Marketing Letters

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 21-36

First online:

Response Rate and Response Quality of Internet-Based Surveys: An Experimental Study

  • Elisabeth DeutskensAffiliated withFaculty of Economics and Business Administration, Department of Marketing, Maastricht University Email author 
  • , Ko de RuyterAffiliated withMaastricht University
  • , Martin WetzelsAffiliated withEindhoven University of Technology
  • , Paul OosterveldAffiliated withMillward Brown/Centrum

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This study examines the effect of the timing of follow-ups, different incentives, length, and presentation of the questionnaire on the response rate and response quality in an online experimental setting. The results show that short questionnaires have a higher response rate, although long questionnaires still generate a surprisingly high response. Furthermore, vouchers seem to be the most effective incentive in long questionnaires, while lotteries are more efficient in short surveys. A follow-up study revealed that lotteries with small prizes, but a higher chance of winning are most effective in increasing the response rate. Enhancing questionnaires with visual elements, such as product images, lead to a higher response quality and generate interesting interaction effects with the length of the questionnaire and the incentives used. Finally, the timing of the follow-up has no significant influence on the response rate.

online marketing research questionnaire design response rate response quality