How I'd grow Runway

May 4, 2022

Runway is a website that offers affordable and convenient travel health medicine.

You fill out a form about your travel plans and medical history. Then, a physician determines if you’re a candidate for medication. 

If you are, they ship prescriptions to your doorstep in a few days.

Runway wants to position itself as a modern and convenient solution to a problem dominated by antiquated and inconvenient solutions.

They want to ensure the landing page communicates their strengths to first-time visitors.

A header like “Get the right travel medications shipped to your door in a few days” would work better.

I’d use the subheader to agitate the difference between current solutions and Runway. For example, you don’t know the pricing, it takes a lot of time to get an appointment, etc.

The visual is an underrated component of the hero section. I love the one they used here.

Images are the first thing visitors see. So, even if I haven’t read the copy yet, I already understand what the product does.

Pro tip: despite their popularity, explainer videos don’t belong in the hero section. 

The hero section’s goal is to get people interested enough to scroll. They don’t know if they care about your product at this stage. They won’t commit to watching a video just yet.

It’s better to use a static image or a gif that instantly explains your product.

What Runway can improve are the CTAs. Right now, the CTA order doesn’t mirror the user journey.

As soon as I land on the site, Runway should ask me what my destination is so it can show me an example of what coverage I’d get.

Only after I’d seen what I could get should they offer me a button to start a consultation.

One risk Runway has is that people might come across it at the wrong time. They could like the idea, but they might not be traveling soon. 

That’s where email marketing comes in.

Email marketing would help Runway stay top of mind and bridge the period from visitors discovering the product to visitors needing it because they’re ready for a trip.

It won’t be easy to incentivize word-of-mouth for a product like Runway. No one’s going to post about their medication online.

However, there might be another way.

People don’t travel alone. Runway could add referral links.

The incentive wouldn’t be to make money off friends. In fact, I’d give all the benefits to the referees.

People would send links to each other mainly through messages and/or group chats.

Even if Runway just breaks even on these discounted purchases, the referees will make repeat purchases for future trips.

Search might be a good channel, but they need to get rid of that popup. 

Google is cracking down on intrusive interstitials, not only on mobile but on desktop too.

Programmatic SEO would be a good starting point. They could generate hundreds of different landing pages that target similar (but slightly different) keywords.

This would work well in Runway’s case because the targeted queries have high intent. Someone planning to travel to a specific country and searching for medication information is an easy sell.

There are two problems Runway needs to overcome to use search as their primary marketing channel:

- Search volumes for travel medications are pretty low. Many people don’t know they’d benefit from bringing specific medicines.
- The travel niche is incredibly competitive for a brand new domain. Using informational content to rank might take a long time.

That’s why they need to go hard on social, organic, and especially paid - at least until they attract a decent following.

The potential audience is huge. It’s basically everyone who travels - but isn’t aware or used to getting medications before a trip.

Social would allow Runway to reach the biggest pool of people and slowly move them from problem-unaware to solution-aware.

The first step would be improving their current ads. Except for a couple of videos, all their ads use the same creative.

Honestly, if I’m scrolling down my feed, jumping from a friend’s pic to a celebrity story, and I come across Runway’s ad, there’s no way I’m clicking it.

However, there’s an option that not many brands know about. Runway can run its ads using influencers’ profiles. 

Imagine showing your ad to all the people following a travel influencer. They’d see a valuable new product endorsed by someone they trust.

It’d be a completely different experience to getting an ad from an unknown company that wants to sell you medications.

Learn marketing from case studies

Every month I pick a new website and write a marketing case study explaining exactly how I’d grow it