Collecting data, whether you’re a researcher, marketer, business owner, etc. is important. It allows you to get a better understanding of the research problem you’re tackling. That in turn, makes it possible to make better decisions about the situation and produce better outcomes.

One thing that will impact the data you collect is the method and tools you use to collect that data. Are you doing in-person interviews, using online survey software, taking advantage of focus groups, etc.? We won’t focus on data collection methods in this guide but we will focus on the tools available. Specifically, the best online survey software on the market.

What is online survey software?

Online survey software can be defined as technology that allows users to create various types of questionnaires, with multiple question types as well as the tools needed to store and interpret the data collected. The surveys can be hosted on the user’s website or sent out and accessed using a unique link.

On the surface, online survey software seems simple and it often can be. At the same time, it can be extremely complex and robust. There’s no best online survey software for everyone. Rather, it’s the best software for your use case.

The best online survey software

QuestionPro – best when you have versatile needs

Questionpro online survey software

QuestionPro was founded nearly twenty years ago (2005) by Vivek Bhaskaran as a simple survey tool. Over the years, it has evolved into a suite of products that range from online survey software to enterprise-grade research tools and customer experience management.

You can pick and choose the survey tools you need to create a custom solution. The core online survey software comes with multiple question types such as rating scale and open-ended questions, conditional logic, answer piping, branding and customization, multiple types of analysis, and multiple integrations.

It’s not the best-looking tool on the market but truly gets the job done. Most users only take advantage of a fraction of its functionality because it’s so robust.

Features:

  • Multiple question types
  • Custom branding
  • Customize colors
  • Multiple data export options
  • Skip logic
  • Conditional logic
  • Answer piping
  • Analyze answers even if respondents dropped off
  • NPS score calculation
  • Create quizzes with scores
  • Mobile application

Cons

  • The learning curve can be a bit steep because it offers so much

Pricing

  • Paid plans start at $99/m but there is a free plan available.

JotForm – best for simple surveys and additional tools

JotForm has been around for many years and recently celebrated its 10,000,000th user milestone. Needless to say, it’s a popular tool that has tons of features to help you collect data via online surveys.

Recently, JotForm has been adding additional tools to its lineup and is moving away from being just a form builder. You can do everything from collect electronic signatures to building an online storefront. Some people may find this overwhelming but if you want an all-in-one tool to manage an online business, this may be worth looking at.

The interface is, for most people, intuitive and even though it has millions of users JotForm still does well on the customer support front.

Features

  • Multiple question types
  • HIPAA compliance
  • Payment collection
  • 24/7 customer support
  • PDF editor
  • Custom tables
  • Team management and collaboration
  • Form analysis and reporting
  • Mobile first forms
  • Assigning forms
  • Create simple apps

Cons

  • The application does a lot of things so it can feel convoluted at times

Pricing

Pricing starts at $39/m when paid monthly.

SurveyMonkey – best for marketing surveys

SurveyMonkey is one of the most popular online survey tools on the market and that’s for good reason. It has been around since 1999 and has weathered many storms since then and boasts that it facilitates 20 million questions being answered daily.

In addition to the surveys, it offers multiple products that solve problems related to surveys. For example, it has a global audience pool that you can tap into based on the criteria you set such as demographic or geographic data.

The core survey solution provides you with multiple question types, different ways to analyze your data, conditional logic, answer piping, and more.

Features

  • Audience network
  • Close ended questions
  • Open ended questions
  • Rating scale
  • NPS surveys
  • Multiple sharing options
  • Customization and branding
  • Multiple templates to choose from
  • Survey results analysis
  • Integrations with third-party tools
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Wordcloud analysis

Cons

  • The plans are billed annually

Pricing

Pricing starts at $34/m which is billed at $384 for the annual plan.

Typeform – best for conversational surveys

Typeform pioneered a category known as conversational forms. These are surveys that focus on a superior user experience. It’s done in many ways but, the most prominent design choice it has made is only allowing you to ask one question per page.

While this may work for some, it’s not ideal for many surveys – especially those for robust research. When you have many pages, it can get tedious fairly quickly. That aside, Typeform is a strong survey builder.

It has the core features you need and expect like multiple question types and one of the largest template galleries among online survey software.

