Although mail surveys may be a dying breed, there are some instances where they still remain a player. Mail is so rare these days we often get excited to open the mailbox and find something new, yet we delete our emails so quickly. About 20 years ago it was the exact opposite, excitement for email and boredom with USPS mail. Times have changed.
Thinking about some situations where mail surveys still apply, a few come to mind. For instance, some banks and credit unions are only able to communicate with customers through standard mail, although these are few and far between. Another example is healthcare, where hospitals and physician offices still largely use mail to communicate with patients. Another example is situations where a mail survey firm is trying to reach a very rural audience that may not have access to the internet for online surveys. Whatever the case may be, mail surveys still pop up in market research here and there.
Looking for a mail survey firm in Syracuse, NY? Drive Research offers the following 5 tips to help you save on costs on your next project.
One thing is certain: mail surveys are expensive. Especially when they are compared to online surveys which are the most affordable methodology. The costs on a mail survey add up very quickly and can often immediately put your project outside of your budget. To complete a mail survey you have to:
- Spend time formatting the survey for printing
- Pay for the printing of the survey
- Spend time formatting a data file for addresses and a mail merge
- Pay for the mail merge and printing on the envelopes
- Pay for the envelopes
- Pay for the prepaid return postage in many cases
- Pay for the postage to send the surveys
With all of these costs associated with a mail survey, we offer the following 4 tips to help you save money. Here are 5 ways to save budget on your next mail survey project.
Pre-paid Return Mailer on Fold
Rather than including a separate envelope with prepaid postage (a business reply), consider using a tri-fold panel on your printed survey with instructions to fold and return. You can ask the respondent to fold and tape or fold and staple and it will work the same way as a separate business reply envelope. This saves you on the separate cost of prepaid business reply envelopes.
Print Front and Back
This may fall under the code of "obvious" but we've seen a lot of surveys that have not taken advantage of printing front and back. This creates extra paper, extra printing, extra weight, and extra cost. If you do print front and back make sure you include proper instructions for the survey taker. We've also seen surveys printed front and back that did not do a proper job instructing respondents and it resulted in blank pages and skipped pages.
Offer an Online Link with Code
The ultimate benefit of including an online link on your mail surveys is the ability to save on data entry. Rather than the respondent returning the completed survey through the mail, a link allows them to self-administer the survey online and do the data entry themselves. It is important to include a code for the respondent to enter so you can track responses and ensure 1-complete per household.
Create Several Columns
Not only a mistake on mail surveys but we see this far too often in online surveys as well. Rather than creating a long single column list of responses, split these responses into two columns side-by-side. This creates extra space and it will likely save off length which saves on additional printing and pages. For example, instead of listing Yes and No radio buttons above one another, place them side-by-side. If you have 10 Yes and No questions in your survey, you've just saved yourself 10 additional lines of space.
Drive Research is a mail survey firm in Syracuse, NY that serves all of Upstate New York including Buffalo, Rochester, and Albany. Are you interested in using a mail survey firm to acquire data and feedback for your organization?
Contact us at [email protected] or by calling 315-303-2040