Text Messages Help Blood Bank Save Lives

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With blood donations around the world in decline, blood banks are leveraging creative strategies to encourage donors to keep coming back.

A Swedish blood bank has turned to texting as a means of connecting donors with the lives they’re saving.  When a person donates blood, they receive a thank you message via text.  The real power happens days and weeks after the donation.  The blood bank sends out an update message letting the donor know exactly when their blood is actually being used to save a life.

“We are constantly trying to develop ways to express [donors'] importance,” said Karolina Blom Wiberg the communications manager at the Stockholm-based blood bank. The program has been so successful that it is now launching in markets all across Sweden.  As well, the blood bank has garnered international media attention and social media buzz as a result of the text follow-up. All of this results in more donors and more saved lives. The program was covered in a high-profile article published in Time Magazine.

While Sweden’s use of text messaging is innovative and interesting, the tried-and-true applications of SMS – such as appointment reminders – can also benefit blood banks. A great example of this is Blood Systems, one of the oldest and largest blood service providers in the United States. They integrated text messaging into their outreach when they started to see lower response rates from phone and email appointment reminders. Blood Systems found that by using text messaging to have donors confirm or reschedule their appointments, they saw a 57% increase in overall response rates and 28% increase in appointment confirmations! Carol Brugman, Marketing & Communications Specialist at Blood Systems, explained “as more people depend on mobile devices, we need to be at the forefront of changing trends and use whatever communication channel works best for donors.

Staying connected with donors is key! After a person donates, send a follow-up text thanking them for their services, or even conduct a survey in order to get feedback on your organization. Text messaging platforms also allow you to message your entire mobile list at the same time, providing an easy and effective way to alert all your donors to low supply levels, special holiday hours, record-breaking donation levels, or any other relevant news. Overall, there are many, many ways that text messaging can be used to engage with people.

The healthcare industry is just starting to see some of the exciting results that come about from using it as a communication and engagement tool. If you’re interested in learning how to incorporate text messaging into your healthcare strategy, please contact Reachmodo at1.800.651.9359 or by email at support@reachmodo.com.

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