Sending a Survey via Text Message

ENTERPRISE ADD-ON: The Text Message collector is only available to customers in the United States (US). If you're interested, contact sales. If you already have an Enterprise account, contact your Customer Success Manager.

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How It Works

The Text Message collector lets you text people with a US, United Kingdom (UK), or Canadian (CA) phone number a link to take your survey. Survey takers can open the link to take your survey in any survey language on their mobile phone.

Sending texts via SurveyMonkey helps you reach a large audience quickly, avoid spam filters, and make your survey more accessible to people on mobile devices. Anytime texts are sent, credits are deducted from your team's text balance.

The Primary Admin controls which members of the team can use the Text Message collector. If someone doesn't have access, they won't see the collector in Collect Responses. If a survey with a Text Message collector is shared with someone who doesn't have access, they can see the collector in their collector list, but won't be able to send or create text messages.

TIP! You’re responsible for ensuring your survey and text messages are compliant with privacy laws. Learn more about data collection and privacy best practices.


2 Design your survey

2 Create a Text Message collector to send your survey

2 Survey takers open the survey link in the text message to take your survey in a mobile browser

2 Track your sent text messages and analyze your results


Create a Text Message Collector

To send your survey via Text Message:

  1. Go to the Collect Responses section of your survey.
  2. Choose Send a Text. If you already have a collector for your survey, select Text Message.
  3. Add recipients.
  4. Click Edit to identify your company name in the Message.
  5. Edit the collector Options.
  6. Optional: Click Test to send a test text.
  7. Click Send.
  8. Check the box to confirm that all SMS recipients have consented to receiving these text messages from me in accordance with applicable law, and I have identified my company in my message.
  9. Click Send Text.

You can't customize the number the text is sent from.


Your message needs to include your company name but can't contain links. You can add special characters, code, or emojis, but they may take up additional character space and count towards your character limit. Texts sent per recipient lets you know if 1 or 2 texts will be sent to each recipient.

If you can’t Save your message, shorten your message until you can.

Recipients will receive your custom message, the survey link, and the following opt out text, which isn’t editable:

Reply HELP for info. STOP to opt out. Msg&DataRatesMayApply
Text Message Language

In the Design Survey section, you can change your survey language. The opt out text is automatically translated to this language, but you need to provide your own translations for your survey title, questions, and answers.

Don't share personal information other than your company name

Don’t include any personal information, for example people’s names or other information that identifies a person or business, other than your company name. If you include personal information in the text message and receive a Right to be Forgotten request, you may have to delete the entire collector and all responses it collected in order to fulfill the request.


Update the collector options to control the survey taking experience or add restrictions to the survey. If your team uses a custom subdomain, it isn't supported when using the Text Message collector.


Add Recipients

Recipients need to have a US, CA, or UK phone number. There are a couple ways to add recipients to your text message:

  • Type or paste phone numbers into the Send To field and hit enter. You can also add contact groups.
  • Click Add Recipients to import new contacts, upload a CSV spreadsheet, import from another site, or copy and paste a list of phone numbers.

Any new phone numbers you enter or import are saved in Contacts. You can add up to 1,000 recipients per text message. After you send your text message, you won't be able to send more texts with the same collector. But you can create a new collector for the same survey to send more texts.

TIP! Use custom data to include info you know about your survey takers in the survey results.

Import Formatting

The formatting instructions in SurveyMonkey update dynamically based on how you choose to import recipients and help make sure you don't encounter any errors.

Your recipient phone numbers are updated in the Send To field to include the country code and recipient name, if custom data is saved in your account, and any non-numeric characters are removed. For example:

 +12223334444    Name: +15556667777
 + 44 7911 123456    Name: + 44 7911 123456
Import tips

Spreadsheet and List Errors

If you see an error about invalid contacts or that “something went wrong” when you add recipients or try to send a text message, it means your list wasn't formatted correctly or you added duplicate, opted out, or bounced phone numbers.

Tidy up your spreadsheet or manual list, then try to import again. Here are some tips:

  • If you're copying and pasting a list of phone numbers using the manual import option, the email address goes first, followed by the phone number, and then name and other custom data. You can leave a blank space between commas if you don’t have certain info for someone.
  • If importing a CSV file, create a spreadsheet with each contact on its own row and put the columns in this order: Email, Phone, First name, Last name, Custom 1, Custom 2, etc. If you don't have data for a particular contact, just leave the cell blank.
    Download an example CSV to view correct formatting.
  • Don't import a spreadsheet with more than 1,000 phone numbers. Break your text message contacts into multiple CSV files with less than 1,000 rows each and import them to multiple collectors. Or copy and paste the rows of the spreadsheet using the manual import option.
  • Delete the header row from your spreadsheet—including the header row can cause errors.
  • Make sure you're using an accepted delimiter for the spreadsheet (colon, semicolon, pipe, comma, or tab), and that your character encoding is in Unicode ( UTF-8 or UTF-16).
  • If you're using a Mac, try saving your file as MS-DOS Comma Separated (.csv). Go to File > Save As > Format.

