In a world where we can do just about anything online, surveys are no exception. In fact, you won’t make it far on the internet without being asked to take part in some type of online survey.

Breaking Down the Pros & Cons of Online Surveys

Businesses and brands utilize these surveys all the time to improve their offerings, hear from their customers, and accomplish a number of other goals. In fact, there are all kinds of advantages to opting for online surveys as opposed to traditional, in-person or telephone surveys. At the same time, there are also certain instances where an online survey might not be the right tool to help you accomplish your goals.

Pros and Cons of Online Surveys

With all of that in mind, today’s post is going to be all about the pros and cons of online surveys. As you’ll see, there are plenty more pros than there are cons, but it’s worth exploring these surveys in depth to help you determine if it’s the right choice for accomplishing your goals.

Pros of Online Surveys

Like we said, the pros certainly outweigh the cons when it comes to online surveys, so let’s start with those.


When you can distribute questions, collect responses, and analyze the results all online, the entire survey process is exponentially faster.

Higher response rates

Higher response rates - Swift Polling

There’s a good chance your survey participants have regular access to the internet. In fact, they could have a smartphone in their hand more often than not. With the ability to complete surveys on the devices they already spend their time on, you’ll notice response rates skyrocket. Your survey respondents are far more likely to take part in surveys that are quick and easy to take.

And that’s exactly what online surveys are known for!

Bigger sample sizes

By the time you could manually survey 10 respondents, millions of people could complete an online survey. The ability to poll a far bigger sample size (and in less time) is yet another pro when it comes to online surveys.

(Take a look at this post next for more on calculating survey sample sizes)


We’re all familiar with the idea that many of us are more comfortable expressing ourselves online rather than in person. The same can be said when it comes to survey respondents! Honesty is incredibly important when it comes to survey results. Otherwise, your data is essentially useless. With online surveys, your respondents are more likely to be empowered to share their honest opinions, ultimately providing you with more reliable data.


The speed and ease of use of these surveys comes with another bonus: cost savings! Just think of the money you could save when surveys are distributed online rather than relying on customer service agents or phone operators to conduct these surveys.

Data analysis

Data analysis Swift Polling

One of the great things about collecting survey responses online is getting to watch the results come in in real-time. Whether you share this screen with participants or not, you can monitor responses right before your eyes. With this kind of instant feedback, you’re able to analyze the data and move forward without waiting for the results to be manually tabulated.

(Curious about the best time to distribute your surveys? We cover our top survey timing tips in this post)

Cons of Online Surveys

Of course, there may also be times when these surveys aren’t the right choice for you. Most of this depends on your goals and the kind of feedback you need to collect.

For example, most online surveys are best kept short and sweet. This means limiting the use of open-ended questions. But what if you need to collect extensive feedback from participants? You know, answers that involve more than selecting one item from a list of four or five? If you need more comprehensive or personal feedback that isn’t suited to a multiple choice format, an online survey might not be the way to go.

Although many people do have internet access, there’s also a chance some of the people you want to survey do not. In that case, you’re left without a way to poll these people and this could skew your results.

Surveying Your Audience with Swift Polling

Surveying Your Audience with Swift Polling

Ready to start reaping all the rewards of online surveys for yourself? You’re in the right place. Swift Polling has all of the audience engagement tools you could ever dream of! Whether it’s a quick web poll, an SMS poll, quizzes, trivia games, or Q&A, you’ll find what you’re looking for in our suite of tools.

And it isn’t only online businesses that can utilize web surveys and enjoy the pros of this option. These surveys are also used in education, for virtual events, conferences, and much more.

If you’re ready to learn more, click here to see all of the ways you can use Swift Polling to hear from your audience.

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