Need to quickly gather information from a bunch of people? Whether you want to query 10,000 customers or two dozen friends, nothing comes close to web survey software for rapid feedback, data storage, and most importantly, the speed at which you can make use of the information. If you need those answers quickly, there’s no better way to get it done. Today’s best web survey software is fast, easy to use, and inexpensive to implement …
In the bad old days, before the advent of web survey software, a survey operation would commonly take place over weeks, not days. Once the survey was written, it would have to be typeset, printed, stuffed in envelopes, and mailed out. Then you had to wait for the responses to trickle in to your snailmailbox, and worst of all, the info had to be brought into the computer—either through scanning or (horror of horrors) manual keyboarding. It was heinous!
Nowadays, you can crank out your web survey in the morning and watch a running tally accumulate over the course of a day. By lunchtime you might have a pretty good feel for how the tide is flowing. And by the time the sun sets that evening, your instant web survey may have provided enough information on how to move forward with your plans.
The world of web survey software is crowded with entries from the likes of SurveyMonkey, Zoomerang, Quask, Inquisite, Perseus, WebSurveyor, Snap Surveys, Raosoft, Corvus, Prezza Technologies, eXplorance, Apian Software, LiveSurveys, InstantSurvey and many other companies. As you can see, it’s quite a crowded market. The good news is that many companies offer free trial periods—and even free basic memberships—for you to take their web survey software for a test drive.
There’s a broad range in the cost of web survey software, and significant differences in the way that surveys are implemented. Some web survey solutions work entirely online, with the software hosted on the provider’s servers. Others allow you to prepare and serve the survey on your own computers.
SurveyMonkey is one example of a hosted survey solution. If you’re doing things on a small scale, it might be all you need. And best of all, their basic subscription is free. Of course, free won’t buy you the world—a free SurveyMonkey subscription will only allow ten questions per survey and is limited to just 100 responses. For $19.95, SurveyMonkey’s professional subscription allows for 1000 responses per month. (with additional responses charged at five cents a piece). Zoomerang is another company that offers a free basic membership. With either of these solutions, you’ll prepare and watch your survey from your web browser. They may be all you need for a small group.
As your needs increase, so do your choices and costs. Perseus, for example, provides their web survey software in both self-hosted and hosted flavors. The self-hosted Perseus SurveySolutions 6 Standard edition starts at $495 and the Professional edition is $995. The pricing for their Enterprise edition is not publicly listed. If you need Perseus to host your survey, you can expect to pay for hosting fees. Additional costs may include charges for collection, security, reporting, review services, and consulting. Needless to say, Perseus is a very powerful solution and is priced accordingly.
If you’ve never prepared a web survey, you’ll be amazed at how easy it can be to create one. You can sign up for a free account with one of the providers and start implementing your survey in the wink of an eye.