Frequently asked questions
Get help. Find answers.
What is Poll Everywhere?
On the surface, Poll Everywhere is a simple application that works well for live audiences using mobile devices like phones. People participate by visiting a fast mobile-friendly web page for your event or sending text messages. Instructions are displayed on-screen. The poll that is embedded within the presentation or web page will update in real time. Advanced uses include texting comments to a presentation, texting questions to a presenter, responding via the web, and SMS interactivity in print, radio, and TV.
How do people respond or otherwise send in comments or questions?
You can respond by following the instructions shown on the poll when it is displayed. You send a text message to the number 22333. The format of your response is determined by the type of poll. More detailed information can be found in the User Guide.
You can also respond via the poll's web page on PollEverywhere.com, or via an embeddable widget, or on a mobile web browser using PollEv.com.
How do I respond to a poll
Typically there is no need to register or sign up to respond to any poll questions unless our polls are being used for attendance or grading purposes. If this may be the case you can see how to register here The way we usually work is the presenter or lecturer will display some poll questions live at the event or class on a projector. These polls will have specific instructions for how to respond. It will be something like going to pollev.com/PresenterName on your phone/laptop or to send an SMS to one of our phone numbers with a Keyword. The specific instructions will be displayed live when you get there. More detailed information for how to respond can be found in the User Guide User Guide
How does it work?
As a poll is displayed to an audience, they submit responses by visiting a specific web site or by sending text messages to our short code number (22333). In the case of text messaging, their mobile carrier routes their text message to our web servers where the response is counted. Once counted, the response is displayed in real time on-screen. You can learn more on our how it works page.
How do I teach my audience to participate? What are the best practices from other customers?
Our Presenter Notes and Best Practices page gives you our best tips gleaned from thousands of people using Poll Everywhere with live audiences. We also provide proven visual aids (slides) you can use in a presentation to make everyone's first experience a smooth one.
What is a poll? Is it the same as a “question” I ask my audience? What is the difference between the different types of polls?
Yes, a poll is a single question or prompt you are inviting your audience to interact with.
A multiple choice poll lets you define a set of fixed choices that participants can choose from. Results can be displayed in a graph. An example of a multiple choice poll might be, "How many people are on Facebook?" with options like "500+ million", "100+ million", and "Less than 100 million".
An open ended poll allows participants to send free-form text responses or short answers instead of pre-defined choices. An open ended poll might ask, "What questions do you have for the presenter?" and participants can send in any short answer they want. Their answers might be just one word, a short phrase, or an entire sentence.
You can display your audience's answers in real time on a projector for everyone to see, or just on a laptop in front of the presenter. Some polls are not used in live-event settings (for example, radio, print, or long-term exhibition polls), so a live display of results isn't that relevant.
What does it mean to “Activate” a poll? Can I activate more than one poll at a time?
Most presenters want to focus on one poll question at a time with their audience. That's the default way we've set things up. The "active poll" is the poll that's on the big screen in front of everyone, being shown on their mobile devices, and/or receiving texts they send.
Of course you don't have to use a big screen, or mobile web devices, or text messages at all. If you want your audience to be able to answer lots of questions all at the same time, you can set that up. That said...
Only one poll can be the active poll at a time. It's our way of identifying which poll you're currently presenting. A poll will automatically become the active poll anytime you present it in Powerpoint, Keynote, or fullscreen mode from our website.
Most presenters will have their audience use mobile web devices to respond live on the presenter's PollEv.com/username response page. The active poll is the poll that is being currently displayed on their devices. You have a lot of control: You can deactivate the poll to remove it from their screens, or lock the poll so it no longer accepts responses.
When people are responding using text messages, you have several options for how they respond. By default, your poll questions use the "Presenter session" method. In this method, your audience texts your username to join your presenter session. Then when you make one poll the active poll, that's the poll that receives their responses. This makes responding very natural: First you ask an open ended question like, "What's your favorite letter of the alphabet?" and people can text "A" or "Weird question!" Later, when you advance your slide to the next poll, we make it the active poll. If the second poll is multiple choice and says, "How often do you go to the movies? A) Once a month, B) A few times per year..." -- your audience can still just text "A" and it all works beautifully.
For a more detailed description check out the user guide section on activating your poll. You'll learn several ways to let people answer multiple polls at once: Surveys, unique web response links, embedding, unique codes, and reserved keywords.
Can I combine multiple questions (polls) into a survey?
You can group polls to create a self-paced survey that participants can complete on their own. This is useful when your participants are not together at the same place at the same time. Surveys are great for self-paced questionnaires, pre or post session assessments, and quizzes.
On your main "My Polls" list, select some polls, click "Group", and set a name for the group. When you're hovering over the group's row, you'll see a 'Convert to survey' Link. You may then click the title of your new survey to customize your survey options. Learn more about Surveys.
