Straight from the horse’s mouth

Right Time, Right Channel, Right Message: Getting Cross-Channel Marketing Very, Very Right

Never before has the power of cross-channel and mobile app messaging been more apparent than when it – quite literally – saves lives.

The heartbeat of the nation

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood, simply known as Lifeblood, are responsible for collecting and providing life-giving blood, plasma, transplantation and biological products for world-leading health outcomes. They serve over 25 million people stretched across 7 million square kilometres and their history goes back more than 90 years.

Lifeblood coordinates over half a million donors annually to change the lives of millions of recipients through donated blood and plasma.  This includes emergency trauma victims to cancer patients, surgical patients, organ and bone marrow transplants, anaemic sufferers and pregnant women. It is estimated that every blood donation can save up to three lives. Australia needs over 1.7 million donations every year to meet demand: that’s three every minute.

The vision of Lifeblood is simple: to provide life-giving essence to support the everyday wellbeing of all Australians.

Cross-channel in-app and push messaging

Lifeblood requires a complex and customised technology ecosystem to meet the bespoke needs of the organisation. To meet the demand for blood and plasma, a huge number of appointments need to be booked and attended (33,000 every week), and donors need to arrive fully prepared to donate. An important tool to achieve this is their mobile app, which was launched in early 2019. One of the app’s main goals was to grow donation frequency whilst encouraging donors to self-serve and manage their appointments.

Fast forward to now and the majority of Lifeblood’s digital appointments are now made on their mobile app.

The app was the first step. The next step? Powerful, cross-channel in-app and push messaging to take it to the next level.

Can an app save lives? Turns out, it can.

Right time, right channel, right messaging

It’s all about the right time, right channel, right message. This is where mobile app messaging comes into the picture.

One issue that Lifeblood faces on a day-to-day basis is donors not attending their appointments. Also it’s important that when a donor does show up, they are fully prepped to ensure that their donation goes smoothly. Every donation is critical, so having an empty chair on the day can have a huge impact.

Lifeblood already had a great multi-channel appointment confirmation and reminder automated journey in place, which involves email and SMS messaging. Layering in mobile app messaging into this flow was the next logical step.

The aim of this messaging strategy was to:

·  remind donors about their upcoming appointment, which was only 3 hours away, to maximise chances of them attending

·  provide donors with necessary preparation information to increase their chances of a successful donation

Of those who were eligible to receive push notifications and had an upcoming appointment, a 50/50 A/B test split was implemented and monitored over the space of several months. The variant cohort received a push notification which then took them to in-app messages to prompt them of their preparation requirements, and the control cohort received no mobile app messaging.

And the results?

The test variant, which included the additional reminder notification using mobile app messaging, was identified as the winner! Various metrics were assessed, and the ultimate goal was to ensure successful donations. The cohort who received the mobile app messaging had:

·  A higher attendance rate

·  A higher successful collection rate

Due to the success of this campaign, all eligible donors will receive a push notification from the Lifeblood app three hours before they donate.

The Lifeblood team continues to focus on optimising, growing and expanding their personalised cross-channel communications program to fulfil their life-giving purpose.