A Reassessment of the Effects of Appeals on Response to Mail Surveys Academic Article uri icon


  • Two mail surveys were conducted to test experimentally the effect of using appeals and postscripts to stimulate response to mail surveys. The results indicate that use of appeals presented as postscripts does not improve survey response. In one study, differences in response rates between treatment groups were observed, but in comparison with a control group the overall effect was to depress survey response. In the second study, treatment effects were equivalent to control group response. In both studies, response bias was unaffected and the completeness of survey response was not improved. The potential negative impact of these survey techniques supports the authors’ recommendation that control groups be more widely integrated into mail survey research designs if both the magnitude and direction of inducement effects are to be fully assessed.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Marketing Research

author list (cited authors)

  • Childers, T. L., Pride, W. M., & Ferrell, O. C.

citation count

  • 29

complete list of authors

  • Childers, Terry L||Pride, William M||Ferrell, OC

publication date

  • August 1980