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Create Effective Online Surveys to Measure and Improve CX

Use Zonka Feedback to easily create powerful online surveys and share them via multiple online channels. Collect customer feedback, analyze results, and take action to enhance customer satisfaction.


How to Create an Online Survey with Ease

Online surveys are a great way to capture customer feedback emotions, perceptions, and opinions about your business, and utilize them to create better products and services and enhance customer satisfaction.

If you need to know how to create an online survey but are not sure where to start, you have landed on the right page. Our clear-cut guide cuts through the complexity, offering precise steps to choose reliable tools, draft questions that work, create surveys, and customize them to get maximum responses.

Navigate the task with confidence from the start and be equipped to gather the insights that matter. Let's get started!


  • Online surveys are a great way to collect customer feedback, measure satisfaction, and gauge & improve the overall customer experience.

  • Selecting the right online survey tool depends on features like user-friendliness, customization, response collection efficiency, and data analysis capabilities. You can consider popular free options like Zonka Feedback, Google Forms, SurveyPlanet, and more.

  • Crafting a survey involves clarifying its purpose, creating clear and effective questions, and considering survey design for enhanced user experience, including the use of themes, branding, and advanced logic features for intelligibility.

  • Maximizing survey engagement requires strategic distribution via email and social media, offering incentives for participation, and maintaining legal compliance by ensuring data privacy and securing informed consent.

  • Zonka Feedback is an effective online survey software that helps to create interactive surveys its ready-to-use survey templates, and share them through multiple online channels. It has a free survey maker plan to collect unlimited product & website feedback, and also offers a free trial for 14 days.

Collect Meaningful Customer Insights through Online Surveys ⭐

Reach your customers on any device through powerful Online Surveys and collect actionable feedback to take data-driven actions and deliver outstanding experiences.

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Choosing the Right Survey Tool

The initial phase in developing a successful online survey involves selecting an appropriate survey tool. The right tool can make the difference between a survey that gets you the information you need and one that falls short. The ideal tool should:

  • Be user-friendly

  • Offer customization features

  • Provide efficient methods for response collection

  • Possess effective capabilities for data analysis

Free Online Survey Maker Platforms

Numerous free survey creator platforms exist, each boasting unique features and advantages. Among them, some even offer free online form builder capabilities. To help you find the best free survey maker, here are some popular options:

  • Zonka Feedback: a free survey tool that supports unlimited feedback responses with product feedback and website surveys. With its pre-built survey templates, it enables you to create and share any type of surveys including metric surveys like NPS, CSAT, and CES surveys.

  • Google Forms: a completely free online survey tool that offers a simple interface with a wide range of question types.

  • Crowdsignal: offers unlimited surveys, questions, and responses, making it a cost-effective choice for extensive online survey tool usage.

  • SurveyPlanet: also offers unlimited surveys, questions, and responses, making it a great option for large-scale surveys.

  • Sogolytics, on the other hand, provides a robust free survey software, allowing unlimited questions and 200 responses, making it a strong competitor against paid plans.

  • SurveyLegend is suitable for those looking for design customization, and offers design customization in its free plan, allowing up to three surveys and a generous limit of 1000 responses per survey.

Every survey platform presents its own strengths and weaknesses, and the challenge lies in selecting one that caters to your specific necessities and stipulations.

Comparing Features and Limitations

Choosing a free survey tool requires a comparison of the features and limitations of various free survey tools reveals that they are not all on par. Some tools, like SurveySparrow, limit the number of questions and responses, while others, like SurveyPlanet, impose no limits at all.

Moreover, some tools provide more generous response limits for targeted uses, such as SurveyLegend’s allowance of up to 1000 responses and Alchemer’s cap of 100 responses per survey. Advanced features such as embedding, integration, and skip logic also vary across platforms. For example, SurveySparrow includes embedding and SurveyMonkey offers basic skip logic in its free plan.

skip logic

As you select a survey tool, bear in mind these features and limitations to confirm that the tool aligns with your survey objectives and targets the right demographic.

Crafting Your First Survey

After settling on a survey tool, it’s time to create a survey. Crafting your inaugural survey is an art in itself, and creating surveys involves defining the purpose of the survey and writing effective survey questions that are clear, use simple language, and have a logical question flow for respondents to follow easily.

