How to Survey Via Text Polls + SMS Survey Tools & Templates
How to Survey Via Text Polls + SMS Survey Tools & Templates

Learn How to Use an SMS Survey Tool to Send a Text Poll, Text Survey, or Text Vote

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:

  1. What text polls, SMS surveys, and text votes are
  2. The advantages of text votes, text surveys, and SMS polls
  3. How to send a poll via text with SMS survey software or a text to vote app
  4. ways to use a text vote, text poll, or SMS survey app to collect feedback
  5. Best practices for collecting votes and sending polls and surveys via text
  6. Feedback SMS templates and text message survey examples

By the end, you’ll have everything you need to start collecting feedback at scale.

Read on for more.

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Advantages of Text Votes, Text Surveys, and SMS Polls

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 to Send a Poll via Text with SMS Survey Software or a Text to Vote App

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.

1. Choose a text survey platform, text to vote app, or SMS polling tool

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?

You’ll want texting software that comes with A2P carrier-verified delivery and bulk texting features. Without these tools, you can’t text at scale, and your text messages won’t get delivered.

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.


2. Create a free account

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.

You’re always free to sign up for a free trial if you’re interested in MessageDesk. You can also meet with a messaging expert for answers to questions. They can help you get started.


3. Set up a new or existing SMS phone number

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:

  • 10-digit local phone numbers
  • Toll-free 800 area code phone numbers

You can also text-enable an existing business landline or another number with number porting.


3. Import your contacts and create groups

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).


4. Save personalized templates with links to polling and survey software

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.

You can even personalize text messages by adding personalization tags like “Hey {{ FirstName }}” and even include links in texts.

I’ve even included a list of polling and survey text message templates for you further down in this article.


5. Schedule a broadcast

Once you’ve personalized and saved your survey text message templates, you can start sending two-way texts from an SMS inbox.

You can also schedule texts and one-way text message broadcasts to groups of contacts at a later date.


6. Automate poll, survey, and vote responses

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.

10 out of 10!

Recieved 01/06/23, 07:01 am

Hey {{ FirstName }}, Thanks for the stellar feedback! we'd love it if you could make your experience public by leaving us a Google Review. This will help us continue to service customers just like yourself.

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am
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7. Connect your SMS feedback tool to survey and polling software using integrations like Zapier

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.

Add or update a contact

Whenever someone submits a response to your poll, survey or vote, you can sync those details with MessageDesk.

Add contact to a group

You can also add outside contacts to groups in MessageDesk as well.

Send a message

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.


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6 Ways to Use a Text Vote, Text Poll, or SMS Survey App to Collect Feedback

Here are five of the most effective ways to use a text message poll:

1. Send a link to a review or survey platform

If you aren’t already asking for reviews from customers, you should be.

Text messaging makes getting things like more Google reviews easier. All you have to do is include a link to your Google business page and send it in a text.

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:

Hey {{ FirstName }}, Since you had such a great experience with {{ OrganizationName }} would you mind taking some time to leave us a review and some feedback on Google? We’ve made it super easy for you. Just follow this link: [ Link ]

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

2. NPS (net promoter score)

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:

Hi {{ FirstName }}, How likely are you to recommend {{ OrganizationName }} to a friend? Please respond with a number on a scale of 0-10. 10 being very likely to recommend and 0 being not likely at all to recommend.

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

3. Multiple choice poll

You can also use multiple choice polls to ask message recipients questions like:

  • How did you hear about us?
  • When’s the best day/time to host this event?
  • When are you free to meet?
  • Which of these options sounds the most appealing?

Here’s an example:

Hi there {{ FirstName}}, which of the following best describes your recent experience with {{ OrganizationName }}? POSITIVE, NEUTRAL, NEGATIVE (please respond with your one-word answer).

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

4. Open-ended question

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:

Hi {{ FirstName }}. Thanks for attending our event! Have thoughts or feedback? Just respond to this text and we’ll be sure to note it for next year.

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

5. Customer experience survey

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:

Hi {{ FirstName }}, thanks for your recent purchase of {{ Product }}. Want $10 off your next order? Just follow this link to our quick 60-second survey. [ Link ]

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

6. Text to vote campaign

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:

Hi {{ FirstName }}. Your opinion matters to us. Please take the time to vote by responding YES or NO to this text.

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

Best Practices for Collecting Votes and Sending Polls and Surveys via Text

Before you start texting, there are some best practices to keep in mind. The following are universal professional texting etiquette and guidelines.

1. Get consent and manage opt-in and opt-out compliance

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.


Recieved 01/06/23, 07:01 am

Hey {{ FirstName }}, We're sorry to hear you had a poor experience. In your opinion, what could we have done better? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am
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2. Send surveys, polls, and votes at the right time

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.


Feedback SMS Templates and Text Message Survey Examples

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.

Meeting date and time poll template

Hi {{ First Name }}, What’s the best day/time for you to meet this week? Please fill out this poll: [ Link ] and let us know. Thanks!

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

Customer feedback SMS template

Hi {{ First Name }} Thanks for visiting the office today. If you have some time, please feel free to leave our team some feedback. Here’s the link to the quick two-question survey: [ Link ] Thanks!

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

Customer experience survey template

Hi {{ FirstName }}, how was your experience today at {{ OrganizationName }}? Please respond with your feedback: EXCELLENT, GOOD, NEUTRAL, POOR

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

Feedback text example

Hi {{ FirstName }} Thank you for your business! We pride ourselves on great service and it’s your feedback that makes that possible! Take a minute and let us know what you thought! [ Link ]

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

Event feedback survey template

Hi {{ FirstName }}, how would you rate your experience at [ Event ]? Feel free to respond to this text message with your honest feedback and thoughts.

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

Online review ask template

Hi {{ FirstName }}, this is INDIVIDUAL from {{ OrganizationName }}. Thank you for being a valued customer. We would appreciate it if you could leave a review about your experience with us. We have provided a link to a third-party online review page for your convenience: [ Link ].

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

Text to vote SMS template

Hello {First Name}. It’s time to vote for your person of the year! To cast your vote, please follow this link: [ Link ] Voting is limited to one vote per person and closes tonight at 5 pm.

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

NPS SMS template

Hey {First Name}, on a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your last service? Please respond with a number, 1 being the worst and 10 being the best. Thanks!

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am
Add SMS Superpowers to Any Business Phone
No switching carriers. Just add texting. Talk to Sales to get started.
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Ready to start polling and sending customer feedback texts?

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.

Start sending texts with MessageDesk today. Check out our paid plans - pricing starts at just $14 per month. You’re also free to meet with a messaging expert for a demo.

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