Parasail Health Case Study: Launching a healthcare fin-tech startup

client: Parasail Health Inc.

Parasail - Pregnancy Commercial
Role: Creative Director/Exec Producer
Agency: Vector is Love

Creating a brand that wants to help you with medical bills

When I was approached to lead marketing, brand and product user experience for Parasail, I'll admit at first it sounded kind of boring. Payment plans for medical bills? Could there be a duller sentence in the world? And then I dug into it. Here in the healthcare space there was no trusted brand like a Disney (where a parent will let their child view a movie they've never seen because they trust the brand so much) or a Nike (where fans know no matter what product they buy it will stand up to rigorous workouts) or even Amazon (where even if you don't have an emotional attachment to the brand, you can rely on it to deliver things on time at a fair price).

 

There is no trusted brand in healthcare. People may love their doctor or hospital – but no insurance company, payment vendor or lending platform is perceived as caring about the patient at all. This is where Parasail would thrive.

 

So how do you make healthcare's first trusted brand? You empathize with the patient of course. We conducted qualitative interviews with patients of all kinds, copiously taking notes of their journeys, setbacks, frustrations and eventual resolution (for the lucky ones who got there). We corroborated key patient pain-points with general population customer surveys ranking the frustrations of the business side of healthcare – and profiling these pain-points by age, sex, household income, insurance status, credit score and numerous other identifiers to deeply understand which, of the many frustrations, would drive the highest engagement with the broadest audience were we to solve it first. We defined different user cohorts and created user journey maps that informed which touchpoints we could interact with the patient most effectively. 

Then, using Agile sprint methodology, we launched the MVP of our first payment product in less than a month. It was ugly, but gave us valuable user insights, which we rolled into weekly assessments and optimizations, building an application whose completion rate eventually topped 90% completion after start (in an industry where application abandonment averages about 40%). Simultaneously we created brand, messaging and marketing tools mapped to each stage of the customer journey, from online research about a procedure to in-office check-in desk, to on-the-bill messaging to follow-up phone call scripts for practice administrators.

While this was going on we also crafted a vision of Parasail in 10 years, and mapped out an ideal product roadmap, feature priority and go-to-market strategy which we boiled down into an optimized investor pitch deck. The focus, traction and clear strategy helped Parasail raise over $18MM in seed funding and get lending capital commitments of over $400MM.

After these initial wins, we built new payment products, launched into enterprise verticals with full funnel B2B CRM systems supporting an enterprise sales team. We produced new lead generation tools that estimated procedure costs and emailed them directly from the doctors office to the patient with a breakdown of what a monthly payment plan would be. We redesigned how medical bills work to create more transparency and include payment options – in a way where people could understand what they owed and why. We created SEO-optimized content helping patients understand their insurance and payments white papers that helped hospital administrators understand why they couldn't collect more from their patients. Our PR placements were featured in prestigious healthcare trades and our lending volume continued to expand. 

In 12 months – from no customers &  product to:

 

• 5 app-based payment products generating $66MM in loan applications

• 3000+ providers on its payment platform

• Over 40k unique monthly visitors

• Featured in all key hospital trade publications

• $18MM in seed investment

• Over $400MM in lending capital commitments

 

The process: How to build products and launch a startup

Step 1: Consumer Insights, User Journey Maps & Touchpoint Opportunities

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Step 2: Wireframe and Build Product 1 & Website - Create Brand

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Parasail Select - For Providers

Role: Writer/Creative Director/Exec Producer

Production: Vector is Love

Parasail Select - For Patients (How it Works)

Role: Writer/Creative Director/Exec Producer

Production: Vector is Love

Step 3: Build and Launch Product 2

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Step 4: ProPatient Go-to-Market Launch, Enterprise Sales & Growth Marketing

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