1. Getting Started With Interactive Text

Interactive Text is a service to help city officials, community leaders, and local organizations get feedback from the public via SMS to make more data-driven, representative decisions.

To run Interactive Text, you will need (1) questions and (2) distribution plans. Once our team sets you up with an account, you’ll be able to access an online portal to create surveys, see responses, and export data.

2. How Interactive Text Can Work For You

Because Interactive Text displays responses in real time andcatalogues them for later use, you can use Interactive Text in a variety of situations. Here are some examples — we're excited to see how you make it work for you!

  • Feedback over a set period of time
    Before making a planning or policy decision, set up a campaign for public input
  • Instant feedback
    At high-turnout meetings, take a straw poll of how attendees feel on an issue before allocating discussion time
  • Ongoing feedback
    Get feedback about how your organization is serving your community

3. Creating Your Survey

Interactive Text allows you to ask 3 formats of questions:

  • Open Ended
  • Multiple Choice
  • Yes/No

After the first question, you can ask additional questions which are texted back after the first response, or followup questions which are triggered by certain responses. You can ask up to 5 questions per survey.

Get started with editing

4. Advertising Your Survey

When you’ve completed your survey, it’s time to make it public. Where and how you advertise will vary based on what type of feedback you’re looking to get. Make sure your ads include:

  • Initial survey question
  • Phone number (automatically assigned when you create the survey)

Some tips we’ve learned about advertising so far:

  • Use photos and examples.
    They draw people in and them help understand what you’re doing and why.
  • Waiting places are good.
    It takes 30-60 seconds for users to read the ad, decide to respond, pull out their phone, and text in their response. Longer if you're asking open-ended questions. Ads inside busses, for example, have performed very well.

Interactive Text users have advertised their surveys via posters in bus shelters, small flyers on tabletop displays, flyers on public notice boards, handing out small flyers on the street, digital displays, and online forums. Other ideas? Email us!

Get started with ad examples

5. Tracking Responses and Analyzing Data

Once your ads are live, the dashboard provides easy access to responses and graphs. For further analysis, you can export your data to CSV.

Dashboard preview

We hope this helps you get started putting Interactive Text to use for you!

What did you think of this Guide? We want to hear as many of your comments, ideas, and questions as possible — your insight helps us build a better service. Please drop us a line at hello@textizen.com.