When you're ready to get responses, click the Share link next to the survey on your My Polls" list and send it out! You may also Activate a Survey by selecting the Activation button on the right side of the group. This will post all of the questions (polls) in this group on your PollEv.com/username page just like a regular poll. Your audience will then go through the survey on their own time. However, if you activate another poll or survey then this one will be de-activated.
Note that we're not yet a full-featured web survey tool. We recommend Google Forms or Wufoo if we're missing something you need. Our core strength is live audiences, real-time speed, and visualizations.
How can I prevent profane, abusive, or off-topic responses from being publicly displayed?
Customers on certain paid plans can use the profanity filter and moderation feature. You can either set a profanity filter to censor and replace profanity with asterisks, or you can set the filter to reject messages and prevent them from being displayed. Be forewarned: Vulgar humans are always more creative than the smartest technology. We usually suggest the moderation feature over automatic censoring. This feature allows you to review incoming questions one-by-one and approve only the best.
Remember, "there's no such thing as a stupid question"? They lied. There are indeed stupid questions. You can use moderation to prevent soapboxing and focus on the most insightful submission that your audience wants to hear you talk about.
What are those numbers or words by each option on a poll? What is a KEYWORD or CODE?
There are two response modes: presenter session and keyword. Each mode has its own response formats.
Presenter session keywords are pre-assigned, based on the format you select when creating a poll (i.e. A, B, C vs 1, 2, 3). They are typically a single letter or number, or common response terms like True/False, Yes/No, etc. Your participants will first join your presenter session by texting your username to the number listed in the poll instructions (22333 in the US). Then they will enter a response. After that, they can continue to send responses to your polls without typing your username.
Alternately, in keyword mode, auto-generated codes can be assigned to each response option, so that responses are logged to your account accurately. The codes are 5 to 6 digit numbers. Your participants will not need to join your polling session in order to respond, if you use the auto-generated codes.
These response modes allow Poll Everywhere to host multiple polls on one short code. Short codes are expensive, so the presenter session method helps us keep our prices down. If you don't want the automatically-assigned keywords for your responses, you can upgrade to a plan that allows you to select custom keywords, like MICROSOFT or OPTION5.
Note: We always show response keywords in bold capital letters for clarity, but the audience can use upper or lowercase when they respond.
How long will my polls remain unlocked? When do they auto-lock (auto-close)? When are my reserved keywords released?
Polls are unlocked by default when you create them. You can lock a poll if you want to stop allowing responses. Lock the poll by clicking the padlock icon.
If 30 days pass without any modification or any responses to the poll, we will automatically lock the poll. You can see which polls are about to be locked in your My Polls list.
Polls are automatically locked after 30 days of inactivity. If you need more time, just lock the poll manually and unlock it again.
Now let’s talk about keywords and when they might be automatically released. If you’re allowing your audience to respond using text messages, “keywords” are what they will actually text. By default your questions use a presenter session where your audience will first submit your (customizable) username to join your session. With presenter sessions your keywords don’t expire and you don’t need to worry about this. In some situations, however, you may decide that it’s critical for your audience to skip the username step. This is when you would configure a question to use reserved keywords or auto-generated codes. Because these are a limited system-wide resource, they will be released (unassigned) from your question 30 days after the poll has been locked.
Can people respond via the web?
Absolutely! These five ways give you the flexibility to fit every situation.
- Your PollEv.com/username page is your page on the web where an audience's smartphones, tablets, and laptops will follow along with whatever poll you have displayed within PowerPoint or currently being displayed in full screen mode from our website. You can activate the poll manually from the website or Mobile Presenter App by clicking the activate button. Reserve your PollEv.com name now, or learn more.
- The generic PollEv.com page for situations where some will be responding by text message, but others may want to skip texting fees by entering the same text messaging codes/reserved keywords into a mobile-friendly web site.
- Private links to individual polls present beautiful full-window polls that look great on any device. Here's an example that invites text message responses, and this one is optimized for web responses without displaying the results. You'll find these links under the "Share and Publish" sidebar when viewing a poll. Advanced tips
- Web widgets let you embed the poll right in your own blog or web site. Some widgets only share the results of your poll, while others include clickable links so they can respond and see the results.
- Web survey links are a direct link to a survey. Surveys contain a series of polls that can be answered on a single page, or back-to-back. Learn more
What if my audience does not have a phone or a web-enabled device with internet access?
