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Description and Key take-away(s)

A local county in Sweden wanted to increase blood donations. They tested sending a text message to a previous donor whenever the blood donated is used for a patient.

This is a very nice and powerful way of both increasing the incentives for a previous donor to donate again and triggering the act of planning a blood donation.


This is an excellent example of a creative and effective Positive Reinforcer that will drive an increase in repeated behaviors.

ICAR analysis (link)

ICAR FrameworkNote: Only the relevant dimensions of the ICAR Behavior Analysis Framework are commented below. To discover the complete framework click here (or click on the image to see an overview).



The reception of the text messages is sure to make recipients feel good about themselves. Since self-esteem modulation is a very strong non-monetary incentive, this makes recipients more likely to donate again in the anticipation of receiving another boost of increased self-esteem.

Choice Architecture

Contextual persuasion and copy

Concreteness in the message copy is very efficient. The blood was used on a specific day for a patient, and the text message is not the generic “Thank you” message sent by most blood banks, but which lacks any concrete info.




Reception of the text message some time after the initial blood donation is a prompt that is implicitly pushing its recipients to think about scheduling another blood donation again. It’s not an active nor an explicit prompt, but acts like one nonetheless.


Positive Reinforcers

This text message acts fully as a positive reinforcers that will drive increased repeated behaviors. Should the blood bank decide at a later stage to send a real prompt to these recipients, explicitly asking for them to donate blood again, then they will be much more likely to repeat their behavior and donate.


Blood donors in Sweden get a text message whenever their blood saves someone’s life

(Image Source:

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About the Author:

Julien Le Nestour
Applied behavioral scientist & international consultant — I am using the results and latest advances from the behavioral sciences—specifically behavioral economics—to help companies solve strategic issues. I am working with both start-ups and Fortune 500 groups, and across industries, though I have specific domain knowledge in banking, asset management, B2B and consumer IT, SAAS and e-commerce industries.

One Comment

  1. Kevin Basik 12/23/2019 at 5:20 am - Reply

    Do we know the results of the blood use notification initiative?

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