Ask the average person on the street what they know about clinical research trials, and the most likely response will be a blank stare. Even worse, you may find that he has picked up some erroneous ideas about trials and thinks that they use humans as “guinea pigs” for potentially dangerous drugs. Education should be a much bigger part of the clinical trial recruitment process; when people really understand the opportunity being extended to them, they often respond with enthusiasm. Here are some easy ways that you can dispel rumors while recruiting:
A Personal Approach
Whatever a potential volunteer thinks about research trials, if your mailer presents a friendly, warm, personal impression, he will see your site as approachable. Think of your mailer as a chance to “reset” the recipient’s view of clinical research by engaging with him on the personal level. The first step in this direction is addressing the mailer personally instead of using a generic designation. The second step is a mailer design that reflects the quality, trustworthiness, and professionalism of your site.
Access to Information
A clinical trial recruitment mailer that is full of text will quickly exhaust the attention of the reader, but you do want to provide answers to the reader’s questions. An innovative way to do that is to include a URL and/or a QR code linked to online content. This can be in the form of a FAQ section, video, or even a live chat. A particular advantage of the QR code is its immediacy—a recipient with a smartphone can respond right away, before time and daily responsibilities crowd the mailer out of his memory.
The best clinical trial recruitment campaigns are supported by ongoing efforts to give the site a great profile in the community. The more people know about your work beforehand, the more enthusiastic they will be when you contact them to ask about volunteering.