Market Research

Create online survey: How to use our free survey maker tool

Whether you’re testing out an idea, running a poll or doing market research, free online survey makers can help you get the insights you need. Here’s how to create the best online surveys around.

Thanks to the internet, gathering actionable information through surveys has never been easier. There’s a huge number of free survey creators available out there – so many that you could be left wondering which one to pick.

At Qualtrics, we offer a free survey tool with a difference. As well as making creating an online survey easier than ever before, our tool comes backed by a ton of expertise and experience gained from millions of research and survey projects.

Support if you need it

We also offer world-class support in the form of online tutorials, how-to articles and downloadable survey templates that work seamlessly with your free Qualtrics account.

A super-smooth survey experience

Our surveys are hosted on an online platform that’s fast, intuitive and really easy to use. That means your respondents are more likely to maintain focus and complete your survey, and you get high-quality data that tells you what you want to know.

However, no matter how great your online survey software is, before you make your own survey it’s worth knowing about some best practices.

11 steps to smarter surveys

Qualtrics experience management scientists know a thing or two about designing a survey flow. If you don’t have a PhD (and even if you do) you can get the jump on smart, strategic survey design right here in 11 short steps.

  1. Start with why.
    Begin by reviewing your objectives for the survey. What are you trying to discover? What actions do you want to take as a result? A quick refresh of your goals will help you steer away from questions that don’t add value and home in on the important stuff.
  2. Visualize the end result.
    Imagine you ran your survey already. What will the report look like? What information do you need to make a decision?
  3. Rank your priorities.
    Steps 1 and 2 will have given you a wishlist of topics your survey could cover. List them out, putting the most important ones first. Remember, you can’t solve the problem if you ask the wrong questions.
  4. Ask yourself “how easy is it for people to provide information on each topic?”
    If it’s difficult, can you change the question format to make it easier? (For example, free text instead of a list of things to tick.)
  5. Banish bias.
    Introducing bias at the survey design stage is easy to do, and it can skew your results. Make sure you don't provide too much information or disclose what you want the study to show. Look out for question order too – make sure earlier questions don’t bias the respondent’s answers to later ones.
  6. Choose question types that will deliver the best information.
    Use open-ended text questions, dichotomous (yes/no), multiple-choice, rank order, scaled, or constant sum (ratio scale) questions as appropriate. (You can find out about all these and more in our Support library)
  7. Write the questions.
    It’s a good idea to write several possible questions for each topic and select the best ones. (Hint – remember step 5 and look out for bias in your wording and question order.)
  8. Repeat all of the previous steps to find any gaps.
    Having another person review your work is helpful too.
  9. Check how long it takes to complete.
    To avoid respondent fatigue or failure to complete, a survey should take less than fifteen minutes. The best way to check is to have someone else take it with a stopwatch at the ready.
  10. Pre-test the survey with 20 or more people.
    Assemble a group of trusted testers and get their detailed feedback. What were they unsure about? Did they have questions? Did they have trouble understanding what you wanted? Did they take a point of view not covered in your answers or question?
  11. Revise your survey, or start distribution.
    If step 10 gave you some changes to make, revise the survey and give it another road-test. If not, you’re all ready to go.

Launch expert-designed surveys in seconds

While flexibility and the freedom to create any online survey you want are pillars of Qualtrics Surveys, we know that not everyone has the time, nor the expertise, to create best practice surveys.

That’s why we’ve included pre-designed templates in Qualtrics Surveys. When you open your free account, you’ll find over 50 easily editable templates, ready to go.

They include:


  • Brand Awareness & Performance
  • Creative & A/B Testing
  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
  • Demographic Poll
  • Event Signup, Planning & Feedback
  • Store & Online Purchase Feedback


  • Early Access Feedback
  • New Product Idea
  • Pricing Study
  • Product Naming & Package Testing
  • Product Satisfaction
  • And more

Business Operations

  • Employee Suggestion box
  • Employee Exit Interview
  • New Hire Onboarding
  • Interview Feedback
  • Manager Feedback
  • IT Help Desk


  • Faculty Satisfaction
  • Informed Consent Form
  • Student Recruitment
  • Student Satisfaction

Get Started with Free Surveys Today