Here at Smarter Travel, we have recently been trialling a slightly adapted survey method in order to improve postal and online survey response rates. Anyone working in travel planning or surveying will understand the difficulties in monitoring and obtaining representative survey results from residents. With the increase in demands from Local Authorities for specific postal and online survey response rates, we have been trialling new methods to ensure the highest possible response rates for residential developments.
Having undertaken research into the marketing techniques of successful survey methods we altered our techniques for both developments, Becket’s Grove and Oakwood Park in Wymondham, Norfolk. Both developments were surveyed during the same period in September 2018.
Prior to the start of the survey, we distributed marketing flyers to all residents of both developments which were heavily branded with the developer’s logos. This was to notify of an upcoming survey and to highlight the amazing prize incentives available. Following on from this, we sent the surveys out to each household. We reduced the number of questions in the survey to reflect what information we truly required to monitor travel habits. In particular, we removed any unnecessary questions in order to make the survey more appealing and less invasive for residents.
It is important to allow a suitable time period for residents to complete and return the completed questionnaire and we always provide pre-paid envelopes for this. Typically, we have found a relatively equal split of postal responses and online responses, which we found again with this revised surveying method.
Following on from the survey we posted out reminder postcards to all dwellings. This encouraged and reminded residents to complete and return before the prize draw closing date.
Overall, with this adaptation to our survey methods, we have improved our response rates to almost 40% which is often the requirement of Local Authorities. It also highlights the importance of the understanding of Marketing practices and principles when promoting sustainable travel habits to residents.
At the beginning of 2019, we will be undertaking the first postal and online surveys for Chancery Park, Sycamore Park and Weaver’s Meadow. We will be using the same methodology and look forward to receiving a high and positive response rate from residents.