A Guide to Sending Text Message Surveys

A text message surveys enable you to conveniently reach your audience via mobile devices. This collector type is most often used with business to easily capture customer feedback. The text message includes a survey link, so you can track respondents and include their customer meta data when analyzing results. This guide will walk you through the setup process.

Getting Started

On the "Distribute" page click "Text Message". From here, you'll see a spreadsheet like gird where you can enter in a list of phone numbers. The first column is the country code, which defaults to 1 for the USA. The next column is the phone number. You would need to enter in the full phone number with area code.

By default, you will also notice the box labeled "Format as U.S. Number" will be checked. This means that any phone number you type will be formatted with the 3-dight area code and 7-difigt phone number.

You can also add custom data attributes along with each phone number entry. Most often first and last name are added to enable the text message itself to have specific wording to the recipient. The custom data attributes also come in hand to segment your results. For example, if you are doing a customer feedback survey, you could enter in what store that customer made a purchase. The results could then be segmented out by store, enabling you to spot hidden trends.

If you wish to upload an Excel file of phone numbers, be sure to have the country code in column A and phone number in column B. Here's an example file to get an idea.

Customizing the Message Wording

Click "Customize Text Message" to change the wording of the message. By Default "[Custom1]" is shown within the message. This tag pulls from the recipient grid. We add this in automatically to reduce spam. The thought is that if you have somebody’s phone number you should also have their name. If you have their name, inserting it into the message will help increase response rates, as the message will appear to be more personalized.

You can add up to five custom data attributes in the message.

The [survey link] is the variable that holder the link to the survey. The link is survey.com/c/xxxx, where the "xxxx" is the a five digit ID associated with a the participant of the survey.

Sending the Text Messages

f you navigate to the "Manage" page of your survey, you'll notice a section for "Text Message Collectors". Here you can select certain respondents who have not yet taken the survey, and send them a reminder message. You can also customize the wording here. You can online send a maximum of one reminder per day.

Sending Reminders

You can either choose to send the messages out immediately or you can schedule them to be sent out at a later date. If you choose to send them at a later date, but then want to cancel the messages, you can simply remove the recipients on the "Manage" page of your survey.

We monitor spam diligently on text message collectors. Any abuse of this feature will result in immediate account termination.

Respondent Tracking & Statistics

Each survey link is unique to that respondent. You can view the number and percentage of people who open, clicked, and completed your text message invitation. To do this visit the "Manage" page. You can export this data to do further analysis. The "Manage" page also will have the IP address and meta data for each text message invitation.

Respondent Tracking & Statistics

Response rates can vary based on who you’re are targeting (e.g current employees vs past external customers). Most often large scale text message surveys are sent to past customers or to a varying population (such as a local government unit emailing citizens on their mailing list) to conduct research.

On SurveyKing, the average response rate for those types of text message campaigns is roughly 38%, which is 26% higher than email collectors.

How to Maximize Email Response Rates

  • Keep your message short - No one wants to read a wall of text
  • As mentioned above, always include the persons first name in the message, this gives the survey invitation a warmer and personalized feel
  • Send the message at the right time- According to Textmarketer, the best time to send messages are on Fridays from 8am - 12pm or 5pm - 9pm.

Text Message Delivery Issues

Network traffic may effect delivery times of messages. The "Manage" page for each survey will give a status as to each individual message.

Respondents may opt-out of text messages from SurveyKing at anytime. People who have opted out will no longer receive messages, and a message will be displayed for that respondent on the "Manage" page. A respondent can text "Start" to the message to opt back in at anytime.


Option Description
Anonymous Responses Surveys will be labeled as anonymous to give respondents confidence that their answers cannot be tracked. For embedded surveys, this means hiding the IP address of the respondent.
Response Editing With this option, if a respondent clicks a survey they have already taken, they can edit their responses and re-submit a new, updated form.
Redirect URL You can enter in a URL for the respondent to be redirected to after they complete their survey.
Close Collector
(Based on Responses)
This will close the collector after a specified number of responses have been received.
Close Collector
(Based on Date)
This will close the collector on a certain date. You cannot accept new responses to a closed survey. You can re-open the survey at any time.