1. Defining the Purpose of Your Survey

Establishing your survey’s purpose stands as a crucial step in the process of creating a survey. A clear purpose guides the design of the survey and ensures that the questions asked are relevant and insightful. When defining the purpose, it’s important to consider:

  • The subject matter

  • The target audience

  • The insights you want to gain

  • How you plan to use the collected data

The purpose of the survey also determines how the results will be used. For example, a survey might be used to improve services, understand customer satisfaction, or make informed business decisions. Setting SMART objectives for surveys, which are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound, allows for the creation of questions that are targeted and meaningful.

2. Writing Effective Survey Questions

Developing effective survey questions is an art that demands time and practice for mastery. The questions must be clear, specific, and easy to understand to avoid confusion among respondents. Using simple and concrete language ensures that people of all education levels can understand the survey questions.

Moreover, limiting the number of questions to no more than 10 can help maintain respondent engagement and obtain higher-quality responses. Good survey questions are essential for creating interactive surveys and obtaining measurable and accurate responses that reflect public opinions, experiences, and behaviors.

Also, it’s vital to steer clear of double-barreled questions that might pose accuracy challenges for respondents.

Customizing Your Survey Design

Tailoring your survey design is an essential phase in the survey building process. A well-designed survey not only enhances user experience but also increases response rates. This is where survey templates and customization options come into play.

1. Personalizing with Themes and Branding

Personalizing surveys with themes, logos, fonts, and colors can significantly contribute to creating a survey that harmonizes with your branding. Many online survey tools offer a variety of themes that you can apply to your surveys to instantly change their visual design. You can also incorporate your brand identity into surveys by adding brand logos, choosing specific color schemes, and selecting fonts that align with your branding.

For instance, with Google Forms, users can customize their surveys with fonts, colors, and images directly from Google Search. Sometimes you need to compress jpeg to 50kb for this purpose. This level of personalization can make your survey more visually appealing and increase engagement rates.

2. Advanced Logic for Smarter Surveys

Employing advanced logic features, like skip logic and branching, can result in more intelligent, engaging, and streamlined surveys. Advanced survey logic includes the creation of conditional groups, which are defined by a set of conditions that can influence the survey flow.

For example, skip logic can ensure survey questions remain relevant to the respondent’s situation by bypassing questions that do not pertain to them. Similarly, branching logic allows for more interactive experiences. These advanced logic features can significantly enhance the survey experience for respondents and yield more accurate and comprehensive data.

Distributing Your Online Survey

Following the assembly of your survey, the subsequent phase involves the distribution of the survey online. Online surveys can be distributed through various channels including emails, social media, and websites. The choice of distribution channel depends on your target audience and the nature of your survey.

1. Email Surveys

Email and social media serve as favored channels for disseminating surveys. When using email, it’s important to:

  • Craft compelling subject lines

  • Optimize the sender address to improve email open rates

  • Implement incentive programs to enhance the sharing and reach of the survey.

ways to collect feedback - email surveys

2. Embedding Surveys on Websites and Blogs

Directly incorporating surveys onto websites or blogs can notably boost user engagement. It provides immediate opportunities for visitors to contribute feedback. Using a tool like Zonka Feedback, surveys can be seamlessly integrated into the user journey of a website, capitalizing on the direct engagement with visitors to gather targeted feedback. 

Website Embedded Surveys Zonka Feedback Web Embed

Collecting and Managing Survey Responses

The task of gathering and managing survey responses can be intricate. It involves managing personal information, monitoring social media comments, and tracking responses.

Automating some of these tasks can help improve efficiency and accuracy.

1. Setting Up Automated Response Handling

The use of automated response handling can significantly enhance the management efficiency of survey responses. For instance, you can set up automated responses to send instant thank-you messages to participants upon survey completion, enhancing their experience.

You can also configure alerts to be notified when certain answers are submitted, facilitating prompt and relevant follow-up actions. Personalized follow-up emails can be automated to target survey participants based on their responses, allowing for more targeted and meaningful engagement.  automated email for negative

2. Integrating with CRM and Data Analysis Tools

The integration of surveys with CRM systems and data analysis tools can facilitate the streamlining of survey data management and analysis. CRM systems can leverage survey data to:

  • Setup automated triggers for actions such as targeted follow-up care

  • Automatically send apology messages for negative feedback

  • Identify sales opportunities with high-budget customers

Moreover, integrating with data analysis tools enables users to conduct in-depth analysis, access basic analytics, and create custom dashboards that visualize trends and patterns over time. Such integrations can greatly enhance the value and utility of survey data.

