Using direct mail to promote organ donor registration: Two campaigns and a meta-analysis

Thomas H. Feeley, Brian L. Quick, Seyoung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Two direct mail campaigns were undertaken in Rochester and Buffalo, New York, with the goal of enrolling adults aged 50-64 years into the state organ and tissue donation electronic registry. Meta-analytic methods were used to summarize the body of research on the effects of direct mail marketing to promote organ donation registration. Methods: In the first study, 40 000 mailers were sent to targeted adults in Rochester, New York, and varied by brochure-only, letter-only, and letter plus brochure mailing conditions. A follow-up mailer using letter-only was sent to 20 000 individuals in Buffalo, New York area. In a second study, campaign results were combined with previously published direct mail campaigns in a random-effects meta-analysis. Results: The overall registration rates were 1.6% and 4.6% for the Rochester and Buffalo campaigns, and the letter-only condition outperformed the brochure-only and letter plus brochure conditions in the Rochester area campaigns. Meta-analysis indicated a 3.3% registration rates across 15 campaigns and 329 137 targeted individuals. Registration rates were higher when targeting 18-year-olds and when direct mail letters were authored by officials affiliated with state departments. Conclusion: Use of direct mail to promote organ donor registration is an inexpensive method to increase enrollments in state registries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1564-1569
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • campaigns
  • direct mail
  • meta-analysis
  • organ donation
  • registration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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