Enhancing Dillman's total design method for mailed/telephone surveys using current technology to maximise cost-benefit ratios

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Sample survey using mailed questionnaires is an important research tool often limited by low response rates. In the late 1970s, Dillman developed a highly successful approach to ensuring high response rates called the‘total design method’(TDM). TDM was designed prior to widespread use of personal computers, word processing, graphic software, laser printing and new commun ication methods. This experimental study asked: What are the effects of using contemporary technology within a total design methodology on response rates, timeliness of responses and cost effectiveness? While this study was small, findings create strong support for further investigation into the use of new information technologies to yield high response rates in mailed surveys. © 1996, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.

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