• Presentation

Examining the Effectiveness of Telephone Prompting in Increasing Self-Administered Web Participation


Franklin, J. W., Gilligan, T. M., Serling, H. L., & Paoli, N. R. (2005, May). Examining the Effectiveness of Telephone Prompting in Increasing Self-Administered Web Participation. Presented at International Field Directors and Technologies Conference, Miami Beach, FL.


In recent years, survey research has seen dramatic increases in studies employing self-administered Web methodology as part of their data collection plan. Whether implemented as the primary mode of data collection or combined with other modes, self-administered Web data collection offers many advantages over the traditional face-to-face and telephone interviewing modes of data collection. Foremost among those benefits is the decreased costs associated with collecting interviews in a self-reported format. This paper will analyze the procedures and results of an experiment conducted to determine the effectiveness of telephone prompting calls in increasing self-administered Web participation rates. For this study, the field test sample of approximately 2,600 adults was mailed a lead letter announcing the start of data collection. The letter included the URL and a study ID number and password combination needed to access the case-specific interview. The letter also indicated the 4-week deadline for qualifying to receive a $30 incentive for completing the interview. When available, email notification providing the same information also occurred. The experiment involved randomly dividing the sample into a control group (n=1,300) and an experimental group (n=1,300) to receive a telephone call prompting them to complete the interview. The hypothesis was that supplementing the mail activities with telephone prompting calls would provide better access to selected sample members and result in increased self-administration Web participation. At the end of the 4-week period, the participation rates were examined to determine whether the prompting calls proved effective in increasing self-administration Web participation.