While the vast majority of people will have a phone in most situations, there are always reasons why someone may not have a phone, such as:
- Does not own a phone (or laptop or other device with internet access)
- Forgot or lost their phone that day
- Phone has just ran out of batteries and did not have a chance to charge it beforehand
- No cellphone reception for their carrier in the venue
- Refuses to respond using their own phone for some other reason
In any of these cases, we recommend events consider the use of pre-paid cellphones for purchase or rent. Check out Cellhire (in the US) or to buy pre-paid phones, consider any of the major carriers which offer pre-paid phone plans. For example, T-Mobile offers pre-paid plans. On the more sophisticated (and expensive end of things), you can rent or buy a few iPod Touches (with wi-fi) from a few vendors. There are even A/V companies who will rent iPads as well, which are becoming very popular for some events.
How fast do responses show up?
Typically a response will be displayed within 2-5 seconds. The delay depends on the participant's cellular carrier and how long it takes to route an SMS message to our SMS gateway, web servers, and finally on to live polls wherever they are being viewed. Poll Everywhere has handled very large events with thousands of responses, and multi-day polls with hundreds of thousands of responses.
If you would ever like to know the average latency of a response being received and displayed by Poll Everywhere, check out the status page: Status Page
Web and smartphone responses are instant.
How many responses per poll (which plan) do I need?
Some of our plans are based primarily on the maximum number of responses allowed per poll. Most of our polls allow a person to participate only once, uness you choose to override the default. Generally you should purchase a plan with an "audience size" greater than the number of people that will respond. The "audience size" is the maximum number of responses that can be received by any given poll (the number of polls you can create is unlimited). We've handled much larger polls than shown on our plans page; just give us a call at 1 (800) 388-2039.
How will my audience know how to respond?
The simple instructions are displayed on every Poll. It helps if you provide verbal cues to your audience during the first few polls. For live events, organizers can supplement the on-screen instructions with printed instructions in an event pamphlet. After the first poll, everyone usually gets the hang of it and you can present the next polls at a faster pace. We've created many helpful communication materials for you here.
If you want to improve poll participation, it is helpful to project your ongoing presentation on one screen, and your poll on another (that's two projectors and two separate screens). This gives the audience the convenience of responding whenever they choose.
Take a few minutes for each poll, guide the audience, and then continue your presentation. You can also show the audience the poll on one slide and then continue the presentation and come back when more results have been tallied.
How can I share my poll with remote participants?
If remote participants will be joining in live, you can ask them to respond via the website. Open your poll, and in the “How people can respond” panel, check off the “Website” option. When participants go to the address listed on the poll, they will see the poll that is currently active, and can respond to each poll in your session along with everyone else.
If you want to allow participants to respond on their own time, you can share a permalink to your poll. Click the “Present” panel, and click the tab labeled “Share”. You have the option to get a “Sharable response link”, a “Live results link”, or the option to embed the poll into your website or blog.
How can I share the results of the poll in real time or afterwards?
There are many ways. Most people will project our live poll views in front of their audience. This also works for webcasts.
When you are viewing your poll on our website, you can send that web address (URL) to people. They will only see your summarized poll results in a graph and not the controls on the right hand side.
You can also use the Poll Everywhere web results widget to embed poll results in your blog or website. Of course you can also download the poll results as a spreadsheet and share that file with people.
Is my poll publicly viewable? How do I keep my polls from being found by search engines?
Your poll's question (but not its results/responses) is indexed by search engines unless you disable this setting in the Settings tab. With "Keep all of my polls private" checked, your polls are private unless you share the the secret poll URL (web link) with others, or embed the poll widget in a website. When you share the poll's URL, only the poll's owner can see the controls on the right, view the detailed results, or correlate answers between polls.
How do I change the look and feel of my poll? Can I set a default template?
When viewing a poll click the paintbrush icon at the upper right labeled "Visual Settings." A panel will appear with several options to change the colors, background, font sizes, logo, and more.
When you've styled one poll to look just right, you can set all future polls to default to the same style by setting it as the template poll in the Settings tab. You can also apply its style to your existing polls.
What happens if I go over my responses-per-poll (audience size)?
Some of our plans are priced based on audience size and have a maximum number of responses allowed per poll. Let's say you've purchased a plan that includes 250 responses per poll. The 251st participant (assuming you haven't cleared your poll) will get a message back saying, "This poll is full and cannot accept more responses". We cannot disable this message; we believe the audience members should be informed if their voice was not heard.
How can I identify participants by name, phone number, or other ID?
There are three ways to identify participants: enable ‘Screen names’ on your poll, use the reports tab, or have your participants pre-register.
Using screen names is one of the simplest ways to identify your participants. This can be done within the ‘Audience Restriction & Identity’ section when configuring your poll. By enabling ‘Screen names’, participants will be prompted for a self-reported name before moving onto your poll. You will then be able to see the name associated with each response on the poll response page and/or reports.
For reports, customers on any paid plan can use the Reports tab. The Reports tab lets you match up a participant's answers across multiple polls. For example, make an open ended poll that asks participants to submit their name, a student ID, a pseudonym, their cell phone number, or any other identifying information. Then ask other multiple choice or open ended questions as usual. By adding the identifying open ended poll and any other polls to a report, you will see how each person answered each question. The 'participant response history' report is particularly useful for this.
Registering Participants is a better fit for repeat audiences such as K-12 schools and Universities. You invite participants (students) by email, or distribute your registration link. They verify their mobile phone number and create a participant login for Poll Everywhere. This way you can see who answered no matter what the device they use (laptop, smartphone, text message). Account administrators can invite participants to register under the Account tab.
How can I restrict who is allowed to respond to a poll?
You can choose whether people respond using text messages or web browsers (or both), for each of your polls.
Even better, you can have your audience or class members pre-register as participants, and restrict your poll to only allow registered participants to respond. This feature is available on certain paid plans. This setting can be found under the poll's 'Response settings’ menu.
Can I put people into teams or groups to create competitions?
Absolutely, by using the premium Segmentation feature.
First you ask your audience to identify the team or group that they are on. Then ask other questions and compare the results across each team. Combined with grading feature, you can also keep score, too. Learn more here and enjoy our fabulous video featuring the magnificent Honey Badger.
Can I grade or score responses?
You can grade responses with any plan. This is popular for professors, instructors, and teachers, and works well for corporate training workshops, too. First, create a new multiple choice poll (grading only works for multiple choice polls). Next, edit the poll and check off the box "Grade incoming responses" in the upper-right. This will enable new checkboxes under each option you enter on the poll. You can then mark one or more response options as correct.
Once a few responses have been received, you can run reports to get a graded view of the results, like this:
Learn more about grading and watch a fun-filled, Animal Farm themed video. It's all the rage!
How do I display partial identities next to free text responses, to scare my audience into acting civilized without using the moderation feature?
Click the open ended poll’s visual settings paintbrush icon, and navigate to the "Messages" tab. You'll see a checkbox to "Show: Participants".
Text message responses will display the last 4 digits of the mobile number. However, web responses will not have any identifier
Can I register participants who don’t have email addresses (like young students)?
Although you can login using a username instead of an email address, we currently still require an email address when you register.
For young students who might not have an email, we suggest you make them up. It's simple to create one email address that can act like hundreds by using the plus sign. In the event of a forgotten password, you can reset it for students from your list of registered participants. For example:
- firstname.lastname@example.org would be received by email@example.com
- pollev+sally.student@ourSchool.org would be received by pollev@ourSchool.org
SMS Text Messaging
What countries does Poll Everywhere cover for text message response?
We have a section in the User Guide dedicated to helping you understand and test international coverage in your country.
One common question we get is, "I'm organizing an event in country A. People will be attending from countries A, B, C, and D. Will everybody be able to participate via text message?" This is a tricky situation, and our answer is, "Maybe - but the only way to know is to test it first." The reason we cannot give a single answer is because it depends on many factors like the home carrier, the host carrier, and the specific global roaming agreements.
For example, at one California, USA event, people from Japan were able to text the US-based 5 digit number, people from the UK on certain carriers could respond by texting back to Poll Everywhere's London-based number, and some participants from France couldn't seem to respond via SMS at all.
As the organizer, you should provide all the relevant phone numbers from our list and also consider several viable backup options. For example, you can rent cheap pre-paid US phones capable of texting, or if there's WiFi, international participants can use PollEv.com or your personal presenter page from any smartphone, tablet, laptop, or other web-enabled device.
As a special case for mixed US/Canadian audiences, if 37607 isn't working for everyone, our 10-digit backup number will probably work for everyone. That number is (747) 444-3548.
Will participants who text message to Poll Everywhere ever receive SMS spam or unwanted text messages later?
Why do US or Canadian participants have to send their text message responses to that weird phone number (“22333” or “37607”)?
That number is not a normal telephone number and it definitely does not charge anyone to send/receive messages to it (don't worry, we're not a scammy 1-900 company). It is called a "short code" in the telecommunications world and it is basically a special number used specifically for text messaging. That number is set by the company that provides our text messaging gateway, which is how we receive participant text messages into Poll Everywhere. If your audience is curious, just tell them not to worry. It is not a toll number and it will not bill anything besides standard rate text messages to a participant's mobile phone bill. Standard rate text messages in the US usually range from free or $0.01 per message up to $0.20 per message for people who do not have a text messaging plan. Check with your mobile carrier for current pricing.
How can participants elect to never receive text message replies (confirmations) from Poll Everywhere?
Text STOP to 22333. We will also respect UNSUBSCRIBE, QUIT, END, and CANCEL. We will respond with the following message:
Text START to 22333 to re-enable confirmations.
How can participants receive help from their mobile phones?
Text HELP to 22333. We will respond with the following message:
As a paying customer, can I remove the “Powered by PollEverywhere.com” footer on reply messages?
Unfortunately, no you can't remove the SMS footer and neither can we. We must adhere to the Mobile Marketing Association Best Practices, and this includes clearly identifying what service or company is responsible for sending an SMS message.
Why do I get a message about “cannot deliver message to this shortcode” or “message blocking is active” or “shortcode error 1051”?
This usually means you have texting to shortcodes disabled for your specific cell phone subscription plan with your carrier. Usually, calling your carrier's customer service (611) and making sure texting to shortcodes is enabled takes care of the problem. We tend to see it more frequently on a very small percentage of Sprint customers. You can also reach Sprint here.
If you have tried the above and it still will not work, you (or students or audience members who have this issue) may text in your responses to our backup 10-digit number: (747) 444-3548. Please note that this number is to be used sparingly and only by those who cannot otherwise text to the US-based shortcodes we offer. Also, you will not receive reply messages from this number.
The other potential cause is that you're on a small regional mobile carrier we don't currently support. The backup number (747) 444-3548 is confirmed working for any of these possible exceptions.
How do I respond to Poll Everywhere using Google Voice, Skype, or Pinger/TextFree?
These products don't work with short codes like 22333 or 37607, but you can text to our 10-digit response number, (747) 444-3548, instead.
Note that you won't receive confirmation messages from this phone number, but your responses will still be received.
I'm receiving unexpected responses on my polls. What's going on?
If you’re using reserved keywords, it is very likely a typo from someone, somewhere in the world, trying to respond to some other poll with a similar reserved keyword. Reserved keywords are in use all around the world, all the time. This means that just like when someone dials the wrong number on the phone, someone may accidentally text your reserved keyword as they try to respond to some other poll. Usually, this happens because of typos. Say one of your polls (Poll A) has reserved the keyword 'HOUSE', and another person, on their poll (Poll B), has reserved the keyword 'HOUSES'. If people happen to be responding on Poll B, someone might accidentally type 'house' instead of 'houses', and it will pop up on your poll. Some ways to combat this are:
- Use presenter session mode instead of keywords mode.
- Keep your polls locked (so they cannot accept responses) unless you know you are ready to accept responses from your audience. Newly created polls are automatically unlocked for convenience.
- If you use reserved keywords, change the keywords to something that is perhaps less common. As in the example above, instead of 'HOUSE', you might use 'HOUSE1' or 'AHOUSE'.
My response went to the wrong poll. What’s going on?
The presenter may have moved on to another poll just before you sent your response. If the presenter activates a different poll in the same presenter session before your response to the first poll is sent, and the current poll allows the type of response you chose, your response will end up in the poll that is currently active.
For example, if the first poll contains multiple choice responses like A, B, and C, you might respond by texting “A”. However, if the presenter moves on to the next poll before your response is received, and that poll also allows “A”, then your response will go to the active poll.
One other possible cause could be that you have not joined the correct presenter session. To stop responding to a presenter’s polls, text LEAVE. Then join the correct presenter session by texting that presenter’s username to the SMS number.
Why do I get a message saying “keyword not found”?
First, it's important to check for typos in either the phone number you're texting to, or the keyword you meant to type (damn you autocorrect!). Most often the Username or Keyword was slightly mistyped. All username and keywords are single words (no spaces) and only contain numbers and letters. They are not case sensitive.
If you are responding to an open ended poll, you may be exceeding the character limit of your SMS text message (typically 160 characters in the US, and 130 in other countries). Most cell phones will send a message that is over the max as two separate texts. When we receive the second text, it doesn't begin with the same keyword, and we can't tell what to do with it.
If you are texting from Canada make sure you are using the Canadian shortcode 37607. You can change your text message coverage area by changing the International Text Message Coverage Area from the settings page.
Can I respond multiple times with a single text message?
YES! Simply put a space between each response and send them all in the same text message. This works when responding multiple times to the same poll or to several different polls (when using reserved keywords / codes).
You can't use this feature to respond multiple times to a free text poll. When you respond to a free text poll, everything after the reserved keyword is recorded as the response, instead of as additional reserved keywords. That said, you can respond to several multiple choice polls as well as one free text poll with a single text message, as long as the free text poll's reserved keyword comes last. For example, "MCPKEYWORD1 MCPKEYWORD2 FTPKEYWORD my free text response" would work, but "MCPKEYWORD1 FTPKEYWORD my free text response MCPKEYWORD2" would not because "MCPKEYWORD2" would be treated as part of your response to the free text poll.
