Best Qualtrics Alternatives For Market Research & Surveys

Online KPI Analytics Business Graphs On Computer

Running an online survey seems easy, right? 

Many free market research resources offer simple ways to write your survey questions, create a link to share them, or invite respondents via email. However, you may or may not realize that you could be biting off more than you can chew. 

Seeking alternatives to Qualtrics can be trickier than you think.

That said, if you’re still dead set on running the survey in-house by yourself, we’ll talk about our favorite alternatives that are still great for market research.

The Best Qualtrics Competitors From Market Research Pros

For Full Service Market Research - Drive Research

While self-managed surveys can offer some insights, it's essential to recognize that the depth and accuracy achieved by a professional, full-service market research firm are unparalleled.

Enter Drive Research, a leading national market research company dedicated to conducting comprehensive, data-driven analyses tailored to your specific needs.

Unlike relying solely on self-selected internet surveys, Drive Research employs advanced methodologies and tools to design, program, execute, and analyze surveys, ensuring robust and reliable results.

Key features of Drive Research's services include:

  • Online surveys that delve deeper and offer comprehensive insights beyond standard DIY surveys.
  • Tailored public relations surveys to inform PR campaign design and messaging strategies for products, services, or news events.
  • Management and facilitation of national focus groups, providing invaluable qualitative insights.
  • Customized employment surveys to gauge workplace culture and employee satisfaction levels with precision.

This overview highlights just a fraction of Drive Research's capabilities.

For further details on our offerings and pricing, please don't hesitate to reach out to us directly. We're here to help you gain the insights you need to thrive in today's competitive landscape.

Best Platform Alternatives to Qualtrics We Love

Aside from working with a market research company like Drive Research, the 5 best Qualtrics alternatives include:

  1. Google Forms (free)
  2. SurveyMonkey (free option and paid options are affordable)
  3. QuestionPro (affordable)
  4. Alchemer (mid-tier pricing)

Each platform has a long list of pros and cons, but we decided to feature the pricing in our list.

As you compare these survey platform options, consider the following factors we put together as part of our checklist.

Item Grade Details
Price   Subscription fee, purchase fee, cost per user, cost per survey, etc.
No. surveys   Cap on responses, package cost for responses, etc.
Cost per survey   Charge per survey response
No. of users   Unlimited users, a charge per user, levels of users, etc.
Importing   Platform offers the ability to import from another site, Word doc, etc.
Survey themes   Customized survey themes with colors/logos, templates offered, etc.
SPAM filters   The deliverability of emails, domain rating, SPAM rating, etc.
Embedding   Ability to take surveys and embed them on websites
Reporting   Banner files, export to PowerPoint/Word, etc.
Exporting   Capabilities, and types of files (CSV, SPSS, etc.)
Online data   Offer live 24/7 portals with tabulations, email reports, passcodes, etc.
Offline capabilities   Collecting data on tablets without internet connectivity to download
Advanced piping/routing   Skip patterns, if and when statements, carrying forward answers, etc.
Email formatting   Custom email invitation language, themes, etc.
Survey alerts   Creating email alerts for specific responses, customized teams, etc.
Sending data   Importing CRM data to survey (revenue, PII, etc.)
Text analytics   Open-ended analysis (sentiment, word count, word clouds, etc.)
Advanced analytics   Significance testing, cluster analysis, TURF, MaxDiff, Q-sort, etc.
API integration   Ability to have CRM or order system talk to the platform to automate
Customized URL   Ability to set up a custom subdomain with your website

When considering sites like Qualtrics, it’s important to ask for demos when evaluating these survey platforms. This allows you to get an inside look at the platforms and evaluate the ease of use, which is critical.

We recommend asking for a 30-day trial or pilot before committing long-term. Unfortunately, with all of the nuances and training that come with learning a new survey platform, the only way to learn if it’s a true fit for you or your team is to use it and be in the trenches.

Also, if you work in the education or non-profit space, Qualtrics may offer discounts.

Google Forms (free)

Google Forms stands out as a widely recognized DIY solution for conducting market research, offering extensive customization options and diverse data collection methods.

