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Types of Survey Research + Examples + FREE Survey Tool

Are you looking to conduct extensive research on something? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered on the different types of survey research!

Conducting a survey is the most effective way of gathering important information on any given subject. By doing so, you can gather relevant information from a large population and assess and analyze that data to arrive at a well-thought conclusion. 

So, in this blog, we’re going to talk about the different types of survey research methods you can use and how they can make your life so much easier! 

What Is Survey Research?

Survey research is nothing but a structured method of gathering useful information with the help of a survey. You can do this by simply creating a survey by adding a set of relevant questions and distributing it to your audience. You can then assess the gathered responses in order to make an informed decision.

Surveys help you collect first-hand information on specific topics from persons associated and affected in the particular context. For example, if a hospital wants to gather feedback from the patients, the best way to do it is to conduct survey research on a pre-defined patient demographic. 

This will help the hospital in collecting primary information from the patients with regards to their overall experience of getting consultation and treatment at the hospital. Thus, the hospital will have valid data to understand the issues and work on improving them. 

Some Examples of Survey Research

Here are some examples of the most popular types of survey research you can create-

1. Brand Awareness Survey

Brand awareness survey

[Try Creating This Survey for Free]

2. Shopper Insights Survey

Shopper insights survey

[Try Creating This Survey for Free]

3. Diet and Fitness Survey

Diet and exercise survey

[Try Creating This Survey for Free]

4. Video Review Survey

Video review survey

[Try Creating This Survey for Free]

5. New Year’s Giveaway Survey

New Years Giveaway Survey

[Try Creating This Survey for Free]

Why Conduct Survey Research? 

The most important benefit of conducting research via surveys is that they help you gather raw and authentic information. It is the easiest and the most effective way of collecting first-hand information from specific target groups.

Go for a survey maker that lets you add different types of questions in your surveys including single-select, multi-select, ranking grids, drop-downs, text inputs, etc. based on the kind of information you’re looking for. Moreover, the option to add open-ended and close-ended questions makes the entire process seamless. 

Some benefits of conducting survey research-

  • Conducting research with the help of surveys allows you to gather primary information from your target audience. You can utilize this information to arrive at important decisions and make improvements in your product or service
  • A survey is the best tool for conducting market research and gathering relevant data for creating a well-planned strategy for running marketing and re-targeting campaigns.
  • Surveys are a type of interactive content, which is proven to reap great benefits like boosting lead generation and improving conversion rates

How to create interactive content

Types of Survey Research

Survey research can be categorized into three parts based on its objectives, data source, and methodology. Let’s have a look at them to understand better- 

1. Based on Objectives

a. Exploratory Survey Research- 

As the name suggests, this type of survey research is conducted in order to find out more about the topic of research. The main purpose of this kind of research is to gather insights and ideas about the research subject or context. 

These surveys majorly consist of open-ended questions in order to provide the respondents with a wide scope for communicating their thoughts and opinions. 

For example, what is the effect of the latest technology on today’s youth?

b. Predictive Survey Research-

Also known as causal survey research, this type of research pays attention to the causative relationship between the different variables of the subject matter of research. In simple terms, this type of research works on the concept of cause and effect relationships.

For example, are people more likely to buy a product if an influencer promotes it?

c. Descriptive Survey Research-

Descriptive survey research is observational in nature and helps gather extensive numerical data.

The questions in descriptive research help discover new ideas based on the actions, thoughts, and responses of the target audience. 

For example, how satisfied are employees of our organization?

job satisfaction survey

2. Based on Data Source

a. Secondary Data

Surveys can be also used to analyze, segregate and process secondary data. Secondary data is nothing but already existing data collected from primary sources and readily available for being used and processed. 

Secondary data is mostly generic as it’s collected from primary sources, unlike primary data which is collected first-hand from the target audience. Some common sources of secondary data include books, e-books, newspapers, the internet, surveys, etc. 

b. Primary Data

Primary data is information that is collected first-hand from the target populations. Such data is generally specific to a pre-decided subject or context. 

One important advantage of primary data over secondary is that all primary data is valid, whereas secondary data might not always be valid depending on the source. Primary data can be collected via surveys, interviews, questionnaires, etc.

3. Based on Methodology

a. Quantitative Research

This is a common method of conducting research with the aim of gathering numerical or quantitative data on a given subject. This type of research is generally conducted where the research context requires statistical data, for example, in the case of social science or scientific research.

Polls, interviews, and systematic observation are some common methods of conducting quantitative research. 

b. Qualitative Research

This is a method of research that allows you to collect open-ended information from your respondents. Qualitative research surveys are typically used to collect descriptive data with respect to the context of the research. A very simple example of qualitative research is collecting customer feedback in order to evaluate and improve the product that you’re offering. 

Some common methods of qualitative research include face-to-face interviews, case studies, observations, etc. 

best survey tools to try

How to Create a Survey?

Well, it’s simpler than reading a blog! You just need to find a good no-code survey maker and you’ll be sorted. One of the users’ highly loved survey makers is Outgrow. 

Why choose Outgrow survey maker?

  • No-code builder with drag and drop features
  • 1000+ ready-to-use templates for every industry
  • In-built analytics tab for data interpretation post-survey research
  • Automation features for distributing your survey to your audience directly
  • Integration with 1000+ marketing and sales tools
  • Option to embed your survey anywhere from landing pages to emails

But, how to create a survey?

As we said, it’s simple. Just 5 simple steps:

  • Login to the Outgrow builder and choose “Survey”.
  • Choose a premade template or build from scratch.
  • Add your questions and answers.
  • Add the lead gen form on the results page (you’ll thank us for the leads later!).
  • Press “Live” and you’re done!


Here you go! We’ve discussed everything you need to learn about the types of survey research and how you can go about conducting them.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for Outgrow’s 7-day free trial and create your own survey research now!


A simple example of survey research is a survey on the food habits of a particular target audience. It can include questions regarding their frequency of eating junk food, processed food and their intake of nutrients on a daily basis.

Surveys help gather information regarding a particular topic. This information can be then processed and analyzed in order to arrive at certain conclusions. 

The most important benefits of conducting a survey include effectiveness, low costs, the convenience of data collection, and precise decision making.

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