Postal surveys maintain an important role in research methodology. Participants who prefer to complete a survey by post are usually a different profile to those who prefer an online or telephone method of survey completion.
A postal survey will involve a questionnaire being mailed out to an individual or an address and includes a pre-paid return envelope. Postal surveys are used when there is a reliable contact database available and questioning is predominantly simple and in a closed (yes or no) form.
Mackman Research can design, manage, collate and analyse a postal survey project on your behalf. Mackman Research has good knowledge and experience of delivering postal surveys and achieving high response rates, especially when a postal survey combines an online survey link as an alternative way to respond to the questionnaire. When conducting a postal survey we ensure questionnaires are professionally printed and visually appealing to the respondent.
Advantages of Postal Surveys
- Can generate a large sample cost effectively.
- Can reach all groups (including off-line / without telecommunication).
- Respondents can complete questions in their own time and without time pressure.
- Useful in qualitative research which requires information over a set period of time (i.e in the form of a diary).
Disadvantages of Postal Surveys
- A high percentage of questionnaires will be placed in the recycle / waste bin. Postal surveys can exclude the illiterate, blind, very old.
- Only when used in conjunction with online surveys can a ‘typical’ representative group be achieved.
- Does not allow for in depth responses and detailed verbatim responses.
- Cannot be 100% certain who has answered the questions
- Incompleted surveys and partially completed survey questions are common.