But you must play your part. If you say you’ll provide feedback in 24 hours, do so. It’s your business and brand – not ours.
  4. Invest in the relationship: Copywriters provide a service, but it’s not a simple translation. The best copy comes from the strongest relationships. You won’t get everything you want the first time, no matter how much you pay. The best and most successful clients are those who invest in the relationship with their copywriting team.
  5. Ask for options: We provide every client with two treatments when we begin. Why? Because we know it won’t be right first time. Providing two similar but slightly different approaches provides an A/B for the client – enabling them to choose and the copywriter to learn.
  6. Develop a process: Nobody likes lost, missing or ignored emails so move your relationship to a process and you’ll have total transparency and control. At 42group we use several systems, from a simple Google Workspace solution to more advanced applications like Asana. In all cases, every job and deadline is clearly understood and all content and collateral accessible to all, 24/7.
  7. Never skip the proof stage: It may be 98% right, but that’s not enough. Skipping the proof stage exposes you to risk so don’t.
  8. Ensure compliance: You can take your copywriters word that all content is legally right, but it’s not ideal. If you can afford it, run your health and wellness content through a legal check. If you can’t, then download the guidelines and critically appraise every line.
  9. Invest in the best: Copywriting is like everything else, you get what you pay for. Cut price agencies, outsourcing and AI will deliver a poor product. In the end, it’s your brand and business so do what you want (but we’re worth the extra cost).
  10. Create rules, guidelines and guides: Too many brands assume copywriters will know what they want to say and sound like – but it’s impossible. Invest in a brand book, tone of voice guidelines and guides to help any writer (new or existing) capture your TOV first time, every time.

Creating copy with impact

The wellness sector is highly competitive, as businesses and brands jostle for position and attempt to attract clients’ and customers’ attention. It’s impossible to provide the winning format for wellness copywriting. It’s the additional extra that an experienced and excitable creative writer can bring to the table. 

At 42group, our in-house team specialises in creative solutions for wellness brands. The process is collaborative and involves all partners and stakeholders having a say. It can be challenging as we work through the brief, content creation and editorial stages – but it’s essential. 

We’re confident that with our expertise and understanding of the market to push for copy and content that’s going to create connections. That’s what you pay for and why our clients work with us. Creating copy with impact involves a combination of all the skills we’ve outlined above, as well as attitude, confidence and creativity.

Selecting a wellness copywriting partner

Copywriting agencies in wellness and health aren’t cheap – but like everything in life, you get what you pay for. While freelance wellness writers may be cheaper, they’re unlikely to have the breadth of skills you can access when working with an agency. For example, wellness writers that specialise in online content are unlikely to have the skills to create effective direct-response copy that engages hearts and opens wallets.

Whether you choose to work with an agency or an individual freelancer, here’s a useful ticklist to work through:

  • How many years have they worked in the wellness sector?
  • What clients do they work with?
  • Have the got an established workflow and copy creation process?
  • Do they understand the legal, moral and ethical challenges of wellness copywriting?
  • Can they illustrate a balance between commercial and health copywriting?
  • Do you like them?
  • Do they openly admit to using AI?
  • Do they prefer cats or dogs?

Ultimately, you have to make the best choice for you and your business. The copywriter that’s right for a friend, colleague or competitor may not suit your brand. Our advice is to engage several potential partners and never commit to a large work package until you’re 100% confident you’ve found the right person (or group of people) to work with. 

Connect with a wellness copywriter

If you’re looking to connect with a wellness copywriter, then get in touch. Our confident, capable, friendly and totally fantastic content team. We’re ready and waiting to chat about your content project or copywriting problem.

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