The USPS is Important to Most Surveyed

The surveys “The Check is in the Mail” and “The Check is in the Mail-2” delivered First-Class results for the USPS. I am happy to report that of those surveyed the majority feel the USPS is important to them. The actual question posed to both groups was “Please rate how important is the US Postal Service to you?” Respondents chose between Very Important, Important, Sort of Important, Not very Important or Not Important at all. Not one person, taking either survey answered Not very important at all!

Not Important at All

A Stamp is Forever

Everyone Loves Stamps

I really thought a few of those surveyed would have chosen that answer. I was betting all the folks who would take the survey were fellow students and I assumed most of you were in your thirties or younger. With that assumption I was thinking the younger you are the least likely you would be to use the USPS.

I was wrong on the assumption of age or perhaps my younger classmates chose not to participate. I was surprised that the average age category chosen on both surveys was 55 to 64? I could understand the average age of “The Check is in the Mail-2” survey would be older because I purposely asked that friends and family pass it on hoping for a Snowball result. That did not happen as the highest number of survey participants was 15, no snowball there, not even a small one.

Why two surveys? It was called to my attention that in the first survey, “The Check is in the Mail” the way in which I had posed questions 2, 3, 5 and 8 did not allow for all the possible answers. I created the questions thinking everyone visits their local post office and I assumed most everyone knows a lot about the USPS. Not true! So, I added an “I don’t know option and clarified the others. This exemplifies why researchers really need to think about the questions before we post a survey and open it to the public. We cannot assume every question is clear. To that end I will consider “The Check is in the Mail” a PRE-Test! “The Check is in the Mail-2” I will consider my RE-test.

The Results Are In

Results for “The Check is in the Mail-2” were a little surprising, here are the highlights: The highest age demographic taking the survey was 55 to 64 years of age. Of those 26.67% paid a bill using the US Postal Service in the same week. While another 26.67% can’t remember the last time they used the US Postal Service to pay a bill. (Perhaps due to their age!)

33% percent of those surveyed visited a post office this week, while another 33% went last month. That number might be higher than normal because I did not take into consideration the Christmas Holiday and therefore the number might be inflated. Across the board results for Question 4) How often do you purchase US Postage stamps resulted in 33% purchased every month, 33% purchased every six months and 33% purchase once a year.

66.67 % of those surveyed knew the correct price of a postage stamp which was impressive as the First-Class rate of potage had just gone up on January 26th and right before I posted the survey. 66.67% say they receive letter mail everyday while the same percentage receives a packages per month.

About half of those surveyed knew that the Postmaster General is Patrick Donahoe, while another half did not know who the Postmaster General was at all.

The last question asked was “When was the last time you wrote a letter or a card and sent it through the mail?” 54% said they mailed last month. 54% is most probably higher than at other times of the year as we just finished with the busiest time of the year for the USPS December. It would make sense to send out the survey once a quarter to see if the results differ.

The USPS is Important to Those Surveyed

USPS Still Important To Most

US Postal Service survey–“The Check is in the Mail-2”

The most important question in both surveys was “Please rate how important the US Postal Service to you?”

“The Check is in the Mail” 27.7% said it was Very Important while 63.64% said it was Important.

“The Check is in the Mail-2” 40% said it was Very Important while another 40% said it was Important.

In conclusion both surveys delivered good news for my organization. The USPS is Important or Very Important to those who took the survey. I thank everyone who participated and for their support of the United States Postal Service.

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Posted on February 6, 2014, in Web Research Methods and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. I knew the postage stamp question was sneaky! 🙂 The results of your survey are great news for the USPS! I was really surprised by the fact that over half of those surveyed visited the Post Office in the past month. With so many different options for people to send mail, it’s good to see that people are taking advantage of the local postal offices around the country. I thought it was interesting that you asked the question about the Postmaster General, a member of the President’s cabinet. The fact that about half got the answer right tells me that the respondents know their public officials relatively well!
    On a random note, I would be curious to see how this would compare to other countries of similar size and development to the U.S. I am not sure how other countries “do mail” and I’d like to see a comparison.

