SmartSurvey vs doopoll: choosing a smart online survey tool

Make engaging surveys with doopoll's easy to use survey builder:

  • doopoll is significantly more cost effective for teams
  • SmartSurvey offers a wider but more complicated feature set
  • Both doopoll and SmartSurvey are GDPR compliant and available through G-Cloud
  • doopoll features much more engaging live results options
Create your next poll

SmartSurvey pitch themselves as an easy to use but advanced survey tool for making better decisions. They say there are three main use cases: customer experience, market research and employee surveys.

One thing I really like about their marketing materials is that they emphasise the importance of GDPR and general privacy. When you're dealing with online surveys, knowing that your data is secure is important.

SmartSurvey is geared up for public sector organisations in the UK. In fact, they make quite a lot of being available to purchase on the G-Cloud Framework and through the Crown Commercial Service.

But that doesn't always work in their favour as we'll see: the pricing, features and design are very much geared towards public sector use, leaving the SME market in the cold and confused.

doopoll is an easy to use online survey software (also available on the G-Cloud Framework and GDPR compliant) that helps organisations of all sizes create easy to respond to surveys and analyse results in real time. It's very popular with SMEs for customer feedback surveys, employee engagement surveys, and also organisations looking to add dynamic live polling to their events.

In this article, we'll make as objective a comparison as possible between SmartSurvey and doopoll.

Quick read: Is SmartSurvey or doopoll a better choice for you?

  • doopoll is significantly less expensive for teams
  • SmartSurvey has a much more comprehensive feature set – but only when you pay the big price tag
  • Both doopoll and SmartSurvey are GDPR compliant and are both available on the G-Cloud framework for public sector organisations in the UK as well as the crown commercial service
  • SmartSurvey is a good choice for academic surveys – doopoll is good for SMEs and innovative Enterprise organisations
  • If you're looking for live polling, doopoll is the better choice
  • If you're not a UK user, you might want to consider doopoll which has users all over the world
SmartSurvey survey software home page

SmartSurvey's survey builder is dated, but doopoll's is easy to use

Low down: SmartSurvey has a lot of options you can use when you're building a survey. Its survey editor is a little old fashioned. On the other hand, doopoll has fewer options but is significantly more straightforward to use.

Generally, people are pretty happy with SmartSurvey and seem to have a good customer experience. But I did find this pretty negative review online:

Design function feels rather old fashioned in comparison to others, its seems to have some basic function when editing the question titles for example.
— Andrew P., Senior Projects Manager
Capterra review

SmartSurvey say the survey design tool in the product roadmap, and they hope to start work on an updated version later in 2020.

And to be honest, I feel that it's not that bad right now. This is what it looks like:

SmartSurvey editor has been called 'old fashioned' – but they say a new version is coming

On the other hand, if you compare this to the same page on doopoll (below) you can see why the reviews say SmartSurvey is dated and old fashioned. doopoll is designed with ease of use front of mind.

doopoll's easy to use survey editor

Even when it comes to adding questions, there are a lot of options available on the SmartSurvey editor and it can feel a little daunting to actually know what to ask because there are so many boxes and options to decipher. Take a basic multiple choice question, for example.

Here's how it looks on SmartSurvey:

Multiple choice questions on Smartsurvey

That's a lot of boxes!

And here's how the exact same question looks on doopoll.

Multiple choice questions are easy to create on doopoll's survey tools

If you're into ease of use, doopoll is the clear winner on this one.

SmartSurvey has analytical reporting, doopoll has innovative reporting

Low down: SmartSurvey has extensive analytical options including basic cross-tabulation and the ability to build and save filters of respondents. doopoll is more geared towards getting easy insights with easy to use filtering and real time Presenter screen but lacks the heavy analytical features of SmartSurvey.

SmartSurvey is very obviously made for scientific and data-heavy usage. Whereas doopoll is made for engagement and for seeing more basic insights easily.

Take a look at the SmartSurvey report screen. As you can see, it's very focused on the data, not offering much in terms of visuals or nice design.

SmartSurvey reports are more analytical than interesting

On the other hand, while we also have similar reporting views for the analysis of survey responses, here's a GIF showing how dynamic the Presenter screen of doopoll can be when the responses are coming in from your respondents.

doopoll results come in in a live, visual way

This screen is actually brilliant at events. And it's not just swish SMEs that are using it.

Here's a case study of how a leading healthcare commission used doopoll at a live event to gauge opinions of NHS staff from all around the UK.

Both SmartSurvey and doopoll are UK based online survey tools

Low down: Both SmartSurvey and doopoll are great for UK based organisations. They both serve large businesses and public sector organisations in the UK including government bodies. They're both available on the G-Cloud framework for public sector procurement. But doopoll is also used by customers all over the world and can run live chat support in 3 languages – and is the only survey platform in the World to be able to do business entirely in the Welsh language.

SmartSurvey make a really big deal of being a UK based survey software. It's all over their website.

And that's really important to know because they're made for public sector organisations predominantly.

But it's also important to know that doopoll is also based in the UK (Cardiff) and is also used by many public sector organisations including Welsh Government, UK Government, the NHS and more.

Both SmartSurvey and doopoll are available through the G-Cloud framework. Although only SmartSurvey is available through the Crown Procurement Service too.

doopoll is GDPR compliant, Cyber Essentials Plus and IASME certified

Actually, SmartSurvey also features advanced security functionality too including two factor authentication and restriction by IP address. doopoll doesn't support either of those things.

While SmartSurvey targets themselves at a primarily UK audience, doopoll is used by customers in organisations all over the world.

