Yext says that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s making its Yext Answers site search product free for 90 days.
You might not see an obvious connection between site search and a worldwide pandemic. You might even think this sounds like a marketing gimmick. But Yext CEO Howard Lerman said that for the past 10 days, the company has seen a spike in coronavirus-related searches across sites that use Yext Answers.
After all, Lerman said Yext has a lot of customers in the healthcare industry, such as the IHA medical group. But even beyond that, companies are getting related questions, whether it’s a hotel getting asked about their cleaning procedures, or an airline being asked whether it’s safe to fly or a vodka company getting asked about whether vodka can be used as hand sanitizer.
Businesses could try to answer those questions on a single web page or blog post, but that’s probably not going to be comprehensive. Yext Answers offers a way to present and save this information in a much more structured way, so that a visitor can jump to the exact answer that interests them. In addition, it provides data on what visitors are searching for, so companies can answer the questions that people are actually asking.
Yext is also offering a free plugin that includes frequently asked questions about the coronavirus, with answers sourced directly form the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We have a product that could be pretty useful right now,” Lerman said. “We don’t want people to be getting wrong answers in the time of a global pandemic.”
He added that the company would normally charge around $100,000 for three months of Yext Answers. However, the free offering will be limited to 1,000 entities (which can be FAQs, locations or anything else), and Lerman said most paying customers are already using more than that.
While the product is free, the company will still schedule an initial setup call with a Yext administrator and provide ongoing email support. You can read more on Yext’s new website.