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Sending SMS Surveys from Zonka Feedback Platform
Sending SMS Surveys from Zonka Feedback Platform

Learn how to send SMS Surveys from the platform

Sonika Mehta avatar
Written by Sonika Mehta
Updated over a week ago

SMS Surveys are very popular, quick and easy to gather feedback as with it you can reach anyone with a mobile device.

When you're using Zonka Feedback's SMS Survey Tool, you can send SMS Surveys directly from the platform. This is very easy and convenient as you can choose to send your SMS Surveys whenever you like, customize your SMS body, control your contacts and recipients and even schedule your surveys.

We will cover the steps to sending SMS Surveys from the platform and all the options you can use.

In this article


Steps to sending SMS Surveys from platform

Once you have created your Survey, sending an SMS Survey to your customers through Zonka Feedback is a very quick 3-step process. To send SMS Surveys, follow these steps.

  1. Compose: You can compose, customize, and personalize the Survey SMS. The SMS Survey invitation link gets added automatically.

  2. Add Recipients: You can add contacts manually, choose Contact Lists or import a CSV with contacts and additional data.

  3. Preview and Send: Take a quick look at your drafted SMS to ensure that it is exactly what you want to send. Once previewed, you can send it.

Let's review these 3 steps to Sending SMS Surveys in detail.


Step 1: Compose your SMS

With SMS personalization and customization, you can tailor your survey messages to meet your needs. Here's what you can do:

  1. Compose SMS Content: Use the flexible editor to write the SMS message you want to send to your contacts. You can either modify the default content or create your own text, including the survey invitation link.

  2. Include Survey Invitation Link: It is important to note that you will not be able to send the SMS message without including the survey invitation link. This link is already personalized and will automatically track the recipient engagement with the SMS.

  3. Preview Your Message: Before sending out your SMS survey, take advantage of the option to send a test message and see how it will look in real life.

This way, you can ensure that your SMS message is clear, concise, and accurately represents the information you want to gather from your survey participants.

Saving your SMS Survey Message

By default, the default SMS message would be saved in your account. To save your own message, simply customize the message and send yourself or your recipients the SMS Survey.

Once you send the SMS Survey, the new message would automatically get saved in your SMS Text Box for the particular survey.

πŸ“– Note

Sending a Test SMS to yourself does not save your customized SMS Survey message.

Options while composing your SMS

Personalize your SMS by Inserting Placeholders

You can personalize your SMS by using variables as placeholders. Personalization improves engagement of your customers with your SMSes and ultimately with the SMS Surveys.

While personalizing your SMS Surveys, you can choose from Contact Attributes, Survey Variables and Hidden Variables and insert them in the SMS body.

For example, if you'd like to send a message saying:

'Hey John, thanks for visiting our NY store. We'd love your feedback. Please spare a few moments to tell you how your experience was at https://us1.zonka.co/XXXXXXX.'

In this you can insert multiple placeholders like:

'Hey {{contact_name}}, thanks for visiting our {{locationId}} store. We'd love your feedback. Please spare a few moments to tell us how your experience was at https://us1.zonka.co/XXXXXXX.'

To insert placeholders, do as follows.

  1. Go to SMS Distribution > Choose Send SMS Survey from Zonka Feedback > Setup and Send

  2. Click on the SMS body where you'd like to insert the placeholder.

  3. Click on 'Insert placeholder' from the top of the text box.

  4. A popup will open. Choose from Contact Attributes, Survey Variables and Hidden Variables.

  5. Click on the Attribute or Variable you'd like to insert. You will see a text box to enter 'Default Value'. This is optional. The default value would be used if the attribute or variable is not available.

    For example, if you choose {{contact_name}} as one of the personalization placeholders in your SMS body, but the Name for a particular contact is not available then a default value can be used. For instance, Hey there, how was your experience?

Inserting Survey Invitation Link

By default, you'd see that the SMS body has {URL} added. This is the auto-generated, personalized and trackable survey link that is sent with the SMS Body.

  • The Survey Invitation link cannot be customized.

  • The Survey Invitation link is mandatory in the SMS body.