Email Import

  • You can use Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, LinkedIn, Office 365, or Outlook.com to import all your contacts. If you make changes to contacts in your email account, they're not reflected in SurveyMonkey. Your SurveyMonkey account is not synced to those applications.
  • To add only some contacts or to import contacts from another email provider or site, go to your email account and export the contacts you want as a CSV file, then import the file to SurveyMonkey.
  • Outlook.com, the free web-based email service formerly known as Hotmail.com, differs from the Microsoft Office Outlook mail application. To import contacts from Microsoft Office Outlook, first export your contacts into a CSV file, and then import the file. Or ask your IT department if your Outlook application is powered by Office 365.


Preview and Send Your Text Message

As you update your message and options, the mobile preview on the right shows a preview of your text.

Test Your Text Message

You can send a test text to any US, CA, or UK phone number. The survey link in the test lets you preview the survey without recording any responses. Sending test messages may use up to 2 texts from your text balance.

Send Your Text Message

When you're ready, click Send. Make sure you're following our Acceptable Uses Policy and check the box to confirm that all SMS recipients have consented to receiving these text messages from me in accordance with applicable law, and I have identified my company in my message. It's your responsibility to only send surveys to people who have agreed to receive texts from you. Then you can click Send Text.

It isn't possible to schedule a text message to send later, send reminder or thank you texts, or invite more recipients on the same collector. But you can create a new Text Message collector to send more texts.


Track Recipients and Analyze Your Results

Track Responses and Recipients

See the number of texts you sent, whether any phone numbers bounced, and the number of responses you received in the Overview tab.

You can see a list of recipients added to the collector and their individual response status from the Recipients tab. Click All recipients to filter recipients. If you want to edit recipient details, you can make edits in Contacts.

Opted out or bounced phone numbers

You can’t send messages to people who have opted out or bounced. You can check for opted out or bounced phone numbers in the Recipients tab.

People who’ve opted out or bounced at some point in the past can opt back in if they want to take your survey. After they opt back in, you need to create a new Text Message collector to send them the survey (the old collector will continue to list them as opted out or bounced).

Delete recipients

If a recipient requests their Right to Erasure, the account holder needs to delete all the recipient's personal and response data.

To delete a recipient from the collector:

  1. Go to the Collect Responses section of your survey.
  2. Open the Text Message collector used to send your survey.
  3. Click on the Recipients tab.
  4. Click on the recipient's row.
  5. Click on Remove recipient record.

This removes the recipient from the Text Message collector. When you receive a Right to Erasure request, we also recommend that you:

Analyze Results

From the Analyze Results section of your survey, you can browse, filter, and compare responses. You can filter by collector or custom data to narrow down responses.

If your contacts include custom data, you can see it in individual responses or in responses data exports, unless anonymous responses was turned on.

TIP! Recipient phone numbers aren't included in Analyze Results, so we recommend using custom data to see identifiable info like first name, last name, or other useful data.


Team Settings

Allow People to Send Surveys by Text Message

By default, no one on the team has access to send surveys by text message. The Primary Admin controls whether people on your team can send surveys by text message. They also choose who can send surveys by text message—their entire team or only specific people.

If only specific people are allowed to send texts, the Primary Admin or Admin needs to turn on this setting for individuals from Manage Users.

Steps to manage users

To allow specific people to send surveys by text message:

  1. Select My Team from the top navigation.
  2. Select Manage Users.
  3. Click the user's row to View User Details.
  4. In the Individual Settings section, click the toggle to Allow this person to send surveys by text message.

Team members with access can create Text Message collectors. If access is disabled later, the team member won't be able to send or create new Text Message collectors, but they can see their existing collectors.

Text Balance

The Text Balance is the shared number of text messages your team can send through the Text Message collector. You can see your team's Text Balance as you create your Text Message collector and in the collector Overview tab.

If you need to text your survey to more people than your Text Balance allows, reach out to your Primary Admin—they can work with their Customer Success Manager to increase the text balance.


What Survey Takers Can Do

To take a survey, people can tap the link in the text to open the survey in a mobile browser.

TIP! If you're getting text message invitations, learn why, how to opt in or opt out, and how to report spam.


Text people a link to take your survey. Survey takers can open the link to take the survey in their mobile browser.

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