Internet, Mail and Mixed-Mode Surveys: The Tailored Design Method, 3rd Ed.


Internet, Mail and Mixed-Mode Surveys:
The Tailored Design Method, 3rd ed. (2009)


The third edition of this text, first published as Mail and Telephone Surveys: The Total Design Method, rewritten as Mail and Internet Surveys, The Tailored Design Method, in 2000, is a nearly complete rewrite of the 2nd edition that was published in 2000 and updated with a new Appendix in 2007.

We begin by discussing how surveying has developed and changed in the past 75 years and explore the trajectory of each major survey mode. We consider how telephone interviewing has come to face major challenges; how Internet surveying has expanded enormously with the past decade; and why, despite its expanded use, the Web is not yet a satisfactory replacement for telephone or mail in many survey situations. These developments now have the survey world in a state of considerable turbulence that motivates the perspective and practices for survey research discussed in this book.

In contrast to the second edition, which gave only limited attention to the Internet, the use of this mode of surveying is emphasized in each of the chapters, and specific guidelines are presented for the design and conduct of web surveys. This edition also places front and center the design and implementation of mixed-mode surveys that combine Internet, mail, and sometimes telephone, interactive voice response, and face-to-face methods. Moreover, this edition thoroughly integrates into this discussion the substantial knowledge gained in recent years about applying visual design principles to communicate more effectively with survey respondents both within and across survey modes.

Other new features of the book include:

  • More emphasis on writing scalar and open-ended questions.
  • Fuller consideration of the rapidly expanding use of mixed-mode surveys.
  • More attention to experimental research on implications for writing better questions.
  • An entirely new discussion of special issues associated with longitudinal and internet panel surveys.
  • The dramatic change now occurring in how satisfaction and customer use surveys are designed and implemented.
  • How sponsorship, the Office of Management of Budget and Institutional Review Boards are influencing survey design practices.
  • More than 130 specific guidelines for improving survey quality.
  • Discussion of current uncertainties that influence the achievement of quality data.

  • Two coauthors, Jolene Smyth and Leah Christian, are also introduced in this edition of the book. The writing of this followed 7 years of intensive collaboration on multiple research projects, the results of which have been published in a series of journal articles and book chapters. This collaboration began while both were graduate students at Washington State University and continued following the completion of their doctoral degrees and their moves to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where Jolene is an Assistant Professor in Sociology and the Survey Research and Methods Program, and the Pew Research Center where Leah is a Research Associate.

    Table of Contents:

    Chapter 1. Turbulent Times for Survey Research
    Chapter 2. The Tailored Design Method
    Chapter 3. Coverage and Sampling
    Chapter 4. The Basics of Crafting Good questions
    Chapter 5. Constructing Open- and Closed-Ended Questions
    Chapter 6. From Questions to a Questionnaire
    Chapter 7. Implementation Procedures
    Chapter 8. When More than One survey Mode is Needed
    Chapter 9. Longitudinal and Internet Panel surveys
    Chapter 10. Customer Feedback Surveys and Alternative Delivery Techniques
    Chapter 11. Effects of Sponsorship and the Data Collection Organization
    Chapter 13. Dealing with Uncertainty.



    Inquiries about the book and the research that underlies its development should be addressed to Don A. Dillman,


    Social and Economic Sciences Research Center (SESRC), PO Box 644014, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-4014, 509-335-1511, Contact Us