  • You can place the Survey Invitation link anywhere in the SMS body.

  • The character limit of the Survey Invitation link may vary a little bit as it is personalized. The characters you see in the bottom of the SMS text editor include the Survey Invitation Link as well.

Don't want SMS Survey to track your customers? Learn how to send Anonymous SMS Surveys.

Inserting Default Message

The Survey Platform has a default message included for you to quickly edit, preview or test your SMS Survey sending. This can be edited, customized or removed. However, if you'd like to add it back, you can simply click on 'Insert Default Message'.

Information about SMS

While you're composing the SMS, you will find a few important pieces of information about your SMS right under the SMS compose text box. This may seem like TMI (Too Much Information), but is helpful in the following ways.

  • It tells you how many messages would be sent to the customer. You may want to keep this shorter and concise so customers can read this swiftly.

  • It tells you how you many messages you'd be charged for. You may want to keep this shorter to manage your SMS costs and credits.

You can view the following information about your SMS while composing.

Characters

A single SMS message can have up to 160 characters or 70 with Unicode characters. With message concatenation support from modern phones and networks, longer messages are split into segments and reassembled upon receipt. Though this enables sending long SMS, it increases the cost per message as billing is per segment.


If the number of characters displayed is seeming higher to you than the actual characters, that is because some characters like emojis and different language symbols contain more than one unicode character.

Segments

SMS segments are parts of a long text message that are automatically split when the message exceeds the character limit of 160 characters or 70 characters with Unicode characters. The segments are then reassembled upon receipt to form the original message. This feature is called "message concatenation."

So when you're sending a long SMS, it is actually multiple SMS segments together. A message of character limit 160 is 1 segment. When you're sending long SMSes (multiple segments), you're being charged per segment.

SMS Count

The SMS count is essentially same as Segments and will be indicative of how many SMSes you would be charged for based on the SMS you're composing.

πŸ“– Note

The standard SMS message length is 160 characters, so we recommend staying within that limit to be concise as well as to save costs. If your SMS message spills over the character limit, you would be charged for multiple SMSes.


Step 2: Adding Recipients for your SMS Survey

Before you start sending SMS surveys, it's important to have your contacts ready and ensure that their phone numbers are accurate and properly formatted. You can add your recipients in 4 ways.

Adding Contacts Manually

To add contacts manually, simply type in the contact's name followed by their phone number separated by a comma. Each recipient should be on a new line. Phone numbers should be formatted with the country code, with the "+" symbol and no spaces.

For example:
Max Miller, +146XXXXXX
James, +919944XXXXXX
Peter Heis, +267XXXXX

There is no limit on adding contacts manually. You can add as many contacts as you like.

Selecting from a Contact List

You can create Contact Lists and Segments in your platform and check the contact list you'd like to send SMS Surveys to. Multiple Contact Lists can also be selected.

Learn how to create Contacts Lists.

Importing a CSV File

You can also add recipients using a CSV file. Here's how.

  1. Go to Survey > Distribution > SMS > Send SMS Survey from Zonka Feedback > Add Recipients

  2. Choose 'Import' as an Option to Add Recipients.

  3. Choose 'Import CSV'

  4. A popup will open. Drag & drag your CSV file to upload the same.

  5. All Contacts in the CSV would be added in a new Contact List. Add a name for the Contact List. (This can be modified later)

The CSV File can contain 4 columns. These are as follows.

CSV Column

Mandatory?

CSV Header Name Options

Name

No

Name
or
contact_name

Email

No

Email
or
contact_email

Mobile

Yes

Mobile
or
contact_mobile

Unique Id

No

Unique Id
or
contact_uniqueid

Example CSV Import Format

Name

Email

Mobile

Unique Id

Ross

+1983297923

A6781

Rachel

+17895373123

+1982392389

+1872382673

Chandler

+1786327236

Can you import existing Contacts?

Yes, even if a Contact exists in Zonka Feedback, you can import them again in your CSV file. The contact would not be re-added in your Contacts module, but the SMS would be triggered to them.

