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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Intensifying the Request: Results from an Experiment on Improving Internet Response Rates for Address-based Samples of the General Public
Year 2012
Access date 30.06.2012

Recent research has shown that using a web+mail survey design (i.e. offering web first, followed by a mail alternative) with a token cash incentive can obtain responses from about half the sampled respondents, two-thirds of which use the web to respond, in statewide and regional surveys of addressbased samples of households (Messer & Dillman 2011; Smyth et. al., 2010). The proposed paper builds on this research in two ways to improve web methods for conducting general public surveys. First, we seek to determine whether the web+mail design is as effective in Alabama and Pennsylvania, two states in the U.S. located far from the survey sponsor state, Washington, and that have different population characteristics and response rates to the American Community Survey. Second, we test a new variation of the web+mail design – 2web+mail – aimed at pushing more respondents to the web. Previous research using web+mail informed respondents in advance that a mail follow-up would be sent at a later date, and also included a token cash incentive with both the initial web and the mail follow-up requests. In the 2web+mail design, we withheld the advanced notice of a mail follow-up and provided the incentives only in the web requests in an effort to convince more respondents to use the web as opposed to waiting for the mail follow-up. The experiment permits response rate and demographic comparisons to be made between the mail-only, web+mail, and 2web+mail designs in the three states. Results indicate that the substantial state disparities exist, particularly in the effectiveness of using the web. In addition, the 2web+mail design may be more effective at increasing the proportion of web respondents compared to web+mail, but also at a cost of lower overall response rates and a less demographically representative sample.

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Year of publication2012
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations

Web survey bibliography - The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) 67th Annual Conference, 2012 (50)