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Response Rate Battle Continues

Response Rate Battle Continues

Arbitron continues to look for ways to reverse an overall trend of declining response rates to its surveys.
In its latest report, based on the winter survey, the average Metro survey area response rate declined 1.8 percentage points from a year earlier, to 32.1 percent. The return rate increased 0.5 points to 56.6 percent. The consent rate dropped 3.5 points to 56.3 percent. (Definitions of those rates are below.)
Among its efforts this spring to improve response rates, it said, will be a letter and a $1 premium that will now be sent to all mailable households in advance of the first recruitment phone call in 40 selected markets; and a $5/household “thank you” premium to consenting households in 20 low-response markets, aimed at black, Hispanic and young male 18-34 households.
Consent rate is the percent of eligible sample who live in households that said “yes” to keeping an Arbitron diary; return rate is the percent of people who were sent a diary by Arbitron who returned a usable diary; response rate is the percent of the total eligible sample who returned a usable diary. This can be approximated as the product of consent rate and response rate.