And hey, we're a small company sure. So we can say with certainty that if you need help with your survey or a survey problem you're having, you'll open the live chat and get a quick response from one of these three people:

The doopoll team are based in Cardiff and the South West

doopoll is also the only survey software in the world that can run entirely in the Welsh language and also facilitate real time customer support chat in the Welsh language too. We'll even come and run your training in Welsh.

So if you're a public sector organisation in Wales, rydym barod i helpu mas! (we're ready to help out, if you're an English speaker in one of those orgs.)

SmartSurvey is more expensive but comes with a wider feature set

Low down: SmartSurvey is significantly more expensive than doopoll on almost every measure. However, there are more features for scientific research on SmartSurvey and this is where the price tag comes from.

Comparing products that are made for different markets on price is really difficult. That's because the high price a scientific market researcher is willing to pay at SmartSurvey is totally accessible. But a person running a small business or looking to engage respondents in an innovative way mostly cares about the tighter feature set of a product like doopoll – which also comes with a significantly smaller price tag.

Firstly, both products have some kind of free version.

SmartSurvey offers a 14-day free trial on any plan. You get up to 20 responses during this time – which is not that many to test out a product you're potentially going to pay a lot of money for. You can also only add 15 questions to a survey – that's actually restrictive for a lot of people and is a key complaint you hear from users switching from other survey tools like SurveyMonkey.

doopoll offers a free plan (called Basic) which allows you access to many of the features you need, allows you to create unlimited surveys, unlimited questions and collect unlimited responses – but our basic plan will only show you the data from the first ten responses. You need to choose a paid plan to unlock the full data set.

We do this to cut the risk for SMEs in particular – often as an SME owner, you want to run a survey and you're not sure how many responses you need. We let you collect the responses and then make a choice about how much you need to see afterwards.

Win win.

Once you decide to upgrade, both tools price on increasing numbers of features.

doopoll ramps up the available features very quickly making the full functionality of the product accessible even to modest budgets. For example, the Super plan is priced at £996 and allows you to give login details to 10 users, collect 1000 responses per survey and use all of the features we have!

By way of comparison, SmartSurvey holds back a lot more functionality until you choose their Business plan (for 1 person, that's £720 a year. For a business needing multiple accounts, that starts at £1080 per year and rises SHARPLY)

SmartSurvey prices their premium packages at:

  • Basic – free
  • Professional – £30 a month when paid annually up front (1 user only)
  • Business – £60 a month when paid annually up front (1 user only)

SmartSurvey claim that the Business package – the most expensive publicly available priced package they have – is their most popular. I think that is because it's the only package on their site that has a close to full feature set available and so it's the default choice.

But I still find it really surprising about SmartSurvey, that so many of the features are not available on the lower tiers.

For example, while the feature set for Enterprise users in sharing surveys is really great (and actually, better than doopoll's), even if you pay them £30 a month, SmartSurvey will only allow you to send a link to your survey.

Even if you pay them £30 a month, SmartSurvey will only allow you to send a link to your survey.

Find out about doopoll's innovative sharing options like QR codes, social media sharing, email and short URLs

If you want additional team members, the price rises sharply. For example, the price of a 10 user business account on SmartSurvey is £3060 annually.

And if you want the same size account but with the enterprise features such as access to the customer success team (for help with your surveys) then you're going to be looking at £15,000.00 annually.

SmartSurvey is significantly more expensive than doopoll for customers

As it happens, the feature set of SmartSurvey is actually quite impressive and is significantly more useful than doopoll's if you're doing academic or scientific research, but as with everything in life: if you want the value those features bring, then you're going to have to pay for them.

Which tool to choose?

So now that you've seen the run down of the individual features including SmartSurvey's impressive list of analytical and scientific functionalities geared towards public sector use and doopoll's innovative live results features; easy to use survey builder and extensive sharing options; it's time to make your choice!

But before you jump on one or the other (and obviously I hope you choose doopoll), it's really important to us that you choose the survey tool that's actually right for you.

And here's why:

As I said earlier, when making comparisons between products intended for different markets, but competing for similar business, it can be tough to be highly objective. In this article, I've done my best at objectivity but I also own the business I'm trying to get you to buy from.

Ultimately, I want you to achieve the goal you're setting out to do. And so if there's a way that I can clear up any of your questions about either SmartSurvey or doopoll, I'd prefer to do that rather than have you choose a tool too early.

Ultimately, I want you to achieve the goal you're setting out to do. And so if there's a way that I can clear up any of your questions about either SmartSurvey or doopoll, I'd prefer to do that rather than have you choose a tool too early.

So here's what I'd recommend. If you have questions about either of these tools, I will do my absolute best to answer them if you send me an email at marc@doopoll.co. If you want a demo of doopoll, you can also book in with one of our team here.

Before I go, I'll just remind you of the quick decision making criteria a lot of our customers have used when making the same choice you are:

  • doopoll is significantly less expensive for teams
  • SmartSurvey has a much more comprehensive feature set – but only when you pay the big price tag
  • Both doopoll and SmartSurvey are GDPR compliant and are both available on the G-Cloud framework for public sector organisations in the UK as well as the crown commercial service
  • SmartSurvey is a good choice for academic surveys – doopoll is good for SMEs and innovative Enterprise organisations
  • If you're looking for live polling, doopoll is the better choice
  • If you're not a UK user, you might want to consider doopoll which has users all over the world

Easy to use survey builder.
Create as many surveys and questions as you like.
3-4x more responses.
Responses appear in real time.
Try it free