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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.

surveymonkey question types

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.

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.

SurveyMonkey rating question

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.

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.

SurveyMonkey rating 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.


surveymonkey question types

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.

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36 thoughts on “3 New Features That Will Rock Your Surveys

  1. Andrew Dutch says:

    Just completed feedback for ‘SurveyMonkey Create: Interface Preview’ (overall this is excellent…) but surprised there was not a ‘Thank You’ page…
    I think the option to include this is very important as it tells the respondent that they have completed the survey so they do not feel they have been ‘cut off in mid-flow!!!’

    1. Hanna J says:

      Hi Andrew – Sorry about that! You’re right, thanking respondents is a key part of the surveying process. You will have the option to include a Thank You page in the new Create. Thanks for your feedback!

  2. mustafa says:

    It’s working good and distinct and we wish it to continue to benefit from it for us and for all so that we can communicate ongoing

    1. Hanna J says:

      Hey Mustafa – Thanks for your comment! We’re so pleased you trust us with your survey making needs. We’ll continue to post here about the latest survey tips, tricks, and ideas, so check back in for the latest. Thanks!

  3. Mark says:

    Your new features and continuous improvement of SM are truly great. However, I cannot fathom why you do not seem to be making any effort to make this tool more accessible to a potentially enormous target audience throughout the world who need right-to-left formatting and have almost no decent options out there. Don’t you think that would provide you with a much greater return on investment than all the fine tuning you currently do for existing users? I know you support right-to-left fonts, but serious users need full support for right-to-left formatting. Please give this some thought.
    Thank you.

    1. Hanna J says:

      Hi Mark – You’re so right! We are currently working on full support for right to left users, and plan to have something to show you by the end of the year. Thanks for your feedback! Have a great day.

      1. Ami says:

        Any update on the right to left support?

        1. Kayte K says:

          Hi Ami, we don’t have a Product update for you yet but it’s on their list! Thanks for checking in.

  4. Oscar Meijer says:

    Thanks! Another thing that would be great is to have some sort of notification functionality in case of new respons to a questionnaire. Maybe RSS or some kind of email functionality will do already…? It doesn’t necessarily have to be a mobile app to admin your survey’s, although this would be great… ;-)

    1. Hanna J says:

      Hi Oscar – Thanks for the suggestion! We really appreciate all your feedback. I’ve passed your suggestions along to the product team. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day!

  5. Teresa Heeke says:

    I am trying to create a survey to have employees register for a certain time slot to get photos taken for their new corporate id badges. There will be multiple days and times available. After a time slot is taken, I don’t want others to be able to select that option also. There will be around 450 people completing the survey. It looks like the quota feature might work, but I don’t see that it is available yet. Do you have any suggestions for me?


    1. Katie A says:

      Hi there Teresa,
      This sounds like a great idea. We definitely offer the ability to survey your employees as to what time slots will work best for them. However, at this time we do not offer a means for the answer choices to dissapear once a respondent has submitted it. However, you could create a ranking question and the assign times based on what respondents choose is the top choice for them. If you’d like to take a peek at how this could be achieved, kindly review:

  6. Some help please. I use a completely custom designed survey (quite an extrensive one with about 66 pages) for qualitative workshops. My intention is to use tablets for respondants to answer questions in the wokshops. I find that thye integrity of selscting the right button is compromised when having to scroll down the page on the tablets. For this reason I have had to split the survey into 66 pages. I would prefer if this was not the case – any suggestioins? *PS – it works perfectly well on PC/Mac platforms using a mouse.

    1. Bennett P says:

      Hi James –

      Despite our surveys being optimized for use on mobile devices like iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads, they are optimized for mainstream browsers. That being said, splitting up the survey into many pages will be the workaround our team would suggest to avoid respondents from having to scroll too much on the device. Here’s how:

      One good rule of thumb is that if you’re planning to have a large group of respondents using mobile devices is to use simpler question types, like multiple choice questions instead of larger, hard-to-scale matrix question types. Hope this helps. Good luck.

  7. Dawn McCord says:

    Your latest email promo suggests using SurveyMonkey to “Track and store customer data.” Would it be possible to allow responders to upload a photo?

