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How to Create a Survey (+ 6 Tools to Help)

Surveys can be a powerful way to engage your audience and collect feedback from customers. Providing your employees or your customers with a voice and input into the decision-making process can be a great way to engage them. The channels you use to do so matter more than you think, too.

Using online surveys can be one of the best ways to get that valuable feedback on new products, specific services, different business experiences, and more.

Online surveys can come in a variety of different formats and lengths. Some surveys will be multiple-choice, while others might have yes or no answers.

Read on to learn exactly how to build a survey and the right tools to help:

Survey tools

A survey tool is a type of digital software that lets you make surveys, send them to people, and then collect answers. As a result, you have plenty of data to analyze from customers or employees, or even family members.

Many survey tools will come with templates or sample questions to help you get started. Plus, these tools also help you incorporate your surveys into your website or your email. These survey tools will help you get started, and with the right survey tool, you can create a seamless process. But before you can look into tools, you need to consider how exactly to create a perfect survey - so you know which tools work best for you.

Before writing your survey, start off by asking yourself these questions:

  • Who is the audience for my survey?

  • Who else will see this survey, and who will be using the responses?

  • What collective intelligence am I looking to gain?

  • What decisions do I want to make after this survey?

Once you understand why you are making the survey, and what you want out of it, you can move on to using the following techniques to build your survey:

  • Put your respondents at ease right from the start of your survey

  • Make your questions straightforward and easy to understand

  • If you feel questions may lead to a misunderstanding, address it right away

  • Make sure the questions are relevant to your respondents

  • Avoid asking yes or no questions: they don’t provide as much clarity.

  • Avoid confusing or vague questions

  • Asking the same questions over time in different ways

  • Minimize the number of questions you ask your respondents so they don’t feel fatigued.

Use these 10 easy tips to write your best possible survey:

  1. Ease into the survey: When you’re making a survey, your first few questions matter a lot. You don’t want to scare people away, so don’t start with personal questions or sensitive questions.

  2. Use formatting: Formatting will help pace your respondents through the survey and ensure everything looks good. It’s important to group questions together to keep your survey focused. Don’t forget about page breaks, titles for different sections, and instructions to respondents as well.

  3. Keep it short: Respondents will feel worn out by too many questions. Try and keep the number of questions short.

  4. Rephrase and reask: One of the most important tips is to ask the same question often. Many good surveys will rephrase the same question in the same survey - or even in different surveys, to determine opinions. It’s a great way to tell just how attitudes change over time, too.

  5. Be Specific: Survey questions that are too vague, or offer up too much uncertainty, aren’t a good way to get answers. Multi-part questions and vague questions can confuse your respondents. Instead, focus each question on a specific idea.

  6. Don’t use yes or no questions: On that same note, try and avoid yes or no questions. These types of questions don’t capture the complexities of different people’s opinions.

  7. Make sure to clarify: If you think something can be interpreted in a different way than you intend, make sure to clarify.

  8. Don’t use a matrix: a matrix will only confuse a respondent and make sure they can’t actually focus on the question you are asking.

  9. Make sure it’s relevant: Respondents should ideally only be seeing questions that are relevant to them.

  10. Use numbers instead of words: Use phrases like “slightly likely” or “not likely at all” when creating answer choices, instead of numbers. These are easier for people to understand, according to studies.

What you need in your survey tool

  • Ease of use

  • Anonymous features

  • Branding options

  • Survey audience

The 6 Best Tools to Help You Build Engaging Surveys


SurveyMonkey is one of the most popular online survey options and has become a top choice for many. This platform is extremely easy to use and allows you to customize your survey in a number of different ways.

Google Forms

Google Forms is another popular option for online surveys - and chances are, you’ve filled out a Google Forms survey before. This platform offers users a complete suite of tools to help you build the perfect survey, and their suite is one of the best free options available online.


CrowdSignal has a free version and a paid premium version, though for many casual users, the free version will offer plenty of perks. With free unlimited surveys, unlimited questions, and unlimited responses, CrowdSignal has plenty of options for the casual user. The program also offers WordPress integration for many business owners.


SurveyNuts lets you make surveys as quickly and easily as possible, without an account, directly on their homepage. Their free version has a limit of 10 questions with 100 responses, but it doesn’t offer customized surveys or it doesn’t offer the ability to export data.


SurveyMonkey’s customer experience tool, GetFeedback, focuses on mobile-friendly surveys to gather customer feedback. GetFeedback will let you personalize the surveys to customers for optimal survey responses. You can use the survey across chat platforms, email platforms, and SMS platforms. GetFeedback will then collect the responses and insights.

HubSpot Forms

HubSpot Forms helps you make surveys and integrate them onto your website with branding (or use a standalone form) for a seamless experience. It’s easy to send your survey to customers to get a better understanding of how they feel about your services or products.

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