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Response Rate and Response Quality of Internet-Based Surveys: An Experimental Study


Author Info

  • Elisabeth Deutskens


  • Ko de Ruyter


  • Martin Wetzels


  • Paul Oosterveld



This study examines the effect of the timing of follow-ups, different incentives, length, and presentation of the questionnaire on the response rate and response quality in an online experimental setting. The results show that short questionnaires have a higher response rate, although long questionnaires still generate a surprisingly high response. Furthermore, vouchers seem to be the most effective incentive in long questionnaires, while lotteries are more efficient in short surveys. A follow-up study revealed that lotteries with small prizes, but a higher chance of winning are most effective in increasing the response rate. Enhancing questionnaires with visual elements, such as product images, lead to a higher response quality and generate interesting interaction effects with the length of the questionnaire and the incentives used. Finally, the timing of the follow-up has no significant influence on the response rate.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Marketing Letters.

Volume (Year): 15 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 21-36

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Handle: RePEc:kap:mktlet:v:15:y:2004:i:1:p:21-36

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Cited by:
  1. Toepoel, V. & Das, J.W.M. & Soest, A.H.O. van, 2005. "Design of Web Questionnaires: A Test for Number of Items per Screen," Discussion Paper 2005-114, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Elisabeth Deutskens & Ad Jong & Ko Ruyter & Martin Wetzels, 2006. "Comparing the generalizability of online and mail surveys in cross-national service quality research," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 119-136, April.
  3. Ragona, M. & Raley, M. & Sijtsema, S.J. & Frewer, L.J., 2013. "Better communication for successful food technology development: A Delphi study," 2013 Second Congress, June 6-7, 2013, Parma, Italy 151597, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA).
  4. Aleksandra Gajic & David Cameron & Jeremiah Hurley, 2012. "The cost-effectiveness of cash versus lottery incentives for a web-based, stated-preference community survey," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 13(6), pages 789-799, December.
  5. Bader, Benjamin & Berg, Nicola, 2013. "An Empirical Investigation of Terrorism-induced Stress on Expatriate Attitudes and Performance," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 163-175.
  6. Toepoel, V. & Dillman, D.A., 2008. "Words, Numbers and Visual Heuristics in Web Surveys: Is there a Hierarchy of Importance?," Discussion Paper 2008-92, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. Francisco Muñoz-Leiva & Juan Sánchez-Fernández & Francisco Montoro-Ríos & José Ibáñez-Zapata, 2010. "Improving the response rate and quality in Web-based surveys through the personalization and frequency of reminder mailings," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 44(5), pages 1037-1052, August.
  8. Srinivasan, V. "Seenu" & Netzer, Oded, 2007. "Adaptive Self-Explication of Multi-attribute Preferences," Research Papers 1979, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  9. Piela, Jonas, 2011. "The social network's influences on individual performance," Discussion Papers 12/2011, Witten/Herdecke University, Faculty of Management and Economics.
  10. B. Weijters & M. Geuens & N. Schillewaert, 2008. "The Stability of Individual Response Styles," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 08/547, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  11. Juan Sánchez-Fernández & Francisco Muñoz-Leiva & Francisco Montoro-Ríos & José Ibáñez-Zapata, 2010. "An analysis of the effect of pre-incentives and post-incentives based on draws on response to web surveys," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 357-373, February.
  12. Jeffrey Schmidt & Roger Calantone & Abbie Griffin & Mitzi Montoya-Weiss, 2005. "Do Certified Mail Third-Wave Follow-ups Really Boost Response Rates and Quality?," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 129-141, April.
  13. Lusk, Jayson L., 2012. "The political ideology of food," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 530-542.
  14. Seger, R. & Franses, Ph.H.B.F., 2007. "Panel design effects on response rates and response quality," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2007-29, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  15. Sauermann, Henry & Roach, Michael, 2013. "Increasing web survey response rates in innovation research: An experimental study of static and dynamic contact design features," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 273-286.


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