How much does a survey cost – A complete guide to the cost of a survey

A survey is defined as the approach taken by market researchers to analyze a particular product or service with the help of survey respondents. Organizations collect direct feedback to understand their requirements, expectations, and characteristics. They make enhancements and make well-informed business decisions based on the survey findings.

What are the components of a survey?

Let’s first understand the components of a survey before jumping into the cost of conducting a survey.

  • What is the objective? Define a clear purpose and an attainable goal. Once you have a target, you can always refer to it to set your priorities during the whole research lifecycle.
  • Who to target? You must be clear about who your population of interest is. Out of the population of interest, make sure to choose the right sample for your research. It will help you build reliable inferences about the existing market.
  • How will data collection be done? There are many ways to collect data. The channel applied for data collection will dictate the outcome of the insights you’ll receive.
  • How to conduct data analysis? Collecting data is one aspect, but analyzing the data for creative solutions is another considerable aspect. Business intelligence and data helps organizations take business and other important decisions.

Select your respondents

Survey costs: What factors influence the cost of conducting a survey?

Organizations conduct surveys for different reasons and at different stages in the business lifecycle. The factors that influence surveys are different. Each takes a different approach because the goal of each survey is different. Let’s take a look at the significant factors that influence the cost of conducting a survey.

  1. Survey software cost:

    The best method to conduct surveys is to use survey software. It is the quickest, most flexible, and most convenient way to reach survey respondents around the globe.

    With a survey tool like QuestionPro, you can create and distribute unlimited free surveys for life. With 88+ features offered for free, there’s a lot you can do with the essential subscription. No other survey software provides the number of features that QuestionPro offers. For researchers who are looking to do more research by using advanced features or those who need enterprise-level security, integrations, and collaboration, QuestionPro provides a robust tool at a great value. Here’s a look at the plans and pricing for each license.

    1. Essentials: QuestionPro’s essentials license is termed as ‘the world’s best free survey software,’ and rightly so. With an extensive list of 88+ free features to choose from, no other survey software comes close to offering that much. You can signup for the essential license without the hassle of sharing credit card information. Use the essentials license to access 25+ question types accompanied by various logics. Capture deep insights from the respondents. The automated dashboard captures the results in real-time and can be shared among the team. You can also export the data to xls and csv formats. Over and above this, QuestionPro support is available 24×7, 365 days a year.
    2. Advanced: With the advanced features license, access powerful survey tools specially designed for businesses and teams. Apart from the features offered in the essentials license, take advantage of advanced features like text analysis, quota control, salesforce integration, or collect unlimited responses, and do a lot more. Get the advanced license for just $129/month or $85/month when billed annually, but first, make sure to take a 10-day free trial. If you plan on having a multi-user plan, make sure to ask for a discount.
    3. Enterprise: The enterprise survey license is the ‘mother of all licenses.’ Other than enjoying the features offered by ‘essentials’ and ‘advanced’ features, get yourself a dedicated success manager who’s available over phone and email to ensure the success of your project with the enterprise license. Are you currently using different survey software and want to switch to QuestionPro? Migrate your data hassle-free from any other survey platform to QuestionPro. We are HIPPA, GDPR, Fedramp, ISO, SSAE-16, and SOC II compliant to make sure you have enterprise-level security. If you have specific requests, like custom scripting? Our team will work with you to accommodate specific contractual requirements.
    4. FREE for Nonprofits: We do our part for society too. QuestionPro knows that nonprofits are passionate about their mission, and we are here to help them take a step closer to realizing that mission. We believe nonprofits bring good to the world, and hence we offer them all the advanced features for free. If you are a nonprofit, we are here to provide you with the support to gather, analyze, and analyze transformative data to support your mission. Sign up with us now to access your free nonprofit license here.
    5. Research Licence: Experience transformation with QuestionPro’s newest offering. The research platform contains a suite of powerful research tools that helps you uncover actionable insights. Make better decisions and shape amazing experiences. The research edition boasts of a sturdy survey platform, especially for maxdiff, custom logic, conjoint, and quota management. Access our pool of 22 million+ global research audiences to capture valuable insights. Build and manage your community and engage your customers with polls, surveys, and discussions. Or simply outsource the market research department to us and let QuestionPro do the heavy-lifting while you focus on strategy.
  2. Survey design cost:

    Another cost you will incur will be the cost of designing surveys. But that is subjective to the type of survey you want to run. If the survey is simple and straightforward, it is pretty much easy to design the study. With QuestionPro, you get powerful software that is easy to set up. But, if you want to run an elaborate survey that has a lot of skip logics and you require help with custom scripting or logic, you can get help from us at a reasonable price. This will add to your cost of conducting a survey.

  3. Cost of getting survey respondents

    The quality of responses you collect will be directly proportional to the Audience you choose. The Audience you select must know the subject of research for you to get actionable insights. It will be a loss of time and effort if you aren’t able to capture the right insights for your study. Getting hold of the right Audience through a reliable sample provider to help you with your project is very important. The sample size, length of the survey, and target criteria of the research define the cost of survey respondents. Let’s take a look at the factors that affect the cost of getting survey respondents.

