Blood Donor Recruitment Tips: How Can Donor Loyalty Programs Help Your Recruitment?

In my time at Incept as a Conversational Marketing™ Expert (CME), an overwhelming majority of donors that I have talked with have donated blood purely due to the reason that it helps other people’s lives.

That being said, small incentives to donate can go a long way. Whether it be a free t-shirt, burrito, or burger to munch on after donating, or even a free gas card, many blood centers have experimented with different ways to get people to donate.

Lately in my blood donor recruitment calls I try to really show true appreciation for donors by thanking them for their own specific lifetime donations with a center or conveying their blood type importance. Another huge piece of conversational ammunition that I have to help my recruitment efforts is the ability to explain what type of promotions a blood center has within their specific donor loyalty program.

A donor loyalty program can be a cost-effective measure for any blood center to invest into to help maintain a larger percent of their current donor base. Beyond the fact that it can help drive more donations, it is also an easy way to make donors feel important and ultimately build a direct relationship with them. You have to think about the fact that blood cannot be manufactured; therefore, it has to be given in order to be used!

So where does a blood center even begin to focus on creating a successful donor loyalty program? Here is some insight into different aspects of successful donor loyalty programs.

  • The focus should be on the people you serve as well as the donors. A wise detail to consider when designing your donor loyalty program should be the fact that it must focus on what you are aiming for it to help accomplish (which is hopefully more consistent blood donors)! Create a strong call to action in your branding by simply emphasizing the importance and good of what donating blood really does in the community that your organization serves. Easy enough to consider, no?
  • There are clear ways to measure what a donation is worth within a donor loyalty program. A very common trend that I notice throughout the blood donation industry is the use of “points” within individual donor loyalty programs. For a common example, let’s say a blood donor that is part of a donor loyalty program donates an apheresis red cell donation. Now let’s say that donation is worth 250 points in your program. Many centers have online stores in which these points can be redeemed for things such as t-shirts, household items, gift cards, and gas cards. This is great because it puts the blood center in control of point values and provides clear and practical incentives for their donors.
  • Give other options for your donor loyalty program members to help even more. Like I’ve said, many blood donors purely donate regardless of if they are getting something in return or not. The simple satisfaction of helping people is what keeps this type of donor coming back. A very cool thing I’ve seen blood centers do with their donor loyalty programs is offer the ability to donate a specific amount of points back to a charitable cause or to help reduce their own operations costs!

When it comes down to it, look at the way your donor loyalty program can help keep your current donors involved. Ultimately, you have to consider the fact that these folks are giving part of themselves, and rather than have a customer-to-consumer relationship, you must look at creating an effective donor loyalty program with a sense of sincere stewardship.

What other tips do you have on creating effective donor loyalty programs to help you blood donor recruitment efforts?