In distributing and collecting surveys, the logistics involved in mail survey planning include selecting appropriate transportation, warehousing, choosing the most effective transportation routes, discovering the most reliable delivery method, return mail handling, inventory tracking, and follow-up mailings. Poor logistical planning will gradually increase your timeline as well as cost. Moreover, this stage also involves filing paperwork for post office delivery and scheduling pick-ups, depending on your distribution mode. Below are some easy tips to help you manage your mail survey timeline while in the distributing and collecting stage.


Tip 1: Consult with a Data Collection Expert.


Third-Party expertise in managing mail-survey-in-house is vital in dealing with logistical issues for a rush project. Mail survey aspects like fulfilling the survey materials, incentive management, sending reminders, receiving and storing returned questionnaires, and so on, can be complicated. Making mistakes because of inexperience is not something you can afford. Consult with a data collection expert who can help you plan and monitor every step of the process.


Tip 2: Avail Express, Priority, or First Class Presort Delivery

Express Mail

If your budget allows, using Express or Priority mail will get your survey into respondent hands sooner, and research has shown that it increases response rates. Check out our blog on the difference between standard and first-class mail. The distribution method will impact your timeline, so it’s essential that you know how long it will take surveys to arrive in homes.

Typical delivery timelines:

  • Express (overnight, 2-day)
  • Priority (1-3 days)
  • First-class presort (locally 1-2 days; nationally 4-5 days)
  • Standard class (locally 3-7 days; nationally 5-14 days)


Tip 3: Collaborate with the Post Office

Post Office

Good collaboration with the Post Office will help reduce timeline and costs. Below are specific steps that can help you streamline and expedite the mail survey return process:  

  • Make sure the post office has your BRE Permit on file – Don’t wait for someone to call you because your envelopes are just piling up. Save valuable time and energy by ensuring your BRE Permit is in the hands of the right person. 
  • Ensure there is enough money in your business reply mail account if it is not set up to withdraw from your bank account automatically. Check that your account can cover all the projected return costs since a delay in payment equals delays in receiving your mail. 


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Please visit the Link below for the first and second parts of this series:

How to Manage Your Mail Survey Timeline When in a Rush: #1 Design the Mail Survey Materials

How to Manage Your Mail Survey Timeline When in a Rush: #2 Printing and Organizing the Survey Material

And keep an eye on our latest blog posts for Part 4: Data Collection

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Curious how DataForce could help your organization reach its research goals? Contact us today!

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