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A clinical trial recruitment plan can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. It can be as basic as sending out a plain-text postcard with an announcement of a trial and a phone number to call for more information. The truth, however, is that the affordability of such a campaign is a myth. The trade-off for the fact that your postcard doesn’t cost very much to print and mail out is that it won’t get much attention from readers. A low response rate will lead to costly delays and before long, you’ll be back at the drawing board coming up with another strategy.
A Clinical Trial Recruitment Plan with Teeth
While some elements of your clinical trial recruitment plan can and should be simple, the overall strategy should be multi-faceted and long-term. Remember that basic text postcard? Instead, your direct mail recruitment piece should be large, beautifully designed with eye-catching images and headlines, and personally addressed to the member of the household for whom it is intended. Those features are not “extras;” they all make it much more likely that the potential volunteer will process the information in the mailer and call or email to respond.
Clinical Trial Recruitment Plan: The Prelude
Before your mailers even go out, members of your community should already know about your research organization. You should have a history of volunteering at schools and health fairs, participating in benefit runs and walks, and interacting with the community via social media. These activities, boosted by a recognizable logo and message, will make you a familiar face when your clinical trial recruitment plan kicks off.
Clinical Trial Recruitment Plan: The Postlude
As one clinical trial ends, it is time to anticipate the next one. Reinforce your relationships with your trial volunteers by following up with them some time later to see how they are doing, emailing them on birthdays and major holidays, and publishing an e-newsletter with updates about your organization. Maintaining contact with past volunteers pays off in the form of great word-of-mouth advertisement.
Don’t worry if this picture of a comprehensive clinical trial recruitment plan sounds like too much for your research site to pull off. Our agency exists to help research organizations just like yours plan and execute highly effective strategies to attract qualified trial volunteers. We look forward to explaining our offerings in more detail and helping you staff your trials more quickly than ever before!