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Working Paper Number rsm2018-14
Brian Falcone, Elizabeth M. Nichols, Rebecca Keegan
Component ID: #ti12928840


Many government surveys now offer an online response option. Survey invitations, including those for online surveys, are still sent via the U.S. Postal Service, with the link to the online survey in the body of the mail piece. It is important to determine whether promoting surveys online could increase response to an online survey. The purpose of this respondent experience evaluation was to gather feedback about whether digital video advertisements and a redesigned landing webpage prominently featuring links to U.S. Census Bureau surveys might increase online survey response rates. For the purposes of this study, we applied these strategies to a simulation of the American Community Survey respondent experience. We found that recruited participants already had a very good impression of the Census Bureau and were willing to participate in government surveys at the start. Therefore, we did not find evidence that the addition of the video advertisement and landing webpage would necessarily improve response rates. Nonetheless, participants gave very positive feedback about their impressions of the video advertisement, though most indicated they would skip the advertisement and very few would have navigated to the landing page from the advertisement. Finally, while we identified minor usability issues with the redesigned landing page, it was still very effective in getting participants to the survey they were tasked with finding.

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