The Best Survey Software in 2022

Updated: April 07,2022

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Humans are curious by nature. We want to know what our colleagues had for breakfast, what’s the most popular smartphone brand, how our friends would rate the movie we just all saw together - the list goes on. In short, we like to make surveys: Whether to collect feedback or conduct deep market research, we’ll need some kind of survey software to realize our vision. These apps allow us to build, customize, share, and analyze our surveys.

Social research software industry has boomed recently. You can do background checks, search for people, and even build in-depth surveys. The problem is, there are too many apps on the market right now. Some are built for people who have no idea how to make a survey, while others are complicated enough to require coding skills. We’ve done some window shopping for you and are here to present a selection of tools everyone should use for creating surveys.

Starts at:
quote on request

At A Glance
Drag-and-drop editing
Cross-tabulation analysis
Collaboration

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Qualtrics XM is the benchmark for all survey services. This tool has been irreplaceable for academic studies and high-profile surveys where highly detailed analytics were needed. With Qualtrics, you’ll be able to create intricate, complex surveys with incredible ease. Even though its tools allow for non-linear design and matrices, the whole creation process is done through a simple drag and drop interface. It’s highly intuitive and takes mere minutes to learn. You can try this online survey tool for free, but the true power lies within its premium version, the price of which is personalized for each customer.

Features
Platform
Web-based
Templates
50+
Free trial
15 questions per survey, Up to 100 responses
Starts at:
$32/month

At A Glance
Question bank
Randomized answers
Visual editor

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SurveyMonkey is a tool many data analysts and students can easily recommend. It allows quick survey creation through its streamlined user interface. Even the website adapts to your needs, making for the ultimate user experience. SurveyMonkey has many tricks up its sleeve for improving workflow and cutting down on time needed for making your paid online surveys just the way you want them. Hundreds of templates, linear and randomized question lists, and real-time reporting are just some of the reasons this software has received so much praise throughout the years.

Features
Platform
Web-based
Templates
180+
Free trial
Up to 10 questions and 40-100 responses
Starts at:
$25/month

At A Glance
Logic jumps
Responsive questions
Embedded multimedia

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Typeform might not be the most complex among the survey platforms, but it makes up for that with an intuitive workflow. Instead of dragging premade questions into your survey, you can just type them out, and the survey creator will automatically turn your text into questions and checkboxes. This site’s survey software employs logic gates to affect and even generate follow-up questions, leading to a more organic flow of each survey you create. The free version lets you try out most of these features but imposes harsh restrictions, especially on the number of responses. A subscription is pretty much a must with this tool.

Features
Platform
Web-based
Templates
200+
Free trial
3 forms with up to 10 questions and 100 responses
Starts at:
$49/month

At A Glance
Embedded multimedia
Custom scripting support
Importing from Microsoft Word

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For the past 15 years, Alchemer has been at the forefront of online survey tools. This is a tool aimed at more experienced users, as it allows for more complex interactions and even custom code that will alter the existing features of questionnaires. Of course, it’s not for professionals only and has a certain level of beginner-friendliness, including the ability to import Microsoft Word files. Survey creators that want more granular results can use logic gates for a fully non-linear experience, while the artistic folks can embed various pieces of multimedia to breathe some life into their creations.

Features
Platform
Web-based
Templates
5+
Free trial
3 surveys with 100 responses each
Starts at:
$24/month

At A Glance
Drag-and-drop editor
100+ app integrations
Widgets

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JotForm’s PC survey software is known as the most customizable one around. The company offers whopping 10,000 ways to customize your surveys via various designs. Its editor is equally impressive, employing a simple drag-and-drop method for placing all elements, letting everyone create beautiful surveys with ease. Payment processing and integration are also big features of JotForm and, accompanied by an affordable pricing model with more than a decent trial version, make the service easy to recommend.

Features
Platform
Web-based
Templates
10,000+
Free trial
5 forms, 100 responses/month
Best overall

1. Qualtrics

Starts at: Quote on request
Platform
Web-based
Templates
50+
Free trial
15 questions per survey, Up to 100 responses
Non-linear surveys
Yes
Support
Email, phone
Data export
CSV, XML, XLS, JSON, TSV,SPSS, Google Drive
What we liked
  • Very customizable
  • Intuitive survey designer
  • Money-back guarantee
What we disliked
  • Expensive

Qualtrics XM is probably the biggest name in the world of experience management and customer surveying. The company has always been on the bleeding edge of the research industry, owing its initial popularity to the academic need for questionnaires on complicated subjects. At the time, no other platform offered such extensive polling options. Today, thousands of global companies use it to drive their business decisions.

