Only incentives increase response rates?

In a study organised by a New Zealand marketing research agency that conducted omnibus surveys using CATI, a measure of the effectiveness of ‘introductions’ upon response rates was made. Four introduction elements were tested: an incentive (prize draw for a weekend holiday); an assurance that the survey was not a sales pitch; an assurance of confidentiality; and a short versus longer description of the survey topic. Overall, only the prize draw incentive significantly increased the response rate. In combination, the best result and the only one to achieve a significantly higher response rate was the use of the incentive coupled with a ‘no-sales’ assurance. The use of the incentive did not appear to encourage people to lie about their eligibility as participants.

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