Appcues vs Chameleon vs Userpilot – Which Is Best For Your SaaS?

Wanna compare Appcues vs Chameleon vs Userpilot? Choosing the right product growth (or digital adoption) platform for your SaaS is not that easy.

We know that review sites aren’t always super-helpful. So we decided to write a more in-depth comparison of the three tools so you can make the right choice. Whether you’re looking mainly to improve your user onboarding or product analytics, collect user feedback or NPS – you’ll find the answer if Appcues, Chameleon, or Userpilot is the best fit for you here!

Let’s dive deep.

TL;DR

  • Choosing the best tool for SaaS product growth is not an easy task so here we review the best tools in the market so you can make the right choice.
  • Appcues is a code-free user onboarding platform that allows you to create product tours to simplify the onboarding process. You can also build and trigger NPS surveys to collect user feedback.
  • Chameleon helps you build flows for guidance. You can use several UI patterns for this: modals, banners, tooltips, and hotspots. You can also collect contextual feedback with in-app microsurveys.
  • Userpilot is a powerful product adoption platform that enables you to quickly build personalized and contextual in-app experiences targeted to different user experiences – all without writing a line of code. It also offers a wide range of UI patterns you can choose from, such as tooltips, modals, banners, checklists, hotspots, etc.
  • However, each tool has its pros and cons at the same time.
  • For example, Appcues has a user-friendly UI and predefined templates that can save you time. But it doesn’t have a resource center feature and their lowest plans are heavily limited.
  • Chameleon offers a good range of in-app messaging and UI patterns but it doesn’t provide a self-serve resource center. It has also a steep learning curve.
  • Userpilot offers a wide range of UI patterns so you can create hyper-personalized onboarding flows and those UI patterns are not limited by plan – you get access to all of them on every single plan. But the tool won’t run on mobile devices/applications and it doesn’t offer employee onboarding functionality.
  • To get the best value for your money, consider trying Userpilot.

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What is Appcues?

Appcues is another no-code user onboarding platform that helps non-technical teams track and analyze product usage. You can publish in-app onboarding tours, announcements, and launch surveys.

Unlike Userpilot, the functionality is limited if you are using the basic plans.

What is Appcues best for?

Typically, SaaS Product Managers consider Appcues for the following reasons: they want to improve their user onboarding, they need product adoption, and would also be able to measure their user feedback.

How does Appcues perform when it comes to these top-three use cases? Let’s examine it all, and then compare it to the other tools we’re discussing in this post.

Appcues for user onboarding

Appcues used to provide onboarding templates, which made it easy to use the tool. However, it provided a predefined way of thinking about onboarding all while having a higher price tag than other onboarding software. As of the time of writing (end of 2022), Appcues has removed its onboarding templates – without really replacing them with another solution.

Appcues allows you to design flows that make onboarding processes a breeze. These flows are what you use to create product tours and other in-app communication with users.

Here’s what you’ll get when you start using Appcues:

  • Access to an easy-to-use UI that anyone on the team can handle for building in-app flows without coding.
  • Building a product tour in Appcues is relatively easy. You just need to open their chrome extension on top of your application and start building your in-app experiences with a WYSIWYG editor. You simply select a UI pattern and customize it ‘live’, or point to the elements you want to e.g. append your tooltips to.
  • Previously it was even easier – you chose one of its templates, they would basically create the product tour for you, and you just needed to customize each step. This limited the options for customizing but it was useful for beginners. We don’t know if Appcues plans to bring their templates back.
  • You can also create checklists with Appcues (NOT available on the Essentials plan) and prompt users to take action. These are ok but have limited functionality (can’t trigger JS functions, or add gamification elements) compared to alternatives, such as Userpilot.
  • Track UI engagement with Events explorer which allows you to tag elements without coding.
  • Build custom user segments (up to 5 on the Essentials plan) based on user properties, flows, interactions, or events you set up in the events explorer.

Appcues for product adoption

When it comes to driving product adoption, Appcues offers the main functionality as its competitors but highly restricts it when using its lower plan. This makes it quite pricey if you need checklists for example, which are quite an essential tool for getting users to engage and adopt your product.

