SurveyMonkey vs. Qualtrics: What’s the Difference?

Anna Rubkiewicz
Anna Rubkiewicz


Customers hold the key to business success. If you manage to tackle their problems while providing a great customer experience, you hit the jackpot. But get it wrong, and they will immediately find an alternative — and there are plenty to choose from.

person deciding between surveymonkey vs qualtrics

We know that unless you're a mind reader, figuring out exactly what your users want can be hard. Luckily, you can turn to feedback collection platforms to help you gather data and turn them into actionable insights.

→ Free Download: 5 Customer Survey Templates [Access Now]

While there are many options on the table, today we'll focus on SurveyMonkey and Qualtrics. We'll tell you how they work, discuss their advantages and disadvantages, as well as help you choose the right option.

Let's dive right in.

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SurveyMonkey vs. Qualtrics

Over the past few years, a growing number of brands have started to recognize the value that customer data can bring to a business. From improving product-market fit all the way to boosting user retention.

This has led to an explosion of feedback collection platforms with SurveyMonkey and Qualtrics being the two most prominent. Both allow you to collect and analyze business insights.

SurveyMonkey is one of the most popular cloud-based survey platforms. It lets users create, send, and analyze surveys — including CSAT, NPS, employee engagement surveys, simple feedback forms, and others.

Qualtrics is a customer experience management platform that revolves around gathering, organizing, and understanding data on customers, employees, market trends, and more.

SurveyMonkey is primarily focused on feedback gathering. It's easy to use, making it the top choice for small organizations. Communities can quickly pick it up with very little training.

Qualtrics, on the other hand, offers advanced market research tools and is more tailored toward enterprise customers.

We'll explore the defining features of each platform below.

SurveyMonkey: How does it work?

SurveyMonkey lets you easily create surveys and polls, and run them by your target audience through a number of channels, including:

  • Weblink.
  • Email.
  • Social media.
  • And more.

You can either export your results, use the platform's built-in analytics panel, or integrate and review them with your other tools.

SurveyMonkey vs Qualtrics; SurveyMonkey lets you run surveys on your website, via email and more

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SurveyMonkey is the go-to feedback platform for over 330,000 organizations, including 95% of Fortune 500 companies.

Their website also says that they help answer 20 million questions daily. This makes SurveyMonkey one of the leaders in the survey world.

SurveyMonkey offers three types of plans — for teams, individuals, and enterprises. Each of them features separate tiers. The main differences lie in access to features and the number of responses you can collect per year.

Here's a brief summary of the prices:

  • The basic plan – free.
  • The standard monthly plan – $99 per month.
  • The standard annual plan – $22 per month, billed annually.
  • The advantage plan – $39 per month, billed annually.
  • The premier plan – $119 per month, billed annually.
  • The team advantage plan – $25 a month per user, billed annually.
  • The team premier plan – $75 a month per user, billed annually.

SurveyMonkey Advantages

Most users who give SurveyMonkey a five-star rating on G2 mention the following features as their favorite:

  • The ability to easily integrate with and use their survey results across over 100 leading business platforms, including HubSpot.
  • Launching your survey quickly and easily. The tool offers over 250 ready-to-use survey templates for Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), employee engagement, market research, and more.

SurveyMonkey vs Qualtrics; SurveyMonkey offers access to a library of 180+ free survey templates

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  • An intuitive user interface (UI) and soft learning curve, even for those who've never used a feedback tool before.
  • Powerful and easy-to-use analytics tools, including survey results' predictions, data visualization, and word clouds. You can also segment your respondents based on specific characteristics like demographics.

SurveyMonkey vs Qualtrics; SurveyMonkey's data visualization options

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  • Access to SurveyMonkey Audience — a global consumer panel of more than 175 million respondents (which might come in handy if you're running large-scale research).

SurveyMonkey Disadvantages

Here are the three common shortcomings users mention online.

SurveyMonkey is expensive to use.

This is particularly true if you need to collect tens of thousands of responses or require advanced customization options.

While you might initially start on one of the more affordable plans, you might end up upgrading to a rather pricey one to gain access to all the features you need.

