Conducting Market Research? Use an SMS Service for Better Results

January 22, 2017 | Back to the Blog

use texting for market research surveys

Wouldn’t it be great if your customers could just spell out exactly what they want and need from your company?

Instead of spending all your time guessing what to offer next, you’d have key insights to help your customers get the most out of your products and services.

While this may seem like a fantasy, there’s one surefire way you can get closer to making it a reality for your business: sending out surveys.

Using surveys gives you the chance to get inside your customer’s head.

You come up with questions you’d like answered and you’ll have replies written in your own customer’s voice; no more guessing required.

Now, before you say anything, I know what you’re thinking.

I’ve tried surveying my customers before and it didn’t work well. Almost no one responded to my survey and those who did only gave vague answers that were not at all helpful.

I get it.

Surveys aren’t easy.

As you may have experienced, many customers just aren’t motivated enough to complete them, even if you throw in an enticing offer.

So what can you do?

Update your approach.

As you’ll soon seen, using an SMS service is a better way to conduct your market research.

To show you why it’s really worth your time, I’ll be sharing my top four reasons an SMS service beats out all other surveying methods.

Just because you’ve been unsuccessful with surveys in the past, doesn’t mean that still has to be the case. Follow our pro pointers and you won’t repeat any mistakes.

So let’s jump right into why using an SMS service for market research surveys works so well.

People Prefer Text Messages, Including Your Customers

This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, but 97% of Americans send at least one text message each day.

Combined, that means 6 billion texts are sent each day in the US alone.

According to one report in Forbes, customers actually prefer receiving text messages over other forms of communication from businesses.

  • 70% mentioned that texts were great for getting their attention
  • 64% of customers think brands should communicate via text
  • 76% admit that they would read a text message sooner than an email

As you can see, it pays to send your customers your market research surveys via text.

Still not convinced? This next section may give you more to think about.

Customers Are More Likely to Open And Respond to Your Texts

We’ve touched on this point a few times on our blog already, but it’s worth repeating. Text messages consistently have higher open and engagement rates than all other forms of communication.

Currently, the open rates for SMS messages average 98-99%. Compare that to email, which if you’re lucky and savvy, still only clocks in around 20%.

Besides open rates, the response rates are much higher as well. Text messages come in with a whopping 45% while email rocks a measly 6%.

Both of these stats make sense, since 90% of texts are read within three minutes.

Text messages are so engaging because they’re fast and easy for all parties involved.

Texts Are Fast & Easy to Use

If over 80% of adults are texting daily, it’s safe to say that most of us can navigate our way around them. After all, they’re pretty simple and straightforward.

These two qualities make text messages an ideal option for businesses to use for customer surveys.

You can set up your survey within a matter of minutes and your respondents will be able to reply just as quickly.

Plus, when you use an SMS service to help you do this, your customers’ responses are then automatically tallied so you can analyze all your results in real-time.

This method provides a simple way to quickly collect your audience’s opinions on any relevant topic to your business.

And if you’re looking to boost your response rates, text message reminders will be just what you need.

Boost Your Response Rates

Scientists at the Pew Research Center discovered that you can use texts to remind your customers to take your online survey without annoying them.

And when you nudge them like this, you’ll see a positive boost in your response time.

Stats show that respondents who received both an email and text notification were 13% more likely to complete a survey than those respondents who only received an email about it.

Furthermore, 50% of the email and text recipients completed the survey within one day of receiving the notification, as opposed to only 37% of email-only recipients.

Same-day response is fantastic, which makes SMS messages one of the best ways to capture instant feedback from your customers.Researchers poked further and realized that 15% of the email and text recipients actually completed the survey within 30 minutes of receiving the text notification whereas only 6% of email-only recipients did so in that time.This is not a coincidence, folks!

People are more likely to respond – and respond faster to a text message than an email.

Now that you have a better idea of why you should use text messages to conduct your market research, you’re ready to learn a few basic techniques for sending your surveys with success.

Use an SMS Service for Your Market Research Surveys

You may be hesitant about sending your standard customer survey via SMS if you’ve never done so before. But you shouldn’t be.

Here’s how simple it is to send your survey in the form of a text:

  • Send one question and wait for a response
  • Once a response comes in, send 1 or 2 more questions in the same way to complete your survey

Yes, it’s that easy.

But, to get a double-digit response rate, you’ll need to keep the following best practices in mind:

Start Out Simple

To get your subscribers to take action, start out with an easy first question, such as:

“Do you have a second to give us your feedback? Reply “yes” or “no”.”

By doing this, you’ll capture your subscriber’s attention and pique their interest, both of which will help increase your chances of them actually completing the survey.

Your survey questions should be 1-word answers at first (reply with “yes” or “no”, or even “y” or “n”) and simple enough to reply back quickly.

From there, you can ask 1 or 2 more questions like this.

After the 2nd or 3rd question, you can ask for more specific feedback.

Let Your Subscribers Speak Their Mind

When a subscriber makes it past your 2nd and 3rd questions, they’re more invested and involved in your survey. It’s at this point that they’re also more likely to give you the specific feedback you’re looking for.

To do this, you have to be the one to initiate the chat.

Fortunately, that’s easier to do than you may think.

Instead of sending a survey question with a set of answers to choose from, leave the response as an open-ended comment and give your subscribers an unlimited character count so they can truly speak their mind.

By opening the doors of communication, you’ll get the key insights you need to make decisions with your customers in mind.

Once you have your survey set up in this format, you’re ready to launch it.

From here, run a test text before it goes live to your audience to make sure everything works out.

If it passes inspection, send your survey and give it some time for the responses to come in.

After a few days you should also send your subscribers a gentle nudge in the form of a reminder text if they haven’t completed your survey yet.

Don’t Forget to Set Up a Reminder

As you set up your survey, it’s a good idea to also create a reminder that’s triggered to subscribers who don’t respond to your survey.

This should start out with a slightly different version of your first text.

So you could say:

“We noticed you haven’t taken our survey yet. Do you have a second now to complete it? We’d love to hear from you!”

This should be your last text message about your survey since you don’t want to annoy your subscribers.

Repeat this process every quarter or so and you’ll start to generate feedback you can really run with. So if you’re ready to get started with an SMS service, check out this page now.

 

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