Identifying ways to efficiently maximize the response rate to surveys is important to survey-based research. However, evidence on the response rate effect of donation incentives and especially altruistic and egotistic-type text appeal interventions is sparse and ambiguous. By a randomized survey experiment among 6,162 members of an online survey panel, this article shows how low-cost incentives and cost-free text appeal interventions may impact the survey response rate in online panels. The experimental treatments comprise (a) a cash prize lottery incentive, (b) two donation incentives equating survey response with a monetary donation to a good cause, (c) an egotistic-type text appeal, and (d) an altruistic-type text appeal. Relative to a control group, we find higher response rates among the recipients of the egotistic-type text appeal and the lottery incentive. Donation incentives yield lower response rates.
Pedersen, M. J., & Nielsen, C. V. (2016). Improving Survey Response Rates in Online Panels: Effects of Low-Cost Incentives and Cost-Free Text Appeal Interventions. Social Science Computer Review, 34(2), 229-243. DOI: 10.1177/0894439314563916
Mogens Jin Pedersen, SFI
Christian Videbæk Nielsen
|Month of publish||April 2016|
|Published in||Social Science Computer Review|
|Department||Vulnerable Children, Day Care and Schooling|
|keywords||Theory and methods|