Recruiting a probability-based online panel via postal mail: Experimental evidence

Cornesse, Carina ; Felderer, Barbara ; Fikel, Marina ; Krieger, Ulrich ; Blom, Annelies G.

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-592650
Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2022
The title of a journal, publication series: Social Science Computer Review : SSCORE
Volume: 40
Issue number: 5
Page range: 1259-1284
Place of publication: Thousand Oaks, Calif. [u.a.]
Publishing house: Sage
ISSN: 0894-4393 , 1552-8286
Publication language: English
Institution: Außerfakultäre Einrichtungen > SFB 884
School of Social Sciences > Data Science (Blom 2017-2022)
Außerfakultäre Einrichtungen > Mannheim Centre for European Social Research - Research Department B
Pre-existing license: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Subject: 300 Social sciences, sociology, anthropology
Abstract: Once recruited, probability-based online panels have proven to enable high-quality andhigh-frequency data collection. In ever faster-paced societies and, recently, in times of pandemiclockdowns, such online survey infrastructures are invaluable to social research. In absence of emailsampling frames, one way of recruiting such a panel is via postal mail. However, few studies haveexamined how to best approach and then transition sample members from the initial postal mailcontact to the online panel registration. To fill this gap, we implemented a large-scale experiment inthe recruitment of the 2018 sample of the German Internet Panel (GIP) varying panel recruitmentdesigns in four experimental conditions: online-only, concurrent mode, online-first, and paper-first.Our results show that the online-only design delivers higher online panel registration rates than theother recruitment designs. In addition, all experimental conditions led to similarly representativesamples on key socio-demographic characteristics.

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