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dkms agency

Helping DKMS
save lives

Effective direct mail marketing to help this charity in their fight against blood cancer.


Every 20 minutes, someone in the UK is diagnosed with blood cancer – it is the third most common cancer death. In the UK, international blood cancer charity DKMS has recruited 300k potential stem cell donors but where donors are ‘matched’ there is a strong likelihood of attrition – largely due to lack of engagement, old contact information or physical inability to donate. It was therefore critical to begin directly re-engaging the supporter base.

We followed up our re-engagement campaign with ‘Refer a friend’ activity, to boost the donor base further using leveraging the awareness and advocacy of existing registrants.

Re-engagement direct mail
charity direct mail agency



BURN devised a highly emotive direct mail pack and email, aimed at reigniting interest and initiating regular communications with DKMS ‘lifesavers’ (the registered donor base in the UK). They key message ‘Please don’t forget’ was concise and pragmatic and underlined by the key visual of a swab tied in a knot - the object most likely to be remembered from when the donor initially registered and did a swab test.

Refer a friend

We devised a suite of comms including direct mail, email and social posts to help current registrants refer others.

retention email
re-engagement mail
Re-engagement mail



The campaign has surpassed all its initial targets and achieved nearly 30k address updates, an average open rate of 45% for email and a whopping click-through rate of 84% (which compares to the charity sector average of 4.31%).

Refer a friend

This activity has so far driven nearly 10,000 new registrants/contact detail updates.

refer a friend driect mail
Refer-a-friend driect mail
member get member marketing
Refer-a-friend email


‘Working with the team at BURN has been a real pleasure. They approached our challenge with a great deal of conceptual breadth and strategic strength. As a result, our campaign has performed beyond expectations’

Jonny McKay – Campaigns Manager, DKMS