Appcues vs UserGuiding: Which is Best for Your SaaS?

Appcues vs UserGuiding: Which is Best for your SaaS?

Wondering whether Appcues or UserGuiding is the best option for your SaaS company?

This article is going to dive into the Appcues vs UserGuiding debate and try to answer a key question: Which is the better tool for user onboarding, as well as other use cases?

In the post below, we’ve covered all the common use cases and done an in-depth analysis of the key features of Appcues and UserGuiding – as well as compared it to an alternative solution that may be better in some situations.

Let’s get into it!

TL;DR

  • Let’s explore how Appcues, and UserGuiding compare when it comes to user onboarding and other common use cases.
      • Appcues is a robust product adoption and user onboarding platform for web and mobile apps. It enables product teams to create, implement, and test personalized in-app onboarding experiences. The platform also helps you announce new product features and collect customer feedback.
      • UserGuiding is a no-code product adoption tool that lets users create in-app walkthroughs, guides, and checklists. The solution makes it possible for teams to onboard, engage, and retain users without needing coding skills to create these in-app experiences.
  • If you’re looking for a better option for user onboarding, Userpilot exceeds both functionality and value for money compared to other tools on the list.
  • Userpilot is a product growth platform that drives user activation, feature adoption, and expansion revenue. It also helps product teams collect user feedback, streamline onboarding, and gather actionable insights from analytics. Get a Userpilot demo for user onboarding and drive your product growth code-free.

Userpilot – A Better Alternative for your SaaS

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What is Appcues?

Appcues is a robust product adoption and user onboarding platform for web and mobile apps. It enables product teams to create, implement, and test personalized in-app onboarding experiences. The platform also helps you announce new product features and collect customer feedback.

What makes this platform even better is the fact that it offers no-code features that make it suitable for non-technical teams.

What is UserGuiding?

UserGuiding is a no-code product adoption tool that lets users create in-app walkthroughs, guides, and checklists. The solution makes it possible for teams to onboard, engage, and retain users without needing coding skills to create these in-app experiences.

All in all, UserGuiding is a pretty flexible solution that can improve the onboarding process, boost user engagement, and increase customer retention.

Appcues vs UserGuiding for user onboarding

In this section of the article, we’re really going to compare Appcues vs UserGuiding in terms of user onboarding. That way, we’ll be able to figure out which tool – Appcues or UserGuiding – is the best option depending on your use case.

Appcues for user onboarding

Onboarding new users seamlessly is one of the primary use cases of Appcues. The platform offers a wide array of features to help you improve user activation, conversion, and retention.

Let’s take a closer look at how Appcues facilitates new user onboarding:

  • Drag-and-drop builder: Appcues’s no-code builder lets you create personalized onboarding tours and checklists to assist and educate new users. You can customize UI patterns like hotspots, modals, slideouts, and tooltips to guide users.
  • In-app user guides and product tours: You can use various UI patterns, such as hotspots and tooltips, to introduce new users to product features in a pre-defined sequence. Similarly, you can use checklists to guide users as they explore your app.

  • Checklists: 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 (you can’t trigger JS functions or add gamification elements) compared to alternatives, such as Userpilot.
  • Segmentation: You can use one of the pre-defined audience segments or create customer segments based on plan tier, lifecycle stage, and other factors. It’s possible to target individual segments with personalized messaging and journeys.

  • Measure and improve: You can track in-app flow performance and measure events (limited to 5 on the Essentials plan) to identify areas of improvement.

  • Test and optimize: The newly introduced A/B testing feature lets you test different onboarding flows. You can compare the performance of different in-app sequences, identify the best-performing ones, and refine onboarding flows.

UserGuiding for user onboarding

As a no-code onboarding tool, UserGuiding has numerous features that will help you create onboarding flows for your new customers and guide them throughout their journey.

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

  • Create interactive product walkthroughs without disturbing your developers as it’s completely code-free.
  • Build onboarding checklists and drive customers to the activation point by eliminating the guesswork on what the next step should be.
  • Create interactive elements, such as product tours, tooltips, and pop-ups, to help keep users engaged and increase the likelihood that they’ll complete the onboarding process.
  • Create a resource center to add different educational resources for your users.

Though UserGuiding is a great tool for startups that don’t have much money to invest in an onboarding tool, it has very strict limitations for the Basic plan.

You can only create a maximum of 20 guides and hotspots, 2 onboarding checklists, and 1 resource center. If you want to create unlimited guides with unlimited UI patterns, you should go for the Professional plan which can cost from $299 to $399.

The one drawback when using UserGuiding for onboarding is the fact that its analytics dashboard only encompasses the elements that you’ve created within the platform. In contrast, Userpilot is able to track all elements, events, and behaviors throughout the entire user journey.

Appcues vs UserGuiding for product adoption

In this section of the article, we’re really going to compare Appcues vs UserGuiding in terms of product adoption. That way, we’ll be able to figure out which tool – Appcues or UserGuiding – is the best option depending on your use case.

