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"Red flags" in Clinical trial Communication

When creating content to market your clinical trial, it’s vital to write appropriately to the audience at hand -- and more importantly, the audience’s email spam filters. Certain words and writing styles can automatically send your content into the junk folder or discourage potential referrals from reading further.

Red Flags in Subject lines

As you create marketing campaigns and clinical trial content, remember your target audience and how they will interpret everything you write.

This is especially important in your subject lines, as these are often the first impression potential referrals will have of your company and your research. Avoid “red flag” subjects such as:

  1. “You’re a match for (clinical research opportunity).” These kinds of subjects tend to come across as spammy, and don’t give your recruits much to go off of.

  2. “Exciting Opportunity for (clinical research).” While this might potentially draw some people in, it’s more likely to come off as being a bit questionable and will most often be dismissed as junk mail.

  3. Any long subject lines detailing the research opportunity in full -- the longer your subject line is the less legitimate your research tends to look to the average participant.

Instead, let your subject be clear and concise. Remind the participant of whatever survey or research application form you’ve gotten their information from, and treat even your first contact as a follow up to their previously expressed interest. Try subjects such as:

  1. “Your eligibility for (clinical research opportunity).”

  2. Thank you for your interest in (clinical research opportunity).

  3. (clinical research opportunity) follow up details

These ideas offer clarity, and avoid the gimmicky “gotcha” subjects that tend to get ignored by potential participants.

Adding Value

As you craft your content beyond the subject line, your focus should always be on adding value to the participant’s experience. Do not send any content or outreach materials that just fill the space in someone’s inbox. Every interaction you have with a recruit, even through mass automated emails, should accomplish some of the following goals as a rule of thumb.

  1. Giving information about the research opportunity at hand, and explaining why the research is important in a broader context.

  2. Telling the participant about your company, your company’s values, and giving background information on any brands or other clinical research companies you are working on for this study.

  3. Providing relevant content on either the participant’s particular health concerns or general wellness, or on clinical research participation as a whole.

As you modify your trial's communication and content, don't be afraid to test out multiple options at once to see which kinds of content perform best, and which details draw in the most recruits. This can be as simple as trialing a few different subject lines on mass emails, or as in depth as revamping content and backlinking to other research and seeing what the most people respond to.

Want to Learn More?

In addition to keeping you up to date on all things clinical trials, we also act as a digital CRO with a specific focus on patient recruitment and retention. We believe that patient recruitment and study startup (especially study design and study material) are heavily intertwined. After all, study design can make or break clinical trials, and the patient-perspective should be considered when designing studies to ensure that patient targets are met not only on time, but also on budget.

For Citruslabs, patient recruitment starts with study design and ends with trial completion. We recruit patients through our network of health apps, which enables you to connect with thousands of patients in real time. The best part: these patients are already educated and prepared for the clinical trial process.

If you’d like to hear more about what we do, go here to read about what sets us apart, or here to read what our patients have to say about us.


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