With the help of intuitive survey software, you can learn what clients think of your new product, predict what they’ll buy in the future based on what they’ve bought in the past, and measure your influence on an individual’s actions after they encounter your brand. The best part? You don’t even have to pay for some of the top survey software options on the market to do this.
This article looks at nine highly rated free and open source survey software options. See the full list of free online survey tools in Capterra’s directory.
For each software product, we’ll look at their average ratings across real user reviews on Capterra and the cost to upgrade from the free version. You can find our full methodology here.
Free plan: Includes three surveys, unlimited questions, and 100 total responses.
Paid plans: Small team plans start at $49 per month and include 25 question types and data export capabilities.
Formerly SurveyGizmo, Alchemer is built to go beyond a basic survey and ask more layered, complex questions to obtain insightful results. The name change and rebranding denotes the company’s expanded outlook on surveys as part of a larger voice of the customer strategy. Their software service continues to offer survey capabilities as well as workflow, audience, communication, and analysis tools.
Alchemer does a great job pulling an overall report. It will autopopulate averages and standard deviations for each question while still letting you download your responses for a deeper dive. The data is never removed from your account, so you can go back and review old surveys as needed.
Key features: Web-based, skip logic and question branching, data analysis tools, 24/7 support team.
Alchemer survey builder tool (Source)
Free plan: Unlimited surveys and responses, basic analytics.
Paid plans: Google forms is fully free to use; cloud storage and support service upgrades are available with Google Workspace.
Google Forms is part of Google’s free business application suite alongside Sheets, Docs, and Slides. All applications in this suite easily integrate with one another, making Google Forms a great option for those looking to analyze their survey data using Google Sheets.
Google Forms offers limited design customization options and few templates, but a fairly robust suite of question types and response parameters (e.g., numerical responses only).
Key features: Web-based/cloud deployment, custom survey URLs, question branching.
Google Forms question builder dropdown (Source)
Free plan: Send, analyze, and store three free surveys.
Paid plans: Suite pricing begins at $39 per month, which includes unlimited surveys.
Hotjar is a multifunctional software service with a suite of tools including marketing analytics, customer experience and satisfaction tracking, website optimization, and survey building. The starting price for the entire suite is ~$40/month, but some services are offered in limited, individual free versions, including a free survey tool.
The free version is limited to three surveys, but users have access to a robust bank of question types as well as branching question logic. Analytics include the ability to produce a word cloud based on responses to open-ended survey questions.
Key features: Web-based, skip logic, data analytics tools, question library.
Free plan: 25 survey responses per month.
Paid plans: First upgrade package costs $34 per month and includes 1,000 survey responses per month.
LimeSurvey is an open source download and offers several benefits unique from free/freemium software options. While some tools charge a fee for phone or email support, LimeSurvey has a whole network of developers and users who can help you out, as well as an in-depth manual to help you work through any hiccups.
The collaborative nature of this open source system means you can launch your survey in 80+ languages. You can have unlimited administrators but only 25 responses per month across your surveys when using the free version.
Key features: Web-based, custom URLs, question branching and skip logic, data analysis tools.
Free plan: One active survey, 100 responses.
Paid plans: Cost to upgrade is not publicly provided.
With surveys at the core of its data collection strategy, Qualtrics CoreXM pairs operational data (e.g., leads data and analytics data that your sales and HR teams collect) with what they call X data—the data that tells you why things happen. This data comes from your customer experience surveys.
Qualtrics CoreXM boasts survey software that can handle everything from simple questionnaires to detailed research projects for the world’s biggest brands, allowing users to design unique surveys with their drag-and-drop survey tool, powerful logic, 100+ question types, and prebuilt survey templates.
The free version includes one active survey at a time, up to 10 questions per survey, seven question types to choose from, 100 responses, summary reports and filtering, survey logic, and online reporting.
Key features: Web-based, mobile-optimized surveys, custom survey URLs, data analysis tools.
Qualtrics CoreXM survey builder (Source)
Free plan: Unlimited surveys, max of 100 responses per survey, max of 200 total responses per year.
Paid plans: First paid tier costs $25 per month and includes ability to export data to Excel.
SoGoSurvey is a comprehensive survey platform with 24/7 support via phone, chat, and email. The system focuses on helping users improve customer experience, collect product feedback, and increase employee engagement with a focus on turning data into insights. This tool provides comprehensive survey features that treat feedback as a critical part of business growth.
SoGoSurvey caters to individuals, small businesses, and sophisticated researchers and policymakers. The free package includes multiple question types and the ability to customize the look and feel of each survey.
Key features: Web-based, question library, digital and in-person training options, supports images and video.
Reporting and analytics functionality in SoGoSurvey (Source)
Free plan: The starter plan is free forever and allows three surveys.
