Surveymonkey vs Alchemer vs Paperform Review

/ 12 min read
Eliza Frakes

Picking the right form builder for your business is like picking what movie to watch with your partner—overwhelming, time sensitive, and nearly impossible. With so many options out there, it’s easy to get lost.

You need to find something that has all the features your business needs, without breaking or including a bunch of features you don’t require. How do you type that in a Google search? Well, luckily, you don’t have to.

We’ve taken the time to try out three main players in the survey software world—SurveyMonkey, Alchemer, and Paperform—so you can free up time to go pick that movie.

SurveyMonkey is a good option for larger businesses looking to create standard customer satisfaction surveys. Alchemer (formerly Surveygizmo), is great for companies with a bigger budget looking to create slightly more complex customer feedback forms, and Paperform is perfect for individuals and small businesses who want a sleek, all-in-one platform for creating powerful and customisable surveys, forms and quizzes.

In this guide you'll learn:

  • The core features of each form builder
  • How they compare to each other
  • Key details about customisation, templates, payment options and more.

Ready to find the right solution? Let’s dive in.

Quick Feature Comparison


SurveyMonkey

Alchemer

Paperform

Best For

Creating simple customer satisfaction surveys for larger businesses

CCreating more complex customer feedback forms for medium to large companies. 

Creating multi-functional and sleek forms and surveys for anyone, easily and quickly.

GetApp Rating

4.6

4.5

4.9

GetApp Customer Support Rating

4.3

4.3

4.9

Export Results To CSV

Yes

Yes

Yes

Custom Fonts

Yes

Yes

Yes

Custom Colours

Yes

Yes

Yes

Custom HTML

No

Yes

Yes

Custom CSS

No

Yes

Yes

Insert Images & Videos

Yes

Yes

Yes

Access Partial Form Submissions

Yes

No

Yes

Automated Emails

Yes

Yes

Yes

Question Logic

Yes

Yes

Yes

Multi-page Forms

Yes

Yes

Yes

Payment Collection

Yes

Yes

Yes

Google Pay Integration

No

No

Yes

Automated Tax

No

No

Yes

Coupon Fields

No

No

Yes

Webhooks

Yes

Yes

Yes

Automatic Save & Resume For Responses

Yes

Yes

Yes

URL Customization

Yes

Yes

Yes

Custom Domain

Yes

Yes

Yes

There’s a boatload of information to run through there, but a few key details stand out:

  • SurveyMonkey boasts a lot of features for making dynamic customer satisfaction surveys, but falls short when it comes to payment processing, apis, and customization.
  • Alchemer allows you to go more in-depth when customising your forms, but you might hit a roadblock with payment processing or dealing with customer service.
  • Paperform offers the most functionality compared to both tools, including Google Pay Integration, automated tax generation, access to partial submissions and coupon fields.

Both SurveyMonkey and Alchemer focus on creating online surveys, specifically those intended for gathering customer feedback. If you’re looking to create other types of surveys or forms you’ll find they don’t quite offer what you need.

Enter Paperform. Not to brag, but we check all the boxes. Sure, we also made the boxes, but if you check out our reviews, you’ll hear the same story. Paperform gives you the features SurveyMonkey and Alchemer offer, plus way more customisation, integrations and value for money.

Pricing Comparison

SurveyMonkey, Alchemer and Paperform all have a range of payment options for individual and professional plans. Paperform and Alchemer both offer free trials to allow you to try full versions of the products and decide whether you want to hang around and subscribe.

SurveyMonkey doesn't. Instead, it offers a limited free version, which is comparable to Google Forms in scope and features. It won’t be much help to you if you need to do more than make a few simple surveys—think of it as an extended free trial, which is much too limited to be a long-term solution.


SurveyMonkey

Alchemer

Paperform

Free trial

No

Yes

Yes

Free version with limited features

No

No

No

Starting price/month (billed monthly)

$16

$49

$24

Starting price/month (billed annually)

$16

$25

$20

Alchemer is the priciest option, starting at $49 a month for the entry level plan. SurveyMonkey’s basic subscription comes in at $16 per month, but at that price you’re limited to 10 questions and 40 responses per survey. If you want unlimited survey questions or advanced logic, you’ll need to pay up.

Paperform’s prices are competitive and flexible, so you can pay for what you need without breaking the bank. Plus, unlike SurveyMonkey, all our members get access to unlimited questions, advanced logic, and the ability to create all the surveys you want without strict limitations.

For $24 a month, you also get full access to 3,000+ integrations, as well as advanced customisation and ecommerce features.‌

Ease Of Use

SurveyMonkey

Image Source: SurveyMonkey

Using SurveyMonkey is a bit like cooking in someone else’s kitchen—all the tools and ingredients are there, but they’re not always where you want them to be.

The interface is fairly straightforward, though it feels dated in terms of design and usability. If you ever used a Microsoft product in the early 2000s, it might ring a few bells.