Features

  • Multiple question types
  • Deep customization options
  • Logic branching
  • Answer piping
  • Consent questions
  • Direct integrations with third-party tools
  • File uploads
  • Payment collection
  • URL redirects
  • Responses analysis

Cons

  • It keeps its branding on surveys with the entry-level plan. 
  • ‘Conversational surveys’ are not a good fit for many users

Pricing

Paid pricing plans start at $29/m.

SurveySparrow – best for customer and employee experience

SurveySparrow is relatively new compared to many of the options on this list but it has still created a robust solution over the years. It has an emphasis on helping you understand the customer experience you’re providing and the employee experience.

Like SurveyMonkey, it offers a panel of respondents that you can choose from to make sure you get relevant data to your forms. Like Typeform, you can implement conversational surveys. It has a decent collection of integrations with third-party platforms such as HubSpot, Mailchimp, and many more.

It goes even further with online reputation management, website chatbots, and an API you can connect to your own applications.

Features

  • Conversational forms
  • Multiple question types like close-ended and open-ended
  • Custom domain
  • Customizable reports
  • Cross tabulation analysis
  • Built-in NPS surveys
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Audience segmentation

Cons

  • Support claims it’s 24/7 but it’s usually slow to answer queries

Pricing

The pricing plans start at $19/m but it can increase to a few hundred dollars based on the features you opt for.

Paperform – best for customization

Paperform is an online survey builder that takes customization seriously. It also has a unique approach to creating surveys. Instead of conversational surveys that seem so prevalent, the interface is closer to the process used to create a document.

The result are forms that can even serve as landing pages. The intuitive interface is only part of why people choose Paperform. It also comes equipped with standard and advanced features like payment processing and conditional logic. Of course, it has multiple sharing options and analytics to analyze your form responses.

With the robust customization options, multiple question types, payment collection, and professional templates, it’s easy to see why so many people love Paperform.

Features

  • Dozens of question types
  • Payment collection
  • Editor that feels like creating a document
  • Deep customization options
  • Sharing and embedding options
  • Form analytics
  • Calendar booking
  • Calculate values
  • Integrate with third-party tools
  • Conditional logic
  • Partial submission capture

Cons

  • It’s lacking a few direct integrations with appointment apps

Pricing

Paperform starts at $24/m for the entry-level plan.

Google Forms – best for basic surveys

Google Forms is the obligatory entry from Google. It allows you to create basic forms with limited customization options. With that being said, it gets the job done when you want to quickly collect data for various uses.

Even though it’s limited on the surface, it’s still used by a wide range of companies for things like custom onboarding and arranging important data. It has about a dozen question types, amongst which is an option to collect file uploads.

At the end of the day, Google Forms gets the job done but don’t expect anything spectacular from it.

Features

  • Multiple question types
  • Integrate with Google sheets
  • Collect file uploads
  • Survey/form analytics
  • Basic customization

Cons

  • It has almost no third-party integrations built by the team.

Pricing

It’s free for the vast majority of users but paid plans start at $12/m

Survio – best for quick surveys

Survio has been quietly growing for the past decade and has turned into a robust online survey software solution that serves small businesses. It has the core tools you need to create forms and surveys that get the job done.

You can expect a straightforward interface, multiple question types, customization, many templates to choose from, built-in form response analysis, skip logic, and more.

It also has integrations with third-party tools. Survio isn’t the most popular application by a long shot but you can’t go wrong by choosing this platform for your online survey builder needs.

Features

  • Over a dozen question types
  • Over 100 form templates
  • Survey customization
  • Conditional logic
  • Insert images in questions
  • Redirect on submission
  • Control page order
  • Support for multiple languages

Cons

  • Cannot collect payments
  • Limited question types when compared to other providers

Pricing

The paid plans start at $28/m and there is a free option available.

What to look for in online survey software

  • Ease of use
  • Multiple question types
  • Conditional logic
  • Analytics and reports

Conclusion

The best online survey software doesn’t exist. That’s because everyone’s needs are different. With that being said, there are tools that rise to the occasion based on your situation.

If you need a solution that will allow you to do deep analysis then Questionpro is a good choice. If you’re a medium or larger enterprise and have demanding respondent needs then SurveyMonkey is a good choice. Google Forms is suitable for the most basic surveys and so on.

Let me know what you think of this list in the comments and don’t forget to share.