Online surveys are a powerful tool that give you the knowledge you need to improve your customer experience—by asking your customers directly how they feel and what they want. Surveys can help you understand your customers’ values and whether you’re meeting their expectations. Many companies offer free survey tools but limit the functionality you need to gain meaningful insights.
Why surveys are vital for growing your business
Understanding your customer base is essential for making sound business decisions, whether you’re just launching or entering a new phase of growth. You need data-backed answers to questions like: What are your customers willing to pay for your product? How well do your marketing materials communicate your product’s core value? How satisfied—or unsatisfied—are your customers? One way to get this information is through customer polls and surveys.
Surveys can help small businesses quantify metrics like customer satisfaction and help you understand the factors driving that satisfaction and engagement.
With dozens of online survey tools, it can be hard to determine which one is right for your business, what they actually cost, and which features you’ll actually need.
Here’s a breakdown to guide your decision.
Mailchimp vs. top free survey builders
You’ll find many options for creating free online surveys offered by various providers. Five popular choices include Mailchimp, SurveyMonkey, Zoho, Google Forms, and Typeform. Each option comes with unique benefits—but also limitations—so it’s essential to do some research before making your choice.
If you plan to use a simple, free survey to gather customer responses, think about how you might want to use the information after the survey. In some cases, you will only be able to view details for a restricted number of responses.
Do you plan to use your survey results to shape marketing and business decisions? Pay close attention to features like survey auto-tagging (where survey responses can be automatically tagged to your audience), reporting capabilities, and integration with the software you use for data analysis and other important marketing functions.
Here’s an overview of a few of the most popular free online survey tools.
|Mailchimp's Free Marketing Plan
|SurveyMonkey's Basic Plan
|Zoho Survey's Free Plan
|Google Forms for Personal Use
|Typeform's Free Plan
|Questions per Survey
|Multiple Question Types
|Survey auto-tagging and exports to CSV
|Exports to PDF
|Exports to CSV or Google Sheets
|Exports to CSV or XLS
|Email support for first 30 days, step-by-step videos, guides and tutorials
|User-created help center guides
|Starting Cost for Paid Plans
Not only are Mailchimp’s survey-building options free on the free marketing plan, but they’re also incorporated into Mailchimp’s all-in-one Marketing Platform, integrating surveying features with marketing and customer management. Best of all, you get unlimited survey respondents—a component that isn’t offered by many other survey tools.
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Mailchimp vs. SurveyMonkey
SurveyMonkey is a popular online survey creation tool that gives users a great deal of control. Notable features include detailed reporting capabilities, hundreds of survey templates, and a user-friendly interface that makes quick work of creating simple surveys.
SurveyMonkey limits you to 10 questions per free survey. You can’t export data from free surveys, and as of January 2021, newly registered free users can only view 40 responses.
Mailchimp users can create extensive surveys and collect every response. You can export Mailchimp survey data and you can also use it within the platform to drive your marketing efforts. You can apply your fresh insight into customer preferences and behaviors right away.
Mailchimp vs. Zoho Survey
Zoho offers an extensive suite of business tools, including Zoho Survey, which provides a wide variety of attractive features. Zoho Survey offers drag-and-drop functionality for survey elements, Mailchimp contact list integration, and an extensive survey question library.
Zoho’s free Unlimited survey option allows you to send out as many surveys as you want, provided they contain no more than 10 questions. This option also limits you to a maximum of 100 collected responses.
Mailchimp allows you to survey your audience whenever you want, and ask as many questions as you want. Not only can you collect unlimited responses, but you can also immediately put those responses to work across Mailchimp’s marketing and customer management platform.
Mailchimp vs. Google Forms
Google Forms offers basic, user-friendly survey building functions. If you’re already an avid Google user, you can work within Google Forms to create surveys that integrate seamlessly with other Google products.