Interpreting Survey Results for Actionable Insights

After gathering and organizing the survey responses, the subsequent step involves the interpretation of the results. The goal here is to transform raw data into actionable insights that can inform decision-making and drive improvements.

1. Analyzing Net Promoter Score (NPS) Feedback

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a popular metric used to measure customer loyalty. NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors (those who give a score of 0-6) from the percentage of Promoters (those who give a score of 9-10).

Examining NPS feedback can yield vital insights into customer contentment and allegiance. For instance, NPS surveys can be integrated with CRM systems to streamline the process of responding to customer feedback.

NPS data segmentation can also support a deeper analysis of customer satisfaction drivers and pinpoint specific areas for improvement. Moreover, reports like Trends report can help you observe the growth trend of your NPS and make better decisions for your business. NPS Trends Analysis Report

2. Translating Data into Strategies

The conversion of survey data into implementable strategies marks the final, and perhaps most significant, step in the survey process. Feedback from surveys can highlight the strengths and weaknesses of a business, allowing for targeted improvements.

Taking action based on survey feedback and communicating the changes back to customers can show the value placed on their opinions. Surveys can also help develop an understanding of an audience, informing strategic decision-making processes. Following through on feedback is crucial for engagement; showing that input leads to action prevents disengagement.

Maximizing Engagement and Honest Feedback

Optimizing engagement and securing candid feedback from survey participants can considerably amplify the worth of your survey data. This involves crafting engaging survey introductions, offering incentives and rewards, and maintaining a high survey response rate.

1. Crafting Engaging Survey Introductions

Formulating a captivating survey introduction is essential in grabbing the attention of survey participants. The introduction should clearly state the purpose of the survey, provide logistical details, and express gratitude towards the respondents.

Additionally, highlighting past positive changes that have been made as a result of survey feedback can illustrate the value and impact of participation. A well-crafted introduction can set the stage for a positive survey experience and encourage participation.

2. Offering Incentives and Rewards

Providing incentives and rewards to survey participants can notably boost response rates. Incentives like gift cards, free products, or discounted coupons can motivate customers to complete surveys, especially those with more than 10 questions.

It’s also crucial to clearly communicate the details of survey incentives, including what they are, how participants can qualify for them, and the process for claiming and receiving them. Offering incentives can, therefore, be a powerful strategy for maximizing engagement and response rates.

Legal Compliance and Ethical Considerations

The conduct of online surveys incorporates specific legal and ethical considerations. These include complying with privacy laws such as GDPR and CCPA, ensuring the privacy and security of survey data, and obtaining informed consent from survey participants.

1. Ensuring Privacy and Security

Guaranteeing the privacy and security of survey data is an integral part of executing online surveys. Organizations must manage the personal information collected through online surveys in a way that safeguards the privacy of the individual.

When using email for survey distribution, it’s important to consider privacy laws like GDPR, especially if using purchased lists to avoid violations. Reassuring respondents that their data is safe and explaining how the survey data will be used can also enhance their trust and willingness to participate.

2. Obtaining Informed Consent

Securing informed consent from survey participants stands as another significant ethical consideration. This involves:

  • Clear communication about the reasons for collecting personal data

  • Explanation of where the data is stored

  • Disclosure of the processing duration

  • Explanation of future use of the data

It’s also important to ensure that participation in the survey is completely voluntary, with participants informed that they can choose to start or stop the survey at any point. Providing adequate protection for minors and vulnerable individuals who may participate in the survey is also a key ethical consideration.


Conducting an effective online survey involves several key steps, from choosing the right tool and crafting the survey to collecting and analyzing responses. By implementing the strategies discussed in this guide, you can create engaging and effective surveys that yield valuable insights for your business or research.

A good online survey software enables you to create and share effective surveys with your customers. Zonka Feedback is one such tool that you can use for this purpose. It is powered with advanced features like skip logic and question branching to make your surveys conversational and dynamic for the respondents. Moreover, it allows you to share surveys via multiple online channels like survey links, QR codes, mobile, SMS, and emails. You can also use it as a free online survey tool for your product and website and get unlimited feedback for free.

It also offers a free trial for the paid features and plans. Try Zonka Feedback for free for 14 days and see how it helps you leverage online surveys to collect valuable data and feedback.

Nikhil Dawer

Written by Nikhil Dawer

Feb 27, 2024

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