A few weeks ago, I attended a one-day conference in Washington DC on the use of online panels for survey research and public opinion polling. As you probably know, web-based interviewing with online panels have many advantages over more traditional methods of survey research, the most important of which are speed and lower costs. The news on telephone surveys seems to get more dismal by the day. In a presentation by Courtney Kennedy from the Pew Research Center, we learned that Pew’s average response rate for random-digit-dial (RDD) telephone surveys has now dropped to six percent. At the same time, costs have gone up considerably as pollsters have increased the proportion of wireless phone numbers in RDD surveys. Some RDD surveys have even stopped calling landlines altogether.
Download full memo: Memorandum on Using Online Panels for Survey Research