Key highlights of Google Forms include:

  • Customizability: Users can easily customize their surveys with various question types, including open-ended, multiple choice, and more, catering to diverse research needs.
  • Analytics: Google Forms provides insightful analytics based on survey respondents, presenting data through graphs, sortable data, comparisons with past surveys, and more, facilitating informed decision-making.
  • Accessibility: Surveys and data are accessible via both computer and mobile devices, ensuring flexibility and convenience for users and respondents alike.
  • Integration: Seamless integration with the entire Google software platform enhances usability and efficiency for users.

In terms of pricing:

  • Free to Use: Google Forms is completely free to use, with no paid or premium versions. All that's required is a Google account, making it an accessible and cost-effective option for businesses of all sizes.

SurveyMonkey (free option and paid options are affordable)

If you're familiar with the realm of self-managed surveys, SurveyMonkey likely needs no introduction.

As one of the internet's longest-standing survey platforms, SurveyMonkey boasts a plethora of advantages. Its robust free-tier offers self-management capabilities, flexible survey options, and customizable analytics, making it a preferred choice for businesses of all sizes.

Here's what sets SurveyMonkey apart:

  • Integration: Seamlessly integrates with various Microsoft and Google products for enhanced usability.
  • Templates: Offers a diverse range of customizable templates tailored to suit various survey needs.
  • Distribution Channels: Provides versatile survey distribution options including website embedding, email dissemination, Messenger, and more.
  • Training Resources: Offers comprehensive training platforms and webinars to empower users in maximizing the program's potential.


  • Free Tier: Limited free capabilities allow for a small number of surveys to be sent.
  • Basic Plans: Starting at $39 per month, these plans offer unlimited options and enable collection of up to 15,000 responses annually.
  • Employee Licenses: Additional licenses for multiple employees can be purchased starting at $25 per user, per business, facilitating expanded survey and response capacities.
  • Enterprise Solutions: Tailored enterprise-level solutions are available for businesses seeking a customizable and scalable surveying platform.

SurveyMonkey stands as a cost-effective and feature-rich alternative to pricier DIY survey tools like Qualtrics, making it a top choice for businesses seeking reliable survey solutions.

QuestionPro (affordable)

QuestionPro is a comprehensive platform catering to both novice and experienced market researchers, streamlining all survey tools into one user-friendly interface.

Key highlights of QuestionPro include:

  • Professional Survey Design: Customize surveys with personalized branding, various question types, and logic, supported by intuitive software and round-the-clock customer support.
  • Advanced Research Capabilities: Access the QuestionPro Research Suite, offering advanced features for in-depth market research, along with specialized software for customer experience and workforce management.
  • Enhanced Security and Real-time Analytics: Organizations benefit from robust security measures, real-time analytics, and comprehensive reports, facilitating confident decision-making and seamless team collaboration.

In terms of pricing:

  • Free Tier: QuestionPro offers free surveys with limited customization options, access to basic statistics, and restrictions on the number of questions and responses.
  • Standard Plan: Priced at $99 per month, this tier provides unlimited surveys, advanced analytics, and 24/7 phone support, catering to businesses with more extensive surveying needs.
  • Team Plan: Ideal for teams with over five users, this plan offers additional integrations, enhanced collaboration features, and access to the QuestionPro mobile app, ensuring seamless teamwork and flexibility.

With its range of features and flexible pricing plans, QuestionPro is an attractive option for organizations seeking a versatile and user-friendly survey solution.

Alchemer (mid-tier pricing)

Alchemer, previously known as SurveyGizmo, stands as Drive Research's preferred alternative to Pollfish, offering advanced research capabilities without sacrificing user-friendly survey design, programming, and analysis.

Highlighted features of Alchemer include:

  • Diverse Question Types: Recognized as an industry leader in survey question types, Alchemer empowers users with unique insights into their target markets.
  • Communication Integration: Seamlessly integrates with email, SMS, and audiovisual tools, facilitating effective communication with target audiences and enhancing survey engagement.

In terms of pricing:

  • Professional Tier: Priced at $165 per user per month, the Professional tier is the most popular plan, catering to teams of one to three members engaged in market research activities.