Qualtrics is unmatched when it comes to the sheer number of options for creating a survey. This online survey software entails dozens of question types and lets you create nonlinear surveys with sections folding out according to the respondent's answers. This is particularly handy when making matrix-based questions and needing additional queries to pop up when certain criteria are met. There’s no denying the complexity, but the software’s design is intuitive at the same time. Every survey is built in a drag-and-drop interface accompanied by a visual editor previewing every change you make, both in the mobile and the desktop version of the survey. 

Even better, the survey software lets you import questions and sections from your previous surveys, saving you a lot of time in the process. These features would require coding skills and jumping through hoops on other platforms, but not on Qualtrics. 

Data can be analyzed via the Qualtrics app, and your results will be arranged into neat reports you can then export. There aren’t many project management tools, though, so working on survey results in big teams requires additional software. Of course, that depends on how big your analytics team is and what you need the survey for.

You can have a free account with limited capabilities, but if you’re getting Qualtrics XM for an enterprise, the survey software pricing isn’t publicly disclosed, as the company gives quotes on request. The prices generally start at $1,500 a year, clearly delineating Qualtrics as a premium service. Granted, you’ll be getting exquisite customer service and an industry-leading platform to work on, so it’s worth the expense.

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Best for Beginners

2. SurveyMonkey

Starts at: $32
Platform
Web-based
Templates
180+
Free trial
Up to 10 questions and 40-100 responses
Non-linear surveys
Yes
Support
Email, phone
Data export
CSV, PDF, PPT, XLS
What we liked
  • Incredibly user friendly
  • Good free trial
  • Numerous templates
What we disliked
  • Many features reserved for the most expensive plan

SurveyMonkey is another household name in the realm of online surveys. If you’ve ever shopped online, you probably completed a customer experience poll powered by this company. Pretty much everyone that ever needed digital survey software has used SurveyMonkey at some point.

Incredible ease of use is the reason for that widespread popularity. Accessibility was obviously the designers’ main goal when they were coming up with the SurveyMonkey toolkit. The moment you sign up for a free account, you’ll be presented with a short questionnaire designed to optimize the website experience based on your needs. Some would call this hand-holding, but we prefer to call it good UX. You’ll also find handy survey templates to start you off. 

The reason this is the best survey tool for beginners is the canned question selection. Dozens of them are readily available, significantly cutting down the time required to create surveys, thus granting you extra time for collecting and analyzing your data. You can also randomize answers in your matrices. Once it’s time to publish the survey, SurveyMonkey can automatically highlight one of the question’s multiple choices depending on where you’re embedding the form. Analytics aren’t SurveyMonkey’s strongest suit, but this app does have impressive team collaboration tools and real-time reporting.

If you’re looking for free survey software, look no further than SurveyMonkey. The default plan lets you create one survey at a time and deploy one of 40 templates. The deal isn’t time-limited, so you can keep using the free plan as long as you like. Of course, upgrading to a paid solution vastly increases functionality - our recommendation is the Advantage Annual plan, which unlocks extra features and connects you with priority customer support.

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Best Budget Solution

3. Typeform

Starts at: $25
Platform
Web-based
Templates
200+
Free trial
3 forms with up to 10 questions and 100 responses
Non-linear surveys
Yes
Support
Email, phone
Data export
CSV, XLS
What we liked
  • Numerous integrations
  • Affordable monthly plans
  • Highly customizable
What we disliked
  • Restrictive free version

Typeform, as its slogan says, turns data into experience. And what an experience it is! Even among the best online survey sites, this company stands out thanks to its fair pricing, numerous integrations, and intelligent survey design. This is mainly a survey-builder tool, but you’ll be able to use it for contact forms, payments, quizzes, etc.

The editor is one of the most streamlined ones we’ve ever seen. Instead of digging through menus for basic questions, you can simply type them out and watch as bullet points turn into multiple choice answers. Typeform’s strongest feature is the use of logic jumps to pull information from previous answers and build relevant questions on the fly. With this software, survey questions can have answers based on the data a respondent entered in an earlier instance. For example, contact information added during the survey intro can turn into the choices in a question on how the customer wishes to be contacted.

A few clicks are all you need to set all of this up. You can also use these tools to make nonlinear forms - basically forms within forms - thus neatly segregating your data. Integration capabilities are another important feature of this customer survey software. Pretty much any cloud-based platform can be connected with Typeform, one way or another, making it great for data collection, analysis, internal surveying, and HR insights.

