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The Potential of SMS Market Research

How SMS is changing the landscape of market research data collection and how to implement it in your insights strategy.

Precision Opinion SMS

This post was originally written on 9/15/19 on our old blog page


The importance of properly executed market research for a company’s sustainability and growth can hardly be overstated. Market research allows leaders and decision-makers to stay one step ahead of the competition, focus on the needs and expectations of their consumer, and refine prototype designs before product launches.

Thus, it comes as no surprise that so many companies emphasize conducting effective, detailed, and accurate market research surveys. When done right, these surveys can yield game-changing insights and uncover new opportunities for market penetration and brand positioning.

There are of course the tried and true methods of market research which include Telephone Quantitative Data Collection, in-person qualitative data collection, and latest additions – email surveys and online surveys completed through survey panel communities.

As the habits of potential respondents change to a mobile-first and interruption-free daily life, so must market research tools to ensure that companies engage with a well-rounded group of individuals and offer a chance for all opinions to be heard. Additionally, as generations get older and bring with them their preferred communication methods, relying on simply the ‘Tried and True’ will just not stand on its own.

That is why Precision Opinion has developed a market research focused, 100% TCPA FCC compliant software that utilizes the power of SMS (short message service; text messaging) to conduct market research surveys through a text-to-web process.

Why does Precision Opinion believe that SMS has the potential to be a game-changer for the market research industry?

The answer lives in SMS technology’s capacity for greater respondent reach and its ability to simplify the market research data collection process.

Why SMS Surveys Provide Exceptional Reach

SMS marketing sees an action rate taken within the first 3 minutes of being sent.

1. Text Message Response Rate

An individual’s time to respond to a text message could vary from less than a minute to 24 hours or longer. However, for 95% of texts, the recipient will read the message within 3 minutes and will respond within 90 seconds of reading the text.

Furthermore, non-market research response rates from text messaging are 209% higher than response rates from phone calls, and over 700% higher than those from emails. In fact, according to a 2018 Daily Egg report, SMS messages have a 98% open rate, not matter who it is from.

So with the right strategy and survey invitation messaging program in place, it’s easy to see how SMS methodology can significantly outperform the alternatives for public opinion surveys.

Your target recipients will be much more likely to see your message and respond to your message if you send it via texting

2. Smartphone User Growth

In the United States, there are an estimated 265 million smartphone users. That is about 15 million more smartphone users than people who send or receive emails every month; and by 2023, that number is expected to jump up by another 20 million.

Moreover, there are an estimated 2.7 billion smartphone users around the world. Text messaging has the greatest probability of reaching the highest possible volume of consumers, which is a fact that we, as public opinion seekers, simply cannot ignore. It is not difficult to understand that as smartphones become ever more affordable and accessible to every class of Americans and citizens of developing countries, this trend will only increase. SMS-based surveys can leverage human nature itself to achieve the best results.

3. How People React to Text Messages

While some individuals could view this as either a positive or negative development, but what the research shows is as clear as crystal: we are all addicted to our phones. Social media platforms, smartphone apps, and other mobile-based programs target the same neural circuitry in our brains that slot machines and drugs can manipulate. After all, there are 6 Billion SMS messages sent daily in the United States, which speaks to the reaction people have through this method of communication.

An estimated 73% of people experience a “mild state of panic” when they temporarily misplace their phone. On average, American adults spend between 2 to 4 hours per day interacting with their phones. Moreover, the average American cannot go longer than 12 minutes without reaching for his or her phone. Dopamine looping, an endless cycle of excitement juxtaposed with anxiety, is never more apparent than in the cyclical pattern of sending, waiting for, receiving, and then sending text messages.

What does all this have to do with market research? The fact is, of all the forms of communication that we have at our disposal today, texting is the one that most plays into the human desire for instant gratification. For most people, it is much easier to ignore a phone call or an email than it is to ignore a text message.

An SMS-based survey can leverage human nature itself to achieve the best results.

4. How SMS Insights Makes SMS Surveys Easily Implemented

Through the software developed at Precision Opinion, the ability to adapt your surveys to an SMS delivery platform has been simplified. Our tool was developed with market research in mind and is designed to enhance the public opinion survey experience and requires minimal, if any, survey redesign from the client side.

Precision Opinion now offer their clients their in-house SMS tool, which combines bleeding-edge permission, authenticity, transparency, and time-value tactics to yield high-engagement rates (up to almost 30%) and top-tier insights.

It is important to note that FCC regulations and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or TCPA, make it illegal for companies to send text messages without expressed consent.

However, Precision Opinion’s SMS platform is 100% TCPA and adheres to carrier-level compliance, which means that clients don’t have to worry about any nasty penalties or fines coming their way.

5. The Level of Cost-Effectiveness

Precision Opinion’s SMS costs a fraction of what other market research methodologies absorb while conducting surveys with shorter turnaround time, and is seamlessly integrated into cutting-edge market research tools.


SMS-based market research surveys offer exceptional reach across a large pool of consumers. It is an efficient and cost-effective option that allows companies to glean powerful insights with minimal expenditure and minimal time.

To sum up, SMS-based market research offers the following key advantages:

– Since they target smartphone users, they have the potential to reach the most significant – and broadest demographic of consumers SMS-based surveys leverage human psychology and motivation to attract the attention of recipients – On average, non-market research SMS surveys enjoyed response rates that were over 200% higher than phone calls, and over 7 times higher than emails

– With SMS Insights software, Gather, in place, efficient and compliant SMS market research is not only easily implemented, but also highly repeatable

– SMS-based market research surveys are cost-effective since they are faster and require fewer person-hours than traditional market research, with the bonus of yielding real-time insights.

If you want to learn more about why SMS surveys are so useful, and our SMS product, contact us at to start a conversation with one of our market research client success experts.