Alchemer's blend of advanced research capabilities and user-friendly interface makes it an attractive option for businesses seeking comprehensive survey solutions without the complexity often associated with advanced research platforms.

Risks of the DIY Qualtrics Approach to Market Research

For most organizations, the main disadvantage of Qualtrics is the cost compared to its other DIY survey counterparts.

Their target users are researchers that come from large corporations and universities that have budgets for massive market research projects. In fact, many of the organizations that use Qualtrics have allotted budgets for training being that the platform is so complex. 

Aside from the cost and complexity of the platform, there are many risks that come with any DIY survey tool like Qualtrics. 

Sure, there are many free market research options that exist - but think about the additional costs of doing the research in-house.

  • The time and resources spent during onboarding or sales calls when selecting the best survey tool 
  • The hours or days spent learning how to use it 
  • The danger of using the platform incorrectly and collecting bad data for your team or customers

All of these headaches for an online survey tool you may never use again. 

For these reasons (and many others) it will benefit you to instead work with a market research company. They live and breathe these types of projects. With this experience comes expertise in writing surveys, programming, sending invites, cleaning the data, and reporting on the findings.

We touch on this point further in this blog post, as well as in the video below.

Recommended Reading: DIY Market Research: Good Decision or Bad Decision?

Benefits of a Market Research Firm Managing Your Survey

Previously, we discussed the four major benefits of using a third-party expert to assist with your survey, including design, programming expertise, managing data collection, and reporting. 

Again, we think that working with a third-party team is one of the best alternatives to Qualtrics because a tangible group of experts will be able to address key areas of concern.

A few more details on the core benefits of using a third-party market research firm are below.

Draft the right survey questions based on your objectives 🎯

Your project starts with a kickoff meeting. This will be with your dedicated market research team.

They’ll help you understand why you are conducting the research, what your priority and secondary objectives are, and how you plan on using the results. 

Kickoff meetings are important in market research because they act as a way for the team to really delve into the client’s core goals. 

Based on these topical learnings, the research team will draft a survey for your review and sign-off.

The market research team will consider all angles: closed vs. open-ended questions, key performance indicators (KPIs), benchmarking questions, and others. 

Program the survey into its platform, saving you self-training time 🖥️

These full-service market research firms often subscribe to/use several different platforms. Since they are already subscribed using these platforms for a variety of clients, it will save you the cost of having to subscribe yourself. 

You become one of many clients they serve through the platform, with each survey customized to your needs, theme, branding, etc. They know the intricacies of each platform, so you don’t have to worry about programming something incorrectly.

Additionally, an outsourced team will work with a detailed programming checklist for surveys to ensure a quality experience. 

Manage all invitations and reminders to ensure you don’t mess anything up 📨

Nobody wants to send a mass email to their customer base with a mistake (dead link, bad webpage, or something else). Yet, we’ve all seen them. Far too often.

It would be best if you nailed the communication when reaching out to your customer base on a mass scale.

The market research firm you decide to work with undoubtedly has templates that use best practice language to cover all bases which encourages a high open rate and click-through rate.

Sleep well.

Recommended Reading: 10 Tips to Build a Better Email Survey Invitation

Can report on the data for you, pulling out the critical insights and recommendations 📊

Probably one of, if not the most valuable aspects of using a market research agency.

Using the platform on your own will likely get the charts and graphs with your tabulated survey data to share with your team. But what does it all mean? How does it compare to other similar clients? 

Using an expert in this space can help bring the data to life, tell a story, and give your team detailed insights and recommendations to take the appropriate action with a strategy based on the survey results. 

This often comes in the form of a PowerPoint deck and presentation with a Q&A.

Read more about this step in our post, Topline or Comprehensive Market Research Report: What’s the Difference?

Contact Our Third-Party Market Research Team

Choosing from all the survey alternatives available can be a daunting task, which is why considering an outsourced firm may be the answer you need. 

Drive Research is a market research company based in New York. If you’re considering hiring a third-party market research firm rather than going down the path of subscribing or purchasing a survey platform, our team can offer guidance for your specific needs. 

Would you like to learn more about our market research services? Reach out using any of the options below.

  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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