Top 8 Appcues Competitors of All Time [Functionality and Price Comparison]

Looking for the best Appcues competitors in terms of pricing and functionality? You’re in the right place.

Appcues is a good product when it comes to user onboarding, but is it the right fit for your company? The answer isn’t always obvious.

Today we’re taking a look at the top Appcues competitors, so you can make an informed decision when choosing a digital adoption platform for user onboarding.

TL;DR

  • Userpilot should be your choice if you’re interested in contextual onboarding. This means your onboarding is personalized to every individual user. This improves the user activation rate far better than your standard product walkthroughs can.
  • Chameleon is a fantastic choice if you want to onboard your employees as well as your users. This is particularly important when it comes to training customer-facing teams, who will need to have complete mastery of your product before they interact with your users.
  • Intercom’s Product Tours is your go-to if you want to use Intercom’s top of the range messaging platform. It’s easy to use both aspects of Intercom in conjunction in order to provide a cohesive product experience for your customers.
  • UserIQ is a fantastic pick if you want more in-depth analytics than what the other Appcues alternatives provide. It enables you to delve into your customer health scores and track product engagement so that you can work on delivering a product your users love.
  • Inline Manual should be your number one choice if you have a product that is used in many different languages around the world. They support every language, meaning you can provide the same great product experience no matter where your users are.
  • Pendo is great at user analytics and offers custom user engagement score calculation. But it can get really expensive quickly if you want to use its full capabilities.
  • Userguiding is your cheapest option, but also the buggiest and with limited functionality.
  • WalkMe is the best for enterprise employee onboarding on third-party apps. although it also offers customer onboarding, the tool is not really the best for that.

What is Appcues?

Appcues is one of the first digital adoption platform on the market that helps you build customer onboarding experiences without having to code.

It’s a great choice since it offers a wide range of onboarding elements, but the main downside is it can get expensive, and fast.

There are cheaper and more valuable alternatives to Appuces that you can use to increase product adoption using contextual in-app onboarding experiences.

It’s safe to say Appcues paved the way for the competitors we discuss in this article, including ourselves, and with good reason.

Appcues pricing

Appcues has three pricing plans:

  • Essentials Plan: starts at $249/month when billed annually with 2500 MAU.
  • Growth Plan starts at $879/month when billed annually, again at 2500 MAU.
  • Enterprise Plan doesn’t have a set pricing, you need to get a custom quotation.

Appcues PROs and CONs

PRO: Multiple UI elements

As we mentioned, Appcues features offer a range of different UI elements. These include tooltips, slideouts, modals, hotspots, and practically any UI element you can think of. This means you can craft the perfect onboarding experience, combining the various elements into different product tours and flows.

PRO: Tried and trusted tool

Appcues has been around for a while, so you know you can trust them. Thousands of companies use Appcues to build better user experiences, so there’s no doubt you can too.

Appcues practically provides a library of informative content for SaaS companies. They can teach you everything there is to know about onboarding. We always think a good blog is a sign of a good company.

It seems Appcues is clearly tried and tested when it comes to user onboarding. Having said that, it isn’t perfect.

There are some reasons why it might not be the right fit for you…

CON: Can be a little bit confusing to use

Appcues isn’t the easiest product to use.

Years of adding new features have left it a little bloated. Something as simple as creating a new experience requires a lot of fiddling around. You can build a flow using a template in just one click from their main dashboard. But then to go and actually edit it you have to click on it, open the Builder, select the Flow (as the builder starts you from scratch) then start editing.

Too many screens and clicks for a simple task. This can get confusing to a beginner.

CON: Limited element styling without CSS

If you want to create a truly great onboarding experience, the elements you use need to match the look of your app. While Appcues offers some customizability, a lot of design changes require CSS coding. If you don’t want to do any coding you might find it difficult to use Appcues.

CON: It can get expensive really fast

Appcues pricing is a bit misleading. You see a great starting price but then, after reading the fine print, you understand the Essentials plan is just basic. You can’t build checklists with it and you can have a launchpad so users can trigger experiences on-demand

Okay, so there are the pros and cons. Let’s dive into Appcues alternatives.

Top Appcues competitors

There’s many alternatives to Appcues, including coding your own in-app experiences. But if you’re looking for a tool, then here are the top eight competitors you should look into.

