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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Does Embedding a Survey Question in the Survey Invi tation E-mail Affect Response Rates? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment
Year 2016
Access date 02.06.2016

Web survey invitations are most commonly sent to potential respondents via an e-mail request for participation. The flexibility and rapid innovation possible in e-mail and online survey technologies means that novel approaches for recruiting respondents are continually being developed. In much of this research, the most important outcome metric evaluated is the survey response rate. Low survey response rates are an important driver of increased costs and longer field periods in survey data collection. Identifying and developing strategies for reducing nonresponse is critical to keeping survey costs in check and making survey research efficient. The results of this study suggest that embedding the first question of a web survey in the invitation e-mail may be an effective strategy for increasing response rates. The results of a randomized experiment on over 3300 respondents suggest that the embedded survey question method increased the survey start rate by over 33% (3.5 percentage points) and the final response rate by over 30% (nearly 2 percentage points). These results of this study support prior work demonstrating the influence of design features of the survey invitation on participation. They also provide empirical evidence of the potential for removing barriers to participation to affect response rates. Both survey start rates and completion rates were dramatically increased by reducing the number of steps that the respondent is required to take between making the decision to participation and responding to the first survey question. These findings will be of value to researchers that employ e-mail invitations to web surveys.


Year of publication2016
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations