Survey Tools: Free and Paid

The trick to collecting information for your project is to NOT rely on any one method.

survey_closeup.jpg

Yep, you read that right.

You see, people are funny. When you ask them a question face-to-face you’ll get one type of answer - usually the answer they think you want to hear, or the first random thing that pops into their mind, which could be what they think or even what they’ve heard from others, or the answer that they think will make them look [smart, insightful, some form of “best”].

But when you interview in pairs or in a group, you're liable to get a different answer - people will tend to either agree with the rest of the crowd, say nothing and let the rest of the room respond, or go against the "room think" so they'll stand out, even when that isn't really "their" preferred answer.

When you review customer support records or search reviews online, you’ll find a treasure trove of negative - because, in general, people only use those methods when they are unhappy. This is still very valuable information, but needs to be weighted accordingly.

So, by asking the right questions, in multiple ways, even with the same audience, you will get a much clearer picture of the patterns and issues your users are facing. Surveys are an important tool in the process!

Online Survey

Online Survey

 

Earlier in "Survey Says!" - Elicitation Technique #1 we talked about what surveys are, how to build them, etc. So today let’s take a look at some of the tools/services available to run online surveys:

SurveyNuts

https://surveynuts.com/en

SurveyNuts is a good one to use if you want something simple to use and don’t really need (or want) to customize how things look. You can use questions with answers they can select from, open-ended questions, and even use images as a part of your survey.

Features Include:

  • Unlimited respondents
  • A maximum of 10 questions per survey (for the free account)
  • Real-time statistics
  • You can view individual answers
  • You can select from several design themes
  • Create simple surveys using multiple types of questions
  • Add cover pages for your surveys
  • Share your survey via social media, email, or direct linking

For more functionality, for example: branching logic and data export, you can upgrade to a paid account.

Price: Free and premium plans available

SurveyPlanet

https://surveyplanet.com/

SurveyPlanet is the other end of the scale - it is all about customizable surveys. With flexible features, you can create simple surveys quickly, but the additional features offered, also, allow you to expand the survey as needed. So casual survey builders, as well as professionals, will find what they need here.

Features Include:

  • Unlimited respondents
  • Unlimited surveys
  • Unlimited questions
  • Unlimited responses
  • Real-time statistics
  • You can select from their design themes or create your own (custom themes available on paid accounts)
  • Create simple or complex surveys using multiple types of questions
  • Pre-written surveys you can use
  • Add cover and closing pages for your surveys
  • Share your survey via social media, email, or direct linking

For more functionality, for example: branching logic and data export, you can upgrade to a paid account.

Price: Free and premium plans available

SurveyMonkey

https://surveymonkey.com/

Like the others, SurveyMonkey offers free and paid levels, allows you to create and send surveys for free, etc.; but in this case, the free level only allows for 10 questions/100 responses per survey. However, the real reason SurveyMonkey is the leader in the field (and our go-to solution for surveys) is that it is intuitive to work with and for what you get with the paid levels. For example:

  • Skip logic, question, & answer piping (piping is where you take text from a previous answer and include it in a later question)
  • A/B testing, randomization, quotas
  • Access to the SurveyMonkey market research panel - tell them your target demographic and they’ll find participants for you
  • Ability to compare your results with other surveys created by their clients, without divulging any personal information
  • Ability to test your results for statistical significance
  • Enables you to randomize the order of your question
  • HIPAA-compliant features
  • Survey templates

Key Features:

  • Unlimited respondents
  • A maximum of 10 questions per survey (for the free account)
  • Real-time statistics
  • You can view individual answers
  • You can select from several design themes
  • Create simple surveys using multiple types of questions
  • Example questions available
  • Share your survey via social media, email, or direct linking

For more functionality, for example: branching logic and data export, you can upgrade to a paid account.

Price: Free and premium plans available

Zoho Survey

https://www.zoho.com/survey/

Zoho Survey is free to use for surveys with 15 questions/150 responses. Unique features include multilingual survey templates (they offer more than 30 languages) and the ability to build in natural follow-up questions. Results are presented in real-time and employees and team members can collaborate during the design or analysis processes.

Features Include:

  • Unlimited respondents
  • A maximum of 10 questions per survey (for the free account)
  • Real-time statistics
  • You can view individual answers
  • You can select from several design themes
  • Create simple surveys using multiple types of questions
  • Add cover pages for your surveys
  • Share your survey via social media, email, or direct linking

For more functionality, for example: branching and pipe logic, you can upgrade to a paid account.

Price: Free and premium plans available

Google Forms

https://www.google.com/forms/about/

Ah Google, is there anything you don’t offer us? In this case, if you want to use a free survey tool, take a look at Google Forms (also available to GSuite users). In Google Forms you can design and conduct surveys, including options like multiple choice/dropdowns/linear scale, adding images and YouTube videos, and even page branching and question skip logic. It’s completely free and has no restrictions on the number of surveys you can create, the number of questions in each survey, or the number of responses you can collect.

Features Include:

  • Unlimited respondents
  • Unlimited surveys
  • Unlimited questions
  • Unlimited responses
  • Real-time statistics
  • You can select from their design themes or create your own
  • Create simple or complex surveys using multiple types of questions
  • Pre-written surveys you can use
  • Share your survey via social media, email, or direct linking

Of course, free does come with a "price" - you're on your own when it comes time to tally up the responses, create reports with the data, etc.!

Price: Free