Survey Types

The over-arching objective of a survey is to gather feedback – information, opinion, intention – from your target audience. But surveys take many forms, each suited to the audience or distribution method. Read our guides to the most common survey types, their uses, pros and cons.

Researcher designing a survey online

Survey types by distribution

Today they are a wide variety of ways to distribute your survey, both on and offline, each with their strengths and weaknesses.

Online surveys

With SmartSurvey you can create and distribute any type of survey online, whether simple or sophisticated, and collect and analyse responses in real time using our secure and user-friendly reporting tools.

Offline surveys

If you need to capture data in the field, without internet access, you can opt to load an offline survey to a smartphone or tablet and take it to any location, then download responses when you’re back online.

Email surveys

Email remains a highly-popular way to distribute surveys. Our fully functional email survey tool is designed to save time and produce better data, whether from customers, employees, constituents or business contacts.

Web surveys

If you want to capture feedback from your website visitors, popup surveys help you find the answers you are looking for, whether used as exit surveys or to collect feedback on specific pages.

Mobile surveys

Survey software can deliver the benefits of user engagement directly to smartphones and tablets. Create a customised mobile survey from scratch or use ready-made templates, then distribute to your contacts

SMS surveys

SMS surveys can help you achieve increased response rates and improved customer engagement. When you send your survey by SMS you have the ability to instantly reach your target audience, wherever they are.

Telephone surveys

Despite the rise in popularity of online surveys there are still some circumstances where the use of phone surveys can prove beneficial.

Face-to-face interviews

A look at the advantages and disadvantages of using face to face interviews vs online survey tools when conducting questionnaires.

Paper surveys

We often get asked the question – which is more effective, an online or paper survey? Here we look at the merits of using either method.

Longitudinal surveys

In longitudinal studies you follow the same group of respondents over an extended period of time, across weeks, months, or even years.

Survey types by audience

Surveys help you better understand the needs, opinions and experiences of your market, customers, employees, or stakeholders.


Whether looking to better understand what your customers want, need, expect or believe, our survey software lets you tailor your questions to your unique needs.


From gathering feedback to monitoring progress, HR surveys can measure employee engagement, help improve performance and enrich your company culture.

Market research

Monitoring market trends, listening to customers and understanding emerging consumer demands is key to business success and will help you stay ahead of your competitors.


Whether measuring interest in a potential fundraising idea, collecting sponsor feedback or better understanding the motivations of your volunteers, our online survey tool can help ensure your success.

Government & public sector

Public opinion and community feedback is imperative in the public sector, government services and politics. An approved G-cloud supplier, we are the online software for your next survey project.


Whatever the educational context, the ability to gather feedback from students, parents and teaching staff is vital to highlighting performance and to maintaining and improving standards going forward.


Our online survey software simplifies the collection of patient and employee feedback so health organisations can focus on what they do best, caring. Use our ready-made questionnaire templates or create your own.


Happy guests and travellers are your best salespeople, and surveys an effective and essential quality assurance, feedback and evaluation tool for every aspect of your hospitality or travel service and company.


Whatever the size, type or style of event you are running, the ability to gather and measure the views of your audience will help you to plan, organise and host even more successful events in the future.

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