Sending your first SMS survey

Previous section: Why use SMS surveys?

Similar to our Email platform, SMS surveys can be dispatched simply by uploading a CSV/Excel file, or by building out a more automated integration with our API.

However, with SMS, there are a few details that are critical for a successful send, such as the formatting of the phone number. In the sections below, we’ll cover those key details, as well as each step required for sending via the dashboard and API.

Sending SMS surveys from your dashboard

To format your CSV/Excel file for SMS sending, there are a few important components to ensure a seamless upload experience:

  • Phone Number: This should be the title of the column including the phone numbers (can also be lower case or displayed as:“phone_number”)
  • Format the numbers in E.164: The number value should start with + followed by the country code and then the number. The value should contain only + and digits, no spaces or other punctuation (ex. +17605555555). If you have any issues with that formatting, send us a message and we’ll help get that structured correctly.

Here’s an example of the ideal formatting for an upload via the dashboard:

Name Phone Number
Ellie Newman +17605555555
Richard Nguyen +17605555556
George Vargas +17605555556

Ready to upload and send your first SMS survey? You have two options when sending surveys directly from the dashboard:

  • One-time surveys (Quick Link): Send an SMS survey right away, or at a point in the future. As mentioned in the name, we’ll only send these surveys once, with no recurring cadence.
  • Autopilot (Quick Link): Load up a batch of people and we’ll spread out those SMS surveys over a period of time you select. Once an SMS survey has been sent, we’ll automatically reschedule that person to receive another survey based on your Autopilot frequency.

Sending SMS surveys via API

Creating an API integration for your SMS surveys is a great way to automate sending, allowing the team to focus on closing the loop with customers rather than formatting and uploading CSV/Excel files.

With the API, much of the phone number formatting is the same as with a CSV/Excel upload. However, there are a few unique parameters you’ll need to pass to successfully designate SMS as the platform for sending via API. Here are the key components to keep in mind when sending SMS surveys:

  • channel: This parameter must be set to SMS to designate the survey channel
  • phone_number: Format the numbers in E.164. The number value should start with a + followed by the country code and then the number. The value should contain only + and digits, no spaces or other punctuation (ex. +17605555555). If you have any issues with that formatting, send us a message and we’ll help get that API call structured correctly.

We also recommend including both the email address and phone number of the customer at the same time, even when sending via SMS, so that you have a unified profile for the customer if you do ever want to send them email surveys.

For more resources that cover SMS-based sending, be sure to review our Sending to People API docs and our Transitioning to API guide.

With your first surveys sent, you may have a few questions that have popped up along the way. In our next section, we’ll dig into some frequently asked questions, as well as resources that may be helpful as you’re getting started with SMS surveys.

Next section: Customizing and testing your SMS surveys

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