How to Create an Online Survey From Scratch [Templates]

4 free online survey templates to get help you get your feedback program started now.


Sara Staffaroni

March 3, 2020

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You might not believe it, but the first survey conducted with the help of a computer was created back in 1890. The internet came along almost one hundred years later, and in that time, online surveys have consistently proven to be effective tools for gathering feedback from customers.  They’re cost-effective ways for companies to collect valuable customer feedback at critical moments in the customer journey.

But creating online surveys can be tricky. You might come up with some really compelling survey questions that never see the day of light because of bad subject lines, or vice versa. You can also easily send a survey to the wrong audience and find that even with solid clickthrough rates, it’s difficult to find any useful insights from your survey data. 

With that in mind, it is really easy to overthink your online surveys. So we’ve designed a few templates based on real-world scenarios. Feel free to tweak some of the questions you see in this post (Spoiler: some of them are very basic). On the other hand, we’d be perfectly happy if you simply copy and paste these templates into your next survey.

But first, a few ground rules

Research suggests that any survey should follow a few simple ground rules. We’ve culled some of our favorite suggestions in the shortlist below. Take a minute to review them before you dive into the templates later in this post. 

  1. Stick to a maximum of 10 questions per survey.

  2. Avoid pitfalls such as double-barreled questions, leading questions, and pushy questions.

  3. Include at least one quantitative question.

  4. Only ask what is needed.

Makes sense, right? Now, with our ground rules out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the online survey templates that we’ve designed for you to use.

Online feedback survey template

A 2011 study by Taylor Francis found that it takes 0.05 seconds for a customer to form an opinion about your website. Because your website is often your only chance to make a positive impression on potential customers, it’s really important to understand how they feel you could optimize it. 

This survey template will help you get to the bottom of where your website falls short. Use this survey whenever you want to learn more about how your customers feel about your website, what they think should be improved, and how they discovered you in the first place.

online survey one

Customer experience survey template

PwC recently found that 32% of customers will leave a brand after one negative experience. That’s right, just one negative experience could cost you a lot of business.

To avoid losing a significant percentage of potential sales, use this template to gain a deeper understanding of your customer experience. Customer experience surveys are critical tools to help you identify what your customers search for, how quickly they’re able to find those things on your website, and whether or not they’d go through the trouble again.

online survey 2

Net Promoter Score (NPS) template

It’s no secret that Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a widely-used metric to evaluate a customer base’s sentiment towards a company. Most companies measure Net Promoter Score, but because of its rise in usage over the last few years, it’s incredibly easy to overthink it. 

This template, like many others in this post, keeps things simple. Use it in conjunction with some of the other templates we’ve designed to get a robust idea of how your customers feel about your company and its products. But when it comes to NPS, it’s perfectly OK to walk away with just a few details.

"How likely are you to recommend our business to a friend or colleague?"

Choose from a rating of 0 to 10.

You can also find a free online NPS survey template here.

Market research survey template

Today’s consumers are incredibly sophisticated. They tend to understand how companies target them online and are very skeptical of common marketing tactics. But that doesn’t mean they’re impossible to reach, and a simple market research survey is an easy way to learn how they want companies to market to them. 

It’s really important, but incredibly difficult, to understand your customers' buying habits and what motivates them to complete a purchase. Market research is critical to this effort, and a few simple survey questions can help you understand your target buyers on a deeper level. 

create an online survey 4

Final thoughts

You’ll notice that many of the questions in these templates are very simple. That’s by design. Some of the most straightforward surveys often help businesses identify real gaps in their sales models and understand their customers on a deeper level. The beauty of these templates is that they keep you from getting in your own way and launching powerful surveys quickly. 

The good news is that you can always test different questions and survey lengths. We followed our ground rules here, but feel free to tinker with each of the examples above. Each company is unique, and while these templates are a good starting point, don’t box yourself in by using them if they don’t fit your needs.

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*Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.