Our team here at RMS constantly has some sort of mail survey in the field. In the last few weeks, we feel like we’ve begun quite a few more projects that include a mail survey component. Mail surveys can be a great way to solicit feedback from your customers. They are great for reaching audiences that are either hard to contact by phone or cannot be contacted by e-mail. We also find that many of our clients prefer the mail surveys because their customers are used to being contacted through the mail and ultimately prefer the more passive methods of being contacted.
Mail surveys can see a vast range of response rates depending on how they are sent out; so for this blog post, we put together a few tips that we utilize to boost mail survey response rates.
- Announce the Survey Ahead of Time – It’s always a good idea to let your audience know they should be expecting a survey in the mail. The announcement could be anything from posting a notice on the organization’s website or branch locations to sending a letter a week or so in advance to explain the survey process and why it is important that everyone participates.
- Give It Credibility – The best way to make a survey credible (and encourage participation) is to make sure the respondent knows who the survey is coming from. If the survey is being sent to members of Company XYZ, the mail survey should clearly have a return address and/or header that identifies the survey as being sent from Company XYZ.
- Make It Easy to Send Back – A survey should never be a hassle to fill out or send back. We typically print the surveys right on self return mailers (with prepaid postage) that just need to be folded together and dropped in the mailbox. See example below:
- Add Another Method of Responding – With our mail surveys we always offer an online version (and a unique access code) if the person would rather jump on their tablet or smart phone to complete the survey. This option definitely lends itself to surveys that have open ends, but could be taken advantage of by anyone. In reality, we find few people actually take advantage of this – mostly because the paper survey is right there to be filled out and going online requires an extra step.
- Explain Where It’s Going – This is especially true when a market research firm (such as Research & Marketing Strategies) is managing a survey. Sometimes respondents will be confused why the survey is being sent to another state or any location other than that of the organization they are filling out the survey for. It’s always a good idea to briefly explain that the survey is being conducted by a third party and it is being sent to the third party to ensure the anonymity of respondents.
While this list certainly isn’t completely exhaustive, these are some major points we look at before we send out a mail survey. If you’re interested in conducting a mail survey, please contact our Business Development Director Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling (315) 635-9802.