A reader asks: ‘I want to do a survey of visitors to my website. I need basic demographics, some multiple choice questions, and the ability to generate reports. Oh, and free is nice! What tool do you recommend?’ Read on for my roundup of free online tools that let you create your own surveys…
Add a Survey to Your Website – For Free
Whether you’re interested in market research, political opinions or customer satisfaction, free online survey tools can be a great way to collect data. These tools allow you to quickly and effectively set up an online survey that collects information on subject matter that is important to you, your organization or your business.
Some online survey tools charge an annual or monthly fee, but there are plenty of basic online survey tools that are free to use. Here are five that you can try:
SurveyMonkey.com – is another online survey tool that offers a variety of programs that you can choose from. However, their basic version is the only version that is free of charge. This program allows you to create multiple surveys per month, you are allowed up to 100 responses per survey and you can include up to 10 questions with each survey.
Choose from 15 different question types, view live results, include a survey completion progress bar, require survey validation and collect your results from a web link, email, Facebook or your own blog. It’s not often that a free product includes customer support, but SurveyMonkey does offer free support via email. If your survey needs surpass what the basic version offers then you have the option of upgrading to a premium service, which starts at $17/month.
FreeOnlineSurveys.com – is an online survey tool that is a web based program that allows you to set up your survey in under 10 minutes with their simple drag & drop survey editor. All data collected by this site is 100 percent secure and confidential and you have access to live results. Select from email or webpage surveys, as well as multiple choice, true/false and essay responses. You can even create polls, quizzes and forms.
Over the past ten years, over a million people have used the FreeOnlineSurveys tool. You can have 20 questions per survey, and collect up to 50 responses over a 10 day period. If you exceed those limits, you’ll need to upgrade to a SurveyExtra account, which starts at $20/month.
QuestionPro – is billed as an “online research” tool, but is similar to other online survey tools. With the free version, you can create only one survey each month (ten questions max) and it limits your responses to 100 per survey. Use this survey tool to create multiple choice questions, open ended text questions, essay questions, scaled order questions and ranked order questions.
Create your survey with their wizard, which includes slick professional-looking templates, or upload a survey from a Word file. Like SurveyMonkey, you have the option of upgrading to a Professional version ($12.50/moth), which offers more flexibility and more features than the free basic account.
Survey Gizmo – is one of the least generous free online survey tools around. With a 14-day free trial, it allows you to create an unlimited number of surveys, and you can ask as many questions as you want, BUT… you can collect only 25 responses. If you want more, accounts start at $75/month.
SurveyGizmo claims to be the most advanced survey tool available. If you’re a large corporation and you need exotic reporting features, integration with third-party apps, or a programming API, SurveyGizmo may be worth the hefty price tag. For individuals and small businesses looking to create online surveys, I wouldn’t recommend it.
LimeSurvey – is the most popular free, open source survey tool. LimeSurvey has no limits on the number of surveys you can create, the number of questions in a survey, or the number of survey participants. It offers a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) survey editor, multi-lingual surveys, and the ability to have anonymous participants. One nice feature that you may not find in other free survey tools is “conditionals.” This is the ability to ask questions that depend on earlier answers.
LimeSurvey can export your survey results to a variety of formats, including text, CSV, PDF, and Excel. Or you can use the built-in statistical and graphical analysis tools to make sense of your survey results. And because LimeSurvey is open source, you (or a hired programmer) can view the program source code or modify it to suit the needs of your organization.
Online surveys are fabulous tools to use for data mining and collection. You can use these tools to collect information about your customer’s shopping experience, try to predcxt who will win the next election, or determine what people are most interested in. All of these popular online survey companies offer a free basic account that’s perfect for quickie surveys, or trying out the tool before upgrading to a premium service. However, for many smaller businesses and for personal websites, the free basic account is generally good enough for your needs.
Do you have a favorite online survey tool? Tell us why you like it better than the others…