Here’s how Appcues can help drive adoption:

  • Building a product tour in Appcues is relatively easy. You can choose from a range of UI patterns and use a friendly Chrome extension builder. If you want to style the modals or tooltips in your tour to match your native UI, you might need to resort to CSS.
  • Welcome screens are an integral part of Appcues product tour templates. You can mostly customize them as you please by adding or removing elements, micro surveys, etc.
  • The flows option offers 4 main onboarding elements (modal group, tooltip group, slideout group, and hotspot group) and only 1 action – navigating to a different page.
  • You can get access to building checklists but only on the more expensive plans.
  • Unlike its alternatives, Appcues doesn’t offer the possibility of building an in-app resource center.

Appcues for user feedback

Can you use Appcues to collect user feedback? Of course.

Collecting data is not hard, analyzing and acting on it is where it gets tricky. What’s the purpose of having data if you can’t act on it?

If you want to track your NPS score over time and collect user feedback with short micro surveys, you can do that with Appcues. But to analyze the feedback data in-depth, you’ll have to use other tools.

In a nutshell, Appcues allows you to:

  • Build and trigger NPS surveys in-app without coding.
  • Edit the NPS survey questions.
  • Target the survey at a specific user segment (or choose one of the predefined segments) and adjust the survey display frequency.
  • Collect user feedback with short surveys built on top of modals: add numerical scale, open-ended questions, or radio button questions.
  • On the flip side: you can’t tag your NPS/survey responses in-app and use these tags to segment your audience by them.
  • You can’t analyze the responses in-app. You can only download a CSV report to start analyzing your data – and we all know how time-consuming that is.

Based on the above, when it comes to user feedback, Appcues is not the ideal tool, as it lacks the ability to segment users based on survey responses.

There is a better tool for your SaaS than Appcues!

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What is Chameleon?

Chameleon is a digital adoption platform with a difference: while the other tools discussed are mostly no-code, Chameleon will require some developer involvement.

Nevertheless, it’s a powerful and effective tool that works in a similar way to Userpilot and offers similar features: styling, analytics, templates, goals, A/B testing, and checklists.
However, it doesn’t offer a resource center, or dedicated NPS, and it’s a lot worse value for money with limited features in the basic plan, which is over $150 more expensive for the same number of MAUs.

What is Chameleon best for?

Like Appcues, Chameleon is typically considered for user onboarding, product adoption, and user feedback. Let’s examine Chameleon for these use cases before we compare it to Userpilot.

Chameleon for user onboarding

You can build widgets (launchers) and classic guides and tours with Chameleon as the main drivers of user onboarding.

Here’s how Chameleon’s main functionality helps with user onboarding:

  • Chameleon’s product tours help you build flows for guidance. You can use several UI patterns for this: modals, banners, tooltips, and hotspots.
  • You can customize the styling (font, color, opacity, etc) of your product tours and even add in some CSS styling if you want advanced branding.
  • Launchers are where Chameleon is different compared to its competitors. These are in-app widgets that can open checklists, small help widgets, or notification centers. The downside is that you can’t have one launcher with multiple types of content.
  • You can target content to different user segments based on multiple data sources including event triggering.
  • Ability to use micro surveys with great customization and question-and-answer types.
  • On Growth Plan and higher, you also get access to more functionality like A/B testing, multiple environments, localization (Enterprise plan only), and advanced integrations like Hubspot

All in all, Chameleon has good functionality for user onboarding but will be very limited on the Startup plan as you only get one Launcher and five micro surveys.

To build contextual and efficient user onboarding you will need more than that. Considering what you get for the money, Userpilot offers much better value.

Chameleon for product adoption

Chameleon is a no-code solution for SaaS product adoption. It offers four essential products:

  • Step-by-step tours: to guide users through the product

  • Self-serve launchers: for easy access to resources

  • Tips for unblocking users and giving best practices

  • In-product microsurveys: for gathering contextual feedback

By allowing you to personalize customer experiences, you’re able to create user flows that will lead to the successful adoption of your products.

Additionally, Chameleon offers highly customizable styling, allowing you to create experiences that look native rather than like external products.

Chameleon for user feedback

Here’s how you can collect user feedback with Chameleon:

  • Build different types of micro surveys (limited to 5 on the Startup plan) such as NPS, CSAT, CES, Opt-in, and custom feedback types.
  • Personalize the surveys as you wish (you will need help from a developer or may require CSS skills).
  • You can select the survey’s frequency and whether you want it to repeat.
  • You get access to basic completion reports. Most of the additional data will need to be analyzed in your analytics tools that Chameleon integrates with and sends data to.
  • You will see your NPS score in the reports but for the rest of the micro surveys, you will need analytics tools.

It’s great that Chameleon lets you build beautiful micro surveys but it might not be the best tool if you want to analyze the data and most importantly act on it. For example, with Userpilot you can create custom user segments based on survey responses or NPS scores and trigger specific in-app flows for them.

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What is Userpilot?

Userpilot is a powerful product adoption platform that enables you to quickly build personalized, flexible, contextually relevant in-app experiences targeted to different user segments – all without writing a line of code.

What is Userpilot best for?

Userpilot is used for similar use cases as Chameleon and Appcues. Let’s see how Userpilot compares to the tools we discussed before it comes to user onboarding, product adoption, and user feedback.

Userpilot for user onboarding

Userpilot was built specifically for SaaS product teams that want to improve their user onboarding experience and boost user activation.

You can build a huge variety of user onboarding experiences and in-app guidance flows without needing to code.

Here’s what you’ll get when you start using Userpilot:

  • Forget about coding in-app experiences: Userpilot is a no-code solution and only requires your dev to install a line of javascript inside your app and for you to download a chrome extension that opens up the visual builder.
  • Build in-app flows using the largest range of UI patterns (modals, slideouts, tooltips, hotspots, banners) and in-app onboarding experiences (checklists, microsurveys, NPS surveys, in-app resource center)
  • Get access to a built-in NPS tool for collecting and analyzing user sentiment so you can improve your onboarding process based on real data.
  • Create and track combinations of in-app events like clicks, hovers and form fills, and then analyze all these interactions under your own custom events, which can be built without code or API calls.
  • Use advanced product analytics and in-app flows analytics to identify where users need help and create granular user segments to trigger in-app experiences contextually (segment based on user identification data, in-app engagement, custom events, clicks, hovers, form fills, user feedback responses, NPS scores and more)
  • Enhance the onboarding experience with in-app help by launching a Resource Center directly inside your app. Add in-app guides, and video tutorials, and give users access to search the knowledge base or reach out to support. Self-service has never been easier.

The best user onboarding is contextual and it happens right where the users need it, inside your app. There isn’t a better user onboarding tool out there that offers more value for the money than Userpilot.

Schedule a demo with our team and get ready to build the best onboarding experiences your users have seen.

Userpilot for product adoption

Product adoption describes the process of getting users to the point where they are experiencing value from your product.

Userpilot is a powerful product adoption platform that enables you to quickly build personalized and contextual in-app experiences targeted to different user experiences – all without writing a line of code.

It’s a great option for enterprise users too since it’s SOC 2 Type II certified and offers robust features for large-scale usage.

Here are some of Userpilot’s product adoption features that you may find helpful:

  • A broad range of UI patterns to build fully customizable, contextual, and interactive in-app flows: modals, slideouts, tooltips, hotspots, driven actions, banners, and more. And – most importantly – you are not limited by plan when it comes to how many UI patterns or designs you can build.
  • Advanced in-app checklists with built-in gamification elements like progress bars or ”automatically marked complete” tasks: checklists also come with analytics so you can track who is interacting with them and how.
  • Fully interactive walkthroughs walk users through engaging and adopting specific features of your app.
  • The self-service in-app resource center lets users search your knowledge base directly inside the app, access chat, and support but also launch guides and tutorials when they get stuck.
  • User feedback tools allow you to collect insights to improve the product and the user experience, thus leading to a higher product adoption rate. You can also collect NPS data and tag responses to uncover patterns into what makes users stick, or build micro surveys for more granular data. Then you can use all the feedback collected to build user segments based on the answers and personalize the path to higher product adoption for each segment.

Want to see Userpilot in action? Get a demo and improve product adoption with contextual and personalized in-app flows that actually help users.

Userpilot for user feedback

There are two types of feedback you should be focusing on collecting to better understand the health of your product and users.

First, you have user sentiment which looks at user satisfaction and effort scores or loyalty (using NPS surveys). Then you may also want to collect feedback on the functionality of the product or specific features.

