Creating a poll (Simple Survey)

This is a two part process, first you need to build the activity that will process the responses and the second is to send out a poll question to collect responses from your contacts.

Note that it's important to build the Activity first before sending out the question so that you don't miss out on any responses.  Below is a step by step guide to build the Activity.

Step1: Click on 'Activities' from the Frontline workspace then the 'Create an Activity' button to open the activity type selector. 

Step 2: Click on 'Poll' at the bottom of the page to open the poll activity builder and fill in the details as explained further below. 


  1. Name your Activity in the Activity Name box (1). For easier recognition, the poll name should be something relevant to the survey you are conducting. In the example above you can call the poll 'FrontlineSMS meet up' .
  2. Define your top level keywords in the second section (2); Top level keywords are used together with the poll responses to filter the messages that you receive related to the poll. Top level keywords are optional and you can have more than one in a poll. If you opt to include them in your poll, you must direct your contacts to include them in their poll responses . In the example above, you can use 'FrontlineSMS' or 'meet up' as top level keywords and then the poll question would be 'Are you going to the frontlineSMS meet up?  respond with YES, NO, or MAYBE. Start your answer with either frontlineSMS or meet up.'  A response from a contact would come in as 'frontlinesms YES' . 
  3. Enter the poll options(3); Here categorize the poll responses and define the keywords for each; (YES, NO, MAYBE). In the example above you can have response category A for YES keyword , B for NO and C for MAYBE. Enter the response type in the response box  and the keyword in the keyword space.  If someone responds with  either of the keywords, they will be pooled into the specific response categories. You can add as many response as you want. Note that you can also add a tag name within each response section . A tag name will be used to identify all the messages that come in for particular response option. For example you can have a tag name 'going' for category A which is for the YES responses. 
  4. Advanced configuration(4); If you expand the Advanced configuration section, you can set a rule to restrict the activity to process only responses from members of a certain group. This will mean that only the contacts in that group will be able to participate in the poll.  Do not specify any group if you want everyone in your contact list to participate. 

 Step 3: Review the poll information you have set up and ensure that its correct then click 'Save'. The 'poll' should be saved and an overview of what it entails should be displayed in the main activities page. 

 The details shown on the main page will include the Keywords used in the poll, the polls trigger type which is SMS , date the poll was created ,last time it was triggered and how many times it has been triggered. You can turn the activity ON or OFF and also edit it to make changes.  Note that the tags you apply to Activities are displayed under the 'Tags' header in the Inbox section.

Sending the Poll question

The poll question is sent independently to whichever contacts you wish to participate in the survey. You can have everyone in your contact list participating or just specific groups.  The question should set up what the point of the survey is, as well as instructions on how to submit responses.

When sending the question, ensure that you have included the response types that your contacts should use. For example include the exact words YES, NO, MAYBE responses to a question or other responses depending on your poll topic.

If you are doing  a survey to find out the number of people who will be attending a certain event, you can send a question such as  'Who do you think is the best group today? Respond with the group number 1 (or one), 2 (or two), 3 (or three) or 4 (or four).  In this instance you would have the poll set up to receive either the numeric or number word to vote for each of the 4 groups.  








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