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SMS Retrieval: Distribute via Text

By February 21, 2017Product

I’m happy to announce that we’ve launched our new SMS retrieval feature. With this feature, users can text your chosen keyword (example: HRworkshop) to a central Swurveys phone number to instantly retrieve a Swurvey link to swipe through on their personal device. This is an alternative to users manually typing a link on their phone or scanning a QR code (although you can do these with Swurveys too!)

How it looks:
On iOS devices, this is how a Swurvey taker would receive the URL in iMessage.

Here are a few scenarios for which our customers have asked for this feature:

  • Polling a live audience at a lecture or conference and displaying the results live
  • Post it on marketing materials in high-traffic areas for user engagement
  • Include it on your business card as a means to provide more information about you and your company instead of a website
  • Announce at a party to drive the DJ’s music selection

This feature is very simple to use. Once you’ve created your Swurvey you may enable SMS Retrieval in the Publish dialog (example below!).

Once you’ve enabled it, you must set a keyword. This is the word or phrase that your users will enter into their phones. The entire set of SMS Keywords is shared by all Swurveys, so if someone has already chosen your keyword, sorry! If this happens, you will be told when you try to publish your Swurvey.

The only other thing you need to enter is the ‘Retrieval Text’. This is the phrase that will be replied to your user when they SMS the keyword. This phrase MUST include the special phrase ‘$LINK’. This allows you to place the link to the Swurvey wherever you like in the text message. Don’t worry, the system won’t let you publish if you don’t have the ‘$LINK’ text entered correctly.


  • There are very real costs for us to provide SMS messaging. For this reason, Swurveys using this feature will cost one extra credit per completion in addition to the price of the feature set you’ve selected.(e.g. a Feedback Swurvey w/ SMS will cost 2 credits per completion)
  • Some SMS apps support Open Graph (specifically iMessage) so you can have an image returned to the user. Don’t know what Open Graph is? Check out the Social tab or read more here.
  • Swurveys current operates a USA number (646-SWURVE-0 or 646-798-7830) and an EU number (+46769448805 in Sweden). If you need a number in another location, please let us know in the chat box below!