How to Increase Text Response Rates
So you may have heard about authority as a great method of persuasion from such writers as Robert Cialdini (and if you haven’t checked out his six methods to persuade, I highly recommend a google search on that), but, as a member of the Hit Em Up Community, do you know what the number one thing you can do to increase your response rate is?
Mass Text Campaign Psychology Tip
Research suggests: A plea for help [^1] & [^2]. Can you believe that? Simply asking for help according to a study which tested the effect of various different methods of attempting to increase online invitation response rates was one of the most effective ways to increase recipients’ responses.
So the next time you send out an invite to an event or want a reply try asking “Can you help me out
::firstname:: and let me know if you can make it to our event tonight?” instead of the command “Please RSVP
::firstname:: to our event tonight!”
Start Mass Text Campaigns in your Network First.
Building a community first will increase response rates.
The study also found that respondents who were active in a shared online community already were more likely to respond [^1]. The take away for you being that if the people you engage via Hit Em Up Mass Text are people who you have that are active in your community already or who you involve in your community in real life or online before sending your message are far more likely to respond as well. This is pretty consistent across the research we’ve done in house. The more face to face time you have with your recipients before texting them, the better they will respond to your texts which I think makes intuitive sense.
Further, it would seem that engaging people who you’ve engaged with recently before you make an ask with a pre-notification text [^a]
::firstname:: I’m planning an event coming up and I’ll let you know the details soon”
may increase the odds of them responding to your next follow up [^2] text where you let them know about the ‘actionable’ like the invite or call to action to check out your new blog post etc. However, we extrapolated that if you haven’t engaged with the person recently, this pre-text notification is not effective at increasing the response rate (though there’s no evidence that it hurts)[^b].
So if you could do me a favor and try this out and let me know in the comments below if it works for you, I’d really appreciate it 😃 🙏
Limitations of our Research:
[^a] This particular study focused on authors who published books recently with the publisher sending email notifications to complete a survey. Thus, it may not translate into a one for one with text message behavior or situations other than directly tested in the experiment. We are big proponents of honest research and telling you what we know and what we don’t. We hope our research gives us inferences into behavior for you to help you succeed. It’s up to you to test our hypothesis that we work hard to deduce for you 🙂
[^b] We are extrapolating from the study to apply the findings to something more tangible to you. The original study looked at the various response rates to pre-notifications and the effects on filling out the survey when the follow up message came with the survey. The pre-notification was effective for those who published in 2006 and up, but made no impact on those who published before 2006 (the study was undertaken in 2008 and published in 2011) [^2]. We interpreted this to mean that it is possible that a pre-notification is helpful when your audience is more recently actively engaged. However, this is not covered directly in the study and it’s our hypothesis based on the findings.
Sources / Works Cited:
[^1] Petrovčič, Andraž, et al. “Full Length Article: The Effect of Email Invitation Elements on Response Rate in a Web Survey within an Online Community.” Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 56, 01 Mar. 2016, pp. 320-329. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1016/j.chb.2015.11.025.
[^2] Felix, Lambert M., et al. “Original Article: Factorial Trial Found Mixed Evidence of Effects of Pre-Notification and Pleading on Response to Web-Based Survey.” Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, vol. 64, 01 Jan. 2011, pp. 531-536. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2010.06.001.
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