Especially among startups, one of the most important resources that businesses can draw upon is market research, as such data allows companies to narrow down their demographics and then forge marketing, operational and even pricing strategies based on the information.
Entrepreneur magazine claims there are two basic forms of research: exploratory and specific. Exploratory research typically involves smaller study groups and solicits longer, more detailed responses so as to isolate specific problems.
Specific research, on the other hand, studies larger groups of people and involves more structured interviews and questionnaires so as to solve a problem that was discovered by exploratory research.
One of the most common methods of conducting the above research strategies is direct mail. Businesses often send print materials such as postcard or letters and entice recipients to answer the surveys, or they may send the materials to prospects who have already expressed interest in some way or another.
Entrepreneur offers a few suggestions to help optimize the success of your campaign.
"Make sure your questions are short and to the point," the magazine writes. "Make sure questionnaires are addressed to specific individuals and they're of interest to the respondent. Limit the questionnaire's length to two pages."