10 Innovative Ways to Build an Effective SMS Survey

sms survey blogpostThe year is 2017. The rise of technology and digital communication has been multi-present and omnipotent and there must be no doubt about implementing them in their daily business activities. That being said, at the present time in terms of communication, there is no doubt that mobile phone technology is exploding and usage becoming prolific; in fact, “the cell phone is the most quickly adopted consumer technology in the history of the world” – a fact that plenty of market researchers have been starting to fully grasp and quick to find ways to utilize. It is reported that in 2013, 91 percent of American population own a cell phone, and of all cell phone owners, 79 percent say they use text messaging on their phones. Of particular interest to survey researchers, some traditionally harder-to-reach populations, such as low-income and minority populations, have been quick to adopt mobile phone technologies, and use text-messaging services a higher rate than others (According to Smith, 2011). Thus, in this day and age of prevalent mobile phone ownership and texting, exploring text messaging as a means to conduct survey research with a broad range of citizen is judicious. Considering all these facts, the question is NOT if one should apply this technology to conduct market research but, HOW to apply this knowledge most effectively, guaranteeing a high response rate as well as valuable data that can be used in oh so many ways down the road of your particular research.


Nothing formal here.  A simple “Hi! Sample Solutions here” will do you great. It’s very important for the people who will eventually take part of the survey to feel like they are talking personally to someone and this way you are opening the doors to a comfortable setting during the whole process of the survey.


Preparation is very important, you HAVE to make sure to ask the real questions that will allow you to get a clear and satisfying answer. Avoid vaguely and questions that can be easily misinterpreted! It’s best to plan your survey by first identifying the data you need to collect and then writing your questions.


Overcomplicating things can get you in a bit of a mess. Your target audience needs to know that they are expected to respond and make sure the survey follows a logical order and that it takes a reasonable amount of time to complete. No one wants to spend an eternity answering questions. Strive for the clear and precise language but make an effort to think of what the critical indicators you want to collect are and stick to those.


Simplicity IS the key. You should use a language (words and sentences) which are simple enough to avoid some technical jargon but also be careful not to oversimplify to the point of misinterpretation. Also,  do everything you can to make the survey feel personalized and fun – personalize how you pose questions based on previous answers.


Grids aren’t mobile friendly. Use enumerating instead. Unless you are asking an open-ended question, you should give your users some clues on how you want them to answer. Explain the scale with the first SMS you send them.


This one is especially important if you are not able to make answering the questions for free. Just make sure to inform the participants that you enter anybody who completes your survey into a drawing to win something.


This is kind of essential. Make sure you ask at least five people (employees or friends) to test drive the survey and weed out all ineffective questions or help you rephrase a part of them. Also,   Every audience and context is different, and your users’ tastes may even change over time, so it is important to experiment. Track the audience’s responses and that way you can be more certain that you got it right this time.


You have to show that you respect the people you target and their time. Just as every email campaign has an unsubscribe option, the idea is the same. You have to make sure that they are willing to participate and allow them to opt out whenever they want.


The trickiest thing is to make sure that people will see the message and that will have the time to fill out the survey. No one would ever bother to do that if they are required to answer in the evening, while they are having lunch or during busy work hours. The smartest thing is to know and research your target audience – know their habits and choose the close to perfect (since never is perfect!) time and mood they are into for answers.


Sending out a survey to a large sample takes work and careful consideration in order for it to run smoothly, part of this has to do with the platform you use to send out the survey. Make sure the platform provides you options to set scales, values, upload a sample, set reminders or even set specific time and dates to send out the survey. But the most important part is to have a fully optimized platform that will ensure your respondents will not have to wait even a minute to get the next question! Do your research and find the right tools, such as this one here.

In any case, here at Sample Solutions, we are always willing to provide you with the right advice and consult on what works best for you. We offer a range of SMS Services that will make following these steps as easy as it can get. Take a look at some of the sample surveys and you will know what we are talking about!

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