If you upload new contact details for the Contact, for example, the Unique Id matches but email address is different, the email address from the latest CSV would get updated in the contact.

What happens to Duplicate Contacts in CSV Import?

When uploading a CSV to Zonka Feedback, duplicates are automatically removed and only the first instance of each contact per file is processed. However, we do recommend scanning for duplicates before importing.

Importing a CSV File with Additional Data

A lot of times you would like to send additional information with your Contacts. For example, location where the customer visited, type of item which they purchased, order number, delivery status, country, gender, department and so on.

You can do so by using the option 'Import CSV with Pre-Filled Data'.

In this CSV, you can add as many properties or variables or attributes as you like as columns in the CSV in addition to the mobile number of the recipient.

The CSV File can contain as many columns as you like. These are as follows.

CSV Column

Mandatory?

Description

CSV Header Name Options

Name

No

The name of the Contact

Name
or
contact_name

Email

No

The email address of the Contact

Email
or
contact_email

Mobile

Yes

The mobile number of the contact

Mobile
or
contact_mobile

Unique Id

No

The unique ID of the contact like a membership ID, employee ID, customer ID and so on.

Unique Id
or
contact_uniqueid

Variables / Attributes

No

Pass any attribute β€” Survey Attributes, Contact Attributes or Hidden Variables

Example CSV Import with Pre-Filled Data

Name

Email

Mobile

Unique Id

contact_gender

billnumber

deliverytype

Ross

+1983297923

A6781

Male

ZA19891298

Express

Rachel

+17895373123

Female

ZA19891318

Standard

+1982392389

Female

ZA19716212

Express

+1872382673

ZA1908182

Express

Chandler

+1786327236

Male

ZA1965327

Standard

Can you import existing Contacts?

Yes, even if a Contact exists in Zonka Feedback, you can import them again in your CSV file. The contact would not be re-added in your Contacts module, but the SMS would be triggered to them.

If you upload new contact details for the Contact, for example, the Unique Id matches but email address is different, the email address from the latest CSV would get updated in the contact.

What happens to Duplicate Contacts in CSV Import with Pre-Filled Data?

In CSV Import with Additional Data, if there are duplicates with exactly same information, they would be automatically skipped. However, if any values differ, the SMS Survey would be sent to them for as many times as they are mentioned.

Let's say you're sending SMS Surveys to customers who made a purchase at your store this week. Of the customers, two of them made a purchase twice at your store.

When you're importing a CSV, you have included additional variables like Date of Purchase and Purchase ID. Now in these two contacts, there would be two rows each and they would have different date of purchase and purchase ID. So Zonka Feedback would only add one Contact but send them two SMSes - one for each unique purchase.


Step 3: Choosing Sending Options

Once you have added your recipients, your SMS survey is ready to collect responses. You can either send it immediately or schedule it for later.

Send Now

You can choose Send Now if you'd like to trigger the SMS Surveys right away. The SMS Surveys are generally received by recipients within 1-2 minutes.

Send Later (Scheduling SMS Surveys)

You can choose to Schedule SMS Surveys at any later date or time. When scheduling an SMS Survey, you can choose the date and time and the survey would automatically be sent at the pre-set date and time.

You can schedule multiple SMS Surveys for the same survey or different surveys in your account.

Editing or Deleting Scheduled SMS Surveys

Once you schedule an SMS Survey campaign, you can view it in SMS Distribution module for the Survey.

There, you will see two options to Edit and Delete the Scheduled Campaign.

  • To edit, click on 'Edit' option and choose another date and time.

  • To delete, click on 'Delete' option, confirm in the popup and your scheduled SMS Survey campaign would be deleted.


Step 4: Previewing & Sending

Before sending your SMS survey, it is important to preview it to make sure it is clear, concise, and error-free.

Once you have composed your SMS, added your recipients, you can click on 'Preview' button to Preview your SMS Survey.

In the Preview Screen, verify the following

  • SMS message

  • Recipients

  • Survey Settings

If you'd like to edit any of the above, click on 'Back' to continue editing. If you're happy with all your settings, click on Send to Schedule it or Send it right away.

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