Effective SMS Strategies For Blood Centers

OK, by now you are using text, but you might be wondering if you are using it correctly, or getting the most from it.  Text isn’t just a new means of pushing the same message and if you are using it that way, keep reading!

Most Americans under 40 have long relied on e-mail, text messaging, instant messaging, or social media to reach others on the job and in their daily lives and have significantly reduced the amount of time we talk on the phone and rarely listen to voice mails. 

Text messages now outrank phone calls as the dominant form of communication among most working age Americans. So how do we use texting to get our messages read AND motivate our donors to take action?

Let’s start with the strategy.  How are you using text? Here are some ways to incorporate texting:

  • Appointment Reminders
  • Drive Cancellations
  • Promoting Specific Drives/Incentives
  • Appeals
  • Units Shipped Notification
  • 2-Way Communication

Your text message needs to deliver value.  Blasting out 155 characters of we need you just isn’t enough. We must think about the future and keep our donors engaged and talking to you via text, so don’t burn them out with “We’ll be at this location on Tuesday” type of messages.

Appointment Reminders – We’ve seen as high as a 17% lift in show rates when donors receive a text reminder in conjunction with their email and live call reminders. 

Drive cancellations, promotions, appeals, and units shipped are easy and when done right, are simply game changers.

2-way texting is, in my opinion, the future of donor communication.  When I need a dentist appointment, a wake-up call at the Marriott, a haircut, or even when I want to order a pizza, I text.  We, as an industry, need to get there and bring our donors along with us.  The interface for 2-way text is very similar to web chat and it allows a Conversational Marketing Expert (CME) here at Incept to have a full conversation with a donor…via text!  If texting becomes too much, too difficult, or too complex, a simple click and we are on the phone live with the donor to continue the conversation.

Think about how you are using text.  How are your donors using text? And think about the future of your communication plan.  Are you prepared?  Be strategic in your approach.  Talk to other centers and partners.  Determine best practices and invite your donors to come along with you!  By now, every interaction, email, BDR, and phone call should include an opt-in for texting permission.  Once you’ve received permission, create a plan and talk…I mean text the way your donors want to communicate!