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The Impact of Advance Letters on Cellphone Response in a Statewide Dual-Frame Survey

Aizpurúa, E. ORCID: 0000-0001-7045-5535, Park, K. H., Avery, M., Wittrock, J., Muilenburg, R. and Losch, M. E. (2018). The Impact of Advance Letters on Cellphone Response in a Statewide Dual-Frame Survey. Survey Practice, 11(2), doi: 10.29115/sp-2018-0011

Abstract

Many studies have illustrated the effectiveness of prenotification letters to increase response rates for telephone surveys. However, most studies assessing the impact of advance letters have been carried out using landlines, so the evidence of the effectiveness of prenotification letters on cellphones is scarce. This is important because the proportion of cellphone numbers used in survey research continues to rise. In this study, we assess the impact of advance letters on response rates from a cellphone sample of a statewide dual-frame survey about perceptions of and experiences with healthcare. In a dual-frame telephone survey of a Midwestern state’s residents, half of cellphones with addresses were randomly assigned to receive advance letters (n = 600) and the other half (n = 600) did not receive prenotices. Cellphone results are similar to previous studies using landlines, showing a positive effect of advance letters on cellphone response and cooperation rates (9.1 and 10.3 percentage point gain, respectively). Despite this positive effect on responses, the letters seemed to affect the sample composition by increasing the presence of respondents who were white, with higher education and income. The impact of advance letters on calling effort varied; it reduced the number of call attempts needed to reach completions while increasing the attempts required that ultimately resulted in refusals. Implications of the results for the use of advance letters prior to calling cellphones in dual-frame telephone surveys are discussed.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2020 14:05
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/25274
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