Creating and Testing Polls

After you've planned out your poll content and composed a finished draft, you're ready to create a new poll in your Textizen campaign, enter the poll into the platform, and test it out! This article will walk through the steps for creating a poll, testing inbound and outbound polls, and editing a poll after it's been created, including clearing test responses.

In this article:

Creating a Poll

To create a new poll, first log in to your Textizen account and navigate to the Campaign the poll belongs in. If you don't have any polls yet, you can just click Create Poll on the Campaign Dashboard. You can also create or edit polls by clicking Polls in the left sidebar.

When you click Create Poll, you'll arrive on the Poll Editor page. Here, you can input your survey content, starting with your first question, and clicking Add Question to add more. In Inbound surveys, this first question must contain the "hook" question that will appear on your outreach materials.

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Once you've entered your questions, scroll to the  Publishing Options box to select whether the poll is Inbound ("Participants will initiate the poll by texting in") or Outbound ("Send the poll to participants").

Outbound polls only: If you set your poll to Outbound, the Scheduling options will appear. Your first question will also gain a character counter and your Campaign Info Message, because it will be sent out via text. Verify that your first question fits within the newly-imposed character limit. Leave the scheduling options blank for now – you're not ready to send the poll out just yet!

Scroll down to the Settings box at the bottom of the page. Compose your Confirmation Message (a brief wrap-up to let participants know the poll is over) and give the poll a Nickname. Choose whether the poll results will be Public, then click Submit. You will then be taken to the Poll Dashboard for your new poll.

Testing a Poll

Because inbound polls rely on participants texting in, while outbound polls are sent out, the testing process for each is somewhat different. Both processes start on the Poll Dashboard page, where you were taken when you first saved your new poll.

Testing an Inbound Poll:

On the Poll Dashboard page, you'll see the poll's assigned phone number at top right. If you just created the poll, it may say "Fetching number." This process usually takes less than 5 minutes, so keep refreshing the page and you will soon see a phone number appear in that space.

Now you're ready to test the poll! Pull out your cell phone and send a text message to that phone number, with your answer to the 1st question. You will usually receive a response from Textizen in 5-30 seconds. Continue answering the questions via text as you invite your colleagues to text in as well. You can refresh the Poll Dashboard page as you respond to see your answers appear in real time.

Testing an Outbound Poll:

To test an Outbound poll, click Edit in the box at the top right of the Poll Dashboard. This will take you back to the Poll Editor page where you first set up the poll.

On the Poll Editor page, scroll below the questions to the Publishing Options box. This is where you'll ultimately send the poll out to your Groups, but for now you want to focus on the box for manual phone number entry. Type your cell phone number (and those of anyone on your team who is also testing the poll) into the box, separated by commas. Check that the poll is set to send Right Away rather than at a later time/day. Then scroll to the bottom of the page and click Submit.

After submitting the page with your phone numbers, you should receive a text within 5 minutes with the first question, as well as the Campaign Info Message (if you have not received a message from the Campaign already, e.g. in previous tests). As you respond to the questions, you can refresh the Poll Dashboard page to see the answers appear in real time.

Editing a Poll

After testing, you may want to make some changes to your poll content. To edit your poll, just return to the Poll Dashboard page and click the Edit button in the box at the top right.

Clearing Poll Responses:

If you have received responses to a poll, you can still make certain types of edits: you can fix typos or change wording, change settings, add or remove questions, and change the order of existing questions. Other types of edits are prohibited to preserve the integrity of your data.

To re-enable full editing of the poll (and get rid of your test responses) go to the Poll Dashboard page, click the Danger button at the top right, and click "Clear All Responses." You will be asked to confirm, then the page will reload and all responses will be cleared.

Clearing responses is also recommended before you launch your poll to the public, to keep your test responses out of your data set. However, once you start getting real responses from participants, you will want to leave the responses intact. If you absolutely must clear responses from a poll that has real responses from the public, be sure to back up your response data first by clicking "Download CSV" at the bottom of the Poll Dashboard page. There is no way to restore responses once they have been cleared.