Why Use a Clinical Trial Recruitment Plan Template?

Clinical trial patient recruitment is one of the most costly parts of running a clinical trial. An increase in the use of digital media for trial promotion has offered more options, but if it isn't done well, it can lead to wasted spend and recruitment delays.

Recruitment costs typically account for around a third of clinical trial spending. Common factors that increase trial costs include:

  • Pricey outreach methods
  • Ineligible patient leads
  • Nonresponsive patients

Starting with a clinical trial recruitment plan can help mitigate common challenges by improving your ad targeting and strategy.

Improving eligibility and reducing costs through research

One of the most important steps of recruitment planning is conducting thorough research into the patient population your trial will reach. Even if you've run trials for a particular condition area before, nuances in protocol can make it more difficult – or easier – to reach eligible patients.

Before you choose your ad targeting and platforms, answer these questions about your patient population:

  • Demographic details: Does this condition disproportionately impact certain groups?
  • What are the most challenging parts of living with this condition?
  • What barriers to clinical trial participation does this patient population face?
  • How would better treatment options improve quality of life for this patient population?

Developing a deeper understanding of who your ads aim to reach can help improve your ad targeting as well as your outreach materials.

Planning for creative success

After you've conducted your patient population research, the next step is to plan your ad targeting and creative for your trial. Based on your research, outline ad targeting categories, such as keywords and interests for Facebook targeting, and details that you would like to test out when you launch your campaigns. Besides Facebook, there are additional social media platforms you can consider advertising through, based on your patient population.

Next, draft outreach materials, using imagery and language based on your research. Consider how patients talk about their own condition and the terminology they use to help ensure your ads communicate your message as clearly as possible.

In your creative options, you may also want to include variations that go into more detail around what clinical trials involve. Studies show that while 71% of people are either “very” or “somewhat” willing to participate in a trial, there are also a lot of knowledge gaps around what's involved in clinical research. Knowledge about trials also varies based on condition area – for example, patients in the rare disease community may be more aware of trial opportunities than those with more treatment options.

You can also use your research to select appropriate imagery for your trial. Be sure that your selected imagery aligns with the diversity of your patient population. Including images that capture symptoms or another part of the patient experience can also be engaging in digital and print ads.

Taken together, the imagery and copy of your ads should inspire trust in your patient population, encouraging them to take the next step. When you create ads based on thorough research, you're more likely to create engaging content that helps you reach your goals.

Looking for more guidance? Download our free clinical trial patient recruitment plan template for more tips on crafting a plan that will effectively connect with patients.