7 Best Survey Tools: Create Awesome Surveys For Free!

November 4, 2014
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Online surveys are a great way to engage your audience and get feedback from them. You can use online surveys in any number of ways, including to find out what topics your readers want to learn more about:

  • Get product feedback
  • Conduct market research
  • Get customer service feedback
  • Gauge employee satisfaction
  • Plus plenty of other uses!

best survey creators

Making an online survey is easy – there are many great online survey creators out there to help you craft that super survey. Let’s take a look at your options!

When it comes to online survey tools, you can choose between the free or paid route. If you’re just looking to do some light audience research, you should get on just fine with the free survey makers available online.

Usually the paid versions offer added capabilities like:

  • Survey logic. Survey logic uses information from previous answers to dictate the following questions. For example: Do you have a dog? If the user answers yes, the next question might ask what breed? If the user answers no, the breed question would be skipped.
  • Export data. Many tools won’t let you export your data unless you use the paid version.
  • Custom logo. Paid versions let you get rid of the tool’s logo and instead add your own.
  • More question types. Most free survey creators offer plenty of question options, like multiple choice radio buttons, drop downs, rating scales, etc. Usually paid versions offer even more options, like the ability to select multiple options in a dropdown, star rankings, grids, etc.

Got it? Let’s take a look at our option for survey creators.

1. Survey Monkey

Probably the most well known name in the realm of online survey tools, Survey Monkey is an obvious contender.

survey monkey review

In the free version, you’ll get:

  • 10 questions
  • 100 respondents
  • 15 question types
  • Light theme customization and templates

The system is well designed, pretty easy to use, and you can embed surveys.

The stinker: no exporting your data. Paid versions start at $26/month, with more questions, more respondents, and other features.

survey monkey plans

2. Typeform

Typeform wins the championship belt for creative survey creation.

typeform

Typeform’s interface is elegant and its style is attractive, reflecting the company’s motto, “Asking questions should be easy, human, and beautiful.”

The free version, nicknamed the CORE plan, has a ton to offer, including:

  • Unlimited questions
  • Unlimited answers
  • Data export
  • Custom design themes or choose from templates
  • Basic reporting

These are some pretty great features to find in a free version, especially the unlimited questions and answers. While logic jumps aren’t available for CORE users, you can pipe respondent answers into the text of your survey (for example, if a user gives their name, you can call them by name in the following questions).

top online survey tools

The Pro version, for $25/month, includes payment fields, a calculator feature for scoring and pricing, options to send respondents follow-up emails, etc.

With a beautiful design and hefty capabilities even in the free version, Typeform is definitely worth checking out.

3. Google Forms

Google Forms is another feather in the cap of the wonder that is Google.

google form tools

Some awesome features of Google Forms:

  • Unlimited surveys
  • Unlimited respondents
  • Survey answers and data are automatically collected in Google Spreadsheets
  • Lots of theme options
  • Add your own custom logo
  • Add images or videos
  • Skip logic and page branching
  • Imbed survey into emails or website
  • Add collaborators
  • 100% free!

Google Forms is the only free online survey tool that provides free skip logic, which is pretty awesome. This will probably be the first pick for most.

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4. Client Heartbeat [Paid Only]

Client Heartbeat is a pricier survey option starting at $25/month. Honestly though, since the basic version only allows for 50 contacts, you’ll probably want the Gold version at $57/month.

client heartbeat

That’s a pretty big price tag compared to the other survey creator tools we’ve been looking at. However, Client Heartbeat does offer some much more advanced reporting features.

You’ll get alerts to warn you of unhappy customers, see how your customer satisfaction compares against your industry benchmark, as well as a testimonial widget that can display endorsements on your website.

best online survey tools

5. Zoho Survey

Zoho Survey is another decent free survey creator offering. The free version gives you:

  • Unlimited surveys
  • 15 survey questions
  • 150 responses

You’ll get much more with the paid versions, which start at $39/month.

free online survey tools

6. Survey Gizmo

Survey Gizmo creates some snazzy looking surveys, and they’re a great choice, even with the free version, so long as you don’t plan on getting a ton of respondents.

best online survey tool creators

Survey Gizmo has a limited free version hidden towards the bottom of their pricing page. The free version offers:

  • Unlimited surveys and questions
  • 50 respondents
  • Several basic question types
  • Free templates
  • Basic reporting
  • Option to export to CSV

Paid versions start at $15/month and offer increasingly more features, like skip logic and piping, customized themes, multiple users, API, and data encryption.

survey gizmo pricin

The extra-pricey version offers integration with Salesforce, MailChimp, and other 3rd party software tools.

Consider checking out the full comparison chart between the free version vs. various paid options on Survey Gizmo to determine what plan will work best for you.

7. Survey Planet

great online survey tools

The free version of Survey Planet is pretty robust, offering:

  • Unlimited surveys
  • Unlimited questions
  • Unlimited respondents
  • Survey theme options
  • Survey embedding

The Pro version, at $15/month, offers plenty of extras. With pro you can remove Survey Planet branding, include printable survey results, and include in-question images. Biggest caveat – only Pro version can export to excel.

Which is the Best Online Survey Tool?

While the best online survey creator for you will ultimately depend on your business needs and budget, I’d recommend starting with Google Forms.

Google Forms is 100% free and offers much more than any other free survey tool.

If your emphasis is on aesthetics, I’d suggest checking out Typeform.

If you want some intense analytic action, consider Client Heartbeat.

All the online survey tools discussed above have their own advantages, so prioritize what you want in a survey tool and have at it!

Do you have any favorite online survey tools that we didn’t mention here? Share your top picks in the comments!

 

Comments

Deepanshu Gahlaut
Nov 10, 2014

Bookmarked!Thanks Megan for this excellent round up! I used only Google forms for the online survey, and heard of Survey Monkey many times. You provided an excellent comparison between these tools so that now I can easily decide what to use for online survey for my clients.

Michelle Carter
Nov 11, 2014

SoGoSurvey is an excellent survey software. They offer many advanced features in a fairly reasonable price. Also, their new summer release has some really cool features.SoGoSurvey is an excellent survey software. They offer many advanced features in a fairly reasonable price. Also, their new summer release has some really cool features.

Mark
May 14, 2015

Hmmm. I smell SPAM!

Dan
Aug 04, 2015

I can practically taste it... Eugh...

Vini Mathews
Aug 13, 2015

I agree. SoGoSurvey is a great online survey tool. Their platform is very easy to use and offers some really great features.

Jonas
Jan 09, 2016

Sogo is very spammy, they are using black hat SEO tricks...

Anonymous
Nov 12, 2014

Thank you for such a detailed summary of online survey tools. Looking forward to try out one of these survey tools.

Paul
Nov 14, 2014

What happen to Constant Contact ?? They offer survey features. How could you not mention them?Confused

Elisa Gabbert
Nov 14, 2014

Sorry Paul! Our writer Meg wrote this post using her own research. We also neglected to mention the other survey tool we use in house -- our oversight.

Connie Baldwin
Oct 08, 2015

what survey tool do you use in house?

Oliver
Nov 14, 2014

Great collection of some of the online survey tools that are out there. Thanks Meg! To add to Elisa's comment, it's nearly impossible to list them all - there are just too many. Most survey tools listed here are for consumers, students etc. and do a great job at that. There are other survey tool providers focused on large enterprise that integrate directly into CRM, Helpdesks etc. such as Medalia, qualtrics.com and surveypal

Bara
Nov 21, 2014

These are great! But personally I'm using Survio.com. It's really simple and easy to use. Also they have ready made questions for most situations.

Anonymous
Dec 16, 2014

Thanks for the excellent work!

Anonymous
Dec 16, 2014

Thank you for your very helpful summary of online survey tools! 

Shirley
Feb 08, 2015

Hi! I have been searching high and low for software that allows me to create a questionnaire/audit checklist, for a client to use, that 'scores' responses and, at the end of the questionnaire, produces an overall score for the business, that I can then follow up on. I would need to be able to sell this as a service - so would need to operate it through a paywall etc.

Does anyone know of a company that does this type of thing?

many thanks

S

Alex
Feb 10, 2015

Hi Shirley,

Most survey software will allow you to score responses and even have templates for audits and questionnaires for you to utilize. Though there are a few great mobile options for you to choose from, without some technical know-how there really isn't an easy solution for an in-survey paywall. We have a large number of customers (mainly agencies) who resell our product and this is what they do:

Agencies will utilize a plan that allows them to white-label the questionnaire as well as the back-end where the data is held/accessed (comes with a unique link). Generally, they pay for the software themselves (up-front) and bill the client independently though a purchase order.This allows them to provide a premium service with little up-front cost to themselves.

I hope this helps!
Alex

danny rose
May 08, 2015

We use wufoo forms which allow for a variety of paywalls and very easy to mod or manage

Martin Osbourne
Feb 09, 2015

I started with survey monkey in 2006, then moved to google forms and now I always use typepad - a great UX isn't just about great the aesthetics; it's about higher completion rates and hence a bigger return on ... my time!

Albert Jonsworth
Feb 20, 2015

Another fantastic and completely free resource for creating surveys is eSurv.org, they are the only website I know of that offer a completely free and unrestricted service, which is great for individuals on zero budget.

Lisa Durant
Oct 21, 2015

I love that website for the features and easy-to-use interface. However, I find that the surveys cannot be viewed on mobile devices, which is incredibly frustrating, as a lot of potential respondents use their mobile phones and tablets for everything.

Ola
Mar 19, 2015

Hi,
Thanks for this post, however, I have noticed with Google Forms, you need to have an account in order to view/respond to the survey. This used to not be the case. Does anyone know what the deal is with this??

Elvis
Jun 13, 2015

I don't think Google has that restriction. You can set it yourself for when you want to restrict duplicate or same source votes but otherwise it's open.

esyild
Mar 23, 2015

I am working on SoGoSurvey currently. They offer many advanced features such as branching. I was looking for good candidates for my research and decided to go for SoGo.

Elodie
Mar 27, 2015

I'm using SoGoSurvey as they offer really good features with special offers for non-profit organizations and students! (better and cheaper). It's also very easy to use.

Aravind
Apr 01, 2015

Thanks - wonderful article , helped me decide on a survey tool

Raj
Apr 02, 2015

Survey Face seems to be a beast among free questionnaire tools. It got almost everything as Survey Monkey but claiming 100% free and unlimited. Sounds good.

Kirsti
Apr 13, 2015

Do you know if anyone has made a comparison of the privacy issues of this kind of free survey tools? I need to be able to promise the respondents that all personal data will be deleted by the end of the project, but at least Google retains rights to material that is collected through them.

Jack Pierceton
Apr 14, 2015

@Kirsti I use one that deletes data and is overall the smoothest user experience around, but it's still in beta. Want an invite to try it?

Kristabel
Jul 17, 2015

I'll like to try the beta!

ADRIENNE
Apr 18, 2015

Hi -- Similar to Shirley's question, I have been trying to find a survey tool that prospective clients can use on my website for free. They would fill in a few questions and get an immediate response that gives them a score. Their score indicates areas of their business that may need work. The responses would either appear immediately online or be sent to them in an email. I'd like to see the results as well.

Does anyone have any guidance as to where I can find an online tool that does such surveys?

Thank you!!

Dawn
Aug 11, 2015

I'm in the same boat as Adrienne - looking for a survey/quiz that gives the client an immediate score with an explanation. Any suggestions? Thank you!

Mari
May 20, 2015

Do you have any experience using enalyzer for surveys?
I am looking for a tool to survey businesses that will allow me to analyze and score each response individually. Any tips?

Martin
Jul 06, 2015

Hi,
There is another free survey tool which is OpenSource called LimeSurvey. Also worth a mention

-M

Patrick
Jul 11, 2015

I need a survey where the taker can create a login/password. Start the survey. Have the ability to stop the survey in the middle of the survey. Return at a later date and log back into the survey and complete or change their answers upon their return. Any suggestions? Note: It does not need to be a free service.

