If you’re reading this post, chances are you’ve been tasked with recruiting patients for a clinical trial, treatment regimen, or research project, and you’re trying to figure out how to optimize performance.
You’re not alone. Recruiting and engaging with patients of all kinds is widely regarded as one of the biggest hurdles that researchers face, with 20% of clinical trials never even recruiting a single patient.
Fear not. The 5 tips below will put you ahead of the curve and on the right track to building the best foundation for a timely and effective recruitment campaign.
IRB Approvals: Diversify Messages, Early and Often
The first step to onboarding any new participant, is to generate a few messages that you think will resonate with your target audience and then begin testing those messages. While you may think you know what messages will resonate, you’ll never know until you begin tracking and gauging their engagement levels. By generating and approving multiple messages in advance, you can begin A/B testing those messages without the hassle of waiting on your IRB (or worse, your sponsor’s IRB) for approval. Continue to tweak and approve your messages as your campaign continues, optimizing for which posts, tweets, emails, subject lines, and topics work best.
Optimize Your Landing Page, Decrease Your Bounce Rate
Surprise! That free landing page you made with big walls of text, no discernable call to action, and a compilation of stock image patients enthusiastically shaking the hands of lab coat wearing models? It’s not working. More importantly, it might be working against you. While you were out burning money on an adwords campaigns, the patients who may have joined your trial were losing trust. Think simple, think concise, and think how your patients would think when being asked to turn over personal, contact, and health information.
Channel Marketing: Fire On All Cylinders
If you don’t have a contingency plan for the contingency plan of your contingency plan, then you’re probably not planning enough. There’s a reason that pair of shoes in your Amazon shopping cart is following you and there’s a reason the world’s top marketing agencies don’t just make a Facebook page for their customers and call it a day. I’m not suggesting that you execute a full scale media buy or that you approach a marketing company for help (most are paid based on how much of your money they can spend, not the results), but it might be wise to borrow some of their practices. Diversify your media mix and recruitment strategies and you can more effectively capitalize on the ones that work.
Outsource, Outsource, Outsource!
When in doubt, outsource. As pharma sponsors continue to generate and outsource more and more complex protocols to CROs, and CROs in turn have more influence on study design, outsourcing clinical recruitment has become as essential as the planning and implementation itself. Not a patient recruitment professional? Outsource your recruitment. Having trouble designing an effective landing page? Outsource your technology. High screen fail rates? Outsource your screening. Not sure how to outsource? We’ll show you how.
Data Is Your Friend
Every touchpoint with a patient is an opportunity to gather data, learn, and iterate on your process. There’s no time like today to start integrating google analytics, tracking your engagement levels, and developing new insights into your recruitment process. Here’s an easy way to get started: pick one metric to track week over week and try to optimize that metric by 5-10% week over week. This should begin to show you the value of tracking data and as you start to explore the tools and tracking mechanisms that are available, you might consider asking an expert for help. Remember – outsource, outsource, outsource!