Just Text Me…Or Not: Research on Receiving Survey Invites by Text Message

Survey Invites by Text Message

Yesterday I was talking to my 79-year-old father-in-law and he relayed a story of how his son had told him to “text me” as a follow up to their conversation. Noticing the dazed and slightly fearful look in his father’s eye, he quickly said “just email me”, to his father’s evident relief.

Is this the way it is everywhere? Is email just for seniors and texting the way of everyone else?

This is an important question for us, as we send all of our survey invites through email. Are we using a medium that is hovering on the edge of extinction?

We were wondering how popular survey invites by text message would be with our community members, so we ran a question on an Angus Reid Forum (ARF) and Springboard America (SBA) omnibus survey. It read: “We currently send you invitations to surveys by email. It is also possible to send invitation to mobile phones by text message. Would you be willing to receive text message invitations to surveys, on your mobile phone?”

The question was asked of the 86% of ARF and 93% of SBA community members who have mobile phones. As the chart below shows, email is not dead. In both countries a minority said they would be willing to get survey invites by text, although interest was notably higher in the U.S. And while there is a definite generation gap, there is not a clear majority interest in text invites even amongst millennials.

And while you might say “Hey, this sample is people who answered an email invite. Isn’t that suspect?” I would answer “True, but if our sample is of people who are capable of both text and email, and text was a big deal, would you not expect the numbers to be a lot higher?”

Making sure we use the most appropriate medium to reach a representative sample is critical to our business. We’ll continue to monitor this question with our communities, and also in our recruiting. In the meantime, know that rumors of the demise of email are greatly exaggerated.

If you have questions on this topic, please contact us.