Skip to content

Understanding Society Working Paper Series 2014-08

Targeted initial letters to longitudinal survey sample members: effects on response rates, response speed, and sample composition


Publication date

24 Nov 2014


This study draws on two previously-separate strands of methodological research, one on the effect of the content of letters to sample members on response rates, and one on targeted respondent communications. We test targeted appeals in prenotification and invitation letters in a panel survey, based on an experimental design which allows the testing of effects in different contexts. The targeted letter improves response rates for previous wave non-respondents and recent panel entrants, though these effects depend on data collection mode. Response speed is improved for recent panel entrants, particularly in the context of a mixed mode design.

Paper download  


Research home

Research home


Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest