6 Steps to Build SMS Text Message Surveys and Polls

SMS surveys are pretty different than other methods of feedback. Here are a few considerations for building text message surveys and polls that get results.


Understanding your audience allows you to keep improving your organization and creating meaningful connections. Gathering feedback also helps assess your impact and discover what your people really care about.

One effective way to collect feedback and opinions about interactions, events, campaigns, interest, and more is to send out SMS surveys and polls. When you’re just starting out with this format, here are six tips:

  • Understand all your format and approach options
  • Personalize your messages
  • Never be forceful or pushy
  • Keep messages simple
  • Follow up
  • Use a platform

Let’s examine each of these areas.


  1.  Understand your format options

First, polls and surveys are, of course, slightly different from one another. A poll is usually one question, multiple-choice, that gives you a quick answer and user insight. A survey typically provides multiple questions that dig deeper into the user’s opinion and experience. Identify which of these formats will help reach your goal for this research.

Another part of the strategy to consider is how you’ll administer the survey or poll. Mobilize has survey and polling capability built into the platform, so you can conduct surveys on the same platform you use to send text messages. Or you can text a link to an external tool, such as SurveyMonkey or Google Surveys, where the recipient can go complete an online form.

The right approach depends on your current data collection tools and where you store data.


  1. Keep the content relevant

It’s important not to waste people’s time in text messages. The platform enjoys such high open rates precisely because, unlike email, users expect every text they receive to be personally relevant. Your text message survey strategy must meet those expectations.

One use case for highly relevant text message surveys would be to survey recent donors to find out how they learned about your organization. Start the message by thanking them and then kindly request their participation in your survey or poll.


  1. Don’t force it

As with any SMS messaging, you should never send messages to people who have not explicitly signed up for notifications. And, even when someone has signed up, they may change their mind about communicating with your organization that way, and that’s ok.

Always be polite about your request and focus on why you value their feedback. Make it very easy for them to opt-out of receiving any other SMS messages from you. If you come off forceful, they’ll be less likely to participate in your research, and you won’t gather as much information about the audience as you’d like.


  1. Keep it simple

On a similar note, don’t make members or audiences jump through hoops just to provide feedback. To keep things simple:

  • Outline clear instructions about how they can participate.
  • Keep messages short and sweet.
  • Make the action item, or CTA, extremely clear and prominent.
  • Keep the link short if you’re using one.

Never bombard audiences with really long SMS messages or multiple messages (unless it’s part of a back-and-forth conversation). Send one short text that relays the survey or poll information with a bit of personalization and leave it at that.


  1. Follow up after the survey

Plan to follow up with your audience after they complete the survey or poll. If you ask them a question about their experience and they respond, they may wonder what happens next. Have a process in place that will either thank them for participating, explain why you asked or what you’re doing with their feedback, or follow up with an additional question about why they answered the way they did.


  1. Use an SMS platform

Part of running your organization well is always working to understand your audiences better, whether they be members, supporters, customers, students, or friends. Surveys and polls can do just that when you find the right approach that fosters connection and builds relationships.

Mobilize is ready to help you reach the right people with your SMS surveys and polls. Whether you need to reach 1 or 100,000,000 people, our platform helps you send dynamic content in mere moments. We provide text survey and polling services, so you can stay connected with the people who matter most to your organization.

Collect and analyze the right SMS data, integrate GIFs and images, and take advantage of unlimited contacts and groups. Integrate keywords and take advantage of two-way messaging.

Get started by viewing our plans and pricing, or contact the Mobilize team with questions.