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Granicus Insights


Polls (or surveys) within GovDelivery Interactive Text are your way to hold two-way conversations with many people at once. Polls are the main data-gathering tool on GovDelivery Interactive Text, and enable you to capture a variety of different data types, from structured Yes/No and Multiple Choice answers to open-ended responses. This article covers poll settings and options.

For instructions on building a poll, see the Creating and Editing Polls Getting Started Guide.


Polls are built with questions. To learn more about the process of creating a question and question settings, see Questions.


The publishing settings for a poll determine whether the poll is inbound or outbound. Select the radio button next to "Participants will initiate the poll by texting in to a phone number" for an inbound poll. Select the radio button next to "Send the poll to participants..." for an outbound poll.

Inbound Polls

Inbound polls begin with a participant texting in to the poll's phone number. Therefore, the first question is not sent out via text, but advertised to your target audience by other means. Popular methods include outreach posters in public places, flyers handed out at an event, direct mailers, and more. See our Quick Start Guide for Inbound Campaigns for an overview of how to conduct a successful inbound campaign.

If the poll is configured to use a shared short code, you will also specify a Startword that the participant must text in to begin the poll. For more information, see Startwords


Outbound polls are sent out to contacts who are already in your GovDelivery Interactive Text Campaign, either because you uploaded their numbers or because they responded to a previous inbound survey. See our Quick Start Guide for Outbound Campaigns for information on conducting outbound campaigns.

If the poll is set to outbound mode, the Scheduling options will appear, allowing you to send the poll immediately or schedule it for a later date and time. 


Outgoing Polls and Messages within GovDelivery Interactive Text can be scheduled in advance, down to a 5-minute interval, using our Scheduling interface.

When composing a Message, or editing a poll set to outbound mode ("Send the poll to participants") the Scheduling settings will appear. Use the date and time picker to specify the desired time for the poll or message to go out. Use the checkboxes to select which of your Groups you'd like to send the message to, or simply enter full phone numbers in the box provided.

Note: If you select a group or input phone numbers and select Later without specifying a time, the sending will be saved but not scheduled or sent. You can return to the Poll Edit page and edit the sending to add a time and date later.

Scheduled sendings will appear in a list above the scheduling options. You can edit or delete an already-scheduled sending by hovering over it and clicking on the Edit or Delete icons that appear next to the date and time.

Poll Settings

Every poll within GovDelivery Interactive Text has an array of Settings, found at the bottom of the Poll Edit page.

Confirmation Message

This message is sent after a participant responds to the final question in your Poll, and serves as a confirmation that their response has been recorded and the survey is over. This may include a "thanks" to the participant for offering their input, and a link to your organization's website if applicable. This message does not accept responses.

Custom Error

If you hit your account-wide response limit, or if you close a poll by setting it to Inactive (see below), those who text in to the poll will receive this message. By default, this is set to "Sorry, this poll is no longer active." For more information, see What happens if I hit my account limit?


This is the Poll name displayed throughout your Campaign, including on the Poll Dashboard. Note that if your poll is set to Public, this name will be visible to the public on the Poll Dashboard.


GovDelivery Interactive Text supports several different languages for polls. Setting a poll to use a different language will set all automated instructions sent with the poll questions (e.g. "Reply Yes or No," "Reply w/ letter") to that language. This setting will not translate your poll content.

See Question Types for more information on automated instructions.

Phone Number and Override

On a poll set to Inbound mode, this will display the phone number assigned to the poll. For more information, see: Publishing Options.

Publish Results

If checked, the Poll Dashboard for the poll in question will be publicly viewable at its unique web address ( All personal information, including phone numbers and questions set to Private, will be hidden from public view. This option is set to "No" by default. For more information, see: Public Polls, Question Settings.

Allow multiple responses from one number

If checked, this option will permit one participant to complete the poll multiple times from the same phone number. If the participant completes the poll, receives the Confirmation Message, and texts in again, this response will be assigned to the first question and the poll will restart. By default, this option is unchecked.


If unchecked, the poll will be set to Inactive, and anyone texting in to the poll will receive the Custom Error message (see above). Only uncheck this option when you are ready to close a poll and stop accepting responses.

Using Multiple Languages 

By default, all new Polls are set to English mode. You can change a Poll's language in the Poll Settings.

If you are conducting messaging or polls in multiple languages, be sure to go to your Campaign Settings and compose your Campaign Info Message in each language you will be using within your campaign. This message is automatically sent with the first outbound poll or message a participant receives from you.

When sending a Message, you can set the language of the Message using the setting on the New Message page. This ensures that recipients who have not gotten a Message from you before will see the Campaign Info Message in the correct language. For more information, see Messages.

Poll FAQs

Q. Can I send an inbound (text-in) poll to phone numbers I've collected?

No; currently, an inbound (text-in) poll cannot also be sent out directly to participants' cell phones.

To send your inbound survey questions to phone numbers you've collected, create a second poll with the same questions as your inbound survey, and set it to Outbound ("Send the poll to participants") in the poll's Publishing Options. Each poll will have its own Poll Dashboard, and the response data will be kept separate. However, if you have used the same sequence of questions in both polls, you can easily merge the data sets for analysis when you download the results at the end of your campaign.

Q. Can I edit a poll once it has responses?

See this article.

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