These tools all offer a range of user onboarding elements, UI customization and are designed to help improve your product experience.

However, each of these Appcues alternatives also has its own unique use case. These different use cases will suit some companies more than others. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll have learned which is the best fit for you.

Appcues competitor #1: Userpilot- For contextual onboarding and on-demand help

Userpilot is by far the best and closest alternative to Appcues.

It offers a very similar user experience and features, a wider range of UI patterns and actions to build truly interactive experiences, better support, and a better value for money.

You can build flows and in-app experiences using:

  • modals
  • slideouts
  • tooltips
  • hotspots
  • banners
  • driven actions
  • user onboarding checklists (you won’t find these in the Appcues Essentials plan)
  • micro surveys and NPS surveys
  • self-serve support via an in-app resource center  (you won’t find these in the Appcues Essentials plan)

Where’s the catch then? Userpilot does not offer as many integrations as Appcues does (which, be aware, cost extra if you need more than the basic ones).

Appcues vs Userpilot

Not to be bragging, but here’s what real users say about Appcues vs Userpilot.


The biggest difference between Userpilot and Appcues (and most other competitors) is that Userpilot focuses on contextual onboarding.

This means that you can place triggers in your app that appear as and when your user needs them. Not to mention that you can enable localization and automatically translate your flows. Localization is included in all plans.

To put it as simply as possible: We make sure the right user sees the right message at the right time using advanced segmentation options that let you create custom segments and trigger flows based on product usage, user feedback responses, NPS score, custom events, etc.


Unlike Appcues, Userpilot also has native tooltips and on-demand help widget (Resource Center) that can power your reactive onboarding.

Contextual onboarding works really well. It essentially personalizes the onboarding flow for each individual user, ensuring it works for them.

Don’t believe us? Well, see how Albacross was able to improve its activation rate by over 33% in only 14 days by using contextual onboarding.

Userpilot is one of the best Appcues alternatives you will get out there that offers full element customization with ZERO coding knowledge, it recognizes EVERY single in-app element, oh, and it’s also built exclusively for SaaS products.

Sure, it might not have been around as long as Appcues, but Userpilot is well worth your time.

Book a demo with us by clicking the banner below and we’ll show you!

Userpilot pricing

Userpilot pricing has three main plans:

  • Traction- starting at $249/mo paid annually for 2500 MAU
  • Growth- starting at $499/mo paid annually for 10000 MAU
  • Enterprise – starting at $1000/mo paid annually for 10000 MAU ( dedicated infrastructure, SLAs, priority support and more enterprise needs)

Compared to Appcues Essentials plan – $249 monthly (billed annually), up to 2,500 MAUs, and up to 5 user segments, 10 in-app events and 10 goals. It also offers no onboarding checklists or launchpads (triggering the experiences from the in-app notification center)

Userpilot’s basic plan – $249 monthly (billed annually), up to 2,500 MAUs, and unlimited user segments, in-app events, and goals. This includes checklists and a launchpad equivalent.

Limited user segmentation in the basic Appcues plan makes it pretty useless when you want to seriously work on user adoption. So Appcues will quickly force you to upgrade to their Growth plan, which costs $879 (!) per month, billed annually! So essentially – you will need to fork up $ 10,548 upfront if you want to go down the Appcues path.

Appcues competitor #2: Chameleon- For in-app and employee onboarding

Chameleon is very much in the same vein as the other Appcues alternatives. It enables you to create amazing user onboarding experiences, offers basic customization options, and provides a wide range of UI elements to work with.

In fact, it offers more elements than any of the other Appcues competitor. But the downside is its learning curve.

You can choose from modals, slide-outs, checklists, and their unique launchers. Launchers are in-app widgets that prompt a user to act. An example would be a message announcing a new feature and asking the user to try it out.

Where Chameleon really shines, however, is its employee onboarding. This enables you to teach your new employees everything they need to know about your product.

This is especially useful for customer-facing teams who will need to thoroughly understand your product in order to do their job.

Appcues vs Chameleon

In terms of user onboarding, Chameleon offers a wide selection of UI elements, but it’s a little lacking when it comes to customization. If it’s employee onboarding that you’re after, however, then Chameleon would be a great choice.