One of the main limitations of Google Forms is that your survey responses are not linked or attached to your CRM or contact management system. This lack of integration makes it harder to take action on the data. With Mailchimp, your survey responses can be automatically added as tags to your contact profiles, and you can even add subscribers via Mailchimp's survey tool.
Mailchimp offers robust design features, including easy-to-use, attractive templates, and the ability to gather responses via social media. Mailchimp surveys integrate with the marketing platform seamlessly, whereas you’ll need to convert your Google Forms data to use it within your marketing platform or CRM.
Mailchimp vs. Typeform
Typeform is well suited for design-minded operations. Surveys integrate with all the big players: Mailchimp for contact lists, Salesforce for personalization, and Google Sheets for analytics. Typeform works well on mobile devices, too.
Typeform users, however, get only 3 surveys, with 10 questions per survey, and 100 responses. While Typeform is a popular survey-building tool, it’s also a stand-alone option. You’ll need to gather responses and then move them to your Mailchimp account or another platform to benefit from the data you collect. Typeform offers integrations with other platforms, including Mailchimp, but of course, that’s an extra step.
With Mailchimp, surveys are an essential marketing tool, not a feature you’ll have to pay extra to access. Mailchimp also allows you to collect and analyze survey data and put it into action with marketing campaigns, all on the same platform.
Advantages of Mailchimp’s free survey tool
Mailchimp surveys are a robust data-gathering tool that’s an extension of a powerful all-in-one Marketing Platform, not an add-on or an afterthought. With Mailchimp surveys, you can:
- Measure customer satisfaction with opinion polls and post-event surveys.
- Examine your product-market fit by surveying current and prospective customers about which product features they care most about.
- Gain insight into data-driven pricing by surveying customers’ willingness to pay.
- Identify decision-makers through surveys—find out which customers buy and use your product.
Because Mailchimp is an all-in-one marketing and customer management platform, you don’t have to connect a third-party survey builder to other tools—you can analyze survey results immediately, in the context of big-picture insights. Plus, you can collect unlimited responses. Other free survey platforms limit responses, making this a standout feature.
The power of an all-in-one Marketing Platform
By using a survey tool that’s connected to your primary marketing platform, you’ll be able to keep track of the valuable data you collect and use it to inspire your marketing efforts.
With Mailchimp, you can handle multiple aspects of your marketing campaigns in one comprehensive solution. Mailchimp’s survey tool integrates into its Marketing CRM, Customer Journey builder, and social media management tools. With Mailchimp’s website builder, email marketing software, and more, surveys are part of a cohesive platform—all its features work together to help you market smarter. You can use surveys to grow your audience and develop more effective targeted marketing messages.
For example, you can group your happy vs. unsatisfied customers, flag customers who express interest in upcoming products, and store critical demographics to tailor future marketing campaigns.
Mailchimp’s all-in-one Marketing Platform allows you to send surveys through its Customer Journey builder automatically with one of our paid plans.
That means you can set up automations to send a survey after someone purchases a product from your online store or subscribes to your newsletter. Ask them for more information about themselves so you can start building customer segments or gauge their post-purchase satisfaction.
Setting up automated surveys through Mailchimp will take feedback management tasks off your plate while keeping you close to your customers.
Access to unique business-building tools
Mailchimp offers solutions for small business owners at every stage of their business-building journey.
You can use Mailchimp to build, publish, and host your website. You can also create a landing page with a signup form to capture prospective customers. Landing pages serve as destinations for your marketing campaigns—a natural next step in the customer journey.
Other Mailchimp features include:
- Intuitive, predesigned website builder and mobile landing page templates
- E-commerce integration with the Stripe buy button for websites and landing pages
- Built-in scalability fueled by responsive automation
- Google Workspace integration that gives you access to Google Calendar, Drive, and more*
- Marketing CRM on mobile to add contacts from business cards or your address book
- Eye-catching pop-up forms
*Google Workspace Terms apply
When you’re ready to expand your reach, one of Mailchimp’s paid plans will offer the additional functionality you need.