Applying Lean Startup Methodology to Lyme Disease with Vital Plan

April 16, 2015 12:16 AM

Applying Lean Startup Methodology to Lyme Disease 

Last summer, our medical director posted an article about how he overcame Lyme disease naturally. We started seeing web traffic to this page and realized that there were a lot of people looking for a Lyme disease solution online, and they really resonated with a doctor who had been through the recovery process himself.

At the time, Vital Plan was focused on marketing individual supplements for health and wellness, but Dr. Rawls made it clear that Lyme disease patients need a robust protocol of herbs in order to get well. With Dr. Rawls' guidance, we put together a protocol of herbal supplements specific to Lyme disease sufferers.

We sold a few of these protocols to new and existing customers, but when we called them to follow up, we quickly realized that these individuals needed much more support than just a shipment of supplements to get well. These individuals suffering with Lyme disease needed detailed instruction on starting an herbal regimen, comprehensive information about diet and lifestyle changes, and genuine encouragement and accountability to get them through their challenging health struggle.

We realized that we needed to build out a comprehensive program, but we didn't want to turn anyone away in the meantime. So we decided to offer a free phone call with Dr. Rawls with purchase of the basic herbal protocol for a limited time until we could fully build out the program.

This is one of the best strategic moves we have made as a company. It was an incredible deal for the customer to get a free call with Dr. Rawls and we were able to sign up an initial group of 50 customers without paying for marketing or having any program reputation yet. It was also important because we were able to collect an extraordinary amount of feedback about the customer that we wanted to build this program for.

We stayed in close touch with this customer group for a few months and were able to gain a lot of feedback as they progressed with our protocol. They told us exactly what they wanted to see in an online health restoration program, how many capsules they were willing to take each day, and how much they would willing to pay for a recovery program. We were also able to collect a baseline of health habits for the average person suffering with Lyme disease.

After a few months, we had a long list of testimonials from individuals who had regained their health through our protocol and guidance.

All the while, we were heads down, working with our team of physicians to create a full-service program that would address all of their needs and jumpstart recovery for a Lyme disease sufferer.

In January 2015, we unveiled the new Restore Program – and immediately signed on 25 people who had been waiting to try it.  With the new program, the supplements arrive in a customized Restore box with instructions for beginning the herbal protocol. In addition, the users receive a comprehensive three-month course of emails, videos, recipe books and protocol downloads, along with continued access to the our support team to answer any questions.

It is now April, and our first 25 participants have recently graduated from the three-month Restore Program and have all reported significant improvement from the program. Many of them have been talking about their success on Facebook and online forums and spreading the word to friends and family.

This month, we have seen a tremendous increase in inquiries about the program and have started signing on new Restore Program participants from all over the world.

The program has been growing quickly through word of mouth and natural search traffic, and we plan to formally market the program starting in May. We feel confident that the program has a lot of growth potential and can help Lyme disease sufferers from around the world to get their health back.

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