Question Types

There are multiple types of questions that can be used within Textizen polls.

Open Ended

This question type does not prompt the respondent for a particular format of response. This is great for gathering free-form feedback. Respondents can submit responses of any length, and will often write 2 or more sentences if the question demands a deeper response.


The Yes/No question automatically instructs respondents to "Reply Yes or No" at the end of the question text. If a respondent writes a longer response that includes the word "yes" or "no," the system will match their response to the proper choice, as well as preserve the full text of their reply. You can add a targeted follow-up question to either of the response options. For more information, see  Followup Questions.

Multiple Choice

With Multiple Choice questions, you define a set of answer options, which are assigned letters. Participants are allowed to choose one answer option – if you want your participants to be able to select multiple answers, use "Multiple Choice (choose one or more)" instead.

The text message sent to participants includes instructions to "Reply w/ letter: A Option 1 / B Option 2 / C Option 3" and so on, so there is no need to include instructions for the participant within your question.

You can also add follow-up questions to target people based on which option they chose. For more information, see Followup Questions.

Textizen will match people's responses to one of the choices, whether they text back a letter (e.g. "A") or text (e.g. "the bus"). If a participant attempts to respond with more than one letter, or if Textizen cannot match their response, they will get an error text that says "Sorry, we didn't understand that answer. Please try again."

Multiple Choice (choose one or more)

This variation on Multiple Choice tells participants to "Reply w/ one or more letters:" then lists the letter options. Unlike the standard Multiple Choice question type, Textizen will accept multiple answers.

Conditional Questions

Conditional questions are sent to a participant (or not) depending on their previous responses. They are similar to multiple choice followups, but support more sophisticated logic.
Multiple choice followups can be triggered by:
  • A specific answer to the question that came immediately before. (Example: "Would you like a caseworker to give you a call?" = Yes)
Conditional questions can be triggered by:
  • Specific answer to any prior question, not just the one immediately before (Example: "Do you have children under 5?" = Yes)
  • Specific answers to multiple prior questions (Example: "Do you have children under 5?" = Yes AND "Are they enrolled in preschool?" = No)
  • Answers that are greater or less than a specified number (Example: "In what year was this business started? < 2008)
Conditional questions are configured by your GovDelivery representative. You can view (but not edit) these configurations in your Poll Edit view.

Name questions are used to ask participants for their name, and will automatically assign their name to their phone number. You can then insert {{ name }} in future questions or messages to automatically include participants' names. If no name is present for some participants, the {{ name }} tag will not be included for them. For more information, see Participant Names.

This question type is set to "Hide from public view" on public polls by default. For more information, see Public Polls.


The Photo question type allows a participant to respond with a photo message. You can view, print, and download these images from the Poll Dashboard. If a participant responds with just text, their response will be saved and they will be advanced to the next question. For more information, see Photo Messaging.

Note that no automatic instructions are included with Photo questions, so be sure to make it clear you would like the participant to respond with a photo!

Zip Code
The Zip Code question is used to ask respondents for their ZIP code. In the future, mapping features within Textizen will allow you to map Zip Code responses in real time.