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How to Use Text Polls to Grow Your Audience

Text messaging is the most powerful marketing tool in a business’s arsenal in 2022. There are many ways to use it to build your brand, and one of the most under-used methods of collecting customer feedback is through text pools. 

Not only are text polls easy to create, they are also cost-effective. With Smarter Contact, you can send thousands of messages–including text polls!–and automate your SMS marketing. 

What is a Text Poll?

A text poll is simply a way to send questions to customers. The answers to these questions can offer valuable feedback regarding features that they would like to see or offer insight into how you are currently performing in their eyes. 

There are a number of different types of text polls that your business can include in its SMS marketing campaigns. These include:

  • Open-ended questions
  • Multiple choice
  • Yes/no
  • Ratings (number range)

When you want to find out more about your target audience’s preferences, text polls are arguably the best way to collect information. Here are a few examples of how you can use these different types of text polls to gather valuable feedback:

  • Open-ended questions: “How can we improve our website?”
  • Multiple choice: “What type of coffee would you like us to include on our beverage menu?” 
  • Yes/No: “Would you be interested in joining future events that include barista training? 1=Cortado, 2=Macchiato, 3=Affogato, 4=Frappuccino” 
  • Ratings: “On a scale of 1 to 10, (10 being the best), how likely are you to recommend our services to a family member or friend?”

How Do Text Polls Work?

SMS voting is very straightforward. After you have created your question(s), you will send it to the subscribers who have opted in to receive communication from you. The recipients can then share their feedback by replying directly to you or texting their answers to a designated short code.

To improve engagement, it is also important that you take the time to share the text poll results with voters. You can do that either in real-time (this can be handy if you are hosting a live event, for instance) or you can alternatively share the results a little bit later by turning it into a separate campaign.

The Benefits of Text Polls for Businesses

Simple and User-Friendly

For your contacts, the main benefit of receiving texting polls is they require only a few seconds of action. For example, if you will be using ratings or multiple-choice questions, the only thing your recipients need to do to participate in your survey is to reply with a number. In a matter of seconds, they can replay to your message and feel like their opinion is valued and heard. 

Increase your Contact List

In addition to collecting customer feedback, text surveys can also be used as a lead magnet. By offering something in exchange for a short text poll, you can bring customers into your pipeline and continue communicating with them through SMS marketing.

Affordable and Sustainable

Compared to phone calls, texting data rates are generally more affordable. Also, since responses aren’t collected or recorded on paper, it is much more environmentally friendly. Ultimately, polls are a powerful business tool that you can use at an extremely low cost to your business.

Legal Considerations of Text Polls

While SMS polls can offer numerous benefits, there are a few key legal aspects that you need to keep in mind, depending on the region: 

  • You will have to protect the individual privacy of participants when you are conducting surveys via text.
  • Any information that will make it easy to identify an individual will need to be removed. 
  • You will have to inform participants why your campaign is collecting data and with which parties you will share it. 

How Effective are Text Polls?

Text polls are a relatively new concept for businesses and consumers alike. However, existing data about SMS marketing shows how incredibly powerful this communication channel is for increasing customer engagement and loyalty.

Here are a few important statistics about SMS marketing:

  • Nearly 80% of consumers use texting more than any other messaging tool.
  • More than 80% of consumers reply to text messages from a company within 30 minutes. 
  • Over 70% of consumers said that they have 0 unread text messages at any given time. As a matter of fact, over 60% of people read their text messages within 5 minutes.
  • Adults spend more or less 23 hours per week texting. In fact, about a third of American consumers admit to spending more time on their phones than with their spouses. 
  • Consumers are 4.5 times more likely to reply to a text message than to an email. 
  • About two-thirds of Americans check their phones 160 times on average per day. 

These statistics illustrate loud and clear that consumers respond positively to text messages.

5 Tips for Creating Engaging Text Polls

  1. Identify the Goal of the survey

Regardless of what type of poll you send, it must have a clear and achievable goal. For example, if you are already using text messaging as a real estate agency, you might want to create a poll question to find out which type of property your target audience is more interested in buying.

  1. Use Ratings Often

While multiple-choice questions are convenient when you want to let people vote for their favorites, the advantage of using ratings is that they offer richer data. You can use it to measure the intensity of consumers’ attitudes (something that multiple-choice questions or yes/no responses can’t quite capture). 

  1. Use the Language of Your Audience

Being relevant and memorable is much more important than being professional. When writing your questions, avoid using fancy language. Texting is a personal communication channel, so use the language and words that your audience will understand. The most effective polls use plain language and short sentences. 

  1. Follow Up with Responders

By following up with a responder, you can boost engagement and keep the conversation going for longer. If your participants engage more with your live polls, your marketing campaigns will ultimately be more effective. And don’t forget to follow up with the voting results!

  1. Promote your Poll with Opt-In SMS’s

Why not link your poll to a competition or other incentives like a gift card or discount? This way you can boost the number of responses. 

To make it even more effective, be sure to include an opt-in SMS so that you can grow your subscriber list. Participants will be happy because they stand the chance to win a prize or unlock a reward, while you get more subscribers. 

That being said, the risk of this approach is that you might get people other than your real target audience to vote. So, to make sure that voters are not just after the incentive, only offer incentives that your target audience will find relevant. 

Automating your SMS Marketing at Scale

Since text polls are quick and easy, you can look forward to a lot more customers taking the time to participate in your survey. Not only is it more user-friendly than paper-based surveys or email questionnaires, but it can also be extremely simple to create text polls. With a tool like Smarter Contact, you can automate your SMS marketing and massively increase your deliverability and open rates.

It takes on a few clicks to start a text message campaign and send a custom poll to your audience. Smarter Contact has all the features you need to make text marketing a channel that works for your business. If you are interested in getting to know your customers better, take advantage of our free 7-day trial and see for yourself how simple it can be to use an SMS poll.

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