• Presentation

Results of Mailing Experiments Aimed at Maximizing Self-Administered Web Participation


Franklin, J. W., Wine, J. S., & Cominole, M. B. (2009, May). Results of Mailing Experiments Aimed at Maximizing Self-Administered Web Participation. Presented at AAPOR 2009, .


Data collection designs that include self-administered web interviewing allow studies to capitalize on the reduced time and costs associated with collecting data over the web. In recent years, as access to high-speed internet connections has improved, and with people becoming more comfortable using the internet for personal transactions, sample members are increasingly more willing to complete interviews via self-administered web mode. To take full advantage of this technology, researchers continue to evaluate strategies that encourage sample members’ participation via the web. RTI International’s Education Studies Division (ESD) conducts many large scale studies of postsecondary students that utilize a multimode data collection design that includes self-administered, CATI and CAPI modes of data collection. The typical design provides for an initial 3 or 4 week period at the beginning of the data collection that is geared towards maximizing self-administered web participation. Early participation benefits sample members as they are eligible to receive the largest incentive offer for completing the interview during this time period. In addition, early participation benefits projects by reducing the cases that require the more costly CATI and CAPI follow-up efforts. In an effort to maximize early web completion and reduce overall data collection costs, several recent ESD experiments have focused on identifying the most cost effective package for sending the initial lead letter to sample members. These experiments have compared USPS Priority Mail envelopes against regular business envelopes and oversized business envelopes. This poster/brief will look at the costs and benefits of using each type of package, as well as provide a summary of the experiment results and our future plans.