There's no free trial.

Without a free trial of premium features, there's no way to tell if it's worth investing in a paid plan.

Compared to some other platforms, SurveyMonkey's free plan only lets you "scratch the surface." Among others, you can't add skip logic to surveys, log in on multiple devices, or add more than 10 questions.

You may face design limitations.

Some users believe that the survey design can feel outdated and/or cluttered for respondents.

Qualtrics: How does it work?

Qualtrics works by collecting and organizing data related to customers, employees, and the market you operate in. It's used by over 16,000 brands worldwide, which translates into over 2 million users.

Among others, Qualtrics helps with:

  • Diving deeper into your customers' wants, needs, and problems.
  • Tailoring content to your target audience based on the collected insights.
  • Gathering feedback related to your product and implementing changes based on it to drive loyalty.
  • Improving product-market fit.
  • Enhancing your brand perception among employees, customers, and prospects.
  • Uncovering products and services that your customers could benefit from.

SurveyMonkey vs Qualtrics; creating a survey with Qualtrics

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In terms of pricing, there's no information available on their website. It's definitely more expensive than SurveyMonkey, as it offers more advanced features. If you want to discuss pricing, you'll have to schedule a demo.

Qualtrics offers a free trial, so you can take it for a spin to check if it's the right option for you.

SurveyMonkey vs Qualtrics; Qualtrics offers different survey distribution methods

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Qualtrics Advantages

Here are some of the main reasons why people select Qualtrics:

  • There are over 100 question types and ready-to-use survey templates.
  • Qualtrics allows you to import questions from previously made surveys and use them in your new survey instead of writing them from scratch.
  • You can create and test surveys in real time.
  • There are various survey distribution methods including mobile devices, in-app, web, chatbots, and others.
  • Qualtrics has built-in predictive intelligence and statistical analysis features for uncovering new insights.
  • You can access ExpertReview, which goes over every question in real time and provides design improvement recommendations to enhance survey response rates and data quality.
  • There are easily shareable reports. You can choose from over 30 graph types, share your findings online, or export your data in doc, PDF, CSV, or PowerPoint formats.

Qualtrics Disadvantages

There are also a few areas in which Qualtrics is lacking. Common limitations include:

  • Not enough pre-built integrations with business apps. There are only five.
  • Panels are only available for U.S.-based users and a few other selected countries. To set up a panel you need to contact Qualtrics' support.
  • Less experience in data collection. Its AI functionality primarily focuses on data analysis.
  • Reports can take a while to load if you're trying to analyze large data sets.
  • Limited survey customization options.

Which should you use — SurveyMonkey or Qualtrics?

Both SurveyMonkey and Qualtrics are popular feedback collection platforms.

Users appreciate SurveyMonkey for its ease of use, large survey template library, and tens of integrations with business tools.

Meanwhile, Qualtrics is a common choice for professionals who need access to powerful predictive intelligence features.

SurveyMonkey is likely the most recognizable brand in the survey and polls category. It might work well for you if you're either new to collecting feedback or have a simple campaign to run.

For example, assessing your company's NPS or CSAT every quarter or so.

However, SurveyMonkey falls short when it comes to survey customization. It's also on the expensive side, particularly if you want to unlock all of its capabilities.

Qualtrics also offers access to a template library and allows you to run your surveys via multiple channels. Compared to SurveyMonkey, it shines particularly brightly in terms of its AI-powered analytics and prediction capabilities.

Still, Qualtrics only integrates with a handful of popular business platforms — compared to over 100 integrations offered by SurveyMonkey.

Choosing the Best Survey Software For Your Business

Before signing up for a paid plan, it's worth giving both Qualtrics' and SurveyMonkey's free versions a try. While you won't be able to use these basic plans to the platforms' full extent, you'll get a sense of how both interfaces work.

If you take the features, pricing, and user experience into account, it will be much easier to make the right call. And if you're a HubSpot user, then the good news is that both integrate with our suite of tools.

All that's left to say? Good luck with your feedback collection.

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Topics: Survey Creation

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