Editor’s note: Andrew Grenville is chief research officer at Maru/Matchbox, Toronto. This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared here under the title, “Just text me … or not: Research on receiving survey invites by text message.”
Yesterday I was talking to my 79-year-old father-in-law and he relayed a story of how his son had told him to “text me” as a follow up to their conversation. Noticing the dazed and slightly fearful look in his father’s eye, he quickly said, “Just e-mail me,” to his father’s evident relief.
Is this the way it is everywhere? Is e-mail just for seniors and texting the way of everyone else?
This is an important question for us, as we send all of our survey invites through e-mail. Are we using a medium that is hovering on the edge of extinction?
We were wondering how popular survey invites by text message would be with our community members, so we ran a question on an Angus Reid Forum (ARF) and Springboard America (SBA) omnibus survey. It read: “We currently send you invitations to surveys by e-mail. It is also possible to send invitation to mobile phones by text message. Would you be willing to receive text message invitations to surveys on your mobile phone?”
The question was asked of the 86 percent of ARF and 93 percent of SBA community members who have mobile phones. As the chart below shows, e-mail is not dead. In both countries, a minority said they would be willing to get survey invites by text, although interest was notably higher in the U.S. And while there is a definite generation gap, there is not a clear majority interest in text invites even among Millennials.
And while you might say, “Hey, this sample is people who answered an e-mail invite. Isn’t that suspect?” I would answer, “True, but if our sample is of people who are capable of both text and e-mail, and text was a big deal, would you not expect the numbers to be a lot higher...