    1. Sample size: Sample size means the number of responses you’re looking for to gather your actionable insights. The number of answers you seek is directly proportional to the cost of collecting responses.
    2. Survey length: Most respondents will not mind a short survey of about 12-15 questions, and that takes three to four minutes to complete. But if the study is longer than that, respondent fatigue set’s in. For respondents to answer a long monotonous survey, some kind of incentive is provided. Panel providers approach panel members who will genuinely complete the study, and these panels are generally not free.
    3. Target criteria: The type of respondents you’re looking for also affects the cost of conducting the survey. For example, a sample of respondents living in towns will cost cheaper to those living in cities, or getting respondents from the USA will always be higher than getting responses from South-East Asia.
    4. Communities: A community is a closed group of people who join an online group of like-minded individuals that take part in qualitative interviews. They share their opinions by having structured exercises and conversations for research purposes. You can either take services from communities or build your community, both of which will incur costs.
    5. Focus groups: Focus group discussions are conducted to get in-depth knowledge on various topics. The persons joining these focus groups are generally specialists in their fields. Hence individuals from the general population cannot be added to the focus group discussion randomly. Focus group panelists charge a certain fee to be a part of the in-depth interview.
    6. Specialty panels: Specialty panelists again fall into the niche population bucket. Certain studies seek to target only a specific group of people having particular traits. Examples of specialty panels are building contractors, pet owners, gamers, college students, vets, and so on. For example, a cat food company that wants to target a new market or area will interview only cat owners to understand their wants and needs.
  4. Survey incentives cost

    You may have your list of email addresses that you’d like to target and request survey answers from. The list may contain your customers, prospective buyers, and people who have signed up to your website at some point in time. You can approach these people to answer surveys for you. But not everybody you contact will be willing to take the survey for free. You may have to reward or incentivize the study. Rewards motivate respondents to give their opinions and take surveys. It is an additional cost of conducting a survey, but this helps bring in responses. Rewards and incentives are distributed in the following fashion:

    1. Cash: Almost everyone universally accepts cold, hard cash. An excellent way to get completes on your survey is by rewarding respondents with money.
    2. E-gift cards: E-gift cards work in the same fashion that regular gift cards do. It is an easy way of rewarding the survey taker. Instead of issuing a physical card, you can send the e-gift card to the respondent via email for him/her to make purchases online.
    3. Merchandise: Companies, especially product companies, can hand over some free goodies to the survey takers. This is quite unlikely to happen when the survey takers are based all over the globe. But when it comes to researching a local area, it is a great way to attract survey takers and grab responses.Raffle tickets: For those researchers who are on a tight budget and can’t afford to reward every survey taker, entering them to a raffle is a great way to attract survey takers. Each respondent here has an equal chance of winning the raffle, and this increases the response rate of the survey.

Select your respondents

A guide to conducting free market research surveys with QuestionPro:

Since the turn of the year, QuestionPro has revised its licenses. You can now avail of a bunch of additional survey features that were previously paid services for free. We help in bringing down the cost of conducting the survey. To start with, this essentials license is a lifetime free account. Also, you can ask as many questions in a survey as you want and run as many studies as required. You can obtain unlimited answers to your survey; however, every study is restricted to a maximum of 1,000 responses. If you have a list of survey takers, you can simply create your survey, add the email addresses to the distribution list, launch the survey and look at the responses roll in in the consolidated dashboard.

QuestionPro’s survey software is the best tool out there. It now offers 88+ survey features for free that no other survey software provides. What more? QuestionPro is a unified platform for conducting surveys. Design your survey with ease because the tool is very user-friendly. If you don’t have the Audience to launch the study to, try QuestionPro Audience, our very own proprietary panel. The survey results are visible on the dashboard. You can download automated reports or download in .csv or .xls formats for further data analysis. Need to style the survey according to your brand colors, style, or add your logo? The tool is highly customizable to satisfy your every need. Do all this without sharing your credit card details.

Market research surveys are no longer limited to big firms with deep pockets. We enable everyone from students to individual researchers to startups to mid and substantial sized organizations to capture actionable insights for the research projects.

Buying respondents with QuestionPro Audience:

When you need valuable insights for decision making, you can’t just survey a random audience that does not represent your population of interest. Targeting the right respondents for market research is a must, and online panels are your best bet to actionable survey insights.

QuestionPro Audience has a large panel of more than 22+ million respondents around the globe. These respondents are pre-screened and mobile-ready to take surveys—target niche and focused panelists on serving your research needs.

Select your respondents

How can you access the QuestionPro Audience?

You can purchase hard to find panelists directly from QuestionPro Audience in three easy steps. All you have to do is:

  1. Signup to QuestionPro Audience
  2. Choose your sample criteria
  3. Deploy your sample. 

It’s as simple as that. The tool will automatically calculate the price of the sample based on the sample criteria defined.

You can also get in touch with us directly on, and let us know what you need.