SMS Text messaging

One of the ways participants can respond to certain activities is via text messaging. Multiple choice polls and open-ended questions can receive text message responses if the presenter enables it. Clickable images, Q&A, rank order questions, and surveys cannot accept text responses.

Note: Standard text messaging rates apply according to the participant's cellular provider plan. Poll Everywhere does not charge for or make money from text message responses. This is true even for the shortcodes Poll Everywhere uses in the US and Canada.

Poll Everywhere offers text message numbers outside the United States. If you are looking for a Poll Everywhere response number in your audience members' area, please refer to the help guide on International Text Messaging.

For the following examples we will use 22333, a Poll Everywhere shortcode for the US.

Join the presenter's session

First, participants will need to join the presenter's session to respond via text message. To join a session, participants will text the presenter's username to the appropriate text message number. In the example below the participant texts “POLLSTER” to the number 22333.

Usernames (with no spaces) are not case sensitive. Participants may or may not receive a message back indicating that they've joined the presenter's session.

Join a presenter session with SMS

Once participants have joined your presenter session, they can respond to the active poll. Participants only need to join the session once by text. After joining, text responses will automatically be applied to the active question.

If participants join the wrong session or need to join a different session, they can text 'leave' to exit an active session. Participants will remain paired with a presenter for 48 hours or until they text 'leave.'

Helpful tip: If an activity has change answer enabled, participants can change a response by texting 'undo' or 'clear' and then submitting a new response.

Responding to a multiple choice poll

When a multiple choice poll is activated by the presenter, participants can respond by texting one of the provided options (usually A, B, C, etc.) to the same text message thread, as the image below shows.

SMS text message response multiple choice poll

Once participants respond, they will see their responses updated in real-time on the presenter screen.

SMS text message response multiple choice poll vix

Responding to an open-ended poll

Participants can also respond to an active open-ended question by sending a text message to the same thread in which they joined the presenter’s session.

SMS text message response open ended poll

Participant answers will again appear in real-time on the presenter’s screen.

SMS text message response multiple choice poll vix

Helpful tip: SMS text messages are limited to 160 characters per message. The behavior for text message responses longer than 160 characters depends on the participant's device and mobile service provider. The activity may only receive the first 160 characters in one response, or may receive the full message broken into multiple responses of less than 160 characters.

Text message responses with keywords

A keyword is an auto-generated 5 or 6-digit number participants use to respond to an activity without joining the presenter's session.

Responding via SMS text message with keywords (if enabled) does not require the participant to join the presenter's session, nor does it require the poll to be active.

Multiple choice poll: For a multiple choice poll, participants send the designed keyword to a Poll Everywhere phone number.

SMS text message response multiple choice poll

Participants responses will be received by the activity.

SMS text message response multiple choice poll vix

Open-ended poll: Participants can respond to an open-ended question by texting the keyword, followed by a space and the response within a single text message to a Poll Everywhere phone number.

SMS text message response multiple choice poll

Participants responses will appear in real-time on the presenter's activity.

SMS text message response multiple choice poll vix

Resources

Find out more about using Poll Everywhere to delight your audience, class, or colleagues.