Typeform has a free and a paid form. The free version lets you create a few very basic surveys and test out some advanced features before hitting a paywall. Anything more complicated than a short poll requires a paid subscription. The good news is that all three paid plans make Typeform one of the most affordable top survey tools. They all cost $99 and under on a monthly basis. Annual plans will net you significant discounts, too, so you can rest assured that none of the options will bleed you dry.

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Best for Enthusiasts

4. Alchemer

Starts at: $49
Platform
Web-base
Templates
5+
Free trial
3 surveys with 100 responses each
Non-linear surveys
Yes
Support
Email, phone
Data export
CSV, XLS, PDF, SPSS
What we liked
  • Fully customizable surveys
  • Flexible pricing plans
  • Great for coders
What we disliked
  • Insufficient question types
  • High starting price

Alchemer is a multifunctional platform for surveys, payment forms, quizzes, and more. Founded in 2006 as SurveyGizmo, this Colorado-based company caters more to the tech-savvy crowd. Even after the rebrand, it remains an excellent tool for collecting feedback.

Alchemer is a great tool for you if you prefer highly modular online survey software. It supports JavaScript coding and can even use Microsoft Word documents as a base for creating surveys. Alchemer connects to Google Drive, too, but only for exporting collected data. Just be aware that unless you save a Google Docs document as a Word file that Alchemer can read, you won’t be able to import questions from it. Manual survey creation is streamlined, but it isn’t as intuitive as what some of the competitors offer. For example, the software doesn’t automatically send “None of the above” to the bottom of the answer list when using a randomizer. 

Like with other survey software, you can import all kinds of multimedia files to enrich the respondents’ experience, and the coding-friendliness we already mentioned means that you’re not restricted to pre-set functions. The Logic tab allows users to create many rules for reformatting your questionnaire while the users are answering surveys. If you’re artistically inclined, the survey editor also allows for plenty of visual customization, somewhat making up for Alchemer’s otherwise lackluster design template collection.

If you’re not looking to get a subscription, there is a free option, too. Compared to other survey software, the free version of Alchemer has a solid feature set, but be sure to choose a free account and not a free trial. You can have three surveys up at a time, with 100 responses each. Some elements are locked out unless you pay, so be sure to consult the documentation for specifics. If you opt for the paid route, your choices expand greatly, from team to enterprise accounts. The starting packages are affordable, although you might want to purchase the Professional plan if you anticipate needing more flexibility in your web survey software.

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Best Templates

5. JotForm

Starts at: $24
Platform
Web-based
Templates
10,000+
Free trial
5 forms, 100 responses/month
Non-linear surveys
Yes
Support
Email
Data export
CSV, XLS, PDF
What we liked
  • Impressive template library
  • Affordable plans
  • Good free version
What we disliked
  • Strict limitations on all plans

When we’re trying to create a survey, especially on a deadline, we’re always on the lookout for shortcuts, either via importing from previous surveys or using premade templates. Thankfully, JotForm is the template king, offering more than 10,000 survey designs. That’s not the only reason to sign up for it, though.

JotForm was made to be straightforward to navigate, using an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. The site first asks what kind of survey you’re running and if you need a template before jumping straight to the editor. We’d even go as far as to call it the best online survey site for those who don’t want the hassle of creating a questionnaire from scratch. That being said, browsing the template repository can be time-consuming, specifically due to their peculiar titles. Since there’s no favorite list to save them to, you’d better write down the names of the templates you liked, or you might never find them again. 

On the plus side, this platform boasts amazing integration features. Connect your JotForm account to nearly 200 third-party apps and export data, accept payments, or just get notifications on new replies going through this survey tool. We can’t list all the supported apps, so we’ll just mention Slack, Dropbox, PayPal, and Google Drive. Nice, right? Collaboration tools are another neat touch, and the platform also accommodates response-based survey flexibility - a questionnaire you create through JotForm doesn’t have to be static.

JotForm’s free offering is great, too. You’ll be able to create and run up to five forms, access all of the analytics, and even accept payments. If you don’t mind having a watermark notifying your visitors you used a free survey maker, we’d go as far as calling it one of the best free solutions out there. 

You can also choose between three pricing tiers paid for on a monthly or annual basis. We highly recommend going with a yearly plan for the substantial discount that comes with it. However, be prepared to face some restrictions - even the Gold plan is not totally unlimited on all fronts, as it still imposes restrictions on the number of monthly responses your surveys can collect, although the limit is pretty astronomical, at 100,000.

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Our Methodology for Identifying the Best Survey Tools

Questionnaire Customization

The first step towards launching a survey is creating one. Alternatively, you can set up a virtual phone number and conduct your survey the old-fashion way, but there are more elegant and efficient solutions. Survey creation progressed both in terms of features and user experience - the platforms now offer a more streamlined building process, more templates, more everything. But a good feature set is just the start of what we look for in our reviews.

