The Importance of Response Rates

The Importance of Response Rates

In this blog post I want to address the importance of response rates.

Many clients put their priority on trying to obtain as a large a sample as possible.  But it’s equally important to consider response rate.  Consider this.  Obtaining a sample of 500 respondents from a total universe of 1,000 is vastly superior to obtaining a sample of 500 respondents from a total universe of 10,000.

Why is this?  In the first case, you have a 50% response rate while in the second case you have a 5% response rate.  With a 50% response rate you can be much more confident that your sample is representative of the total universe.  However with a 5% response rate there is a much greater likelihood that these respondents are atypical and therefore will not yield accurate results.  I always recommend going the extra mile to get the best response rate possible.

Stay tuned. In a future blog  post we'll talk about how to obtain better response rates. 

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