Paid plans: Upgraded plans start at $15 per month, which includes 20 surveys and the ability to export up to 1,000 responses.
With SurveyLegend, you can create surveys on your desktop computer or tablet, customize the look of your survey, and display collected data with eye-catching graphics. Creating questionnaires is simple with drag-and-drop functionality.
SurveyLegend provides basic live analytics and access to individual responses as they roll in. You’ll see a geographical representation of respondents, gaining valuable targeting information for your audience. SurveyLegend walks you through each step of the survey creation process and supports right-to-left language formats so you can create surveys in languages such as Arabic and Hebrew.
It’s worth noting that while your SurveyLegend survey will likely be fairly easy to make, it will have a “Proudly made with SurveyLegend” footer at the end. If branding is a problem, you’ll want to upgrade to a paid plan.
Key features: Web-based, real-time analytics, conditional logic, custom URLs.
SurveyLegend survey builder, seen on tablet and laptop (Source)
Free plan: The basic plan is free forever and includes unlimited surveys with a max of 10 questions and 40 responses per survey.
Paid plans: The first paid tier, Team Advantage, begins at $25 per month and includes unlimited surveys and a max of 10,000 responses per month.
SurveyMonkey is one of the heavy hitters in the survey-making world, and there’s a reason: its user interface is smooth. If you don’t have access to a distribution list for your survey, you can buy responses from SurveyMonkey.
The major drawback to using SurveyMonkey? The software’s most attractive tools and best functionality all live behind a paywall. Want logic? You’ll need to upgrade. Want branding? You’ll need to upgrade.
With that in mind, if you want an option that provides an easy user interface for basic surveys, SurveyMonkey is a great choice with the potential to grow as your company increases in size and capability (and budget). SurveyMonkey is a good tool for small businesses that expect to grow their survey distribution in the coming years.
Key features: Web-based, email distribution, skip logic, live results tracking, data analysis tools.
Survey customization options in SurveyMonkey (Source)
Free plan: Free forever, it includes unlimited surveys with a max of 10 questions and 100 respondents each.
Paid plans: The entry-level paid plan begins at $20 per month and includes unlimited surveys, questions, and responses, as well as over 250 survey templates.
Chances are if you’re in marketing you’ve heard of Zoho CRM, a CRM tool that boasts scalability and user-friendliness. While Zoho Survey works seamlessly with Zoho CRM, it also works on its own as a standalone free survey tool.
Zoho’s survey tool comes equipped with 250 different templates to choose from. It might take a few tries to get your questions set up the way you want them, so factor in a little extra time when setting up your surveys.
If you have Zoho’s CRM already and want a survey tool that can integrate with all of Zoho’s apps at no charge, Zoho Survey is your answer. This tool readily integrates with Google Docs and Zoho SalesIQ as well.
Key features: Web-based, in-person and live training options, question branching and skip logic, and custom survey URLs.
Zoho Survey’s survey builder (Source)
How to choose the right free survey software for your business
As you assess your software options, here are some considerations to keep in mind:
- Respondent limits: Pay careful attention to the number of responses you’ll be able to collect while using a free software version. Decide what the minimum number of respondents would need to be for you to feel confident making business strategy decisions based on the results.
- Integrations: Take a moment to map out how you want all of your software tools to work together. Does the survey software you’re considering integrate with your existing CRM software or your marketing suite?
- Templates: Some survey software providers offer a wealth of premade templates while others give you plenty of room and resources to customize. There’s not a wrong answer here; just decide which option will suit your team best.
- Data export: If you want to export your collected survey data to a different platform (e.g., Excel), keep an eye out for that functionality as you’re evaluating free survey software options.
For the purposes of this article, we classified a product as free if:
- It offers a free, stand-alone version of the software.
- It is not a trial version of the software where you must purchase a product version after a limited amount of time.
Open source products
For open source software to be evaluated for this article, the tool has to make its source code open to everyone to inspect, modify, and enhance. The source code must also have been updated (full version or small fix) within the past 12 months and must support one of the following operating systems: Windows, Mac, Linux.
The products that met the above criteria were then evaluated against our survey software definition:
Survey software is used to build and distribute digital surveys, polls, and/or questionnaires to your target audience. It then works to collect user responses and helps analyze the results commonly online/over a network.
This check verified their basic survey capabilities and appropriateness for the category. Products were classified as survey software if they contained any of the following core features: survey creation, survey management, multiple question types, data collection, and multi-channel distribution.
Software that met the market definition also needed a minimum of 15 reviews published on the survey software category page between January 1, 2020, and January 31, 2021.
The content in this piece that provides opinions and points of view expressed by users does not represent the views of Capterra.
Looking for Survey software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Survey software solutions.