Tips for Constructing SMS Surveys That Encourage Higher Response Rates
Low response rates can be a problem when conducting surveys via SMS. Some of your contacts may not start or simply refuse to participate in surveys, while others, for a wide range of reasons, may be unavailable to participate in your SMS. With your customer journey in mind, a well-designed surveys can help encourage higher response rates.
Below are some tips or guidelines that you can employ or use as your design your SMS surveys:
- Sensitize customers or let them know that a survey is coming, a day or so before you send. A little anticipation can be effective. Here you can use a 1 way message that comes from the name of your company or project . The Echo platform allow you to create a 1 way message known as Notice and send out this message using ta Mask name/ Sender ID e.g echomobile
- Double check that the literacy rate of your customer base is high, and that the language you use is most appropriate for SMS. For example, many Kenyans use English or Swahili for SMS, rather than their native or regional language.
- If this is the first time that you are engaging with your contacts, you can start with a compelling introduction text. This is an optional message that you can include as your are designing your survey question and this message could clearly explains the following:
- Who the sender is
- including a statement of confidentiality
- Source of the survey(This can be an organization or well known person from the organization)
- SMS responses are free
- How long the survey is
- Personalize your messaging by including their names, ID or other basic information. The Echo Platform allows users to personalize messages using standard
fields — basic, common data points like name, ID and location.
- Keep the number of questions to a maximum of five. We have observed that response rates drop off significantly after five questions. The shorter the surveys, the better
- If you have a longer survey, offer incentive as compensation or split the survey into for example into two parts and send them over two days. That said, non-financial incentives — the broader reasons why your contacts might want to engage with you at all — are an extremely important consideration. Not everyone’s time and information can be bought
- Always aim to collect one piece of data per question
- With multiple choice questions, have explicit instructions on how your candidates should answer.
- Take time to ensure your questions are crystal clear. As soon as someone is confused they’ll stop responding. Test your questions on a small group first and if you’re experimenting with ‘harder’ questions, put them at the end after the easier ones.
As you start to engage with your contacts and use the above recommendations to your SMS surveys, you can analyze the responses that come in and make adjustments to future messaging. By doing this over time, you may find the right balance and setup for the SMS messaging with your set of contacts.
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