When you want to hear from your audience, engage them, or collect valuable data, asking them to participate in a live poll is one of the best ways to accomplish all of these goals. Whether it’s an in-person or a virtual audience, it’s easier than ever to do this thanks to advanced live polling technology.
An SMS poll isn’t the only way to do this, but it’s one of the easiest and most accessible options out there. For example, your audience can simply send their responses in via SMS message so you can start collecting results in real time.
In today’s post, we’re going to cover four things to remember when you’re creating an SMS poll. Before we do that, let’s start from the beginning and explain why you would choose an SMS poll over other live polling options in the first place.
Why choose an SMS poll?
Anytime you’re presenting to an audience, there’s a good chance they have a cell phone within their reach. In fact, they may even be using that device to tune into your presentation. But no matter how they’re taking part, you can ask them to participate in a live poll all by pressing a few buttons on their phone. Participants don’t even need internet access to take part in this type of poll which means it’s one of the more accessible options available to poll organizers and participants alike.
On top of not needing internet access, participants don’t need smartphones either. A basic cell phone gets the job done and you can start collecting poll results right before your eyes.
What to Remember When You Create an SMS Poll
Have we sold you on the benefits of an SMS poll? Great! Now let’s move onto what you’ll want to keep in mind when you start creating these polls for yourself.
The differences between SMS polls and SMS surveys
Polls and surveys both help you collect important information, but there are some big differences between polls and surveys to keep in mind. Rather than collecting a simple, straightforward response, surveys typically involve more questions and longer answers. A poll, on the other hand, is typically a single multiple choice question with a few responses to choose from.
For example, a survey question might look something like this:
What would you list as the biggest challenge our organization faces in 2021? How can we overcome it?
Then, the participant would type their response, likely a few sentences.
As for a poll question, it could look like:
Select your favorite color:
As you can see, the way a participant would respond to these would be very different. For an SMS poll, they would enter the number that corresponds with their answer. But a survey question would call for a longer response that isn’t as quick to respond to with a cell phone as it would be with a computer.
The other way polls and surveys vary is how you interpret their data. With a poll, the data you collect will usually paint a clear picture right off the bat. For example, it could tell you that 64% of respondents list blue as their favorite color. Surveys, however, require some analysis to extract and understand the picture they’re painting and the story they tell.
Keep your questions straightforward and clear
If your questions aren’t clear, you risk collecting inaccurate and useless data. When participants don’t understand what they’re being asked, there’s little hope of getting the data from them you really need. Whenever possible, keep your SMS poll questions as simple and straightforward as possible. (And be sure you’re only asking one question at a time!)
Make it as easy as possible to participate
SMS polls, on average, have higher participation and open rates than emails and other surveys. But to take full advantage of this, make sure it’s as easy as possible to participate. If respondents have to text a long number or get past other barriers to participate, you’ll quickly see participation rates drop. Make sure the live polling tool you choose gives you a simple number to share with your audience so they can simply enter a handful of digits into the contact field before they can start participating.
More and more businesses are turning to SMS and web polling to hear from their customers and collect valuable feedback from them. You might have a long list of customer emails and phone numbers and you want to send a poll out to these people. Before you do this, however, be sure you’re using their information in a way they agreed to when they shared their information with you.
Create your first SMS poll with Swift today
We’ve covered the big benefits of creating an SMS poll as well as what you need to remember when you create one for yourself. But now it’s time to get started! If you’re ready to start engaging customers, hearing from employees, and collecting critical data, we can help. Click here to learn more about our SMS polling tools and what they can do for you.