But which would work best for the purposes of testing or then using local sign-up forms? All the recommendations my friends have given me are good sites, it's more a question of what will work best for this particular need.
My criterion are:
- Simplicity of use
- Straightforward reporting
- No cap on number of responses
- All available under free model
- Ability to customise and make it look 'campaign group-esque' but not at the expense of simplicity to use.
Surveymonkey only allows 100 responses per form on the free version, so it would probably hit capacity by the end of a campaigning summer. And you can't export the data in a sensible format unless you pay £24 per month for the premium model
Soorvey allows exporting to Excel as standard, although it provides no information on maximum number of responses. They seem very keen on tree-saving sustainable development in a non-specific way, and at $9 per month (about £5.50 right now) for bells and whistles it's at least a lot cheaper than Surveymonkey to make your form look more professional.
Wufoo is a dedicated form site, allowing exports and much more freedom to design an attractive template than Soorvey - comparable with Surveymonkey? But again, the freemium model applies; you can only create three forms with limited data before you have to start shelling out roughly £9 a month.
Changealujah! JotForms appears to offer the holy grail of unlimited forms and up to 100 entries a month. It offers templates including volunteer sign-up forms and newsletter registration! It does reporting direct to your e-mail account or by mass download.
You can't make it look quite so pretty on the free model as Wufoo and Surveymonkey, but this is probably a small price to pay for everything else.
I agree with @jiggott that MailChimp is the most versatile tool of the bunch, with sign-up forms being only a small part of an all-in customer relationship management system. But, this is way more complexity than most of the small activist groups I am thinking of need right now. And for proof-of-concept test purposes we don't need this complexity anyway.
So, JotForms for the test-run, then?