Advance letters (sometimes referred to as "prenotifi-cation" letters) are a means of providing potential respondents with positive and timely notice of an impending survey request. The letters often address issues related to the purpose, topic, and sponsor of the survey and a confidentiality promise. In some surveys, advance letters include a token cash incentive. Letters should be sent by first-class mail and timed to arrive only days to a week ahead of the actual survey contact. They also may be accompanied by other informational materials, such as study-related pamphlets, which are typically designed to address questions about survey participation frequently asked by respondents and, in the case of ongoing or longitudinal surveys, provide highlighted results from previous administrations of the survey.

Long used in survey ...

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