If you’re working in the free version, you’ll be extremely limited in your ability to make forms. Most features you expect from an online survey software—e.g. survey logic or skip logic, randomization, multiple question types, themes and templates—are reserved for paying users.

SurveyMonkey has a unique feature that allows you to edit offline, which can be helpful for making changes on the fly. The rest of the features are standard, but you'll have to hunt through many dropdown menus to find them. Even something as simple as adding a question requires a handful of extra actions, which makes customising surveys a hassle.

Alchemer

Image Source: Alchemer

Alchemer has a more modern looking interface with features comparable to SurveyMonkey. You can choose to design your own survey or start with one of their survey templates, though you’ll need to upgrade from the trial in order to try any of the themes.

To add a question or section, you’ll need to scroll to the bottom of your survey and click add. From there, you can move questions around using the drag-and-drop interface.

Alchemer splits the design process into sections, which you can view via tabs at the top of the screen. If you’re someone who likes to focus on one thing at a time, this might be great for you. However, if you like to rearrange fields and play with formats or themes as you’re designing your survey, you might find this feature to be limiting.

Paperform

Paperform has a unique doc-style editor that is easy to use for beginners and experienced designers alike. Whether you design your own form or choose from one of our 600+ templates, creating a form that’s functional and stylish is a breeze.

Rather than bumbling through a confusing interface or scrolling indefinitely, with Paperform, all you have to do is click where you'd like to edit. Simple as that. From there, you can use our nifty slash commands to edit in real-time. You can also use a dropdown menu to add new sections or embed images and videos.

At Paperform we know how important it is to have your forms and surveys look exactly as you imagined, whether you're making a questionnaire for your social media pages or a check out page for your online store. That’s why we offer comprehensive customisation features for all subscribers. You can edit colours and fonts, add a background and embed media of any kind—made even easier with our Unsplash and GIPHY integrations.

Paperform makes form-building easy, but we get that using any new online survey tool can be confusing. That’s why we have a YouTube channel packed full of tutorials, a Help Center full of helpful guides, and a 24/7 live chat to support you every step of the way.

Try Paperform Now!

14 Day Free Trial, No CC Required

Templates

SurveyMonkey

Image Source: SurveyMonkey

SurveyMonkey has a variety of templates to choose from, each nested under a category like health, education, or market research. To access most of the templates, you’ll have to upgrade your plan. It's a shame there aren't more free options, but once you do break through the paywall, there are a good amount to choose from.

Most of the templates are targeted toward larger businesses, like employee engagement forms and HR surveys, which makes sense for SurveyMonkey’s target demographic. There are fewer options for personal use, startups, or small business owners. They do have templates for most standard customer satisfaction questions though, like Net Promoter Score or Customer Effort Score surveys.

While there are lots of templates to choose from, they tend to have a cookie-cutter, generic feel, with stock cover images and uniform question sets. In order to customize them to your liking, you’ll run into the same challenges as you would starting from scratch: a confusing, dated interface and tricky survey tools.

Alchemer

Image Source: Alchemer

Alchemer has a handful of templates to choose from. Unfortunately, the options are pretty limited—there are less than 40 templates in total. Like SurveyMonkey, these templates are broken down into categories, most of which are business-focused.

When you’re looking through the library, you’ll notice that there is not a picture or sample for each option in the library (see image above). This means there’s no way to know what a template looks like before you select it. While we all know it’s not great to judge a book by its cover, it is helpful to select a template from its cover image.

You’ll run into the same issue when selecting a template from the editing page–you can’t scroll through the options. Instead, you’ll need to pick one from a dropdown list and preview each option individually. Although a small detail, this process gets old quickly, turning what’s meant to be a helpful short cut into a bit of a chore.

Paperform

Paperform has over 600 unique, specific templates to choose from, all of which are ready for you to check out in our easy to navigate template library. With so many options, it’s a good thing our library is organised into helpful categories, so you can find the form you need without falling into the scroll-hole—you can save that for Instagram.

We've got more templates than SurveyMonkey and Alchemer combined, with forms and surveys for everything from feedback forms like NPS or CSAT to client feedback and art commission forms. Whether you’re running a SME, need an easy bookings solution, or just want a beautiful contact form for your website, Paperform has a template for you.

All of our templates are highly customizable, and able to be further tweaked with custom HTML or CSS. Plus, each form is mobile optimized for apple and android so you can use them on any device with confidence. Any template can also be used in our one-question-at-a-time Guided Mode, for an entirely new experience.

Accepting Payments

SurveyMonkey

Image Source: SurveyMonkey

SurveyMonkey only allows users to accept payments through Stripe. It doesn't accept payments with Google Pay, Braintree, or any other leading providers.

You can add a payment field to your form the same way you’d add a question: by selecting the field from the "Builder" section of the form editor. Keep in mind, though, that payment integration lives behind a paywall. Only customers with Premier, Enterprise, or Advantage plans are able to create surveys that accept payments.