You can do all these with Userpilot. In short, you can:

  • Collect and track (NPS) in-app with a built-in NPS widget that allows you to fully customize the survey look and feel, and set the trigger frequency and specific targeting.
  • Analyze NPS scores, tag responses, and use the data to create specific user segments.
  • Build and trigger in-app micro surveys like the classic PMF survey, or similar ones and mix multi-choice and open-ended types of questions to collect specific insights.
  • Be in charge of who gets which survey type and when with advanced segmentation capabilities, and of course, you can use the answers to segment your audience.

The advantage of using Userpilot for collecting feedback over other survey tools is that you can better control who sees the surveys but also you can instantly use the data collected to segment your user base and trigger the right experience for them.

For instance, if your users give you a low NPS score because they think you’re missing a critical feature (that you actually have already), you can push an interactive walkthrough guiding them to find and explore this feature.

Tired of bad Digital Adoption tools? Try Userpilot for your SaaS for free!

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So Which tool should you choose? Appcues vs Chameleon vs Userpilot – final thoughts

As you can see, both Appcues, Chameleon, and Userpilot cater to most of the use cases Product Managers typically look for in their SaaS companies.

There are some differences between the tools when it comes to how those use cases are executed in each, of course. So if you’re still on the fence – there are two more factors that can make a difference for you – the tools’ pricing, and their reviews. Let’s have a look at both below!

Appcues pricing

All things considered, Appcues does not offer the best value for money compared to some Appcues alternatives – at $249 per month. If your product has 2,500 active users, the costs for different plans are:

  • Essentials: $249/month (Up to 3 user licenses)
  • Growth: $879/month (Up to 10 user licenses)
  • Enterprise: Custom (Unlimited user licenses)

Chameleon pricing

Chameleon split their pricing options primarily by the number of monthly active users, but you should keep in mind that the Startup plan also has limited features and might not be enough for interactive user onboarding and adoption for SaaS products:

  • 0 – 2500 MAUs: Startup plan from $349/mo, Growth plan from $899/mo
  • 2000 – 3000MAUs: Startup plan from $419/mo, Growth from $899/mo.
  • 3000 – 5000 MAUs: Startup plan from $489/mo, Growth from $899/mo.
  • 5000 – 10,000 MAUs: Startup plan from $517/mo, Growth from $999/mo

Disclaimer: with the Startup plan you only get 5 microsurveys and 1 launcher, no A/B testing, no Goals, and no localization.

Userpilot pricing

Userpilot offers great value for money compared to other similar tools on the market. Even its entry-level plan (Traction) provides all the necessary features without any usage limit.

The price-to-feature ratio is the best for Userpilot. Other cheaper tools in the market would definitely not fulfill your needs, and others like Pendo would be out of budget. Userpilot sits in that sweet spot. – Saurav S.

The pricing differentiation happens mostly on the service level (e.g. custom domain hosting, dedicated Customer Success Manager, SLA) and is based on the number of Monthly Active Users (MAUs) your company has.

Here’s the detailed Userpilot pricing:

  • Traction: For up to 2500 users, this plan is $249/ mo.
  • Growth: For up to 10,000 users, this plan is $499/ mo.
  • Enterprise: For large-scale businesses, these plans begin from $1000/ mo.

What do users say about Appcues vs Chameleon vs Userpilot?

Appcues reviews

Chameleon reviews

Userpilot reviews

The final countdown: Pros & Cons of Appcues, Chameleon, and Userpilot

Now let’s see what pros and cons each tool has.

Appcues pros

Let’s look at some key advantages of Appcues:

  • It makes it easy to build product tours with a user-friendly UI and predefined templates that can save you time.
  • Can be used on web apps and mobile apps too.
  • It integrates with most user analytics tools: Heap, Segment, Amplitude, and Mixpanel. This compensates a bit for the lack of in-depth analytics but means you need multiple subscriptions.
  • You can use predefined flows or build your own using a good range of UI patterns.
  • Allows basic segmentation and event-based flow triggering.
  • It’s easy to build in-app surveys using modals or the integrated NPS tool.

Appcues cons

But as any tool, Appcues is not without its flows – and at this price point, we think you may really want to consider some options that offer the same or more advanced functionality, but at a lower price tag:

  • Appcues lacks certain transition actions like driven actions, scroll position, or page change, which would make product tours more interactive.
  • It heavily limits the functionality available in the lowest (Essentials) plan. If you need checklists, more than 10 events, or more than 5 user segments, you’ll need to upgrade to the Growth plan (starting at $879/mo payable annually, which means you need to fork out more than $10,500 to start using Appcues for more use cases.
  • Appcues doesn’t have a resource center feature, meaning you can’t use it to offer self-service support to your users.

