A survey is not just an online tool that helps you jot down a list of questions. It’s a great way to gain insights into what your audience thinks, feels, and most importantly—what it wants. Below we’ll go through some tips for creating a free survey and using our software. Suffering from writer’s block? Take a look at our survey questions examples and tips, or if you want to get stuck in with our survey maker straight away, get started. Not sure whether you should be making a survey or a questionnaire? Check out our guide on survey vs questionnaire.
When companies want to better focus their marketing, advertising, and product development efforts, they will contract with a market research firm to target their ideal demographic (for example, men between the ages of 40-60 who play golf), and gather information about consumers’ opinions on their product or service. You can read this article, to learn more about market research.

There are several steps involved in developing a survey questionnaire. The first is identifying what topics will be covered in the survey. For Pew Research Center surveys, this involves thinking about what is happening in our nation and the world and what will be relevant to the public, policymakers and the media. We also track opinion on a variety of issues over time so we often ensure that we update these trends on a regular basis so we can understand whether people’s opinions are changing.
That said, with surveys often being iterative projects, it is sometimes difficult to anticipate this in advance, so also inquire whether it is possible to upgrade or downgrade. In general, I looked at feature sets that tended to be available at two pricing tiers: basic tiers at approximately $300 per year and advanced tiers at approximately $1,000 per year. However, there are bargains to be found among the field, particularly if you're willing to endure some UI or feature compromises.
Many of these offerings provide rich toolsets for survey design and a number of amenities to create better-designed surveys, starting with a range of questions. However, designing, executing, and analyzing the results of high-quality surveys can still require a level of expertise that can be gotten through extensive training. Indeed, while my reviews didn't discuss acquiring and evaluating survey samples in-depth, as they are only incidental to the tools, this is a discipline in and of itself.
While surveys vary widely in how they are conducted and used, there are a number of components that are common across nearly all surveys. Many of these common features have been studied in extensive detail by survey methodologists, psychologists, statisticians, and many other fields of research. The general process of survey research is outlined in the figure below.
×