Can I open a saved PowerPoint or Keynote file with polls already in it and present from Google Slides?
Unfortunately, no. You cannot open Poll Slides in Google Slides if they are in a pre-made PowerPoint or Keynote file. You will need to reinsert the Poll Slides using the PollEv Presenter Google Slides Extension within Google Slides.
When I insert polls into my Google Slides presentation, I just get a grey slide that says “Your poll will show here.”
There are a few possible causes. The first thing to check is that you are using the Google Chrome web browser, and that it is up to date. The next thing to check is that you have installed the PollEv Presenter Google Slides Extension and enabled it. This can be done under Chrome Settings > Extensions > search for the PollEv Presenter
What about one time events?
Even if you're only using Poll Everywhere for a single poll on a single day, you still have to purchase a subscription for at least 30 calendar days. When the event is over, you would downgrade back to the Free plan to prevent the automatic renewal. If the plan continues beyond 30 calendar days, you are still responsible for any account charges, even if you do not use the service. There are a lot of boring reasons for this. Essentially, it's cheap for us to just give you the rest of the month, so we do. In addition, most people prefer to have all the premium features available for testing well before their event. Our average customer support effort doesn't differ much for one-time-event users and recurring users. We don't know anyone else providing this kind of service for less money, so we say: enjoy your month. Please note that with any of our subscription plans, you must change your account back to a Free plan when you are done with it. If you do not downgrade your plan it will automatically renew for another month of service. Unused or forgotten service will not be refunded or credited.
How much does it cost?
Our initial plan is free. It allows an unlimited number of polls, and up to 25 responses per poll. The free plan includes really great features: Live PowerPoint polls, web responding, widgets, downloadable results, and more. Check out our paid plans if you need advanced features or have an audience larger than 25.
The K-12 and Higher Ed plans will be less expensive than our normal monthly plans if you can commit to a semester or year-long purchase. If you're not ready for that, stick with our Business and Non-Profit pricing.
We've tried to make our free plan useful for K-12 educators. If you teach the same subject multiple times per day, remember that you can download the results and also clear any poll to reuse it with a different class. Comparing the multiple runs is a premium feature, available on our cheapest plans.
If I purchase a monthly plan when does the month start and how long does it last?
Your month will start the day you upgrade, and a month of service lasts for 30 calendar days, including the day you sign up. Keep in mind you can always view your next billing date from your order history page.
Please note that with any of our subscription plans, you must change your account back to a Free plan when you are done with it. This is effectively how you cancel your monthly paid subscription. You will not lose any of your data, such as polls or their results; however, you will not be able to access your archived runs, reports, or participant data until you upgrade to a paid plan. If you do not downgrade then the account will be automatically renewed after 30 days. Unused or forgotten service will not be refunded or credited.
Do you accept purchase orders?
We accept purchase orders for plans that are $499 or more. View purchase order information to learn more.
If someone responds to a poll, are they charged in any way by Poll Everywhere or the cell phone carrier?
Poll Everywhere does not charge anyone for responding to a poll. However, individual wireless carriers may charge standard text message charges, which vary depending on the wireless carrier and any messaging package selected (typically $0.01 to $0.20 per message, but check with your mobile carrier for current pricing).
I am going to be asking a lot of questions to people over time. Will it be costly for them to participate?
Not really. There is standard text messaging costs for participants, but this cost is nominal even if they lack a text messaging plan. For cases where people may be responding a lot over a long period of time (e.g. students), we recommend participants add an unlimited text messaging plan through the mobile phone provider. We've also found that many cellular plans already include basic text messaging for free and in some cases unlimited text messaging at no additional cost.
Another great alternative for frequent participants who have smartphones - bypass SMS text messaging completely by using our smartphone web response feature.
If I want to demo or show off Poll Everywhere, can I get an account or one-time poll for free?
No, that's the purpose behind our Free plan. Our investment in that offering is already a large expense and we are not able to accommodate requests for additional free services, even for one-time purposes. The best thing to do for a one-time poll or one-time event or to use Poll Everywhere as a demo, you need to purchase a plan which will accommodate the features your need and/or your audience size.
Would Poll Everywhere be interested in sponsoring my charity event in exchange for great exposure?
We believe in giving back and good causes. We also want to be used in front of certain audiences that might be full of potential customers, such as a conference for professional presenters. To achieve this, we proactively seek out the charities we're passionate about and the conferences we wish to sponsor. We've donated many thousands of dollars worth of service.
Unfortunately that means we're very unlikely to be able to sponsor your particular event. Instead, we suggest you find a sponsor in the local community who would like to "power the live voting". Put their logo on your poll slides and thank them during your event. There's no need to mention us. Let your sponsor take the credit for powering the great technology.
