Using Alternative Mailing Strategies to Boost Internet Response in an Establishment Survey

Sharon Stang and William Mockovak

Abstract

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) fielded the Green Technologies and Practices (GTP) Survey in 2011 and 2012. During survey development, respondents repeatedly advised BLS that they would be more inclined to respond to a green survey if they could do it in a green manner, so an online method of response was developed for the survey. Internet collection benefits the environment by reducing printing and USPS delivery, as well as saving time and taxpayer money by allowing for earlier responses, respondent key-entry of data, and online editing of survey responses. A much lower than anticipated Internet response was recorded during the first production survey in 2011, and when plans began for the next round of data collection beginning October 2012, steps were taken to "push" internet collection to a targeted group of sample units. This paper summarizes the procedures and reporting results for the two GTP surveys conducted in 2011 and 2012, and discusses the alternative mailing strategies employed in the 2012 survey to boost the Internet reporting rate.