Chameleon pricing

Chameleon offers three pricing plans:

  • Startup: from $349/ mo with limited features
  • Growth: from $899/mo
  • Enterprise: enhanced security and support with custom pricing

Appcues Competitor #3: Intercom’s product tours for customer support

Intercom is primarily recognized as being one of the most popular customer messaging platforms. However, Intercom launched its “Product Tours” feature.

Intercom’s Product Tours enables you to drive adoption and onboard new users by creating walkthroughs and tours inside your product.

As it isn’t Intercom’s main focus, Product Tours is lacking when it comes to UI elements. You don’t have much choice, meaning you can’t use checklists, modals, or any other key UI element.

If, on the other hand, you’re equally interested in Intercom’s messaging widget, then Product Tours is a great choice. If you’re already using Intercom’s messaging, then it’s really simple to add Product Tours on.

It’s also very simple and easy to use, and so is particularly suited to early-stage startups.

Appcues vs Intercom

As far as Appcues alternatives go, Intercom’s Product Tours isn’t the strongest and most developed. It has limited functionality when it comes to user onboarding.

If you’re looking to build a series of tooltips to guide users through your UI, and you’re already using other Intercom products, this might be a good starting point instead of Appcues.

Product Tour GAN Intercom linear

That being said, Intercom shines when it comes to its customer messaging platform. If you’re wanting to use that, then Product Tours may be the easiest solution so you can kill two birds with one stone.

Intercom pricing

Intercom’s product tours are an add-on so you can only get them if you already have a subscription with them. The basic Starter plan starts at $74 and you’ll have to pay $199/mo for the product tours feature.

Appcues competitor #4: UserIQ- For in-depth analytics

UserIQ is a customer success platform and Appcues alternatives, mostly because of the in-depth analytics it offers.

Much like Pendo, UserIQ prides itself on providing key insights with the data you collect. It enables you to track how your users are engaging with your product and measures customer health scores.

This provides you with the information you need to improve your UX.

This data also provides another useful ability. It enables you to segment your users and then create different onboarding flows for each segment. This provides greater control and personalization over your onboarding.

It’s also worth pointing out that UserIQ works very well with mobile apps, not just SaaS products.

Appcues vs UserIQ

Out of all the Appcues competitors we’ve covered in this article, UserIQ has the most in-depth analytics. If that’s what you need, then it’s a great choice.

The user segmentation is an extremely useful feature, but be aware that the onboarding tools it offers are relatively limited compared to other Appcues alternatives we’ve covered. And you can easily get good segmentation and more functionality with Userpilot.

UserIQ pricing

UserIQ doesn’t list pricing on their website but considering they’re comparing themselves to Pendo and Gainsight, expect an overpriced product.

Appcues competitor #5: Inline Manual -for internationalization

If you have a product that is used in countries all around the world, then chances are that internationalization is high on your list of priorities.

Your user onboarding needs to support the same languages that your product does, and that’s where Inline Manual comes in. In fact, they claim to support every possible language. (We aren’t sure whether that includes Dothraki…)

Inline Manual contains the same detailed analytics as UserIQ, including health scores and user tracking. It also has a wealth of UI elements to choose from.

They also claim to have the best customer service, providing even the lowest paying customers with high-touch support.

If you have a product that is used in countries all around the world, then chances are that internationalization is high on your list of priorities.

Your user onboarding needs to support the same languages that your product does, and that’s where Inline Manual comes in. In fact, they claim to support every possible language. (We aren’t sure whether that includes Dothraki…)

Inline Manual contains the same detailed analytics as UserIQ, including health scores and user tracking. It also has a wealth of UI elements to choose from.

They also claim to have the best customer service, providing even the lowest paying customers with high-touch support.

Appcues vs Inline Manual

Inline Manual has a lot going for it in terms of UI elements and analytics. However, the support for every language in the world is what sets it apart from the other Appcues competitors (except Userpilot-which supports content localization).

Inline Manual pricing

The inline manual offers two plans: Standard PRO and Enterprise.

The standard PRO plan starts at $158/mo for only 250MAU.

This makes it a little more pricey than some of the other products, and if you’re only wanting user onboarding functionality then others do it better.

Appcues competitor #6- Pendo- for enterprise and mobile onboarding

Pendo is a pretty comprehensive user onboarding tool, especially if you’re looking for mobile app onboarding too.

