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Padraic Murphy, Andrew Roberts
Component ID: #ti290294299

For surveys that collect data via mail-back paper questionnaires, it is well-established that a prenotice (or pre-notification letter) significantly improves response rates. However, in the 2012 National Census test, in the context of an "Internet push" strategy where response by Internet is promoted before providing a mail-back paperquestionnaire response option, there was no significant difference in response between otherwise similar panels where one used a prenotice and the other did not. In the 2014 ACS Prenotice Test, we wanted to see whether removing the prenotice would affect response, and also what the cost implications would be. We found that the group that did not receive a prenotice had significantly lower overall self-response (Mail and Internet combined). The report also describes how any initial cost savings from not printing and mailing a prenotice are outweighed by subsequent increases in the costs due to higher workloads in the follow-up modes of data collection.

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