How to Create a Poll via Text and Boost Audience Engagement

Image of a text polling question for SMS marketing

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.


Critical Text Survey Advantages and Disadvantages to Consider

Image of sample survey that illustrates common text survey advantages and disadvantages

Using MMS and SMS messages to market to your customers is both highly effective and engaging. With the number of mobile devices in use now exceeding the number of people in the world, text marketing has evolved to become a successful model for reaching those you may have otherwise struggled to reach and at an affordable cost. SMS marketing provides you with a powerful and exciting new marketing tool that can be utilized to augment your current marketing efforts.

The use of text surveys acts as a useful method of engagement to provide you with valuable information about how your branding messages are being received. Surveys can provide you with valuable insights into the effectiveness of your text marketing campaigns. However, not all text surveys are created equal, and there are a number of text survey advantages and disadvantages that you must consider before getting started. 

Examining Text Survey Advantages and Disadvantages

Text messages are the fastest way to gain the attention of the receiver, with the vast majority of text messages being viewed within minutes. Even texts that are clearly unsolicited will draw the attention of the recipient for at least a few seconds. This fact makes text surveys a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal.


The biggest advantage of text surveying is the simplicity of design while knowing that you will be obtaining the exact data you desire. The low cost and effort that goes into building and deploying a text survey are just a sampling of the factors driving the surge in popularity of text surveys. There are a few other pieces of the text survey puzzle that will provide benefits to any text survey initiative:

  • High response rates. The almost guaranteed interaction of a recipient to any text message leads to higher rates of response to text surveys, especially when you consider that each recipient has at some point opted into receiving your texts. This gives a text survey an instant audience that is highly likely to interact with the survey over other channels of feedback.
  • Participation is easy and often welcomed. The most enticing aspect of interacting with a text message is that the reader has full control over when, where, and how the text is reacted to. A recipient can respond to a survey at their leisure, which plays a key role in ensuring the accuracy of survey responses.
  • Survey responses are faster. This may seem counterintuitive to the last point, but let’s think about it for a moment. Responding to a text is something that most mobile phone users are conditioned to do in a short amount of time. It takes very little time and energy to respond to your survey, and without the pressure to do so, it is more fun than work, which places your survey towards the front of the user’s “respond to” list.

It is important to remember to keep your surveys brief and to craft them with a clear purpose in mind. Those who will be receiving your surveys have opted to receive messages from you, and by following SMS marketing best practices you will continue to build a text survey strategy that yields the data you need.


There are some drawbacks in the text survey process that may hamper your ability to obtain the responses you want. Keeping these in mind as you develop and deploy your text surveys will help you to get the responses you want with a high degree of accuracy.

  • Rising costs. The expense of sending and tracking a text survey can be prohibitive, especially when recipient responses are not guaranteed. But, does it have to be? Text survey tools and SMS services have emerged that allow you to drastically cut costs despite adding important functionalities that help you get better responses from your text survey campaigns. These tools will help you to design surveys that yield the timely and precise feedback you are seeking.
  • Linked surveys yield limited engagement. Currently, the market is saturated with survey tools that link to some third-party platform. This may seem like a nonissue, but linking out from the original source of your message is a guaranteed way to curtail engagement. The right survey tools understand this and keep all surveying native to the SMS source. 

Turning potential cost and operational difficulties into positive, revenue-generating results is why adding a comprehensive set of SMS texting tools to your arsenal is the best move you can make. 

What Can the Best Text Survey Products Offer?

A common theme to keep in mind when looking through the potential areas of complication with text surveys is that these are all contingent upon the type of SMS tools and features you use. Using a powerful SMS solution starts with understanding what it is those tools can achieve for you, as well as their overall ease of use.

The best survey tools allow you to create, send, track, and analyze responses purely from SMS. Linking to outside websites to manage surveys is the single biggest limiting factor to reduced survey engagement and response rates. . They will give you the freedom to choose the type of questions, from multiple choice to free-response questions, and will provide you with a portal for easy viewing and sorting of survey results. And, these same innovative survey tools will allow you to create new surveys based directly on the results of prior surveys.

Adding user-friendly and affordable survey tools to drive your text surveys towards improved results starts with NorthText’s expert touch. We help you to decipher these text survey advantages and disadvantages to build a campaign that succeeds in broadening the reach of your brand. For quick and easy answers to any questions you have, contact us by phone or text at (312) 869-9070.