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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Early-bird Incentives: Results From an Experiment to Determine Response Rate and Cost Effects
Year 2016
Access date 09.06.2016
It is well documented that incentives can help achieve high response rates by increasing the sample members’ propensity to respond. By significantly reducing reminder efforts, incentive payments can help contain costs for the researcher while sharing monetary benefits with the participants. As part of the web-based follow-up survey of dislocated workers for the Self-Employment Training Demonstration for the U.S. Department of Labor, we
conducted an experiment to determine the appropriate incentive amount to offer to survey respondents. During the first four months of the follow-up survey, sample members were randomized into three groups and offered either (1) a $50 incentive for completing within four weeks and $25 thereafter; (2) a $25 incentive for completing regardless of timing; or (3) no monetary incentive. In addition to measuring the effect on response rates and timing, we set out to determine whether early-bird incentives could lower the cost per completion by encouraging faster response, thereby reducing the need for additional follow-up. In this paper, we summarize key features of the incentive experiment and our fielding efforts. We found that offering incentive payments significantly increased response rates and encouraged respondents to complete the survey sooner, resulting in a lower average cost per completed survey, particularly for the graduated $50/$25 incentive scheme. After implementing the graduated incentive payment scheme across all participants, we are seeing higher response rates, faster survey completion, and lower costs per completed survey, suggesting wider benefits for similar web surveys.
Year of publication2016
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations