Top 8 Best Online Survey Tools & Software Comparison (2020)
Today, cloud-based technologies have transformed the ability to gather valuable data from a large number of people. The process of collecting data is now much simpler and faster, thanks to online surveys that can be sent out across various channels.
Some of the best online survey tools help businesses measure real-time employee satisfaction, get customer experience feedback, and build their brand.
Online surveys can also be useful in the sphere of education to get timely feedback about lessons, foster dialogue with parents, and find out what’s working in the classroom.
Heck, online survey tools can even help you organize the perfect event by finding out how many people are coming, what they prefer, and collecting their contact information.
So, if you're a newbie to the realm of online survey tools and don't know where to start, we've analyzed a range of tools and narrowed it down to the top eight.
Online survey tools comparison chart (Top 8 highest rated)
Free, no paid plan
Zoho Office Suite users
What are online survey tools?
Online survey tools are a feedback and data collection tool that delivers useful information through online surveys or forms.
As people, businesses, and companies across all industries depend largely on data to grow, improve, and remain competitive, online survey tools are means for accomplishing just that.
Do people like attending my online webinars?
Are my employees satisfied?
Will the new product feature be a success or a debacle?
Online survey tools can help us get to the answer to these questions and so much more.
Whether you're coming up with a new feature, making changes to your site, or need to manage event registration, there's a wide range of online survey apps expertly designed to help you ask the right questions and get survey responses from the right people.
What are the different types of online survey tools?
There are hundreds of different types of survey tools available on the market, including:
What are the best online survey tools? Here’s our top 8 list:
If you go on Google (or any browser) and type "best online survey tools", you'll see a seemingly endless number of survey platforms. What's more, each of them will claim that they are the top online survey software or questionnaire tool you should opt for.
For that reason, in this post, we've rounded up the 8 best survey tools and summarized their main features and uses. On the list, you'll find some of the best online survey tools for beginners, intermediate-level, and advanced users. You will also discover which tool offers multilingual surveys and which one of the bunch is the only tool that doesn't offer a paid plan.
Let's dive in!
SurveyMonkey (Best app overall)
Answering 20 million questions daily, SurveyMonkey is the online survey tool of choice to thousands of people worldwide. In fact, 98% of the Fortune 500 companies rely on SurveyMonkey for people-powered data.
With SurveyMonkey, you can create beautiful surveys that will help you ensure a successful product launch, conduct 360 reviews, measure brand awareness, and more. Heck, SurveyMonkey can also be a great tool if you're planning a wedding, party, or corporate meeting.
There are hundreds of free templates you can use in whichever way you prefer if you don't have the time to come up with your own set of different questions.
If you need help with writing effective questions and answer choices, the Question Bank is a great place to start. All the questions in the Question Bank are written by the company's survey researchers to minimize bias and get the most accurate survey responses.
Each question has its own page in the editing phase so that you can clearly see and organize the survey's flow. In case you need to reorder the questions, no biggie. Just tap and hold the page number, and drag and drop it to its new position.
You can even apply skip logic to your survey so that people can only answer questions that are relevant to their initial response.
The app offers additional logical features like Advanced Branching and Block Randomization if you need something more advanced than skip logic.
SurveyMonkey doesn't fail to accommodate customers whose needs are basic. It offers a free plan which includes unlimited surveys that can contain up to 10 questions and get up to 100 respondents.
The Team Advantage paid plan with the more advanced features will set you back €30/ user/month.
SurveyMonkey is best for:
Ease of use.
Businesspeople who need a set of advanced features.
SurveyGizmo (Best pick for intermediate users)
If you're looking to conduct market research, or just want to poll a large group of coworkers, look no further than SurveyGizmo.
SurveyGizmo is an online survey tool that lets you create online forms, including payment forms, quizzes, and surveys.
Within this tool, you'll find all the basic features you need to create a great survey, including:
Exporting survey data into a Google Sheet.
Sharing surveys anywhere, including on Facebook and Twitter, or downloading a copy to print.
One of the app's more powerful features is the Logic Editor, which allows question-based display logic.
Suppose you're particularly interested in how people respond to your surveys. In that case, the app gives you info like how long it took for your respondents to complete the survey, how many responded on mobile devices vs. desktop, and filter the survey results based on demographics.
For those of you who have simple needs, you can give the app's free plan a go. It lets you create up to 3 surveys per month, with an unlimited number of questions, and with up to 100 responses per survey.
Opting for its cheapest paid plan, €21/month billed annually, will give you access to some more advanced features, such as unlimited surveys, unlimited responses, and data exports.
SurveyGizmo is best for:
Extensive out-of-the-box features.
Google Forms (Best free online survey tool)
Do you need help planning your next camping trip?
Are you managing event registrations?
Are you in the midst of collecting email addresses for a newsletter?
If you can't decide on a tool to help you achieve all of this and more, look no further than Google Forms.
Google Forms is one of the most flexible online survey makers on the list. You may be acquainted with some of Google's more popular tools like Google Sheets and Google Slide, but there's another equally powerful tool within Google Drive.
You can create an unlimited number of surveys, add an unlimited number of questions inside a survey, and get an unlimited number of responses.
Best of all, there's the export option to transfer your results to Google Sheets for better analysis. You can even:
add collaborators to build your survey with you
embed surveys into emails
choose from a bunch of question options (multiple-choice, dropdowns, linear scale)
On the plus side, Google Forms is free to use and is the only tool on this list that doesn't have a premium version. You'll get all the functionalities without spending a dime.
Google Forms is best for:
Customizing your surveys.
Collaborating on survey questions.
SurveyPlanet (Top choice for beginners)
SurveyPlanet is the tool that brags about having over 197,317,854 questions answered!
And that's a fine number.
Whether you want to collect qualitative & quantitative data or gather team feedback, the tool offers tons of great features to help you create the perfect survey.
If you don't know how or don't feel like writing your own online survey questions, SurveyPlanet has hundreds of pre-written question templates for you.
You can even choose between different survey themes, build custom themes, and use branching to ask additional questions or skip irrelevant questions.
The fact that this online survey tool has a pretty generous free plan may convince you to give it a go. The free plan offers an unlimited number of surveys, with an unlimited number of questions, and an unlimited number of respondents.
If you want to tap into its more advanced features like exporting, branching, and white-label surveys, you can upgrade to the Pro version ($180 per year).
SurveyPlanet is best for:
Ease of use.
Clean, minimalist user interface.
Those who want a slightly more complex tool than Google Forms.
Typeform (Best for creating visually appealing surveys)
Design is the face of your brand. And no one knows that best than the people at Typeform.
Typeform is an online tool that's best suited for those who want to add some flair to their online surveys. If you're not a fan of simple text-based questions, then keep on reading.
What makes the app such a fantastic tool for design enthusiasts is that you can easily insert images, GIFs, and even icons to your online surveys.
What Typeform lacks in function, it gains in form. Anyone who values high aesthetic solutions won't resist not falling in love with the tool. Respondents and businesses included.
If we take a survey created in Google Forms, and one created in Typeform, the Typeform survey will have higher form completion rates.
Because the form shows just one question at a time, leading the respondent seamlessly from one question to the next. It's aesthetically pleasing, plus, the respondent is not aware of the length of the form.
You can also tailor your questions depending on how a respondent answers using multiple logic forms.
Another cool feature is that you can personalize your surveys. For example, if a respondent answers one question with their name, you can refer to them by their name in the following questions.
The free plan is useful for anyone who has basic needs. You can create three forms per month, and each form can have up to 10 questions, with no 'logic jumps.' Additionally, you can receive up to 100 responses per month.
If your needs are more complex, then you should check out their paid versions. If you pay yearly, the cheapest paid plan (Essentials) will cost you $30 per month, if paid monthly. The Professionals plan will cost you $35 if you pay annually. The Premium plan is the most expensive of the plans, costing $70 billed monthly, or $59 if paid yearly.
Typeform is best for:
Small to medium-sized organizations.
Survey design enthusiasts.
Creating engaging and custom surveys.
Getting more respondents to engage with your surveys.
SurveyLegend (For enterprise-level companies)
SurveyLegend is a true legend among online survey tools. Created in 2014, it's an enterprise-level survey tool that's used by major brands like Airbnb, Groupon, Samsung, and others.
One especially cool feature is the Kiosk mode. For example, if a respondent leaves the survey half-answered and left untouched for a while, the survey will automatically restart. This feature can be useful if you run customer surveys directly on your business premises, for example, at your store, hotel, office, or shop.
The survey app is designed to be finger-friendly, working seamlessly on all touchscreen devices and computers. The web app is available on various platforms, letting you create your survey from anywhere, with one single account. For example, you can start the survey on your computer and finish it on your smartphone.
There's a free plan that's limited to three surveys per month, and each survey can contain unlimited questions and unlimited responses.
You can choose between three different paid plans that offer the app's more advanced features. The Pro plan starts at $15/mo, letting you create up to 20 surveys, export 1000 responses/survey, and add ten conditional logics.
SurveyLegend is best for:
When you need feedback from a large audience.
Conducting surveys directly on business premises.
Getting feedback in a simple, quick, and easy way.
ZohoSurvey (Great For Zoho Office Suite Users)
The fact that the Zoho suite includes a survey app shouldn't come as a surprise. After all, as of today, the Zoho suite counts over 40 different business applications to help you run your entire business.
And if you thought that Zoho Survey is an ill-designed tool with more downsides than upsides, you were wrong.
In fact, ZohoSurvey is a competitive tool that combines a powerful feature set and an exceptionally clean user interface. Even if you're not a Zoho suite user, the app is easy to use and highly intuitive.
When building your survey, the first thing you might notice is that the app offers 25+ types of questions, ranging from image questions to multiple-choice questions.
And if you want to track your survey's progress, you can easily do so from the mobile app. When it comes to the app's distribution functionalities, you can import a contact list into an email managed by MailChimp or Zoho's Campaigns.
Speaking of distribution features, you won't be disappointed. You can share your surveys with everyone on your list, using social media and email campaigns. Lacking an audience? The app lets you purchase up to 1,000 consumer responses based on your preferred demographics.
Zoho Survey offers a somewhat generous free plan that lets you create an unlimited number of surveys. Each survey can have up to 10 questions and up to 100 respondents.
Some of the app's more advanced features are unlocked in the cheapest paid plan, costing you €20/month, if billed annually. For an additional $5 per month, you can add features such as email notifications, question piping, and white-label capabilities.
ZohoSurvey is best for:
Zoho shop owners.
Zoho suite users.
Powerful features and ease of use.
Affordable paid plans.
Support for offline surveys.
Qualtrics (Top-notch pick for advanced users)
What began as a tool for supporting the research needs of academics has grown into a top choice for creating advanced surveys for professionals and large enterprises.
Whether you need a simple one-off form to measure employee satisfaction or need to conduct a sophisticated global experience survey, Qualtrics can satisfy your every intent.
Trusted by more than 11,000 brands, the app has been helping these companies optimize their four core aspects of business, including customers, products, brand, and employees.
You'll get some of the basic features like:
100+ question types
advanced logic and branching
mobile and desktop preview at the same time
over 30 different graph types
share reports online
export data in popular programs formats and programs like Word, Powerpoint, PDF, CSV, and SPSS
Qualtrics is probably the survey app with the most advanced features on the list.
There's the ExpertReview feature that measures the data quality of your survey elements, such as questions, logic, and quotas. It then offers research-based recommendations for you to improve those elements.
You can customize your website surveys and intercepts with 20+ different targeting variables, including geolocation, site behavior, and customer segments. For example, you can offer customized promotions to drive conversion and gather the right feedback from the right target audiences.
And if you want total flexibility at the code level, you can use Qualtrics' API to apply your own custom code.
As the app primarily focuses on large scale enterprises, their paid plans fall on the higher end of the pricing scale. The app's Research Core 1 package starts at $1,500 per year, and depending on the features you need, it can go up to $5,000 per year.
Qualtrics is best for:
Enterprises that are willing to spend an extra dime.
Predictive intelligence and statistical analysis functionality.
Choosing the best online survey software: our conclusion
Let’s briefly sum up the most important points of this article.
Online survey tools have become one of the core mechanisms for gathering all kinds of data. One quick survey will tell you who your customers are, why employees are leaving your company, what your students think of you, and whether people like attending your events.
In this article, we chose SurveyMonkey as the best app overall. However, that doesn't mean that the app is the best online survey tool for you and your business.
The best tool for you depends on your needs.
If you're just trying to organize next month's camping trip with your friends, Google Forms is one of the best free survey tools that's a top pick for sending out a few simple questions. On the plus side, it comes with a free version.
If you're a professional researcher working at a larger enterprise and need a powerful online survey tool with advanced reporting features, Qualtrics fits the bill.
There are many other survey tools that we didn't get to mention in the article, such as Hubspot Forms, Salesforce Survey and SoGoSurvey, all great survey creation tools that might be worth checking out.
From up close, all these tools may look similar. However, if you dive deep, you'll see that each tool offers something different than the next. For example, some tools come with more advanced reporting features, while others with more sophisticated survey logic tools.
Overall, some crucial features you should look for include skip logic, multiple question types, integrations with tools you already use, survey templates, reporting, and data export.
In addition, take a look at their pricing plans and billing periods. Some tools offer a range of paid plans, depending on how complex your needs are. You may also find that some tools offer only annual billing, while others let you pay monthly. If you're uncertain how long you will need the online survey app, it's a better idea to go with monthly billing.
And when you finally decide on a tool, make sure you take full advantage of its features so that you can start making better decisions.