Three Popular Online Survey Tools – What You Get For Your Money

Summary: Alchemer, formerly known as SurveyGizmo, SurveyMonkey, and Qualtrics are three popular online survey tools. This article compares features offered in their paid plans.

10 minutes to read. By author Michaela Mora on September 23, 2013
Topics: Market Research, Online Survey Tools, Survey Design

Three Popular Online Survey Tools – What You Get For Your Money

Online survey tools are here to stay. Selecting the right survey tool for your business to avoid overpaying for features you will never use is getting difficult. Here is a review of three popular online survey tools.

SurveyMonkey is probably the most known online survey tool among researchers and non-researchers. After the post comparing SurveyGizmo, Beacon and Qualtrics, many requested a review of SurveyMonkey’s paid version in a comparison with other popular survey tools.

To compare equivalent options, I chose their Premium personal for this comparison, which includes all the features SurveyMonkey has to offer. I kept Alchemer (formerly SurveyGizmo) and Qualtrics for this comparison since these also have a large number of users.

I also kept the list of features from the prior comparison because these are still some of the most often used features in moderate to advanced survey programming.

Since my last post, both Alchemer and Qualtrics have continued to improve and both have an impressive list of features, but the price tag for Qualtrics is still high and can only be afforded by large organizations.

Alchemer has changed its interface to make it friendlier and continues to be the tool that offers the most value for your money among these three online survey tools.

SurveyMonkey has increased its price over the years and its best plan now has a comparable price to Alchemer, however, it is still well behind in the basic capabilities it offers.

Some of them have not been improved in nearly 10 years. For more on this, check the post “5 Things SurveyMonkey Can’t Do.” 

To check on more survey tools, visit our Survey Tool Review Center, which includes evaluations of nearly 20 tools on more than 300 features.

General Overview Alchemer, formerly SurveyGizmo
Number of surveys Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Number of questions Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Number of responses Unlimited Unlimited Depends on license
Number of email invitations 10,000/survey 20,000/day Depends on license
Multi-page surveys
Account users

1 (More can be added for a fee)

1 Depends on license
Question types Up to 37 15 90+
Graphic survey templates 22 51 55
Real-time reporting
Data exporting
Data deletion Never Never If account is closed
Supports all languages
Price $0 to $1,800/Year* $0 to $1,200/Year* $5,000+ Depending on # of completes
Question Types
Textbox – Short text
Textbox – Numeric Format Validation
Textbox – Email Format Validation
Essay – Long text
Multiple text fields
Table of text fields  
Table of checkboxes
Radio button
Table of radio buttons
Bipolar, semantic differential    
Drop-down menu
Tables of dropdown menus
Ranking – Table format  
Ranking – Drag & Drop
Ranking – Top X# of items  
Ranking – Stars  
Constant sum
Continuous sum  
Constant sum table    
Descriptive Text/Image
Image choice (radio button/checkbox)  
Contact information form  
Date format  
Image/Text Highlighting    
Image/Text Highlighting    
MaxDiff format    
Card Sorting  
Stack Sorting    
Question/Page timer  
File upload  
Drill down    
Combination of different question types in one table  
Survey Formatting
Customizable font family
Customizable font size
Customizable font color  
Customizable background colors
Limited to pre-set options
Add/Edit Options in Bulk
Change orientation of labels and options
Change position of labels  
Editable Next, Submit, and Close buttons text
Editable Next, Submit, and Close buttons graphic elements (color, size, borders)    
Optional question numbering
Fully Customizable XHTML/CSS templates  
Mobile survey compatible templates  
Can create own CSS templates  
Auto-format as currency, percentage, or a whole number
Editable error messages  
Change length, height, and width of textbox or table
Editable survey width  
Editable survey after deployment
Min and Max options for numerical answers
Reorder Questions
Randomize the answers
Select which answers to randomize
Randomize columns in a table/matrix question
Randomize questions within a page
Randomize pages
Set how many checkboxes someone can check
Optional survey tool’s logo
Depends on license
Add your own logo /White label
Create max word size
Separate answer titles and reporting values
Question grouping in blocks
Question-based skip logic
Page-based skip logic
Skip logic based on hidden variables
Unconditional skip logic
Show and hide questions based on logic
Question trigger on the same page
Pipe answer titles or reporting values from a question into another
Repeat questions based on answers to previous questions
Repeat pages based on answers to previous questions
Add values from a URL variable as question options
Add custom script / Javascript
Quiz score with tally
Quiz score with pass/fail
Make questions required
Make the questions soft-required
Random assignment of respondents to different paths/cells/blocks
Quota-based logic
Report Creation Options
Real-time online report
Crosstabs Counts, Percentages, Means Counts, Percentages Counts, Percentages, Means
Statistical Testing     Chi-Square, T-Test, Test of Proportions
Graphing – Use a bar graph, pie chart or spreadsheet to view answers
Export data to Excel, CSV
Export data to SPSS
Browse all responses individually
Can change titles and internal report values
Clear all responses
Share results with others via a link with or without a password
Share results with all respondents
Add a sharing/bookmarking button    
Export report to PDF
Export report to Word  
Export report to Excel
Export report to E-mail  
Export report to Power Point    
Survey Deployment
Generate test data  
Send email using survey tool
Send reminders using survey tool
Set a cutoff date and time
Set maximum response count
Enable IP blocking
Redirect browser
Link to panel providers
Linked to own panel
Pass data through survey link
Add a unique survey identifier to each link
Embed surveys into a Webpage
Embed surveys using an iFrame
Collect data in offline mode    
Collect data in Kiosk mode  
Convert link into QR code  
JavaScript option embed surveys using JavaScript
Question-based quotas
Close survey based on total quota
Save and Continue  
Other Survey Options
Recode values of answer options
Pipe in values from answered questions into later questions’ answers
Pipe in values from answered questions into later questions’ text
Upload images to internal library
Embed images and media via external link
Prevent search engines from indexing survey
Thank You page
Add a “Close” button to Thank You page  
Back Button Optional  
Progress Bar Optional
Create hidden variables  
Compliance with Section 508 guidelines of the Rehabilitation Act
Export survey to PDF  
Export survey to Word  
Import SurveyMonkey surveys    
Create mobile-compatible surveys  
Import data from other data sources    
Poll Types Single choice, Image Choice, Ranking   Single choice, Multiple Choice
Poll result sharing  
Vote protection By IP address, by cookies, or none   On/Off
Poll Widget sizing  
3rd Party Integration
Open API access Available for certain accounts
Facebook integration
Twitter integration
MailChimp integration integration
Via Clicktools
iModerate integration    
ClickTale integration    
ExactTarget Surveys integration    
Freshbooks Surveys integration    
Jive Surveys integration    
Eventbrite integration  
GoDaddy integration    
Twilio SMS integration    
Cint Panel integration    
WhatUsersDo Testing integration    
Support via email
Support via phone
Support – FAQ, Tutorials

*Prices are based on individual/personal plans. Both tools have business plans with different price tiers. Last updated in December 2020.

Price and features are common criteria used to decide which online survey tool to use but I find the relationship between both criteria most useful unless you are looking for specific capabilities. SurveyMonkey doesn’t live up to its higher price when compared to Alchemer (formerly SurveyGizmo). The latter doesn’t have certain features offered by Qualtrics, but it has a very reasonable price for the large number of relevant features it offers.

As I said before, no online survey tool is perfect. All have quirks when you get into the details. The decision to use one or the other should be based on how well they meet the needs of the project you are working on and what the budget is.

To check on more survey tools, visit our Survey Tool Review Center, which includes evaluations of nearly 20 tools on approximately 300 attributes.