Three studies were conducted to examine the effect of personalized salutation and sender
power on signing up to an online survey panel, and subsequent survey response rates. In
the first study, significantly more people joined a panel if addressed by a personalized salutation.
In Study 2, this effect was replicated using an invitation to leave a second panel. In the
final study, a significant salutation effect was found when power of the sender was high, and
not when power of the sender was neutral. It is argued that for this sample, power of audience
and participant identifiability linked to create a compliance-based motivation to join and
maintain membership of an online panel. Implications for the maintenance of online panels,
survey response rates, and the collection of sensitive personal information, are discussed.