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Probability based postal recruitment into longitudinal on-line panels. The effects of personalization and incentives.

Conference contribution
Authors Johan Martinsson
Published in AAPOR conference, Boston
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Political Science
Language en
Keywords survey methodology, web panels, recruitment
Subject categories Political Science, Statistics


This study examines the feasibility of probability based recruitment into longitudinal on-line panels through postal invitations. The study explores the effect of three factors: personalization, incentives and reminders. Further, the study uses a factorial design allowing us to explore interactions between for example incentives and personalization. The aim of the study is to find the most cost-efficient way to recruit a reasonably representative probability sample. Since this large scale study involves as many as 29 000 post cards being sent to a probability sample of the Swedish population from the national population register, we are able to analyze both the effect on the recruitment rate of personalization, incentives and of reminders, but also the effect on the actual demographic and attitudinal representativeness of those recruited from different kinds of postal invitations. Further, due to the excellent Swedish population register we also have access to register data on marital status, age, sex, children, citizenship, country of origin and more for all individuals included in our random samples, and not only in the aggregate. This allows us to carefully check which demographic groups respond stronger (or weaker) to the factors examined in this study. All in all, three main outcomes are examined: recruitment rates, representativeness, and the cost of recruitment. Finally, we also check the long-term effect of different recruitments after the respondents participate in their first large scale survey after the initial recruitment survey approximately one month later.

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