There are a number of factors to consider when determining the deployment methodology. For example, the population size because how the survey is deployed will impact the response rate. The population size and the response rate determine the ability to reach valid data. Accessibility and the type of contact information available for the population also comes into play. Surveys may be deployed online, by telephone, or paper.
Online Surveys – Online data collection methodologies are fast and generally less expensive than other deployment methods. An online survey is accessible through a desktop computer, smartphone, or tablet with internet access making it simple for people to respond. The ability to send announcement, invitation, and reminder emails bolsters response rates.
Telephone Surveys – Telephone Surveys are available for those instances where paper or online deployment is not possible or preferred. Telephone surveys can be used for preliminary interviews to determine survey content or as the survey itself. Telephone surveys are especially useful for highly mobile populations who may not be able to be surveyed otherwise. Because telephone surveys typically have a higher response rate than online and paper deployment methodologies, they are an excellent choice for small populations.
Paper Surveys – Paper is the most universal deployment method and is generally easy for respondents, but it’s expensive and the response rate is usually 10% at best. A paper survey may be handed out to employees/customers or each survey may be placed in a pre-addressed, postage-paid return envelope. Participants remove the survey from the envelope, reinsert the completed survey into the envelope, and mail it back for processing.