Can I use Poll Everywhere to charge participants a fee per response?
This is called "Premium SMS" and this is the shady underbelly of the text messaging world. There's dumb services like "sexy texts" or "joke of the day" or "$1 per response". We don't mess with it. Besides, the carriers take over 50 cents of every dollar collected.
If you are trying to collect money towards a legitimate cause, you can use our Free Text Polls to collect pledges and solicit contact information follow-up pledges or donations.
How can I get a copy of my receipt or invoice?
Just head over to Orders.
How can I cancel paid service or downgrade to the Free plan? Will I lose any data?
It's really easy - make sure you are logged in just go to the plans page and click "Downgrade" under the Free plan. You won't be charged again, and you will not lose any of your data, such as polls or their results.
I forgot to downgrade, but I didn't use the service. Can I get a refund?
Unfortunately no. By our terms of service, we do not allow refunds for unused service. We really sympathize with the rare situation when a customer forgets to downgrade, but let us explain what's going on. It's kind of like a mail order subscription for frozen steaks. No, our service isn't perishable :), but one reason they have a no-refund policy is because the mail order company can't get a refund themselves from the beef supplier, even if you were to return a perfect uneaten frozen steak. At Poll Everywhere, we pre-purchase non-refundable monthly service capacity in the form of text messaging throughput and server capacity on your behalf. We rely on you downgrading (and try to make it a simple no-fuss process) so we know how to size our purchases correctly and ensure a reliable, speedy system for all customers.
If you think you might forget to downgrade, you can enable an email reminder from us when you upgrade and we will send a notification email 2 days before your next billing date. You can always check your billing status and next billing date in your Account summary.
How do I add subusers to my account, such as other presenters or employees in my organization?
Through our multi-user plans, it is possible to add other people to your account. This allows you to share the resources of a single account with many people. For example, if you have an entire school and want to share Poll Everywhere with all faculty or staff, you can add them as users. Each plan we offer provides a maximum number of users that you may add to a single account. See our plans for the details on maximum users per plan and pricing information.
To learn how to add sub-users to your account and learn more about the feature itself, read here for more information and a video.
I am currently on a paid plan. Will I be charged the full amount if I change plans?
Upon upgrading or downgrading between paid plans, we start a new 30 day billing period for the new plan. The pro-rated remainder of your current 30 day plan will be subtracted from the cost of the new plan. Please note this process will never result in a refund, when downgrading.
For example, if you're halfway into a $199 plan, and you upgrade to a $499 plan, we prorate the $199 to $99.50, subtract that amount from $499, and immediately bill your account $399.50.
Can I embed a live poll in my PowerPoint presentation?
Yes! First, make sure to install the PollEv Presenter Add-in. On the Poll Everywhere ribbon in PowerPoint, log in, then click "Insert Poll Slides". Now press F5 in PowerPoint to start the presentation, and you should see your poll embedded seamlessly into your presentation.
Can I get the results of my poll in a spreadsheet?
Yes! All of our reports will have a 'Download to CSV' option on the bottom right of the report. This file is in Comma-Separated Values format (.CSV) format, which can be opened by any spreadsheet application like Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers, or Google Spreadsheets.
Will Poll Everywhere work without an Internet connection?
Your poll can receive responses even when you do not have a live internet connection but to display the poll or view results in real time, the presenting computer must have an internet connection. Your audience will need to have a mobile phone signal to respond, but texting works reliably with even the lowest signal levels.
Which browser versions do you support?
Poll Everywhere works on most popular web browsers. We are compatible with both PCs and Macs. We recommend using any of the following:
- Chrome 49 and later
- Internet Explorer 11.0 and later
- Safari 9.0 and later
- Firefox 45.0 and later
How can I build live-response applications with the Poll Everywhere API?
If you want to build new poll visualizations or integrate real-time responding into your applications, head over to /api to learn about our RESTful API. There's also some other (write) APIs that we only expose after approval.
How secure are the votes? Can people cheat?
This is usually a concern for Multiple Choice Polls when a winner is being chosen, or for grading. First, we should point out that "spoofing" or "faking" an SMS text message is nearly impossible. We've never seen it done. If you don't enable "people may vote more than once" and only select "Text messages" under "How People Can Vote" (both are the default), your poll is very secure.
If you choose to enable "Smartphones via PollEv.com", or "Web widget" (which includes linking straight to your poll's web response page), there is a chance a reasonably technical person could find a way to submit multiple responses, even if you've disabled that option. This is a tradeoff where we chose simplicity over security. If you need to limit who can respond (and remove this potential for ballot stuffing), you can use our registered participants feature.
Can I import many polls at once?
Sure. Just upload a .csv into our importer. We'll create them in the background while you work.
