Asking your audience to participate in the future of your business will set your brand apart and increase customer engagement. Not only will your consumer base feel valued, but you will also obtain valuable information to help inform any potential future changes. This could be anything from adding a new offering to a popular product line to launching an app to engage a new demographic. But before you can engage with your customers, you need to find the right marketing medium.
Many traditional outreach initiatives utilize email for conducting polls or surveys. However, there are some major drawbacks to this form of communication including low response and visibility rates when compared to text response rates. That’s why many tech-savvy businesses are choosing another route: text message polling. Creating a poll via text message is proven to result in more responsive polling and surveying. While it may require some initial strategy recalibration on the part of your marketing team, choosing text polling will drive high levels of polling engagement and give you the concise answers you want.
Text Polling Unlocks a Potentially Greater Audience
Making the decision to engage your customer platform to gain information about a new product or service you would like to offer must take into consideration the best medium for the task. Unlocking the potential reach of SMS messaging can help breathe life into your polling. You may also discover along the way the communication and interaction preferences of your customers, giving you valuable insights into how to better exceed their expectations.
Leaning on text messaging for your polls and surveys can reach a greater audience than is typically seen with email marketing. Consider this: 90% of mobile device users open a text message within three minutes of receiving it, versus only roughly 18% of emails ever being opened. This makes a strong case for switching to text polling. And, the influx of innovative tools to support SMS marketing, in general, has served to simplify the entire process.
Text Polling: An Exercise in Brevity
Texting is all about brevity, and your SMS poll should not be an exception. A texting “poll” is a one-question survey, which can be intimidating. Trying to prioritize all of the informational elements you desire into one question may leave you going around in circles.
Start by thinking of one, vital piece of information that you really want to obtain from a poll. Condense your ultimate goal for this poll into one statement: “After this poll ends, I want to know X.” If it is not possible to construct a polling question around this point, circling back around to add precision into your marketing plan will help you to accomplish a better poll question, as well as to give you a fine-turned marketing plan.
Once you’ve whittled things down to one question, creating both the initial text and the auto-response message is much easier. The responses you seek can be as simple as “yes” or “no,” a short set of numbers, or a multiple-choice question. In all cases, the effort required of the person being polled must be minimal, and the directions for filling out the poll short and clear.
Have Multiple Questions to Ask? No Problem!
Even though SMS polls are just one question, sometimes there are situations in which a multiple-question survey is required. Thankfully, text surveying campaigns do not need to start and stop with just one question. Many marketing teams have discovered that sending out a single new question on a scheduled basis, or open-ended polling, is a good way to garner the necessary information without coming across as spammy or asking for too much investment from the recipient.
Timing is key here. You need to know when your audience is most likely to check their phone, engage with texts, and what kinds of questions get the best response time. This is where knowing your audience comes into play because every demographic is a bit different. Using an SMS tool that can provide you with all the necessary data from a clean dashboard will help you in making an accurate determination about when and how often survey messages can be sent out.
Finally, make sure you prioritize your questions in order of importance! Even when taking the audience, timing, and poll phrasing into account, you will run the risk of your target audience experiencing polling fatigue. This makes it imperative that you prioritize the questions you want to be answered most so that even if some of your recipients opt-out or simply stop responding, the most critical answers you were looking for will be safely in your SMS messaging dashboard.
There Are Important Legal Aspects to Consider
There are several important legal considerations to be aware of before starting a text polling campaign. Maintaining regulatory best practices, especially those established by the FCC, is crucial. The Telephone and Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is the primary regulatory consideration that you must vigilantly stay in compliance with, as it outlines strict guidelines around the use of text messages for marketing purposes.
The rules offered by the TCPA will require you as a business to provide recipients with clear information around intent and visibility into opt-in processes. For example, a key callout is that any potential texting recipient must provide consent to receive any form of marketing text from you. Additionally, you must cease sending text polling or any other marketing texts should the recipient decide to opt-out of future SMS messages.
Additional industry guidelines, for instance, those offered by the CTIA, will help to keep your text polling campaigns running smoothly. Any text polling you wish to do should be cross-checked to the rules offered by these entities. This level of due diligence will reduce the risks of violating any applicable regulations, limiting your liability to fines, penalties, or potential sanctions.
Learning How to Create a Poll via Text Starts with Choosing a Survey Partner
Learning about how you can simplify and execute your text polling campaigns is only one piece of the puzzle. Incorporating a new engagement platform into your marketing plan will take time and resources. This is where an experienced text marketing campaign partner can help. They will provide you with a set of tools and applications that will work to create highly engaging and focused text polling which can provide you with the information you seek to gain from your polls to take your business to the next level.
Developing an engaging text poll requires more than just a clear marketing vision. You need the right set of tools and expertise to get the results and data you desire from any survey you send out. The expert guidance and suite of tools that NorthText can provide will accomplish just that. For quick and easy answers to any questions you have, contact us by phone or text at (312) 869-9070.CONTACT US!
Jeff Winaker is the CEO of NorthText. He’s passionate about helping clients reach their customers faster with SMS marketing. He resides in the Bay Area with his family.