OneSignal Survey Indicates Messaging Tools Served Critical Role in Driving Public COVID-19 Vaccinations

65 percent of respondents successfully booked a vaccine appointment because of alerts like push notifications or text messages

OneSignal Inc., the leading solution for customer engagement messaging, has released survey results that demonstrate the critical role messaging tools like push notifications, SMS, and email played in getting the general public vaccinated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the 1,000 respondents ages 18 and up who scheduled a COVID-19 vaccination appointment in the United States, 65 percent of people successfully booked an appointment due to messaging prompts and reminder alerts from their chosen healthcare resource.

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In the survey, participants were asked about their experience scheduling a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, including whether they opted-in to receive digital notifications about appointment eligibility, availability, reminders once an appointment was scheduled, and follow-ups needed. Key findings of the survey include:

  • 74 percent of people opted-in to receive notifications, messages, or alerts (via email, website browser alerts, mobile app push notifications, or SMS/text messages) to stay updated on vaccine eligibility and available appointments.
  • 67 percent found alerts and messaging like mobile or web push notifications, text messaging, or email helpful in reminding to get vaccinated or helping to locate vaccine appointments.
  • 54 percent of respondents signed up or opted in to receive alerts and notifications from public health or government agencies, the most popular source for information on getting a vaccine appointment. Other top resources identified were pharmacy websites or apps and local mass vaccination sites.
  • For updates about COVID, vaccines, and other related information, 54 percent of respondents said text message alerts were the preferred messaging channel, followed by email and push notifications.

The results of this study demonstrate the important role messaging technology, such as push notifications, text messages, and email, can play in keeping the public safe during global crises, as well as the public’s receptiveness to leveraging digital tools to stay informed,” said George Deglin, CEO of OneSignal. It’s clear that private healthcare companies, government agencies, and other emergency organizations that develop applications in response to emergency situations need to quickly reach a large number of people across geographical regions to keep them informed. Messaging tools and digital-first alert systems have proven to be an effective and trusted method for these organizations to broaden their reach in an impactful way.”

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Providing Updates for Post-Vaccine Education

This study also showed how messaging tools act as an essential conduit for public education like side effect reporting, exposures, and reminders for future booster shots, in addition to quickly disseminating information across geographies:

  • 60 percent signed up to receive texts or other notifications to follow up on a vaccine experience, such as services offered by the vaccine site or the CDC’s Vsafe vaccine follow up
  • 59 percent opted in to receive push notifications on their phone about potential COVID exposures
  • If required to obtain a booster shot in the future, 51 percent of people are most interested in receiving information via text message alerts, followed by email and push notifications as the other top channels.

For healthcare organizations and government entities, this survey underscored the significant role messaging, and alert systems can play during a public health crisis when timely and essential general information needs to be dispersed on a mass scale. Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the survey results showed that push notifications and text alerts specifically played a key role in getting the public vaccinated by helping people find and book appointments, and also acted as a key education tool for critical updates like exposures and side effect tracking, and kept the public informed of changing regulations.

This survey was conducted in June 2021 by Pollfish, an independent online survey provider. The survey was taken by 1000 adults (18+) located in the United States.

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