Ways to increase mail surveys response rates: an update based on over 20 years of practical and experimental experience

We start with the premise that high response rates are important. They are not important just on syndicated surveys, where they must meet certain standards, but on all surveys. One of the basic tenets of surveys is that the persons interviewed should represent the underlying population. In order to obtain a representative sample, completed surveys must be obtained from a high percentage of targeted respondents. Individuals who are more likely to respond to surveys may differ from those who are less likely to respond. However, steps can be taken to avoid — or at least minimize — this potential non-response bias.

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