As technology has improved, newer studies have emerged, suggesting that electronic data collection (e.g., email, phone and web), could yield response rates comparable to or higher than traditional mail surveys (Baruch & Holtom, 2008; Weigold, 2013). However, general trends still support the finding that participation rates are much lower in web vs. paper and pencil surveys, with a recent 2017 study finding web based completion rates were almost four time slower (10.70%) than mail survey completion (47.09%) (Sebo, 2017).
Nevertheless, the transition to internet based surveys has occurred at a rapid rate in response to what these surveys can offer: lower costs and faster responses (Ilieva et al., 2002). Sebo (2017) went so far as to suggest that web based surveys were superior to postal surveys, simply due to their reduced response times, higher completeness of data, and large savings in cost.
So what is a researcher to do in a digital world that has transitioned to a form of data collection that appears to be no better, and potentially worse, than its predecessor (the paper and pencil method)? While many other research companies seem to have accepted that abysmal response rates, and incomplete, unreliable data is the price that must be paid for lower costs and faster responses, we decided at Wyzerr there must be an alternative option. Like George Lucas and E.L. James (the author of Fifty Shades of Grey), we decided to pair something old with something new. We have taken the traditional survey which people are familiar with and have used for decades (Robert Groves (2011) dates the advent of the first era of survey research back to the 1930s), and added game design elements to better engage consumers and, most importantly, makes them want to take surveys.
We capture attention by making surveys familiar, yet at the same time short, new, exciting and fun. A formula that according to Thompson (2017) is a recipe for success. Intrigued? Stay tuned! Next week we’ll dive into the science behind increasing completion rates, and how Wyzerr has built our success learning from key research studies highlighting failures and progress in survey methodology.