    1. Bennett P says:

      Hi Dawn,
      We definitely love that you can track and store your data with us. At this time SurveyMonkey does not have a direct file attachment option for respondents to upload files into a response. However, we are happy to share a workaround as to how to do this in SurveyMonkey, please take a look at the following FAQ:

  8. Celia says:

    Some of my survey respondents complained that the ranking question doesn’t work. They drag and put their first choice at the top and then they can do nothing. Please could you explain me the possible reason?

    1. Kayte K says:

      This can be a little tricky on the eye at first! Our ranking question type is meant to be dynamic and interactive, but I think I know what’s happening here. Respondents can interact with the ranking question in two different ways: they can drag and drop the answer choices in the desired order or they can use the drop down menu next to each choice to assign a ranking position. When respondents use the drop-down menu option, the answer choice label automatically moves to the ranking order selected. This movement happens fairly quickly so sometimes respondents don’t realize that the ranking order of the labels has changed as the numbering order remains the same.

      I’d suggest just adding some phrasing to the question that indicates how to answer the ranking question to help eliminate this confusion. A successful example is to include something like: “Drag and drop the following choices in order of preference, with your top choice in the first position.”

      Here’s an FAQ I think might help explain about this question type as well:

      Hope this helps and thanks for reading!

  9. Hi i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anyplace, when i read this post i
    thought i could also make comment due to this sensible article.

    1. Kayte K says:

      Hi Kavin- Thanks for reading and let us know if you ever need any help with any of your survey projects. Cheers!

  10. Steve M says:

    Can you tell me if it is possible to do follow-up surveys – – I sent a survey out, but got only about 25% response. I want to send a second survey obnly to those people, but I want to be able to keepo the survey responses (and who responded) confidential.

    1. Kayte K says:

      Hi Steve! Thanks for your question. Yes, you can absolutely send a follow-up survey. You can create an unlimited number of surveys with any of our Pro (paid) plans or with our Basic (free) plan!

  11. I am so upset! We just finished hosting our first ever European conference, I stay up very late last evening finishing the online survey, blast it out and Survey Monkey is undergoing maintenance so none of our attendees can access the survey and it looks like it’s my mistake. I will never use survey monkey again!

    1. Kayte K says:

      Hi Jennifer- We apologize for the inconvenience. Our site is currently down for unexpected maintenance. Our tech team’s working hard at getting us back online as soon as possible and we’ll definitely keep you posted.

    2. Kayte K says:

      Hi again Jennifer- an update for you…the site should be back up and running for you. Please check your account and let us know. Sorry again for the trouble!

  12. Geraint Williams says:

    Hi, is there likely to be a survey monkey app for ipads and iphones. We have a stock of around 1500 properties (houses) We’d like to use survey monkey for our surveyors to fill in survey forms while they visit properties. Is an app planned?



    1. Kayte K says:

      Hi Geraint, great question! Keep an eye out here for updates! We’ll definitely keep you in the loop. In the meantime, our surveys continue to be optimized for the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone.

  13. Geraldo says:

    I really like what you guys tend to be up too. Such clever
    work and exposure! Keep up the great works guys I’ve added you guys to my blogroll.

    1. Kayte K says:

      Thanks for the support, Geraldo! Let us know if you ever have any questions with your surveys. :)

  14. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button!
    I’d definitely donate to this outstanding blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for
    bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to fresh updates and will share this site with my Facebook group.

    Talk soon!

  15. April says:

    Hello! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new

    1. Kayte K says:

      Hi there! You can follow us on Twitter here- @SurveyMonkey

  16. Ferdie says:

    Hello! I can’t seem to find a way to use a rating scale with only a check box and a comment box in the same row. Your example above shows 5 circles (levels) and a comment box in a single row. Help! Thank you.

    1. Kayte K says:

      Hi Ferdie! Sounds like you might be trying to add a matrix type answer choice with comment boxes. See if this points you in the right direction:

      Let us know!

  17. Jim says:

    Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my
    comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.

    Anyways, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

    1. Kayte K says:

      Thanks, Jim! We appreciate the support. :)

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