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    • Yes, I am a sneak…..thought it was a gotcha question. I was surprised that over half visited a PO in the last six months, however when I posed the question I was thinking in “general.” I forgot all about the holidays. Christmas being the busy time of year for most retailers and service providers.

      I was quite surprised too, that almost half knew that the Postmaster General’s name was Patrick Donahoe, a credit to the wonderful team of Public Relations Professionals I work with at our Headquarters Office in Washington DC.

      Great News all around for the USPS, but I would love to get a larger sample for the next round.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read my results…I am on my way to see your’s now.

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  2. Does the fact that survey 1 came out in the last days/first days of the month influence your outcome, given traditional payments made in that time (mortgage, alimony, renewals of match.com). As such, the need to get stamps may be important at that time differently than mid-month.

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    • Maureen:

      Could be I did not think of that, and I also did not take into account before I created the survey that I was posting in Jan. preceding the busiest time of the year for USPS.

      I think I am following your train of thought in that putting this survey out monthly and targeting a different group of the public would be most beneficial to get a more global view of the public’s use of and sentiments about the USPS.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read my posts and the results.

      God Bless America and the USPS!

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  3. My only concern would be how much the sample skewed older. I think comparing the younger people (few of them though there might be), to the older participants, would tell you if there was a difference there. Older people may use more because they know what it was like before UPS and FedEx. Younger people do not and also do a lot more banking and bill paying electronically.
    Overall though, I do think it showed the vitality of the industry.

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  4. I agree that older people are more accustomed to the USPS and results were skewed because of that. Some of the younger folks may have said “I am not wasting my time answering a survey about a service I don’t even use.”

    Many users of UPS and FedEx may not know that both shipping giants depend on the good old U.S. Postal Service to deliver their packages for the last mile. The United States Postal Service is the only carrier able to deliver to every address every where in the US. FedEx nor UPS has that ability, therefore they partner with us to deliver those last miles. You may be using them but if you are sending your package to the top of a mountain or the bottom of the Grand Canyon the U.S. Postal Service is delivering your package..That being said we love them just the same because both FedEx and UPS are our business partners.

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  5. Hey Darleen!
    I’m sorry I missed taking your survey(s)! They sounded interesting. Perhaps you addressed this in your survey, but it would be interesting to ask people what they would think of doing away with Saturday service, as I know it has been debated as a money-saving measure for the past few years. Would a lot of people miss it? Would it increase revenue for the other days of the week? All that said, I think the results of your survey are encouraging that people do think highly of the USPS. Also, I did not know that USPS does the last mile while other carriers may not be able to!

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    • Actually the USPS as an organization has done extensive research to include surveys and the overwhelming majority of Americans would rather do away with Saturday delivery of mail instead of raising prices. That being said we just raised the price, (With Congressional Permission) so I wonder if that would skew the results.

      I think its important that the public knows the USPS proposal to do away with Saturday mail delivery is for Letter mail only, First-Class mail. We would continue to deliver packages on Saturdays and Post Offices would be open. A move which would save the USPS 3 million a year.

      Thanks for reading, much appreciated.

      Like

  6. Hi Darleen,
    I’m surprised at your results! I use USPS to mail stuff out that I sell on eBay, but I thought I was in the minority. I did not know the Postmaster General’s name, so snaps to the 50% who did. Will you be showing the results to your work? They’ll be happy to see the positive feedback that we gave to the USPS and how much we do use them.

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  7. Yes, I sure will be sharing the results. I think the PMG will be happy and surprised at what the findings are. By the way, EBay is one of our business partners and they carry USPS Priority Mail as one of the shipping choices on thier site. So I am all for EBay!

    I guess that is how you use the USPS. Thank you for that and thanks for being interested in the results.

    Next time I would like a larger sample though….not too many participated in the survey.

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