The Value of Online Survey Websites{12}

by Shaun N
The Value of Online Surveys

For a lot of companies and businesses, getting information and customer feedback is a must. Companies must be able to gather information of how society as a whole feels about a certain product or aspects of certain products to be able to release products people will buy. The old way of doing this was to send out mail surveys or surveys over the phone. The problems with these methods are that they are very costly. The cost for a small business to get 200 complete responses using mail surveys can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $7,000 and using phone surveys can cost up to $15,000. This is very unaffordable for smaller companies and major companies would prefer a more efficient way of gathering this information. This is where online surveys come in handy. Online surveys can cost as low as $0.10 a piece , varying on how long the survey is. So price of getting 200 responses from a short online survey is roughly $20, plus a monthly subscription most companies charge.

How does it work

Companies are asked to pay a monthly fee to use the online service. They are then able to send out as many different surveys as they want. They will then usually offer incentives, usually money, to entice customers to take their surveys. This payment is anywhere between $0.10 and $5.00. Companies are then able to ask whatever questions they would like in the survey. Normally, because companies don’t want people who know nothing related to the product or service at hand, companies will have a “pre-survey” survey where they ask you questions so you fit their target audience.


The main advantage of using this method is that it is cheap. As stated earlier it is substantially less money than mail and phone surveys. It greatly reduces the amount of man hours the company has to pay for and the response rate is instant due to the incentives offered. Results of the survey are also available to the company instantly as there is no reading paper forms or logs from phone calls. Another great advantage is the global reach the internet has. Companies are able to get information from everyone in their target market. They can reach everyone around the world or just focused within the United States.


The main disadvantage of online surveys is the inevitable surveying of people who are dishonest with a goal to earn as much money as possible filling out surveys. As with any survey, the quality of questions and how you craft your questions have a huge impact on the quality of information you get back. Keep in mind though, you walk a thin line. If your survey is too in depth and too long, people may be deterred from taking the survey all together.

If compiled correctly, the Return on Investment for online surveys can be substantial. Not only are they cheap and give you quality information from consumers, but they also are somewhat of a promotional tool that you can use to market your product. If used correctly, not only can you make your money back, but you can earn a substantial profit from using the service.


Marohn, R. (2001). ‘Monkey’ing with online surveys. Credit Union Management, 24(11), 54. Retrieved from

Roos, D. (2013). How Online Surveys Work. How Stuff Works. Retrieved from

Gunn, H. (2002). Web-Based Surveys: Changing the Survey Process. First Monday. Retrieved from