CARI: Center for Applied Rural Innovation


Date of this Version

November 1998


Published by the Center for Applied Rural Innovation, University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Copyright © 1998 by R. Filkins, J. Allen, and S. Cordes.


This paper examines the costs and benefits of using first-class postage compared to non-profit, pre-canceled postage in inducing response to a self-administered mail questionnaire. An experiment was conducted with the outgoing postage for the 1998 Nebraska Rural Poll. Twenty-five percent of the outgoing questionnaires were mailed with first-class postage, with the remaining seventy-five percent having non-profit, pre-canceled postage affixed. The results showed that there was no statistically significant difference in response rates between the two groups, there were no differences in demographic characteristics between the two postage groups, and the use of non-profit, pre-canceled postage resulted in substantial cost savings.