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Postal Surveys

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.

If you are considering a postal survey please contact us to discuss your project and the options available to you.