Text Message Reminders: An Easy Way To Boost Your Blood Center’s Show Rates!

According to the International Association for Wireless Telecommunications, it takes ninety minutes to respond to an email, but only ninety seconds to respond to a text message.

It is obvious that we live in a society that has rocket fingers. We text all the time. In a recent study by Mashable Business, 174 million people in America text daily and ninety-eight percent of all text messages that are sent are opened. Why is this type of information vital to blood banks looking to get their donors in through the door, though?

As a Conversational Marketing Expert (CME) at Incept, every appointment that we set for a blood donor is meant to not only be convenient, but also make it as easy as we can for them to actually show up to their committed date to donate. We truly do our best to avoid setting tentative appointments; a very large portion of our appointments that we prefer to set and train our Conversational Marketing™ Experts (CMEs) to set is usually within ten days of speaking to the donor to increase the probability of the donor actually showing up to donate.

However, what happens when you are speaking with a donor who might be busy, but wants to help while you are talking to them? What happens when that donor prefers to donate at a blood drive that might be three weeks out and not just next week? What are some reminder features that we as an organization can offer for that donor’s benefit? These are the situations (along with countless others) where being able to set up a reminder via text message through our SMS reminder system can come in handy.

Having a SMS reminder system can help your recruitment efforts drastically. Blood centers that are able to send text message reminders to donors who have scheduled enjoy up to a 12% increase in their show rate over other organizations that haven’t implemented this kind of reminder system yet.

How text message reminders can help increase your blood center’s donor show rates.

  • Your donor is statistically more likely to check their cell phone than their email. Read back to one of the first statistics in the opening of this blog. Ask yourself, how often do you actually and thoroughly check your email compared to your new text messages? In that same Mashable Business study, a whopping eighty-eight percent of emails were found to go unopened. When you send a text message reminder twenty-four hours before a donor’s appointment you can almost be guaranteed that they’ve received the message and have acknowledged it.
  • It gives you the ability to include a callback number for rescheduling or questions.Many times, I’ll find myself with a donor who I’ve called on a cell phone or right before a meeting. They are nice enough to schedule with me, but can find themselves in a rush to get off the phone. We are all human and sometimes in those moments of chaos we can forget things. Just in case they need to reschedule I make sure to include the phone number for them to be able to do so. In the event they cannot make it, they can always call back and reschedule (and ultimately donate).
  • You can customize it according to type of donation. Oftentimes, I am calling programs where my job is to not only get the donor to schedule, but also to convert them from being a whole blood donor to a double reds donor or platelet donor, depending on the need for a certain blood type or component. Going a step further, I usually put in the text what type of donation they are doing to be able to specifically thank them.

Out of almost four billion mobile phones in the world almost three billion of those phones are able to send and receive text messages. Don’t wait on being able to remind your donors more efficiently. Your center’s show rate might just have you to thank!