Your import source text should be one poll per line. Download the template or follow the format listed on the importer. Be sure to set a template poll if you'd like them imported with default options such as a color theme or poll behaviors and settings.
Can I use my own short code?
Yes, if you have your own short code and want to use it, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there support for PowerPoint on Mac OS X?
Yes! Our PollEv Presenter app can display any of your polls in Microsoft PowerPoint 2011 and PowerPoint 2016 for Mac, Keynote 5.3, and Keynote 6.5. It's smart enough that you don't have to do any weird clicking in the middle of your presentation. Just advance slides like you always do, and when we detect a poll URL in your slide's presenter notes, we'll show that poll. We'll also hide it when you move on. It's almost like your poll is just another object on your slide.
As a fallback, remember that you can always project your poll straight from the web and switch into fullscreen mode.
Is there support for OpenOffice presentations on any operating system?
We have found some unofficial support of embedding polls in OpenOffice Impress but it requires a little work. You can always display your poll from a web browser on a projector and switch your poll into fullscreen mode to occupy the entire screen. This is not officially supported by Poll Everywhere so we can't help you if things don't go right but it may work.
I need more technical support than I can find here. Where do I go?
Technical support by email or by phone is available on some plans. Check your plan for what kind of support you have. If you're just on a Free plan, you're on your own for support; use this FAQ.
Regardless of any plan, we also offer various levels of paid or dedicated support, even support for outside business hours or having someone from Poll Everywhere physically present at your event to assist you. Check those support options here.
I am trying to do something custom that Poll Everywhere does not already provide. How can you help me?
Sometimes we can accomodate you through a custom solution which we quote separately from any plans sold through the website. Read more about Poll Everywhere custom solutions.
PowerPoint: The poll does not load after following the instructions
PowerPoint: My slides are not advancing past the slide with an embedded poll
When you interact with an object embedded in PowerPoint, your keyboard and mouse commands will be directed at the embedded object. So, in order to return "control" to the presentation, you'll need to click outside of the embedded poll somewhere on the slide. This will return control to your presentation and allow you to advance the slideshow. Make sure to leave some space on the slide to click outside of the embedded poll object, when creating your presentation.
My poll is not loading and is stuck on the loading screen
My question is not responding to text messages
First, let's make sure Poll Everywhere is operating normally. Check out status.polleverywhere.com.
Next, let's make sure that the poll you are presenting allows text messaging. Only multiple choice and open ended polls allow text message responses, our other poll types are web only. You can see if text messaging is enabled by going to the poll question on the website, select 'How people can respond' on the right side of the poll, and make sure Text messaging is selected.
Make sure your question is not locked. When viewing that individual question, the padlock icon should be grey, meaning it is not locked.
If you’re on the Polls list, locked questions have a small padlock icon on the far right.
If you’re using presenter sessions, which is our default, your audience needs to text your username first to join your session. Then their responses will be routed to whichever poll is active (only one can be active at a time). When your mouse is in the upper-right corner of a question, you can see the “Activate” button. Be sure it’s highlighted in blue, not grey.
If you have reached the maximum number of responses allowed per poll, you will need to either clear the results of your question or purchase a higher response plan. The “How-to-respond” area, right under the question’s title, will indicate if the poll is full.
If this is an open-response question, make sure that the moderation feature is not accidentally enabled.
Make sure you have the proper country's phone number displayed for texting. You can change your text message coverage area by going here: International Text Message Coverage Area
My PollEv page is not updating or displaying my poll
Your PollEv page will display the poll you have currently activated from the Mobile Presenter App or website. Make sure you have manually set the poll you would like to display.
In PowerPoint or from the PollEv Presenter app this response method is meant to be used in a “live” application; it will stay in sync with whatever poll you have on screen and update automatically.
For the pollev page to follow along when you're presenting from PowerPoint make sure you are logged in. While in slideshow mode (F5), hover your mouse over the upper right hand corner of the poll to display the controls. Under the visual settings toggle (paintbrush icon) you should see a blue log in prompt at the top of the menu. Log in with your email or username and password.
My participants can only respond once per poll. How can I allow them to respond more than once?
By default, a participant can only respond to a multiple choice poll once. We don't limit how many times participants can contribute to open response polls. You can change the settings on any poll to allow an unlimited number of responses per participant, or set the poll to allow a specific number of responses per participant.
To change the number of times a participant can respond to a poll, open the poll you would like to change. On the right, click the "Response settings" header and enter the number of times each person may respond.
Please note that each submitted response will count toward your response total. Therefore, if 20 people submit 3 responses each this will count as 60 responses and may go over your maximum response limit.
I have another issue that the FAQ does not cover.
Visit our extensive Knowledge Base for detailed troubleshooting steps on a variety of topics.