The #3 largest ad-supported health and wellness resource, Verywell promises reliable, understandable, and up-to-date health information about medical topics that matter most to readers. Built on Dotdash’s 20-year-old foundation, Verywell provides users with comprehensive content that they can rely on. Most recently, the team responded to the contentious vaccine debate and measles resurgence with the Healthy Conversations Coach, a conversation simulator to guide difficult vaccine discussions. According to a Verywell-conducted survey, vaccination is the leading health issue that causes disagreement among friends, family, and loved ones. Verywell’s Healthy Conversations Coach empowers and equips people with information and conversation prompts to embrace challenging health issues, instead of avoiding them. And while 1 in 5 disagree about vaccines, approaching the conversation to vaccinate from a place that educates, not alienates, holds strong potential for turning a skeptic into a believer. The Healthy Conversations Coach guides users through a vaccination conversation from the very beginning, where users select the discussion participant (friend, relative, or partner) all the way through every comment and result. In each step, based on user-selected responses, the Coach immediately explains why certain replies are better than others, allowing users to process a number of potential interactions based on tone, posture, and attitude. Joining each user on a “choose your own adventure” vaccination conversation provides Verywell and its users the unique opportunity to change the vaccination debate in real time, encouraging a more thoughtful, compassionate, accurate approach to medical discourse now and in the future, and experts agree.
According to a Verywell survey, 43% of people wait or delay a difficult conversation longer than 6 months. When they do have the conversation, 80% of people cite that communication was moderately effective at best. Understanding the urgency around today’s vaccination conversations, Verywell applied its ability to boost confidence in medical decisions to help its 39MM users do the same for their loved ones without confusing jargon, shame, or offense. Verywell seized the opportunity to help teach people how to have productive conversations, and for advertisers to interact with audiences deeply engaged in a current event. Healthy Conversations is grounded in the idea that medical accuracy and empathy are not mutually exclusive. The team intentionally and specifically made the Verywell Healthy Conversations Coach feel like a friendly guide through a realistic communication experience. The content leverages the informative, friendly Verywell voice and is reviewed by Board Certified Physician professionals to ensure accuracy, as well as a Board Certified Psychiatrist to infuse conversation sensitivities. To engage users in thoughtful contemplation about potential responses, the team chose an interactive chat format that closely resembles the types of rapid-fire conversations that users have every day, whether texting, chatting, or in-person. Creating an experience that clearly captures the Verywell mission, the team built two PDF takeaways offered at the end of the simulation to help users carry their new-found knowledge and confidence into real-time discussions. Providing readers with ongoing guidance in the real world lends Verywell the opportunity to positively influence the everyday lives of users, inundated with all sides of the vaccine debate. Other publications and organizations also responded positively, including Vaccines Today, Nurses Who Vaccinate, and social handles History of Vaccines, pediatrician Jamie Friedman, and Tamer Hadi, also of the NYC Department of Mental Health and Hygiene. Verywell looks forward to addressing future challenging health topics via the Healthy Conversations Coach such as “fourth trimester”, caring for elderly loved ones, and STIs. Engagement metrics from April launch-August prove the educational need and value of the tool for users: 50 percent of people who entered the chat page engaged with the chat 48 percent of those who engaged with the chat completed it 11 percent of visitors to the page read one of the supporting documents in the left navigation Average time spent on site was 4:39 17 percent PDF downloads of the chat transcript/doctor discussion guide .32% advertiser ad click-thru rate from Healthy Conversations landing page, surrounding articles, and contextual package
From national trade coverage in Mediapost and MM&M to local media pickup from KULR8 to ABC Montana, the healthy conversations campaign was a success. The initiative was applauded by public health advocates and activists, including positive feedback from the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases who said “It’s very neat! I have shared it with our team. We would love to hear what kind of reactions you get as your readers begin to use it. I think that it could really be helpful” and NYC’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene who said, “This is definitely something that is needed. We strive to work on provider/patient communications as part of our provider education portfolio.” Engagement metrics from July 2019 launch- September 2019 prove the educational need and value of the tool for users: 50 percent of people who entered the chat page engaged with the chat 48 percent of those who engaged with the chat completed it 11 percent of visitors to the page read one of the supporting documents in the left navigation Average time spent on site was 4:39 17 percent PDF downloads of the chat transcript/doctor discussion guide .32% advertiser ad click-thru rate from Healthy Conversations landing page, surrounding articles, and contextual package
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