How Much Does an Online Survey Cost? | Market Research Company

If you don't conduct market research frequently you'll have questions about price. Like how much does an online survey cost?

Although the scope and price of the most common types of market research vary a great deal, it can be broken down into several core components.

These five components help you understand what goes into the cost of an online survey.

Every online survey proposal can be broken down into the following five cost categories:

  1. Project management
  2. Survey design, programming, and testing
  3. Cost of sample and number of completed surveys
  4. Analysis and reporting

In this blog post, our online survey company will explain each of these costs in more detail. For a quick synopsosis, watch this 1-minute video. 

Category 1: Project Management

The costs for project management involve all of the setup and miscellaneous hours which go into an online survey project.

This varies from market research firm to firm but may include:

  • Time for client meetings
  • Time to develop a kickoff meeting agenda
  • Time to develop a workplan

The online survey cost may also factor in general budgeted time for vendor-to-client communication.

Category 2: Survey Design, Programming, and Testing

Survey Design

This is one of the core pieces of an online survey project. Our online survey company always tells our clients, the shorter the survey the better - but we understand it sometimes requires more than 15 questions. 

The number of questions you would like to ask will play a factor in the cost of an online survey. It takes time to write, program, test, clean, and report each question. The more questions you want to include, the higher the cost will be.

The cost also includes the time to draft an online survey in a Word document.

Many market research firms bypass the Word document, but our online survey firm finds outline the questions first saves time in the long run.

Rather than jumping immediately to programming, writing a survey on a Word document helps with revisions and changes to the script. It allows everyone on the client team to review the survey quickly and easily.

Survey Progamming 

Once the Word document is finalized, it is then programmed into an online survey software. The test link is shared with the client to view the survey as a real respondent.

Simple programming may only take a few hours but a complex survey with multiple skip patterns, logic, and question sets can take as many as a few business days to program and test.

Learn more about programming an online survey in this short video.


The best market research firms also test drive the survey with a live sample. This is usually 100 invites or 1% of the sample.

This uncovers issues before it is sent to the masses. All of these costs make up the survey design, programming, and testing portion of an online survey project.

Here are 7 reasons you should test your survey before jumping in.

Category 3: Cost of Sample and Number of Completed Surveys

Another key component of an online survey is both the cost of the sample and the number of completed surveys. Cost of sample can have a huge impact on online survey costs.

In addition to the length of the survey, perhaps no other variable has a larger impact on cost than the number of completed surveys.

200 responses costs more than 100, 400 responses costs more than 200, and 1,000 cresponses osts more than 400.

The best part about the number of survey completes is the number can be customized to any level to fit your budget (pending there is enough sample).

There are two types of sample for an online survey:

1. Customer Sample

This is the most cost-effective route. In these cases, the client passes the market research firm a list of customer emails to send invitations and reminders to.

Because the client is not paying additional for this list, it is easy to implement and often offers higher response rates.

This type of sample is most commonly used for customer satisfaction surveys.

2. Non-Customer Sample

This costs a bit more and can vary greatly.

For example, if you are looking for c-level decision-makers at Fortune 500 companies, the cost of sample and cost per complete will be much higher than a general sample of household decision-makers.

With a non-customer sample, many times market research firms are forced to work with regional and national panels or budget dollars to share the survey link on social media.

This can prove more costly.

Learn how to conduct non-customer surveys.

Category 4: Timeline

Do you need survey results in a couple of days? Or is the project not as pressing? The answer to this question will determine the final costs of an online survey project.

Depending on the audience and length of the survey, results can be delivered in as days. However, these fast results comes with a higher price tag. It is best to plan to plan at least two weeks ahead of time before you need survey results. 

Category 5: Analysis and Reporting

The final stage of the online survey budgeting reserves dollars for analysis and reporting.

This can range from a simple one-page infographic to a comprehensive report. 

A comprehensive market research report often includes:

  • An executive summary
  • Recommendations
  • An infographic
  • Personas
  • Question-by-question results

The choice is yours depending on your budget and timeline but we always recommend hiring the market research firm to complete this.

Their level of insight, perspective, and experience can add a lot of value to the data providing you with fresh takeaways and action items.

Contact Our Online Survey Company

Drive Research is a national market research company in New York. Our online survey provide organizations from across the county with affordable and actionable insights.

Interested in receiving a quote for an online survey? Contact us today!

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

Author Bio George Kuhn

George Kuhn

George is the Owner & President of Drive Research. He has consulted for hundreds of regional, national, and global organizations over the past 15 years. He is a CX certified VoC professional with a focus on innovation and new product management.

Learn more about George, here.

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