How to use SMS

10 SMS Survey Best Practices That Are Sure to Yield Higher Response Rates And Better Insights

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Have you tried conducting a survey using text messages? If so, you know that getting people to respond is challenging. 

But you don’t have to worry. Many people struggle with getting a lot of responses from their SMS surveys.

The good news is you can increase your survey response rate.


This article will explore best practices for higher response rates from your SMS survey. Also, we’ll show you how to apply them in SMS surveys to your customers. 

Let’s learn some valuable survey tips and techniques.

What are SMS surveys? 

SMS surveys mean asking questions and getting answers via text messaging. 

For example, if you send a text message and ask your customers to assess your product or service on a scale of 1 to 10, that’s an SMS survey.

The cool thing about SMS surveys is that you can use them to ask people all kinds of questions and get feedback. 

For example, you can ask what they think about your new product. Or how they feel about a recent experience with your business.

best practices for SMS Surveys | what are sms surveys

SMS surveys are easy to respond to – all your customers need to do is send a quick SMS back with their answers. 

Now, you know what SMS surveys are. Let’s go right into 10 SMS survey best practices.

10 SMS survey best practices for higher response rates and better insights 

Here are the top 10 things you must do when creating your SMS surveys.

1. Know your audience 

You need to know who your survey recipients are. This way, you can ask questions that are relevant to them. In return, you get more accurate and valuable responses. 

For example, you are surveying customers who recently bought a new phone. You can ask them about their experience with the device and what feature they like most.

Image showing example of Feedback sms survey

To know your audience, you can look at age, gender, location, and interests. You can also divide your audience based on what they have bought before.

For example, you sell clothing and want to survey your SMS subscribers. The survey for those who bought women’s clothing will be different from those who went for men’s clothing.

2. Keep it short and simple 

When creating an SMS survey, remember to keep it short and straightforward. This means you should only ask a few questions and ensure they are easy to understand.

best practices for SMS Surveys

Why do you need to keep your survey short and simple? Because people don’t want to spend much time answering survey questions. 

If your survey is too long or difficult to understand, people will lose interest and not complete it.

To simplify your survey, only ask questions that will give you insights. Make the questions few, direct and easy to understand.

Avoid long and complex questions. For example,  “On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with our customer service response time to your inquiries?” 

Instead, you could ask a simple and direct question. For example, “Were you satisfied with the response time of our customer service? Yes or no?” 

This makes it easier for your customer to understand the question and respond quickly.

Copy and use 15 SMS Survey Templates For Gathering Valuable Customer Data

3. Timing of the survey

The timing of your SMS survey is crucial for getting the best response rates and insights. 

Ensure that you’re sending your survey at a time when your recipients are most likely to respond.

Also check: What is The Best Time to Send Promotional SMS?: According to Industry Experts

Let’s say you’re surveying college students about their dining hall experiences. You shouldn’t send the survey at midnight when most of them are asleep. 

Instead, send it during the day or early evening. They are more likely to be awake and check their phones at that time.

To know the best timing for your survey, think about the habits of your audience. 

When are they most likely to be free to answer your questions? Are specific events or times of day making your survey more relevant or timely?

You can also schedule your survey to send at the optimal time. SMSCountry offers SMS scheduling. It allows you to reach your audience at the right moment when they are most likely to respond.

Timing is key to getting the most responses and the most accurate insights from your SMS survey.

4. Use a personalised message

Personalisation is all about making your message feel more human. You don’t want your message to sound like a generic message that you sent to hundreds of people.

Add the recipient’s name to the message to personalise your SMS survey. You can also reference previous conversations your customers had with you. 

Personalised SMS survey example

Don’t forget to make your tone friendly and informal.

For example, you want to send an SMS survey to your customers about a new product release. You should use a message that factors into their past purchases. 

You could say, “Hey, Lola, we noticed you love our tech products. We’d love to get your thoughts on our latest release.”

Personalisation makes your message stand out from the rest. But that’s not all. It also makes the recipient feel cherished and appreciated. This can lead to higher response rates and more accurate insights.

So, don’t get worried about adding a personal touch to your SMS survey messages. Your recipients will appreciate it, and you’ll get better results.

5. Incentivise response

Another great way to increase response rates for text-based surveys is to offer an incentive. 

An incentive is a reward or benefit you offer your customers for completing the survey.

Incentives can come in many different forms. It can be discounts, free samples, or entries into a prize draw. 

Check : 10 Creative Ways to Use SMS Discounts (+Discount Message Examples)

SMSCountry provides all you need to delight your customers with fast and secure OTP and transactional SMS. At the best price

The key is to make the incentive valuable enough to motivate the recipient to take the survey. But don’t make it so valuable that it skews the survey results.

For example, you are surveying your customers about their experience at your restaurant. 