The most important criterion is the process of creating a survey itself. Is picking a template easy? Are there importing options? Do you need coding skills for non-linear surveys? We try to answer each of these questions in our survey software comparison. The perfect tool should have a drag-and-drop capability, a clean UI, clearly marked building blocks, and logic jumps. Nowadays, respondents expect surveys to adapt to their answers: For example, if a user chooses a negative response on whether they own a certain product, further questions about the usage of that product should be skipped entirely. Also, coding skills shouldn’t be a requirement for making a survey, but it’s a big plus if the platform supports adding custom code and designs.

Reporting

The next important section in our survey software reviews is reporting. All that collected raw data means nothing if you can’t process it. You’ll want to see how many people responded to your poll, what the most common and uncommon answers were, how the median score shifted across different demographics, etc. In short, detailed reporting needs to be implemented, preferably with visualization tools like charts and graphs. For more extensive surveys, filtering results is of the utmost importance. Thousands of responses make it nigh impossible for a person to manually go through them all in their event-survey software. Filtering tools and averages help you quickly figure out the general outcome of the survey and narrow down the results to those needed for, say, your upcoming marketing campaign.

Once the results look presentable, it’s time to share them with the rest of your team. Exporting results in Excel format is obligatory, while CSV and PDF formats are also highly desired. Some survey platforms even allow for Microsoft PowerPoint (PPT) exports, allowing easy embedding into your board presentation. Collaboration options are also welcome: e.g., data cross-referencing and shared datasheets. Such high-level survey tools aren’t always a part of these platforms, but they create a well-rounded package where the data can be easily processed to provide usable results.

Price

Money is an inevitable talking point with any product. Not every service offers the same value, so we try to find the most cost-effective ones. Most of these apps have different pricing tiers, limiting or expanding features depending on your subscription level. There might be a free trial or even a full-fledged free version available. 

We’ll try to get a complete picture of each of the best survey sites and then compare them to each other to clarify how good a deal you might be getting. Free plans are particularly interesting, as they can range from a vastly simplified version of the app meant purely for small-scale testing to tools that can help you do extensive research as long as you don’t need thousands of responses. If a service offers a genuinely useful free tool, we’ll be sure to let you know.

Customer Service

Even the most user-friendly app can be confusing, so customer support is a vital part of our comparison of survey software. We’re not just looking at the number of contact avenues or how quickly the support team answers our questions, but also how rich the platform’s education section is. If a site has a comprehensive knowledge section, tutorials, or interactive demos, it’s already better than a rival offering merely an FAQ section. This is a very competitive industry, so any attempt a service makes to stand out from the crowd, even with a simple how-to video, might put it on our radar.

FAQ

What is the best survey software?

The best software for creating and analyzing surveys is Qualtrics XM, a comprehensive platform for making dynamic forms, collecting results, and deep analysis. Over the years, it became the industry standard, and no other platform has yet managed to beat it. 

What are the 3 types of surveys?

In terms of purpose, surveys can be exploratory, descriptive, and causal. Exploratory questionnaires are used in marketing for discovering untapped markets and canvassing for ideas. Companies use survey software to review current trends, develop strategies, and find areas to grow their brands, usually via open-ended questions.

Descriptive research is the opposite of exploratory research. It has a specified structure and serves to collect data that will later turn into statistical information.

Finally, there’s causal research, designed to find the cause and effect of a specific event. Causal research is usually experimental, at least in some way, and it’s used in market research, often in the form of AB testing.

What is the best free survey tool?

This will depend on your needs and budget. Pretty much every platform for making surveys lets you at least take a trial version for a spin. Most of them also have full-fledged free plans that are sometimes capable enough for conducting professional research. Since no provider offers the same deal for its free tools, it’s advised to shop around until you find the software best suited to your needs. You can read more about some of the industry-leading tools in our article and start from there.

What software do surveyors use?

In-person survey software doesn’t differ much from the survey software used online. Live survey apps present the surveys in a similar fashion but may employ GPS data and run completely offline, depending on where the survey team is deployed. There’s no specific app for this type of research - most surveyors will use one of the apps mentioned in the article above.

What is better than SurveyMonkey?

There aren’t that many apps that do a better surveying job than SurveyMonkey. Some alternatives include Typeform, JotForm, and Qualtrics, each with a different set of pros and cons. If we have to choose just one piece of survey software, it would have to be Qualtrics. This is the industry-leading app for all kinds of forms, with unprecedented levels of customization. 

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