Everyone loves receiving free stuff.
I find myself reminiscing about the many times as a small child that I begged my mother to buy me a box of cereal at the grocery store simply because of the free toy inside. I even remember on my eighteenth birthday receiving a free and rather glorious looking razor in the mail from Gillette, complete with a birthday card to welcome me as I embarked on my endeavor into manhood. More recently, I was in a Taco Bell drive-thru when I was asked if I would contribute one dollar towards helping local high school kids graduate. I thought to myself, “Why not?” To my surprise, I was presented with a free coupon for a taco, which I actually enjoyed on a lunch break later that week.
The point I’m getting at is once again an obvious one: consumers love free stuff, and blood donors are often no different. While many blood donors we speak with are not intentionally looking for a reward for their lifesaving contributions, blood centers who practice and have worked towards establishing solid donor loyalty programs can find themselves reaping the benefits of showing their donor base gratitude. The biggest benefit that a blood center stands to gain from strong loyalty programs is a more engaged and aware donor who is more involved and, most likely, gives more often than a donor who is not enrolled in a loyalty program.
Showing Donors Gratitude Through Incentives
Let’s focus on some blood centers who have put together encouraging incentives for their donor bases:
- Central Blood Bank – Pittsburgh Pirates Tickets Blood Drive Days at PNC Park at North Shore. Central Blood Bank is a nonprofit blood bank that focuses predominately on the western half of Pennsylvania. They have a great donor loyalty program already with theBrighten Life Rewards Program, but one of their most popular incentives has to be when they host blood drives at PNC Park at North Shore in Pittsburgh. If a donor comes in and donates with a scheduled appointment, they receive two free tickets to a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game. Our inbound lines have blood donors calling in with sponsor code in hand for these blood drives and usually they are quickly booked up!
- Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center – August is Blue Bell Ice Cream Month. I really like this promo, because, in the past, The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has actually sent us a few boxes full of pints of Blue Bell’s delicious ice cream. The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Centeris known industry-wide for their superior donor loyalty program, Commit For Life. During August, they team up with Blue Bell ice cream, and each time a blood donor comes in to donate blood at a fixed-site donor center, they are presented with a coupon for a free pint of Blue Bell ice cream. This promo is simple, yet very effective towards their cause.
- Community Blood Center of the Ozarks – LifePoints Rewards Program. We are very familiar with the concept of establishing a points per donation-based donor loyalty program among blood centers. We follow the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks on Twitter and have been reading up on our friends who serve hospitals in southwest Missouri, northwest Arkansas, and southeast Kansas. The LifePoints Rewards Program is great because of their effort to make it easy for donors to understand how to earn points, as well as the quality and practicality of what rewards they do offer. Donors have the opportunity to earn prepaid Visa gift cards, in addition to gift cards for Amazon, Dairy Queen, and Starbucks. They also offer the ability to “give back” points for donors who would rather make a larger impact. We approve!
Why It Matters
Blood donor incentives can serve as a small token of appreciation. Keep in mind that a blood donor is someone who is willingly taking time out of their day to give their own bodily fluid that will ultimately go towards saving the life of another person or even the lives of multiple people. Beyond showing thanks, it serves as a tool to keep donors informed and to even encourage donors to set their own appointments online, as many donor loyalty programs feature the ability to check reward points balances, review donation wellness history, and schedule appointments to donate blood online.
It goes to show you that sometimes the little ways in which an organization says thank you to their contributors and donors can go far towards the long-term aspect of building lasting, lifelong, and mutually beneficial relationships.