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The Ultimate Guide to SMS Surveys (2024 Edition)

Parvathi Vijayamohan

Last Updated:  

30 May 2024

6 min read

Let’s face it.

In business, waiting around isn’t an option. Waiting for customer feedback is as exciting as watching paint dry. We need to know what our customers think; ideally, we should have known it already.

The big question we often face is, ‘How can we gather customer feedback quickly and effectively?’

Traditional surveys? They’re just too slow.

Imagine getting real-time customer responses right through their phones to your mailbox. Especially in this day and age, where people are constantly on their phones, and it’s all about the mobile user experience. Yes, with SMS surveys, it’s a cakewalk.

SMS surveys have been a catalyst for steering instant feedback and scaling many businesses toward greater success. They’re quick, they’re direct, and best of all, they don’t beat around the bush.

In this guide, I’m spilling the beans on how SMS surveys can help you catch the pulse of customer opinion faster than a New York minute. Whether you’re driving a startup or guiding a giant, you’ll discover how these little text messages can bring significant insights into your lap – real-time, no fluff, all action.

If you are here looking for a perfect SMS survey tool for 2024, you can jump right in.

And, for the rest, here you have it—all the basics.

What are SMS Surveys?

SMS surveys (or text message surveys) are simply surveys sent to mobile phones via text message. They are quick and easy to create, and they’re a great way to reach your target audience where they’re already spending most of their time – on their phones.

With an SMS-based survey, respondents can text their number to access the survey. However, if you have permission, you can message the survey with the link directly to their number.

Incorporating SurveySparrow into your strategy seamlessly connects you with your audience right on their phones, effortlessly bridging the gap between you and valuable feedback. It’s a simple yet effective tool that complements your existing communication channels.

Whether initiating contact or responding to opt-ins, SurveySparrow’s integration with platforms like Twilio or CallRail amplifies your reach.

Try it out with our free, comprehensive trial and experience firsthand how SurveySparrow can elevate your survey game.

Why Use SMS Surveys?

A Case Study of an “SMS Text Message Community Panel Survey and Its Potential for Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic, 2021,” led by Lilian Chan and team, showcases the innovative use of SMS surveys during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Focused on the “Shisha No Thanks” project, it highlights how these surveys efficiently captured feedback from young Arabic-speaking adults in Sydney, offering insights into attitudes towards waterpipe smoking. This approach demonstrates the potential of SMS surveys in rapidly gathering data and engaging specific communities during challenging times.

Benefits of using SMS surveys

Major benefits of SMS include:

  1. High Response Rates: People are more likely to respond to a text message than other forms of surveys.
  2. Speed: SMS surveys provide immediate feedback, allowing for rapid data collection.
  3. Convenience: They can be completed at the respondent’s convenience, leading to more accurate responses.
  4. Accessibility: Text messaging is widely used and accessible, reaching a broad audience.
  5. Cost-Effective: Generally, SMS surveys are less expensive than traditional survey methods.
  6. Engagement: Text messaging can feel more personal and engaging, improving participant interaction.

When & Where to Use SMS Surveys

Popular use cases of SMS surveys include:

  1. Customer Satisfaction Feedback: Gathering quick feedback post-purchase or post-service.
  2. Event Evaluation: Collecting immediate responses from attendees after events.
  3. Market Research: Conducting short surveys to gauge consumer preferences or trends.
  4. Health Screenings and Reminders: In healthcare settings, for patient follow-ups or appointment reminders.
  5. Employee Engagement: Assessing workplace satisfaction or getting input on internal initiatives.
  6. Educational Feedback: Students or parents provide feedback on courses or school events.
  7. Public Opinion Polling: For quick, widespread public opinion gathering on various topics.
  8. Service Improvement Feedback: In service industries like hospitality or airlines, for immediate customer feedback.
  9. Emergency Response Feedback: Gathering critical information during or after an emergency.

How to Create an SMS Survey Using SurveySparrow

Creating an SMS survey is easy! All you need is a list of phone numbers and a question or two you want to ask. Here’s how to create a text message survey using the survey template in SurveySparrow (see below).

#1. Go to the survey builder and select a template.

#2. Customize the template questions and design, and save.

SMS surveys: How to build one

#3. Click on SHARE to open the survey sharing options.

SMS surveys: Selecting a share option

#4. Select SMS from the list.

SMS surveys: Selecting SMS survey share

#5. Connect it to your Twilio number and test it before sharing. Then click on ‘Proceed.’

SMS surveys: Customizing and sending a test survey

#6. Schedule your SMS survey according to the date, time, and contact list. You can also schedule reminders to be sent to non-respondents.

SMS surveys: Scheduling according to date, time and contact list

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Three Examples of SMS Surveys to Get You Started

Now that we’ve gone over what SMS surveys are and how to create them, let’s look at three examples to see how they work.

1. Customer Feedback Survey

Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, so it’s essential to get their feedback regularly.

An SMS-based customer feedback survey is a great way to do that. You can use it to ask questions about their experience with your product or service, their thoughts on your customer service, or anything else important to you.

2. Market Research Survey

If you plan to launch a new product or enter a new market, conducting an SMS survey is an effective way to gather information about your target audience.

You can use it to ask questions about their needs and wants, what they think of your product or anything else that will help you make decisions about your business.

3. Stay-in-Touch Survey

If you have a large customer base, keeping in touch with all of them can be challenging. An SMS survey is a simple way to stay connected with your customers and get their feedback regularly.

You can use it to ask questions about their experience with your product or service, their thoughts on your customer service, or anything else important to you.

3 Best SMS Survey Software for 2024

Now that you know about SMS surveys, you’re probably wondering which software platforms offer the best capabilities. Here are our top four picks for the best SMS survey software for 2024:

1. SurveySparrow

SurveySparrow_ SMS Surveys


SurveySparrow is a great option for businesses of all sizes. It offers many features, including creating custom, white-labeled surveys, sending automated follow-up messages, and tracking survey responses in real-time.

Additionally, its ticketing software is an excellent add-on for customer retention; in other words, you can assign unhappy feedback to a team member for action, track the status, and update on closure.

SurveySparrow also offers a mobile app to collect feedback even when you’re on the go.

Get it for free.

2. Typeform

Typeform-SMS Surveys

Typeform is another excellent option for businesses of all sizes. It offers a simple, user-friendly interface that makes creating surveys quick and easy.

It has various features like logic jump capabilities, answer piping, and file uploads. Like SurveySparrow, Typeform integrates with several popular business tools, such as Salesforce and Zapier.

3. Twilio

SMS Surveys

With Twilio Studio, you can build simple, effective SMS surveys using their drag-and-drop editor. You don’t need coding skills; you can have your first survey up and running in minutes.

Twilio offers several features to help you get the most out of your surveys, like sending follow-up messages and tracking responses in real-time.

Each platform offers different features, so be sure to check out their websites to see which is the best fit for your needs.

SMS Surveys: The Ultimate Guide: Wrapping Up

SMS surveys are a great way to connect with your customers and get their feedback regularly.

In this guide, we’ve explained what SMS surveys are, how to create them, and their benefits. We’ve also given you three examples of SMS surveys so you can see how they work.

And lastly, we’ve listed the best SMS survey software for 2024. So, what are you waiting for?

Parvathi Vijayamohan

Growth Marketer at SurveySparrow

Fledgling growth marketer. Cloud watcher. Aunty to a naughty beagle.

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