4 Methods to Increase Mail Survey Response Rates

In a world of digital mail, postal mail still prevails as a preferred form of communication. Shocking, right? Think of it this way. According to Campaign Monitor on average, 124.5 billion emails were sent everyday in 2018. It has become so easy for emails to get lost in a feed, especially if being sent from an unknown source.

What does this mean for businesses? It means that a mail survey as a market research methodology is an excellent way to garner valuable customer data. While less physical mail is being sent, this has not eliminated the practice of someone checking their physical mailbox. People are more likely to take a closer look at a piece of mail with their name on it than an email, because they are not used to being communicated with in this way.

Mail surveys are convenient, portable, boundless, and much more, making them an extremely strategic method for taking your business to the next level of success. However, before spending your research budget dollars on mail surveys, it's important that you understand a few factors for increasing mail survey response rates.

The higher response rate your organization can collect, the more accessible data you have to drive new business strategies. In other words, more data means more insight into how to better reach your target audiences and increase revenue.

Here’s a look at four actionable tips our mail survey company uses to earn a higher response rates for our clients to gain more valuable insight on their target audience.

Include a Cover Letter

The cover letter of your mail survey is an essential component that helps determine whether the respondent will actually consider completing the survey in its entirety. It's with the cover letter that you can persuade respondents to answer all of the questions in the questionnaire.

A cover letter should always be short and maintain a friendly tone. Ideally, you should outline in the cover letter that the survey will take less than five minutes to complete. After all, it’s the shorter surveys that receive the highest response rates.

Also important to include in the cover letter, is that the respondent doesn’t have to worry about using a personal postal stamp to mail the survey back in. Instead, a stamped return envelope should already be included with the survey. It’s important to make the process of responding to a mail survey as easy as possible.

Make the Survey as Short as Possible

As just referenced above, the shorter the survey, the better. Put yourself in the position of a mail survey respondent. Would you want to sit down and writer answers for a 30-minute survey? Probably not.

Not only are our target customers busier than ever before, but carving out time for a 30-minute survey is something most people will put off over and over again. Or, start and never finish and sent back to your team.

If respondents know the survey is only going to take five minutes or less, this improves potential response rates. They can fill out the survey as soon as they receive it or while eating supper or even during a quick lunch break. Again, our mail survey firm works to make this process as simple as we can for our respondents.

Offer an Incentive

The best way to get a high response rate with mail surveys, is to highlight in the cover letter that you are offering an incentive. You should always tailor the incentive to your target audience.

Let’s say you operate a sporting goods store. If this is the case, you should offer some type of incentive that is sports related, such as a free box of golf balls, a free tennis racket, or a $10 off coupon to your store. If you own a car dealership, you could offer a free detailing or a box of car fresheners.

When you offer something for free, your respondents are immediately made to feel that they will receive something of value in return for filling out your survey by mail, and when they feel this way, they are much more likely to complete the survey and mail it back in.

Provide an Online Link

While mail surveys are a great way to get in the hands of your target audience or current customers, we understand not everyone wants to fill out a paper survey.

Some people, especially those who are on the go all of the time, want the choice of filling out a digital or online survey. This is why it is important to always offer an online link, easily allowing respondents to complete the survey from their smartphone or computer.

Not only does this add convenience for the respondent but it also keeps them from having to mail the paper survey back in. It’s a win-win for you and the respondent.

Contact Our Mail Survey Company

Drive Research is a market research company located in Syracuse, NY. Our team has the knowledge and tools to design a robust market research study, should it be the right fit for your business.

Interested in learning more about our market research services? Reach out through any of the four ways below.

Message us on our website
Email us at [email protected]
Call us at 888-725-DATA
Text us at 315-303-2040


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