How to Do Mail Surveys in the Digital Age: A Practical Guide

Emily Grubert

Abstract


Mail surveys present opportunities for reaching out to specific populations in ways not achievable by Internet or telephone, but the logistics of mail surveys can be complex and unclear. This article details the post-design and pre-analysis phase of a mail survey, from printing through distribution, with particular emphasis on time requirements and cost. Preparing a mailing of 10,000 pieces manually required 240 labor hours, excluding background research, or about 1:25 per unit (pre-printed envelope with pre-printed postage, stuffed with pre-printed and hand-stamped inner envelope, booklet, and folded cover letter). Manual preparation resulted in savings translating to an estimated equivalent hourly wage of US $46, based on costs from a similar professionally-prepared mailing, or as high as $142 including the time and costs associated with project management and printing discounts.


Keywords


mail survey; costs; logistics; United States

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