You could offer them a free dessert or a discount on their next visit in exchange for completing the survey. 

Also learn: What are SMS Short Links And How Do You Use Them?: A Complete SMS Guide

Offering an incentive motivates your customers to respond. But it does even more. It makes them feel valued.

This can make your customers more loyal and even recommend your brand to others.

Consider offering an incentive for completing your SMS survey. It is a win-win for both you and your customers.

6. Create a game-like experience 

Creating a game-like experience for your text survey also helps increase response rates.

One way is to use interactive features such as quizzes, polls, or challenges. 

For example, you could ask a series of multiple-choice questions. Then, provide a score that ranks your customer’s knowledge or opinion.

Another way is to use a conversational tone and inject fun or humour into your survey questions. 

This can make the survey less like a chore and more fun.

For instance, you are surveying your customers on their favourite toppings. 

Here is an SMS survey sample: “If pizza was a superhero, which topping would be its sidekick? A. Ham B. Bacon C. Onions.” 

Adding fun to your SMS survey makes it a memorable customer experience.

7. Use emojis in your surveys

Using emojis in your SMS survey is a great way to add visual interest and engage your survey.

Emojis are simple graphics that can show emotions or ideas in a quick and fun way. 

You can use emojis in your survey questions and responses or as a way to show different parts of the survey.

For example, let’s say you’re asking a question about your customer’s favourite type of food. You could include emojis of pizza 🍕, sushi 🍣, or tacos 🌮 to make the question more appealing.

Ensure to use the right emojis, and don’t use too many. So that the emojis don’t distract your customers from the survey’s purpose.

8. Optimise for mobile

You need to optimise your online SMS surveys for mobile devices. This is because most people use their phones for everything, including taking surveys.

Make the font size and format easy to read on smaller screens when creating your survey.

Your survey should be mobile-responsive, This means it fits the size of the user’s screen.

Also, keep your survey concise. Don’t use complex question types that may not display well on mobile screens. 

Use short questions and clear response options that your customers can easily understand and respond to on mobile.

9. Send surveys in different languages

Sending SMS surveys in different languages is very important. It matters even more when you have a multilingual audience. 

By doing this, you show that you value the diversity of your customers. 

When creating an SMS survey, use the languages your target audience speaks. If possible, provide translation options.

This will make the survey more accessible. It will also increase your possibilities of getting responses from various customers.

For instance, you are surveying a region where English is not their first language. Send the survey in the local language as well as English. 

This way, you can ensure everyone understands and responds to the questions.

The SMSCountry API  supports UNICODE SMSes. This lets you send and receive SMS in letters and characters of your regional language. 

10. Follow-up and analyse results 

Sending out your SMS survey and getting responses is not the end. You must follow up with your respondents. Thank them for taking the time to complete your survey. 

This shows that you respect their opinion and appreciate their input.

After you’ve collected all the responses, it’s time to dig in and analyse the data.

Look for patterns and trends to see areas to improve your products or services. 

For example, you might notice that certain people love a particular product. Some customers may have fantastic ideas for new products or services you could offer.

Analysing the data is key. It gives you insights that help you make your business better.

Enhance your SMS surveys with SMSCountry’s personalisation and analytics

There you have it. 

10 SMS survey best practices to get higher response rates and better insights. 

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use SMS survey tool, choose SMSCountry.

We offer bulk SMS services and SMS API for your apps and website.

With SMSCountry, you can personalise your surveys and send them in any language. You can also schedule your surveys and get detailed analytics.

Schedule a free demo to learn more about SMSCountry bulk SMS and API support. Or sign up for free and start getting massive responses. 

FAQs about SMS survey best practices 

What types of businesses can benefit from SMS surveys?

Any business wanting to get customer feedback can enjoy SMS surveys, such as restaurants, retail stores, hospitals, and even online businesses.

Is it necessary to offer an incentive for completing an SMS survey?

It’s not necessary, but it can increase the response rate. People are more likely to participate in the survey if they get a discount or a chance to win a prize.

Are there any legal requirements for sending SMS surveys?

Yes, there are some legal requirements that you must follow when sending SMS surveys. For example, you need to get consent from the recipient and provide an opt-out option.

Can SMS surveys work for market research? 

Yes, SMS surveys can be an excellent tool for market research. You can ask customers about their preferences, behaviour, and satisfaction levels. These will give you insights that can help you improve your products or services..

Nisha Parikh

Nisha is the VP of Marketing at Telebu. With a love for anything product or marketing, she has successfully driven growth for Telebu by steering partnerships across the Middle East and South East Asia - establishing offices and commencing operations in Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Hong Kong, and UAE. Outside of the office, Nisha enjoys spending time with her nephews and doing a lot of extensive reading.

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