Janet
Jul 13, 2015

I am looking for a survey that:
- I can send to 20 workshop participants, who send to 8 people each. I get back one spreadsheet for each of the 20 workshop participants with their responses from the 8 people on one spreadsheet.
- Provides results so scores are listed vertically and I can easily convert or cut and paste into Excel. (Google Forms lists scores horizontally) ie: questions down column 1,response from respondent 1 down column 2, response from respondent 2 down column 3, etc.
- Any recommendations on software that can do this?

Brad
Jan 06, 2016

The trick with SurveyMonkey is to create a Collector for each participant. You can then group results by collector.
Other tools may have something similar.
Excel can transpose the results row to column.

HTH

Luke
Jul 16, 2015

I am having a tough time finding a site that allows you to survey then collect contacts into a database so you can have them on file for later surveys that might fit the demographic. SurveyMonkey does have this feature, but its limiting! Also when I import the contacts they are in the sub categories of the surveys. I just want one database that automatically updates itself when I import the contacts from the surveys so I can easily filter through for future surveys.

Mike
Jul 21, 2015

Hi! I've tried all of the listed but found solution for myself at https://cooltool.com/ . The tools mentioned above do have limited features and not all of them even have an Eye tracking feature for the surveys and other stuff.

Georges
Aug 02, 2015

I could only find one tool that allows to get an estimate of the average time respondents will need to complete the survey. That is surveylength.com. It provides very good estimations actually. Does anyone knows another similar tool?

Matt
Oct 03, 2015

Anyone can "fly" software to build a survey. Any body can move their mouths to ask a question. But fielding your own survey runs against the need for anonymity on the part of your customers, patients, children;s teachers, etc. Quality data comes from quality research. It should look good, it should be interactive, it should be a service - not a burden. You like it when some prompts you to take survey? Prolly not! Mostly because they're bad for a number of reasons That's because most people make their own. It's highly public, marketing-essential service. You're trusting it to novices. #notsmart.

Shannon
Oct 29, 2015

This is a great post. TypeForm totally rules — thanks for the tips!!!

Jenny Ross
Nov 16, 2015

Online poll services have proved as a bane for the entrepreneur to analyze the public opinion on a large scale and also for those who have keen interest in competitive world on a cost effective and efficient note. Survey Face seems to be a beast among free questionnaire tools. It got almost everything as Survey Monkey but claiming 100% free and unlimited. Sounds good. Many website provide free online polls on a very large scale - Survey Monkey , PollDeep and many others.

Rob
Nov 17, 2015

Team, what is the best survey tool that would meet the following requirements:
• Ability to Stop mid-survey, go back to it and finish survey
• Survey data must be Secure/Confidential
• Ability for Digital Signatures
• Ability to add “Terms of Agreement Checkbox” (In lieu of Digital Signature)

Randy
Nov 17, 2015

Has anyone been able to import a list of questions from Excel (for example) into one of these survey sites? I looked at a few of the sites and do not see this option. Just curioius. Thanks!

ervit
Dec 16, 2015

Google Forms has an addon called FormFuse that apparently can import questions from Google Sheets. I have not tried it, but it's free.

Peter
Dec 02, 2015

Many thanks for this article! :-)

Liam Read
Jan 09, 2016

We use smartsurvey in our organisation. We chose them because they offer advanced features and they store data in the UK, this is important to us, especially since safe harbor was ruled invalid..

Alissa
Jan 10, 2016

I need to create a survey in Canada and have respondents answer in Saudi Arabia. Are you aware of any firewall or blocking issues with any of these survey making tools?

Ray
Feb 09, 2016

Hi,

Don't want to be a commercial here - but we have helped market researchers find respondents in Saudi Arabia...

So you are aware, Pollfish is not a free service - we charge $1 per completed survey and we reach users on their mobile device - http://www.pollfish.com (we're a WordStream customer - love them!)

If you want to email me directly, ray at pollfish, or login to the site and you can ask for support.

All the best,
Ray

Joel
Jan 12, 2016

These guys offer more functionality that any of the above mentioned companies. There is no option for free surveys. But if you want something truly customisable it is best to go with "Smoke Customer Care Solutions". Especially if you are looking to make your company more customer centric. Use reporting to the best of its capabilities and have individual ratings per agent, or per agent department. They also offer surveying across every single tough point a company would want to get insight from. Please add this to your list. As they also have clients world wide.

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