On account of the serious complications of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and the improved treatment possibilities, the need to improve HCV awareness and case-finding is increasingly recognized. To optimize a future national campaign with this objective, three pilot campaigns were executed in three regions in The Netherlands. One campaign was aimed at the general population, a second (similar) campaign was extended with a support programme for primary care and a third campaign was specifically aimed at hard-drug users. Data from the pilot campaigns were used to build a mathematical model to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of the different campaigns. The campaign aimed at the general public without support for primary care did not improve case-finding and was therefore not cost-effective. The similar campaign accompanied by additional support for primary care and the campaign aimed at hard-drug users emerged as cost-effective interventions for identification of HCV carriers.