Date of Defense




First Advisor

Dr. Richard Malott

Second Advisor

Dr. William Redmon

Third Advisor

Dr. Jack Michael


Many companies use direct mail to market their products and in doing so are seeking more effective ways to use mailed questionnaires. Some studies have found deadlines to increase the speed of questionnaire returns. However, those studies usually investigate combined effects of deadlines and follow-up mailings; few studies have researched the combination of deadlines and incentives. This study investigated the effect of a nine-day deadline with an incentive on the return rate of questionnaires mailed to college students. Questionnaires were sent to the subjects in two forms; one containing a deadline and the other without a deadline. Both guaranteed a lottery ticket upon return of the completed questionnaire. Returns were collected for thirty days. Results of the study indicate that the deadline significantly increased the initial and overall return rates of mailed questionnaires. These findings were replicated in a follow-up study.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only