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Patient Recruitment; Eight Seconds To Take Off!

Simon Klaasen
5162 (updated: 14-10-2015 15:23)
12-10-2015 21:16

According to a recent Microsoft report the average human attention span has dwindled from 12 seconds in 2000 to only 8 seconds in 2013. That is even less than a goldfish! These 8 seconds are very important because the average visitor of your website or portal will leave if he doesn’t find the information he is looking for in this very short timeframe.

It has already been mentioned in an article we have published before; the Internet is replacing traditional media as a relevant information source faster and faster. Online media will be the most important news source, with social networks taking on an increasingly large role in people's news consumption. It is only a matter of time before you will rely on online media to reach out to people who want to participate in clinical trials.

Let me explain to you what these 8 seconds mean for patient recruitment and what you can do to capture the attention of your website visitors by following 3 simple rules.

For patient recruitment it is essential to get your message across to the right audience, build trust with your audience and convince your audience to participate in your trial. If you get these three right, then commitment and relationship building will follow more easily. Remember: you only got 8 seconds to capture the attention of your audience!

Rule 1: Know your audience

The protocol will tell you on which criteria to select people for your trial but it doesn’t teach you anything about who these people really are. Where do they live? How do they live? What are they interested in? When and where do they look for information? If you cannot answer these questions then you will run the risk of sending your message to the wrong audience through the wrong channels in the wrong format. They will see your message but do not recognize it as relevant to them.

Make an effort to understand where your audience is coming from and how to reach them. It will be worth your while!

Rule 2: Use a language people understand

You may know and understand all the ins and outs of our industry and clinical trials, but your audience doesn’t. Like in any other profession we tend to use a lot of jargon when we talk, but our audience is not familiar with that. It is also in the industry’s nature to be very cautious about what and how we say things. The reason for that is that on one hand we do not want to create false expectations about the potential benefits of a new drug. On the other hand we also don’t want to scare of people because of the potential risks. This can lead to unclear information. If people don’t understand the information you are sharing and/or if the information is not clear enough, people will not trust you. And if they don’t trust you, you will never convince them to participate in your trial.

Make it a point to use language and words your audience understands. Think about yourself dealing with a field of expertise you are not familiar with. Wouldn't you want someone to explain the situation in clear and simple terms? You should also try to stay away from text-heavy content. It is better to break up the information you want to share in smaller bits, supported by images and/or video.

Rule 3: Make sure your audience can find the information

This may be an obvious rule, but too often I have seen trial information published so deep in websites and portals, that it felt like you were not supposed to find it. Again; you only have 8 seconds to capture your audience's attention. Your website is not an adventure game, where the visitor needs to push his limits to find your treasured information.

Make sure there is a straight line from your home page to the trial information. And before you publish anything, make sure the information set is complete, that all links are functional, and that there is a quick and simple way available to contact you directly.

Like and Share this article and let me know if I caught your attention well within 8 seconds.

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