Pendo cloud offers built-in user analytics, which is more sophisticated than Appcues’ analytics.

We’ve tried Pendo’s product tours (or guides, as they call them) and found the experience pretty buggy and confusing – definitely not as user-friendly as Appcues.

When it comes to onboarding, Pendo features offer the same as Appcues and its competitors but charge a lot more for limited functionality.

Pendo dashboard

Appcues vs Pendo

Similar to Appcues and a number of their alternatives listed here, Pendo offers NPS, checklists, modals, and a resource center, so it seems Pendo offers similar functionality to Appcues . The difference is in its pricing.

Pendo pricing

Pendo costs an arm and a leg though – even though their pricing is custom, they charge from $9000 to $50,000 per year.

On the other hand- Pendo has recently released a  limited *free* version of up to 1,000 MAUs with limited features.

Appcues competitor #7: Userguiding- cheaper but with limited functionality

Userguiding

Userguiding’s UI is very similar to Appcues, so it may seem like a neat and *much* cheaper Appcues alternative (it starts from only $69 per month billed annually) but beware – if something is too good to be true, it usually is.

Appcues vs Userguiding

Userguiding is nowhere close to Appcues when it comes to UX.  It’s also not very reliable and buggy.

Userguiding’s product tours are quite difficult to build, even if the experience was intended to be similar. It offers user feedback options and NPS.

The problem with Userguiding is that it’s simply copying its competitors which makes it always one step behind in terms of functionality and quality.

If you’re a very early-stage startup and can’t afford other tools like Userpilot – Userguiding may be an Appcues alternative for you.

Userguiding pricing

Userguiding offers three plans

  • Basic: from $69mo annually – really limited and has Userguiding branding
  • Professional: $299/mo annually
  • Corporate: $499/mo annually

Appcues competitor #8: WalkMe- for enterprise employee onboarding

Last but not least – there is WalkMe – the pioneer of digital adoption tools.  WalkMe is a cloud-based platform that allows you to create product tours not only for your own web app but also for third-party products.

This is also why Walkme has been recently focusing on third-party tool employee onboarding for enterprise clients.

Walkme

Appcues vs WalkMe

Since WalkMe’s walkthroughs aren’t exactly the easiest to build and use for SaaS – I wouldn’t say it’s a good alternative to Appcues, even if you hear the name ‘WalkMe‘ a lot in the context of digital adoption.

If you are looking to build onboarding experiences for 3rd party software, then WalkMe is the tool you need. Otherwise, there are better Appcues alternatives we covered here.

WalkMe pricing

WalkMe offers both the Employee experience and a customer experience plan but they don’t list any prices on their website. You will have to request a custom quote.

Conclusion: which Appcues competitor is the best alternative for you?

Each and every business has its own requirements when it comes to user onboarding. Rather than trying to decide which of these Appcues competitors is the best, you should focus on which is the best fit for you.

In other words, which product helps solve the issues you’re facing?

We’ve covered both functionalities for Appcues main competitors but also their pricing. Userpilot is by far the best value for money you could get, so why not give it a try? Get a Userpilot demo and get started with contextual user onboarding.

Userpilot:

Userpilot should be your choice if you’re interested in contextual onboarding. This means your onboarding is personalized to every individual user. This improves the user activation rate far better than your standard product walkthroughs can.

Chameleon:

Chameleon is a fantastic choice if you want to onboard your employees as well as your users. This is particularly important when it comes to training customer-facing teams, who will need to have complete mastery of your product before they interact with your users.

Intercom’s Product Tours:

Intercom’s Product Tours is your go-to if you want to use Intercom’s top of the range messaging platform. It’s easy to use both aspects of Intercom in conjunction in order to provide a cohesive product experience for your customers.

UserIQ:

UserIQ is a fantastic pick if you want more in-depth analytics than what the other Appcues alternatives provide. It enables you to delve into your customer health scores and track product engagement so that you can work on delivering a product your users love.

Inline Manual:

Inline Manual should be your number one choice if you have a product that is used in many different languages around the world. They support every language, meaning you can provide the same great product experience no matter where your users are.

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Joe is a UX and content writer, with several years of experience working with SaaS startups. He's been working with SaaS startups that are focused towards product management and customer success for the past couple of years.