Savvy Tips & Helpful Hints

What is the Difference Between an SMS Poll and a Web Poll?

When you need to gather information quickly and effectively, utilizing a web poll or an SMS poll is a great way to do this. But there are some differences between these two forms of live polling that are worth exploring to help you find the right option for your needs. 

What is an SMS poll?

SMS polls are a way of collecting audience feedback via text messages. Rather than relying on your audience having smartphones or an internet connection, they can simply send their response via SMS message.

Here’s an example of an SMS poll.

What is the best meal of the day?




Text 1 to respond Breakfast, text 2 to respond Lunch, and text 3 to respond Dinner. 

With SMS polling from Swift Polling, all your audience needs to do to vote is send their response to a short phone number that’s dedicated to your account – complete with a local area code!

What is a web poll?

An online poll, on the other hand, is used when your audience has internet access. They access the poll online and then vote online, whether on their computer or on their smartphone. 

Online polls might be included in an email, embedded on your website, or even included in your PowerPoint presentation. 

When to use an SMS poll

While your entire audience might not have smartphones or Internet access, there’s a better chance they do have a mobile phone. If you need to quickly gather responses and you want to ensure your poll is widely accessible, an SMS poll is a good choice. 

With SMS polling software from Swift by ExciteM, text voting is free, and the system automatically collects and processes the answers you receive. 

Here are some common events where SMS polling is used:

*During university lectures

*At corporate meetings or presentations

*During product research

*At TED Talks

*During contests and elections

*Virtually any other event 

When to use a web poll

When you know your entire audience is equipped with Internet access, web polling is an incredibly efficient way to collect their feedback. 

As the poll organizer, you’ll share a link to your poll with your audience. This link is often included on a website, but it can also be shared in an email, a PowerPoint presentation, in an app, and a variety of other formats. 

Some web polls include a single question, while other, more comprehensive surveys, might include a live Q&A so you can receive longer responses from your audience. 

You can also use question and answer periods to have your audience ask you questions instead. You can either answer those questions live, or collect their questions to respond to later. 

Another useful feature of online polling is giving your audience the ability to ask or answer questions anonymously. This encourages more honest, accurate feedback.

You’ll often see online polling used in these environments:

*Retail: Web polls are used to determine customer satisfaction with a product or service

*Politics: Online polls are used to gather opinions on topics or candidates

*Education: Web polling is used to test subject knowledge, interact with students, and to collect their feedback

*Events: Before, during, and after events (live or virtual), web polling is used to determine attendee satisfaction and collect their valuable insight and feedback

To learn more about all of your live polling options, visit Swift Polling for more information. 

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