Vaccinations have the power to save lives. Yet, in the current post-pandemic climate, healthcare providers find it more challenging than ever to ensure patients get the vaccinations they desperately need.
Vaccine hesitancy and a lack of follow-through on scheduling appointments persist, meaning healthcare providers have to come up with creative ways to encourage and remind their patients to vaccinate.
The good news is that there are workable solutions to raise vaccination rates, and one of the most proven solutions is to use reminder text messages to prompt patients to vaccinate. Even better? Using a mass texting service can ease the burden of sending out individual messages while simultaneously allowing you to personalize and schedule your texts.
How texting can improve vaccination rates
Extensive scientific evidence suggests that text reminders help boost vaccination rates.
The first is a massive 2021 mega-study compiled by Milkman et al., which states that vaccination rates can be raised by an average of 5% when text message nudges are sent before a primary care visit.
Similarly, a 2021 study by Dai et al. demonstrated via sequential randomized controlled trials that a single reminder could boost vaccination rates by 6.07 or 3.57 percentage points, respectively.
Finally, among many other studies, the 2022 Text Message Reminders for the Second Dose of Influenza Vaccine for Children by Stockwell et al. states that such nudges effectively raise vaccination rates. Their study showed that 2.9% more families got a second vaccination for their child than those in the groups that received no text message reminder.
Stockwell et al. (2022) also found that those in the group that received the text reminder got the second vaccination earlier than those who didn’t.
In conclusion, the evidence is clear. Text reminders are an effective tool for improving vaccination rates.
How to write an effective flu shot reminder message
Now that we know that text reminders work as a way to boost vaccination rates, it's essential to consider how to compose the most effective message to send to patients. There are several factors that experts say to keep in mind while writing such a message.
First of all, Milkman et al. (2021) identify the tone of the message sent as vital to its success. They state that messages should be relatively formal and similar to other communications.
Additionally, the 2021-22 Influenza Vaccine Promotion Toolkit also recommends that the style and voice of the message should not only reflect your organization but also be relevant to those to it is sent to. These messages should leverage a personable but professional tone and social media hashtags to encourage people to feel like they are part of a community.
Seasonality, benefits, and culture
Using the season as a way to gain readers' attention and highlight the tangible benefits of getting vaccinated is another essential tactic for success. The sample messages provided by the Influenza Vaccine Promotion Toolkit that you can access here do this very well by describing how recipients can avoid missing out on essential celebrations such as Thanksgiving, Divali, and Ramadan.
Additionally, by using cultural celebrations as the hook in your messages, you can help further personalize their content and make them more relevant and practical to your target audience.
The 2021 study by Milkman et al. also demonstrated how the message was framed as particularly important to its success. They found that messages that reminded patients to go to an already reserved flu shot appointment were more effective than merely asking them to book an appointment.
The Influenza Vaccine Promotion Toolkit also provides free-to-use images that can help make your mass text messages more appealing and grab the attention of your patients.
How to send vaccine reminders
From the information above, it’s easy to see that using text reminders boosts vaccination rates. In addition, creating an effective message is simple with the tips listed above. Finally, the last piece of the puzzle you will need is a mass messaging service that will allow you to send your reminder messages to everyone on your patent list.
That’s where we come in. We are experts in offering mass messaging services to the healthcare industry, and many of our customers include doctors, hospitals, and senior living facilities.
The primary reason we’re one of the most effective mass messaging services is that our platform includes a range of mass text messaging features designed to communicate effectively with patients and healthcare workers.
Using our mass text messaging service, you can schedule your messages ahead of time, text from your organization's phone number, access our easy-to-use templates, and use the advice above to further personalize your texts. Our healthcare SMS service even automatically detects mobile numbers and allows you to manage patient replies so you can continue the conversation and answer any additional questions they may have. You can also easily use our mass messaging system to contact employees, advertise shifts that need to be filled, send out safety guidelines, and remind patients of their medical appointments.
Our prices start from 5 cents per credit or $7.50 for a monthly subscription, so you can significantly impact your vaccination rates without breaking the bank.
We also offer automated calling at Text-Em-All, and we make it easy for you to send a combination broadcast with both text and calls. This expands your outreach and ensures you reach your audience in their preferred method of communication.
Ron Kinkade is the Head of Marketing at Text-Em-All, an automated calling and mass texting company that provides solutions for small and medium-sized businesses, large corporations, membership organizations, community groups, and individuals. Ron has more than 20 years of experience with a proven track record of success. Ron enjoys bass fishing, beach vacations, and spending time with family.