SurveyMonkey also does not support automated tax or coupon fields. If you’re looking to accept payments through Stripe only, SurveyMonkey will do the trick. If you’re looking for a more nuanced option, it may not be the best fit.

Alchemer

Image Source: Alchemer

Alchemer, like SurveyMonkey, only accepts payments through Stripe. Alchemer does not support payment integration with any other third party payment options, nor does it offer automated tax or coupon fields.

Adding a payment field to a preexisting survey is a little tricky. You’ll need to scroll to the bottom of your form, select “Action,” and then choose “Payment.” If you’re adding a payment field to a pre-existing survey, you won’t be able to view the question amount field (we were confused by that, too—feel free to read more about it here).

To avoid this complicated process, Alchemer suggests that you make a payment form from the beginning, rather than adding a payment field to another type of survey. If you do that, customers will pay at the “Thank You” page, which you can customize to your liking. But, you’ll need to jump through quite a few hoops to get this up and running—their tutorial highlights a whopping 13 distinct steps.

Paperform

At Paperform, we get that making your payment process quick, easy, and functional is essential to running any successful business. We also believe that only you know what’s best for your business. That’s why we let you choose from over 25 leading payment gateways, including Stripe, Paypal, Braintree, Google Pay, and Square.

You can add a payment field to any of your forms in just a few clicks. Simply use slash commands or select from the dropdown menu to set prices, integrate payment methods, calculate tax, add coupons, and more. Configuring your payment settings is simple, regardless of what method you choose.

Unlike SurveyMonkey, Paperform doesn’t keep its payment integration locked up behind more expensive plans. You can accept payments on any Paperform plan, with loads more options, add-ons and flexibility than SurveyMonkey or Alchemer.

Form Analytics

SurveyMonkey

Image Source: SurveyMonkey

Form analysis is one of SurveyMonkey’s strong suits. From your dashboard, you can see how many people answered your surveys, and view question summaries, individual responses, and insights into data trends.

It also has a word cloud feature, which can help you analyze the tone of an open text response. SurveyMonkey automatically configures your survey data into graphs, which is helpful for visual learners, giving reports, or for understanding surveys with a ton of responses.

If you want to further analyze your data, you can opt to use one of SurveyMonkeys data analysis integrations or apis, like OfficeReports or Dasheroo. You can also export your survey responses to a CSV file so you can analyze the data in Excel. Both of these options require you to upgrade to a paid version.

Alchemer

Image Source: Alchemer

Alchemer offers very basic form analysis, as well as options for you to download your results to a CSV file so you can check it out in your preferred spreadsheet software. It’s not as thorough or intuitive as SurveyMonkey's or Paperform's form analysis, but if you’re looking for the basics (checking survey results and data exports) Alchemer will do.

For more advanced data analytics, you’ll need to opt for Alchemer’s Enterprise plan for businesses, which is sort of like their version of Qualtrics. You’ll need to contact a representative for a price quote on that, which suggests it's considerably more expensive than their regular plans.

💡 Tip: If you do opt for the Enterprise plan, you’ll see a lot more of the features that SurveyMonkey and Paperform offer (though Paperform’s version will hurt your wallet significantly less).

Another pitfall of Alchemer’s data analytics is that you can’t access partial form submissions. So if a respondent's phone dies just before the last question of your survey, you won’t be able to gather any data from their submission.

The form analysis section of the interface is also clunky and difficult to navigate, making it frustrating and time-consuming to search through the dashboard and get to the information you need.

Paperform

Paperform makes gathering and understanding data from your forms easy and efficient. You can access form analysis from any level of the Paperform plan (although partial submission analysis is reserved for Pro and Agency members).

To analyse your forms, simply go to your dashboard and select the number above your form– this is the number of responses you’ve received. From there, you can view your submissions individually on your dashboard, as PDFs or Word docs, or you can export them as a CSV file to analyse in Excel or Google Sheets.

Viewing Paperform’s built-in analytics is easy. Just click through “Analytics” and “Reports” to go over helpful graphs and visualisations of your submissions. From here, you can segment data, filter specific periods, and delve deeper into the way people interact with your forms.

Want to go even further? Use one of our integrations to send your data to your analytics app of choice.

Ready to pick a tool?

SurveyMonkey, Alchemer and Paperform have proven themselves to be top players in the form building world. But when it comes to ease of use, templates, payments, form analysis, and functionality, they feel pretty disparate.

SurveyMonkey and Alchemer are targeted specifically for survey building, and can be good for creating standard forms for business purposes. Paperform offers all that and a bag of chips—and by chips, we mean more thorough customization options, more competitive prices, and a more intuitive and flexible platform.

Of course, we’re a little biased. Thankfully, you don’t just have to take our word for it—you can give Paperform a try yourself with our 14-day free trial, no credit card required. What're you waiting for?


About the author
Eliza Frakes
Staff Writer
Eliza Frakes is a content writer at Paperform. When she’s not writing for the blog, she’s probably writing a play (or acting in one), swimming in the ocean, or taking her very cute dog on a hike.

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