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Cornell University

Survey Research Institute

at Cornell University

Paper/Mail Surveys

There are many moving parts to a successful mail questionnaire. SRI can oversee all aspects of your study: designing an effective printable questionnaire, ordering mail supplies, sending bulk letters based on your timeline, managing incentives, scanning machine-readable forms into our software system, performing data entry, maintaining an electronic mail outcome database, and preparing a clean final dataset.

Here are a few key advantages to using our paper survey tools:


Mail surveys allow you to target sub-populations with greater precision than other research methods. Mailings are an excellent mode to use if you need participants from certain geographic regions, like current residents of a specific neighborhood or county. Sending surveys to a physical address allows you to reach areas with limited phone or internet capabilities, such as farmers in remote rural areas or students in sub-Saharan Africa. Paper forms also enable you to target specific job titles at organizations, or even administer surveys in person for customer satisfaction or patient evaluation surveys.


Participants can fill out the survey whenever is most convenient for them. This can be particularly useful when sending mail to busy professionals. Completing the form independently also eliminates any potential interviewer bias, so you can be sure your results are completely candid.

Visual design

We know how to create a paper survey that is easy for respondents to navigate themselves, thereby minimizing measurement error. Our graphic design software allows us to include your images in a scannable form for both aesthetic appeal and evaluative purposes. We can also incorporate your organization's logo and colors into the letters, envelopes, and questionnaire. Branding your survey helps lend legitimacy to the study and makes respondents more likely to participate in your research.

Let our experts draw upon years of experience to determine which method will work best for you.