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3 new features that will rock your surveys

3 new features that will rock your surveys

Here at SurveyMonkey, our survey engineers are always working hard to provide you with the best possible survey-making experience. These latest product updates have us especially jazzed, since they make our survey questions even more flexible, powerful, and intuitive. What are these great new features? Read on, dear survey maker, to find out:

Ranking Question Type

Let’s say you’re sending a survey, and you don’t just want feedback on one item; you want to know how your respondents feel about that item in relation to other items—colors your customers prefer for their cars, for example.

Previously, you could have solved this problem in other ways. The true genius of the Ranking Question Type (in our humble opinion) is that it forces your respondents to rank the answers uniquely and chronologically. There is no way for them to give every option a moderately enthusiastic “3” rating, because the question type won’t allow it.

Ranking question example
Change the ranking by dragging and dropping responses, or manually change it in the drop down menu.

When you indicate that a certain response is your first choice, the tool moves the answer choice up to the number 1 position under the question. If you change your #1 answer to another choice, that item will move up into the #1 spot, and the other responses will shift down.  This allows your respondents to clearly and easily see where they have ranked each response in relationship to each other, and it assures you that each respondent has attributed a unique value to each item. They can also simply drag and drop the responses into the right order.

You also have the option of adding and customizing a “not applicable” option for each question, so your respondents aren’t forced to allocate a value to each option if it’s not appropriate.

Rating Question Type

While this isn’t a completely new feature, we’ve done some work to make it more flexible and intuitive. We’ve added four new features to this already popular question type:

Option to add “please explain” to each row

We’ve given you the option to add a “please explain” comment box for quite a while. But now you have the added flexibility of adding one for each row. So, if you’re asking respondents to rate different items in a new line of products, for example, you have the option to ask them to explain their rating for each individual product.

Rating question with please explain comment box
Let your respondents explain themselves for each prompt in your rating question.

Just go into “edit question,” and check the “add ‘other’ or a comment field,” box. The menu will drop down and give you the option of including one comment field for the question, or one per row. If you’d like to give your respondents the option to explain each answer like in the survey above, select “one comment field per row.”

Wide prompt/No Prompt

The prompt is the text that appears with each row of  your rating scale. It generally appears to the left of your scale, but now you have the option to expand it along the top of the scale for more room and a better looking survey. When would you choose to do so? If you’re asking your respondents to rate chicken, beef, and veggie entrees, for example, you probably won’t need a ton of text. If you’re asking them to rate how they feel about chicken sautéed in white wine, butter sauce with pesto, vegetables, and noodles on the side, you’re going to need the extra space.

Rating question with wide prompt
Go nuts! Make your rating question prompts as long as you want.

The wide prompt allows you to make the prompt as wide as the page, so it formats above the rating scale and looks nice. When you’re editing the question, just open the “Question Size and Placement” box, and change the width to 100% of the page (or as wide as you’d like, in increments of 10), with 100% for labels and 100% for choices.

Wide prompt settings

On the flip side, sometimes you may not want to have a prompt at all, just one row of numbers or labels for your respondents to select—on your Net Promoter Score survey, for example. Now labeling your rows is optional, so you can leave them blank and clean like in the example below.

No prompt survey question
Use a no-prompt Rating Question to find your Net Promoter Score.

Question Logic for Single Prompt Rating Question

Want to follow up with your survey respondent about why they responded a certain way to a rating question? Now you can by adding skip logic to your single prompt (or no prompt) rating questions. So let’s go back to our Net Promoter Score question, for example. Want to follow up with the people who said they aren’t likely to return to your store? Add question logic to skip them to a page asking what you could do to improve their satisfaction!


Let’s say that you’re sending an online survey to gauge opinion about your cereal product. You want a representative sample with equal parts men and women and equal parts Californians and Texans.  You’re not going to want to waste your time by sorting through more responses from a given category than you need, especially if you’re paying for responses.

Set quota of survey respondents
Set quotas to ensure you get the right proportion of respondents.

Setting a quota will cap your responses from certain respondents after you reach a certain quantity. So if your quota is for 50 men and 50 women, for example, you’ll want to include a question early in the survey asking about your respondent’s gender. Once you have 50 responses from men, your survey will screen out each additional male that tries to take your survey. Aside from saving you money (if you’re purchasing respondents), this can also make your analysis job much simpler. Avoid the problem of unequal distributions ahead of time, by setting quotas to make sure you get just what (and who) you’re looking for.