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Title Innovative Retention Methods in Panel Research: Can SmartPhones Improve Long-Term Panel Participation?
Year 2013
Access date 30.05.2013

Minimizing participant attrition is vital to the success of longitudinal panel research. One such example of longitudinal panel study conducted by ICF is the National Recreational Boating Survey (NRBS), sponsored by the U. S. Coast Guard to ensure that the public has safe, secure, and enjoyable recreational boating experiences. Specifically, the NRBS Program enables the Coast Guard to better identify safety priorities and coordinate and focus research efforts. The project features a several components, one such being the “Trip Panel.” The Trip Panel is designed to capture actual exposure to recreational boating. This panel was recruited via dualframe, dual-mode (Random Digit Dial telephone and mail) and has been in place for over a year. Respondent contact information includes e-mail address, mailing address, and telephone. In many cases, the provided contact number is a mobile device. This presentation will explore ICF researchers’ quest to improve panel retention though the introduction of a smartphone application that engages respondents in between survey waves by allowing them to communicate changes in contact information and even provide survey responses via smartphone rather than via the Web or traditional telephone. Active panelists who provide cell phone contact information will be randomly assigned to receive standard retention communications via mail, phone and e-mail (control) or alternate retention communications via a smartphone application and text message/SMS (treatment). The communications application for the treatment group includes study updates, various interactive communications, and minisurveys. ICF researchers will analyze the differences in control and treatment panel retention over a six-month period. We will also survey panelists’ willingness to sign-on for another annual wave of the panel as well as their overall satisfaction with panel participation as an indicator of long-term continued participation.

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Year of publication2013
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations

Web survey bibliography (4086)