Surveys, polls, and votes used to require a lot of time, resources, and effort.
But now, any business or organization can get valuable feedback with text polls, text surveys, and text votes.
In this article, you’ll learn:
By the end, you’ll have everything you need to start collecting feedback at scale.
Read on for more.
A text poll is an SMS text message that collects instant feedback from message recipients. Text polls are often single-answer or multiple-choice questions that give you quick insight into a respondent’s preferences or choices. Text polls are great for:
SMS surveys ask multiple questions, gather information, or generalize feedback into groups of results. A text survey or SMS survey is a type of SMS text message campaign that captures feedback with a text response or link to a survey software or platform. Surveys are often more extensive than polls and are frequently used for:
Text votes (text to vote) is a type of SMS poll that uses text messages to collect votes from your audience. Text vote campaigns often use a keyword autoresponder or numbered text response to quickly ask and record your audience's opinion. Text vote responses get recorded and tallied in a text to vote app.
If you’re sending email surveys or polling people over the phone, you’re missing out. Compared to email and voice, text messages have major advantages and benefits.
In fact, 45% of people have already interacted with a business or organization using some sort of text message survey, poll, or vote.
Emails have about a 20-30% open rate and a 6% response rate. This is because email inboxes are overflowing and emails often get marked as spam.
But text messages have a 98% open rate and a 45% response rate. This means you’re much more likely to get answers and responses.
Additionally, telephone culture is on the decline. 67% of people prefer texting instead. And 1 in 4 people won’t answer the phone, especially from an unknown number.
How do you get started with text polls and surveys? For starters, texting from an SMS survey tool isn’t like texting from your personal phone for work or collecting feedback with a group chat.
Some businesses and organizations use their personal mobile phones to gather feedback. But iMessage polls, surveys, and votes have limitations and drawbacks. They don’t work when you need to poll hundreds or thousands of people.
So here’s what you need to know to get started with an SMS survey software for collecting polls and votes.
Text message polls, surveys, and votes can all support both one-way and two-way text messaging.
But you have many text messaging services to choose from. So consider what features you need before you buy.
Do you need to text polls, surveys, and votes to hundreds or thousands of people?
Do you need to poll or survey only a few people one-on-one or in a small group? Then you’ll want a text service with a shared team SMS inbox.
An SMS inbox allows you to organize and tally inbound poll, survey, and vote responses.
MessageDesk comes with all of the above texting features and more.
Regardless of the SMS survey tool or platform you choose, create a free account first. This gives you a chance to test drive and understand how things work.
Next, you’ll need to get a text number.
Five and six-digit short codes used to be the only way to run text to vote campaigns and text polls and surveys. American Idol was the first to do this back in 2003.
But you now have a range of SMS phone number options. These include:
Once you’ve got your SMS phone number set up, you’ll need to upload and segment contacts.
MessageDesk makes it easy to do this by importing a .csv file. Once you’ve got your contacts imported, you can search, select, and organize contact(s) into a group(s).
The fastest way to create a poll via text is to create personalized texts with links to survey software.
Texting platforms like MessageDesk make it easy to create pre-saved text message templates.
I’ve even included a list of polling and survey text message templates for you further down in this article.
Once you’ve personalized and saved your survey text message templates, you can start sending two-way texts from an SMS inbox.
Automated text messages are how you save time and reach your entire audience instantly.
For automated text message polls, surveys and votes, you’ll need autoresponder texts.
Autoresponders are keyword-based. You can use them to create a poll in a text message and get real-time answers to surveys and votes.
When someone texts back a letter, number, or some kind of keyword like “1,” “YES,” or “MONDAY,” their vote gets recorded and filtered into a group for analysis.
You can also chain autoresponders together for multiple votes and text replies after someone submits their response to your poll, survey, or vote.
Already using polling or survey software like Google Forms or SurveyMonkey? You can link it to your SMS survey app via integrations like Zapier.
There are three ways you can use Zapier with MessageDesk to trigger events, automate follow-up text messages, and more.
Whenever someone submits a response to your poll, survey or vote, you can sync those details with MessageDesk.
You can also add outside contacts to groups in MessageDesk as well.
Trigger a text message to send when an action happens in another app. You can automatically send a survey reminder message to a respondent any number of days before an event and much more.
Here are five of the most effective ways to use a text message poll:
If you aren’t already asking for reviews from customers, you should be.
Links in your texts can also take people to survey platforms like Google forms and SurveyMonkey. Check out my list of the top online form builders for more ways to survey and poll.
Here’s an example:
NPS is a techy way to measure feedback, but it can help improve customer experience.
You can send an SMS survey to calculate your NPS on a scale of 0-10. Those who respond then get grouped based on their answer as promoters, passives, and detractors.
Here’s an example:
You can also use multiple choice polls to ask message recipients questions like:
Here’s an example:
Another easy way to elicit feedback is with an open-ended research poll text message. Text messages work well for this because they’re more informal and quicker than emails.
When a message recipient gets your question, all they have to do is respond. Just keep in mind that these responses invite all kinds of responses. This makes them harder to quantify and measure.
Here’s an example:
You can evaluate customer satisfaction and experience by linking to a more extensive customer experience survey.
Try asking for feedback after someone purchases your product or pays for your services or visits your office after an appointment.
Here’s an example:
Texting to vote works the same as a multiple-choice poll. It's easy to use a text to vote poll when you need to give people a voice in decision-making.
Here’s an example:
Before you start texting, there are some best practices to keep in mind. The following are universal professional texting etiquette and guidelines.
The first thing to know about text polls, surveys, and votes is consent.
For marketing campaigns and promotional messages, you’ll need express written consent to text people. Sending unsolicited text messages without consent is a major offense and can result in serious fines.
If you’re texting your existing customers or clients, then you most likely have their implied consent to receive text messages. This is because you have an existing business relationship with them.
Consider adding language that explains your text messaging policies as a best practice. Check out my TCPA compliance guide for more on this.
Additionally, business text messaging services like MessageDesk help you manage text subscriber lists. They protect you from sending texts to contacts who haven’t opted in.
When a message recipient texts back “STOP”, MessageDesk automatically flags that contact. The software prevents you from sending a message to them again.
MessageDesk also offers text message survey tools like opt-in forms to help you get and manage consent from contacts for more professional messaging.
When is the best time to send a survey, poll, or vote? Sending texts at the right time is what makes SMS incredibly effective.
As a texting rule, only send business-related text messages during normal business hours.
Note that your texting hours and etiquette may vary though.
This will depend on your organization, the type of business you conduct, and your audience’s messaging preferences.
Research suggests that Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays are the most successful days of the week for issuing a survey or poll.
Research also suggests that early morning before 10 am isn’t an optimal time to target audiences. But around 2 pm is a great time for SMS voting, polls, and surveys.
Below I’ve included a list of free text message templates and examples. Feel free to copy, paste and edit any of these SMS message samples.
You’re also free to check out my list of 100+ text message templates and examples for more customer feedback text examples.
Creating a text message poll is a great way to collect customer feedback, build excitement with your customers, and give people a chance to voice their opinions.
MessageDesk makes it easy to send a text message and interact with your contacts and customers.
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