How to Conduct a Mail-In Survey

Marketing & Sales Promotion Techniques

One level of marketing means getting feedback on various aspects of the business. Being able to poll customers about the quality of products and service will enable you to see where areas of improvement are so you can have an even more effective business. But finding the best way to conduct a mail-in survey can be a problem if you’ve not done one before.

The approach to take on a survey like this would be to define what you hope to accomplish. Depending on how much information you want to derive, deciding on what kind of mail out you want to use will also be affected. The best way to ensure you get as much response as possible, it is suggested to do a one page letter explaining the survey, a single page for the survey and also include a stamped, self addressed envelope. Adding the envelope removes the expense of the recipient having to go to the hassle of finding an envelope and the expense of postage.

While you may want to get a lot of data from a survey, limit it to a maximum of 10 to 15 questions, and make the questions answerable with a yes or no checkbox. If a survey is too complex or requires a lot of choices, the recipient will rapidly become bored with it and not complete it. While that may seem like a stingy limitation, consider the surveys you’ve received and why you did or didn’t complete it. That will create a basis for yours.

A lot of information can be delivered from just a few well developed questions as well. One way to refine your survey would be to do a limited test run on a small number of clients. This will show you where possible improvements in the survey can be made. The goal is to have as close to 100% response rate as possible, and having a survey that is easy to complete is key.

There are other ways to encourage survey completion as well. Use an incentive of a discount or of a free product or gift for those who return the surveys. This may seem like a bit of a bribe, and in a way, it is. But there are no real rules on how to conduct a mail-in survey, and the need for the information the customers can give you back will be of far more value than the “bribe”. Check out all your options to get the most from your survey.