DOI: 10.1177/14707853231219956 ISSN: 1470-7853

Accuracy and practical considerations in an RDD text-to-web survey

Sebastian Kocar
  • Marketing
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Business and International Management

This study investigates the accuracy of a survey that combines smartphone completion, random digit dialing (RDD), and text message invitation to a web survey. A benchmarking study was conducted using 26 questionnaire items from a survey on wellbeing, health, and life in general. Additionally, methodological, technical, ethical, and cost considerations of this relatively new approach to web survey data collection were investigated, compared to previous research findings, and discussed with an aim to propose practical solutions. Ultimately, average errors in this survey were compared to average errors in three other probability samples and one nonprobability online panel sample (i.e., reference samples) using nationally representative benchmarks from high-quality government data sources. The results showed that the sample used in this study was similarly accurate to the reference samples from a different benchmarking study. Based on these findings, a very low response rate in the RDD text-to-web survey did not appear to introduce significant nonresponse bias for a majority of survey items, and all large errors can be explained. Hence, in countries where prior consent to text messages is not required, RDD text-to-web should be considered as a cost- and time-effective alternative to probability- and nonprobability-based online panel surveys, telephone, or interactive voice response surveys, and used in market, public opinion, and social research.

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