How to engage your users by getting creative with SMS poll voting and voting results.
SMS Voting Increases the Effectiveness of Your Website
We’ve been talking in our blog about tactics for engaging your audience and users. At the base level, forms are a tool of engagement. They are essential to an effective website. Having the most powerful form builder plugin in your arsenal enables you to build better forms and manage your data. Creatively apply Formidable’s functionality to increase your website’s effectiveness.
Engage In Conversation With Users
As an engagement tactic, create polls and display the results. In conversation, you engage someone and listen and learn about them. The same is true of a poll.
Conversations can be opened or closed. Your user has opened the conversation by being there. What you do next can either further the conversation or close it.
Ask a question to further the conversation.
How to Strategically Choose Your Poll Questions
Just as in brick and mortar sales, the strategy employed in your engagement question matters.
A visitor has shown up, but that doesn’t mean they are a captive audience. Don’t bore them with trite “May I help you?” kind of questions.
As Seth Godin says, the “May I help you?” kind of question allows the user to politely but irrefutably say “No, thank you”.
In a poll, a “May I help you?” kind of question could look like example #1 below:
What did you come here looking for today?
a. Mountain bikes
b. Road bikes
c. Bike accessories
d. To learn about cycling
Ask instead the kind of question that begs to be answered and opens the conversation for you to provide valuable content in return.
Thus example #1 becomes this in example #2:
I am a:
a. Mountain biking badass. Give me a climb on technical singletrack
b. An ace roadie. Unlike a mountain biker, I can never conquer a hill. I can always go faster.
c. Hard core bike geek. Think you’ve got something to show me? I’ll show you.
d. Unashamed newbie. Fred or Wilma. The big question is “Should I shave my legs?”
Ask your question in an entertaining way. Example #1 was designed to find out about the user. However, it was asked in such a way that it was easy to say “No, thank you. I’m just looking.”
Example #2 was designed to elicit the same information about the user. But it was asked in a way that it was irresistible to read and answer.
Take Your Polling to the Next Level
Formidable’s Twilio Add-On makes polling more convenient, fun, productive and engaging by allowing users to vote on polls via SMS text message. The Twilio Add-On creates entries from SMS texts.
In addition, send a customized reply text to let visitors know their vote has been received and direct them wherever you’d like.
Possible Uses for Twilio SMS Text Polling Add-On
Text Polling at Conferences
SMS text polling works very well to increase engagement at events, services and conferences. When sponsoring events, utilize your sponsor slides and social media mentions for polling attendees. Put your text-to number on overhead screens and ask engaging, strategic questions. Polls at events will increase engagement and authority of your brand.
Collect Email Addresses at Conferences
Ever wanted to give workshop attendees a digital copy of your presentation slides? Ditch passing the pen and clipboard and instead have attendees text their email address to your text-to number. The URL to download presentation materials can be included in the reply SMS text you have set up. Or follow up with attendees by email later.
Gauge Members’ Preferences at Worship Services and Events with Text Polls
Spice up pre-service slides at worship services with thought-provoking polls on anything from preferred service start times to topical interests.
SMS Text Voting to Poll Association Members
Membership associations are constantly serving the needs of their members. Good associations anticipate trends and stay in front of them. How to know what’s trending with your members? Polling, of course. Poll at every membership event.
Use SMS Messages for Real-Time Lead Generation
Additional awesomeness: the Twilio Add-On gives you the ability to collect email addresses for list-building and lead generation. Incentivized offer sign-ups are easy.
Got a hot piece of content that you just know your prospects would value? Want to be seen as the go-to brand or organization for expertise and authority in your field? Post your text-to number anywhere your prospective audience is and offer your content to anyone who texts you their email address. Have your content available for download or perusal at a URL given in your reply SMS text. Or follow up with a personal email.
The Twilio Add-On creates entries from texts, regardless of the field you save the value to. That value can be a unique email address or an answer to a poll.
Conditionally Send SMS Notifications
Formidable’s Twilio Add-On allows you to use conditional logic to send SMS notifications to whomever you choose. Multiple recipients are allowed. SMS notifications can be sent when form entries are created or updated or when a PayPal or Stripe payment are received (when used in conjunction with Formidable’s PayPal and Stripe Add-Ons).
Requirements for Using the Twilio Add-On
Formidable Pro must be installed and active.
How To Set Up Your Poll Form with Twilio
Download and install the WordPress Twilio plugin. Copy and paste your test or live Account SID and Auth Token from your Twilio console into the Global Settings of Formidable.
Create your poll form. In this example I've used favorite things about fall.
After your form is created, find the SMS request URL in the Formidable → Global Settings page. Get the form id of your poll form and insert it at the end of the URL as shown below.
In your Twilio console, paste your SMS request URL in the Messaging area.
Users can text either the number position of the choice in your form, or the word itself. For example, if the choices are Red, Green, Pink, and Blue, the user can text any of the following: 3, Pink, pink, PINK. This vote will be applied now all fields in the form, so a text field may be good to add as a catch-all.
Voting results show on the Formidable → Entries page, with the sender’s mobile number as the IP address.
Users receive a confirmation SMS text. To remove the Twilio promo message and customize your notification, you'll need a paid Twilio account.
This is how it looks to the voter when your Twilio account is in trial mode.
Enjoy your Convos with Your Audience
Possibilities for SMS text polling with Formidable and Twilio are endless. You'll have access to the mobile numbers of the people who have voted. Permission-based marketing etiquette dictates that obtaining permission to use those mobile numbers is essential to a respect-based relationship with your users and audience. You can use your form to collect email addresses in the same way.
Have you used Formidable for SMS text polling? How can you see it being used to work for you? Share your ideas below. We'd love to see what you're doing with SMS messages in WordPress.