Chameleon pros

Chameleon is a robust tool for your onboarding and adoption needs. Here are the main pros to consider if you’re still deciding:

  • Offers a good range of in-app messaging and UI patterns. You can create custom modals, slideouts, tooltips, hotspots, launchers (checklists or resource hub), and more.
  • Good segmentation options, you can either build different user segments inside the product, or you can integrate your Chameleon account with other tools and import your data.
  • Can be used on 3rd party tools, meaning you can use it for employee onboarding too.
  • Offers a good range of two-way integrations: Mixpanel, Segment, Intercom, Customer.io, Segment, Hubspot, etc.

Chameleon cons

While Chameleon is a great tool, the main downside is the cost and restrictions you get with it. Here are the main cons of the tool:

  • There are some limitations to user onboarding flows. You can’t run multiple in-app experiences at the same time, as you can in Userpilot. Instead, Chameleon enables you to create user onboarding campaigns (different sequences of product tours shown over time).
  • It’s built for single-page apps: Chameleon can’t build flows that run over multiple URLs.
  • Doesn’t offer a self-service resource center where users can access multiple guides and tutorials or contact support. It does provide launchers that are similar but more restricted. A launcher can be a checklist or a list of resources, but can’t be both.
  • It has a steeper learning curve and it’s not a completely no-code tool.
  • The Startup (starter) plan is quite restrictive and expensive (starts at $349/mo for 2500 MAU and includes 1 Launcher only and 5 micro surveys). You will need to go for Growth ($999/mo) if you want to drive product adoption.

Userpilot pros

Userpilot has a number of advantages, especially for mid-market SaaS companies looking for a robust but at the same time very easy-to-use, a no-code tool for user onboarding, product adoption, and simplified product analytics. Let’s have a look at the pros of using Userpilot:

  • No-code builder – Userpilot comes with an easy-to-use Chrome Extension builder.
  • Multiple UI patterns – choose from a range of options to build customized flows: modals,
  • slideouts, banners, tooltips, hotspots, and checklists are all at your disposal.
  • UI patterns are not limited by plan – you get access to all of them on every single plan, meaning you get value even with the Traction plan (this is the entry-level one).
  • Engaging walkthroughs and onboarding flows- build interactive walkthroughs targeted to distinct user segments.
  • In-app help – build a resource center offering self-service support to your users, customize it with your branding, and select from a range of help options to boost user satisfaction (i.e. videos, in-app flows, chat, and more).
  • Experimentation – built-in A/B testing for flows lets you explore and quickly iterate based on direct user behavior.
  • Powerful feedback options- integrated NPS surveys with analytics and response tagging unlock insight into how your users feel.
  • Advanced analytics and segmentation- analyze product usage and in-app flow engagement and build user segments using the data.
  • Event tracking and feature tags- tag UI engagement (clicks, form fills, hovers) and group them into one custom event to track what really matters.
  • More value with integrations- unlock value faster with built-in integrations with popular tools like Segment, Amplitude, Mixpanel, Kissmetrics, Intercom, Heap, and more.

Userpilot cons

There are, however, some downsides to Userpilot as well:

  • Browser/web app only – Userpilot won’t run on mobile devices/applications.
  • Doesn’t support employee onboarding- The tool is better suited for customer onboarding than for employee onboarding as you can’t build in-app guides on third-party tools.
  • Missing integrations – doesn’t have built-in integrations with some tools, but it has webhooks, and Hubspot and Zapier are coming soon.
  • Not appropriate for small startups on a shoestring budget (<$100)- Userpilot is a powerful, mid-market to the enterprise-level tool. So $249 a month might be too expensive for really small startups.

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Conclusion

Today we’ve reviewed Appcues, Chameleon, and Userpilot and showed you how they compare when it comes to user onboarding, product adoption, and user feedback.

We’ve discussed their features for each use case, pricing, and reviews, as well as the pros and cons. Hopefully, you’ve found these detailed descriptions helpful. Obviously, we’re a little biased, but we think that Userpilot offers the best value for money, and is unrivaled especially when it comes to user onboarding.

Do you want to level up your user onboarding? Get a free Userpilot demo to get started.

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