Case Study: Facebook's Impact On Blood Donor Recruitment

Is your blood center struggling to meet goal with your existing donor base? Is your donor base simply not large enough or are you struggling to convince them to take action?

We ran a test for a mid-sized blood center who was struggling with exactly this.  We approached the test using an omni-channel approach, first combining tele-recruitment and Facebook strategies that resulted in an 8.2% increase in successful donations.


We approached the test using a Champion vs. Challenger model - a true AB split test.  We used the exact same tele-recruitment and reminder strategy for all donors in both tests.

A random 13,000 donors were targeted with a custom audience strategy with a Facebook ad that displayed in the donor’s Facebook feed.  The other 13,000 donors did not get the blood center ad in their Facebook feed.


About 9,000 of the 13,000 donors matched a Facebook account tied to various pieces of cpntact information the donor provided to the blood center (email, name, phone, address, etc.).  We averaged 1 view per week per donor over a 4 week period.

Once we called these donors, we saw a significant increase in our calling results:

  • 5% more Right Party Contacts - that means 5% more donors picked up their phone when we called!  
  • Nearly 7% more donors scheduled appointments.  
  • And then we followed it all the way through to the show file and found that we had 8.2% more successful donors!

If we had looked at this Facebook ad in a silo, let me tell you what would have happened.  We have yet to have one single donor who got the Facebook schedule or donate without the phone call.  It would have been a complete failure of a test, if we only looked at Facebook results.  But when layered with our calling, we are getting more out of our current list with a positive ROI.

What's next?

We are moving on to high-value donor segments.  How many of you could use 9% more platelet donors?  That’s where we are taking this.  Even to our O neg super-lapsed donors.  We need to re-engage these O’s.  And obviously we will ultimately add this to our email and texting efforts.  Continuous testing and learning.

We, as marketers are expected to extend our influence, take on non-traditional activities, drive strategy – in effect, we need to turn the tide within our organization.  Sure, war is too strong of a word for donor recruitment, but there is little doubt that a significant change is taking place in marketing to blood donors and we are at the helm.  I challenge each of you to get out of your comfort zone, be bold, do something different, and look to the future to help develop your plans for today.