“Okay, I know what this text marketing is for”, you say; “it’s just for texting coupons, discounts, birthday offers or sales news to your customers”. Yeah, it seems that this content is always to the point. But there is also another great way to engage with your customers in SMS marketing; it is polls. They can help you to recognize your customer expectations about your products or services and improve your business. Here are some fresh ideas on how to hold polls via text messages.

The ABCs of texting polls

Just like ordinary polls, texting polls always contain a question to be answered by customers. Recipients can answer this question by texting back their opinion. For their convenience, ask them to choose one answer out of several options.

It’s a nice idea to embed a link to your social network into polling texts, so your mobile subscribers can open it and leave more comprehensive feedback online. You can also use social media to promote your text to vote campaigns.

As we see it, the most exciting form of texting polls are contests. To make a text to vote contest you need to create a set of keywords that stand for the different options in your poll. Then you should ask your mobile subscribers and prospects to text you one of these keywords. Finally, you have to tally up which keyword received the most messages. Of course, rewarding the winners  makes things more exciting for the participants.

Texting polls strategies

1. Rolling out new product

Companies keep some things secret about the new product they are going to roll out, leaving room for rumor and speculation. Although this can help to build up interest, there is a downside as well, as people may be disappointed if the product fails to meet their expectations when it is finally released. The alternative gambit of keeping customers informed prior to launching a product may bring you at least two important benefits:

The first is that you can find out what your customers want to see in your product, so you can customize it to their needs. The second is that when you listen to your customers and bring their ideas to life, you make them feel a part of the creative process, so their emotional connection with your company will be increased. This makes it more likely your  customers will actually buy your new product upon release.

All these objectives can be achieved by polling your customers via text messages; the feedback may be immediate, as statistically people tend to respond to text messages within 90 seconds. So, for example, if you are going to add some delicious new item to your restaurant menu, don’t hesitate to figure out what new things your customers want to see on your menu by sending them polling texts.

2. Discovering user experience

Another strategy is to ask your customers to make photos after they’ve bought your product and text them to you; encourage them to do this with discounts or gifts. In these photos customers can show not only how they use and customize your product but also any supplementary purchases they might make related to them. (Such as a tablecloth to match a table or a handbag to match a dress). Finding out the ways they use your product can help you see if you could make any improvements to it.

You can inform your customers about photo campaigns with a text message sent after they’ve purchased your product. It also a nice idea to let them post these photos on social media using your hashtag as well, so you will get a double-effect of spreading the word about your company and having a chance to know your customers better. By the way, by giving your customers an option to choose between texting and social networks for posting their photos you can also understand which form of communication they prefer.

All in all, polls are a great way to communicate with your mobile subscribers and get to know about their needs, wants and buying habits. With polls, you can recognize your customer expectations and meet them by improvement of your product or service. This can help you to nurture loyal customers.