Two mobile phone users submitting survey responses to a survey by text

When was the last time you filled out a traditional in-person survey? Though in-person and mail surveys are considered one of the most relevant, accurate, and personalized techniques to gather responses, the resources needed for in-person or mail surveys are often expensive and time-intensive. As a result, marketers have switched to survey methods such as email, text, social media, and websites because they can offer a better ROI and a quick turnaround response time. But the question remains about the effectiveness of these alternate survey methods in reaching the target audience and generating better, more frequent responses. 

When we talk about survey response rate, we are talking about the total number of people answering the survey compared to the total number of people receiving the survey. On average, survey response rates are around 33%. For marketers, the challenge is to increase this rate by reaching people more reliably with a method of communication they prefer, and this is where text messages can play a pivotal role. 

How Surveys by Text Message Offer Better Response Rates

To clarify this, let’s look at a few widely used digital channels including email, social media, and websites, and how they can influence the survey response rate.


Only about 20% of emails get read and the rest of them either get stuck in the spam folder or are ignored by the recipients. So, even if a survey is being sent to a larger audience group, the chances of those emails getting opened and read are too low to offer a strong ROI. And, most of us get so much junk email that it has become a reflex to discard the bulk of what we receive.       

Social Media

Social media is an important component of your brand marketing strategy and can serve as both an active and passive channel for polls, surveys, and other data. However, sharing questionnaires on Facebook or Twitter—two of the most popular social media platforms—does not necessarily mean getting a higher response rate as relevant content can go unnoticed in a sea of posts or tweets.       


Many websites install survey widgets requesting visitors to complete a survey form in exchange for a discount or coupon code. Though incentivizing the audience is a good way to motivate them to take a survey, it can reduce the sample size of the survey, as only a certain percentage of the people visiting the website are typically offered the survey.   


Based on SMS marketing statistics, text messages have a 209% higher response rate compared to phone calls, email, or Facebook. Any marketer looking for a higher number of respondents for surveys can’t ignore this fact. With 95% of texts being read within the first 3 minutes of being sent and responded to, on average, within 90 seconds, there is a high chance that a survey by text will receive a better response rate than other digital channels.  

Surveys, when done through third-party tools, only provide aggregated data with a minimum turnaround time of twenty-four hours. And, once you receive this data, you need to analyze it in order to create your retargeting plan. To put it bluntly, this requires a lot of time and effort. On the other hand, surveys done by text messages let marketers gather customer responses in real-time and immediately begin retargeting. With the right SMS delivery platform, the data you gain from your surveys will be immediately more valuable than that gathered from third-party survey tools.

Choosing the Right Platform for Surveys by Text Message

With a more personalized approach, similar to in-person surveys, a survey by text message can more reliably connect with your audience and likely increase their willingness to respond. You can also incentivize survey completion by offering coupons, discounts, or QR codes. The trick is to find the right secured platform that offers the following essential features:

  • Auto-responders: Your audience expects a real-time, personalized response from you as soon as they send a message or complete a survey. With an advanced text marketing platform, the auto-responding feature facilitates one-on-one conversations with the survey respondents, making it quick for them to provide the information and quick for you to collect it. You should be striving to make the process as easy as possible. 
  • Increased character limit: It is considered a best practice to limit the number of questions in a survey to keep your audience focused and likely to complete it. However, most SMS delivery platforms are already limited to only 160 characters. 

    Choosing an innovative SMS delivery platform with an increased character limit lets you include the survey in the text itself rather than putting a third-party link to a survey in the message. Providing the survey right in the text is a guaranteed way to yield higher response rates, as each time you link somewhere else you lose engagement. 
  • Incoming message dashboard: The real-time responses to the survey need to be organized in an intuitive dashboard to allow you to easily work with the valuable data you obtain.  

With these essential features, the right text delivery platform can effectively improve the response rates of your surveys. And, the advantages of these features will win you some loyal subscribers who are happy to not only fill out the questionnaires but also convert into customers. 

NorthText’s user-friendly and affordable text marketing platform can help you collect and improve responses to surveys by text message. To learn more about how our platform can benefit your business, contact us by phone or text at (312) 869-9070.