Appcues for product adoption

Appcues packs robust features to skyrocket free-to-paid conversions and drive upsells. Let’s take a closer look at how the platform facilitates product adoption.

  • No-code builder: The no-code builder on Appcues lets you create onboarding flows that handhold users through your app. You can also use it to publish in-app announcements that draw a user’s attention to new features and upcoming events.

  • Pre-designed templates: You can choose from many pre-made templates for each UI pattern. It’s easy to create product tours, in-app tutorials and announcements with these templates.
  • Flow targeting: Appcues lets you segment users into different groups based on in-app activity, online behavior, and lifecycle stage. That makes it easier to customize your messaging and win over each segment, helping you convert trials into paying customers.
  • Review prompts: Available on Appcues Mobile, this feature lets you nudge users to rate and review your app on various app stores at the right time. It can help drive new sign-ups as well.
  • Other features, such as event tracking and A/B testing, can also help improve product adoption.

As you can see, Appcues is focused on in-app experiences but is limited by product analytics. Without proper data is hard to understand how your users are adopting your product and where they need help.

You can integrate Appcues with tools like Amplitude, but that comes at an additional cost. If you are looking for a product adoption tool, Appcues might not be the best.

UserGuiding for product adoption

As a no-code onboarding tool, UserGuiding has numerous features that will help you create onboarding flows for your new customers and guide them throughout their journey.

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

  • Create interactive product walkthroughs without disturbing your developers as it’s completely code-free.
  • Build onboarding checklists and drive customers to the activation point by eliminating the guesswork on what the next step should be.
  • Create interactive elements, such as product tours, tooltips, and pop-ups, to help keep users engaged and increase the likelihood that they’ll complete the onboarding process.
  • Create a resource center to add different educational resources for your users.

Though UserGuiding is a great tool for startups that don’t have much money to invest in an onboarding tool, it has very strict limitations for the Basic plan.

You can only create a maximum of 20 guides and hotspots, 2 onboarding checklists, and 1 resource center. If you want to create unlimited guides with unlimited UI patterns, you should go for the Professional plan which can cost from $299 to $399.

The one drawback when using UserGuiding for onboarding is the fact that its analytics dashboard only encompasses the elements that you’ve created within the platform. In contrast, Userpilot is able to track all elements, events, and behaviors throughout the entire user journey.

Appcues vs UserGuiding for customer experience

In this section of the article, we’re really going to compare Appcues vs UserGuiding in terms of customer experience. That way, we’ll be able to figure out which tool – Appcues or UserGuiding – is the best option depending on your use case.

Appcues for customer experience

Appcues plays a key role in taking your product’s customer experience (CX) up a notch.

It helps enhance CX in the following ways:

  • UI patterns like checklists, hotspots, modals, and tooltips let you create guided in-app tours and tutorials and simplify customer onboarding.
  • A Launchpad lets users access Appcues onboarding flows from a notification dropdown within your product.
  • NPS surveys help you collect customer feedback and improve your product. However, unlike Userpilot, Appcues only offers NPS surveys.
  • Other features like user segmentation (for personalization) and event tracking also come in handy.

That said, Appcues alone can’t guarantee a flawless customer experience. It only covers the onboarding aspect of CX. You’ll need to focus on other aspects like customer support and relationship-building to improve the overall UX, and for those you need multiple types of user surveys, on-demand support (using a resource center) and proper analytics, which Appcues lack.

UserGuiding for customer experience

Because UserGuiding was built with the goal of creating no-code onboarding flows, its features are better suited to the earlier stages of the user journey rather than the full course of the customer experience.

That said, there are still certain UserGuiding features that can be adapted for customer experience optimization:

  • Surveys: Customer experience optimization (CXO) is heavily reliant on gathering feedback that can help improve and streamline user journeys. Collecting qualitative feedback with UserGuiding surveys can be the first step towards improving the customer experience.

  • MAUs: While the MAU metric isn’t as granular as customer satisfaction metrics like NPS or CSAT scores, looking at trends in how many MAUs your product is getting from month to month can help you determine if the customer experience is getting better or worse.
  • Activity feed: UserGuiding’s activity feed can show you which areas of the tool users have been engaging with the most. You can then use these insights to identify areas where the customer experience could be improved.

Appcues vs UserGuiding for user feedback

In this section of the article, we’re really going to compare Appcues vs UserGuiding in terms of user feedback. That way, we’ll be able to figure out which tool – Appcues or UserGuiding – is the best option depending on your use case.

Appcues for user feedback

Appcues provides a robust suite of tools to collect and analyze your product feedback for mobile apps. However, if you want to collect feedback for your web app, you only have access to an NPS survey.

Mobile app product feedback features include:

  • Survey prompt asking a user to rate their experience of using a specific feature.
  • Survey forms asking users about feature improvements or new features they’d like to see in your product.
  • Collect and analyze NPS survey results to improve in-app experiences.
  • App Store review prompts to encourage promoters to rate and review your product on leading app stores.

UserGuiding for user feedback

With surveys being UserGuiding’s only feedback collection, the platform is better suited to user feedback than product feedback. After all, product feedback should be comprehensive and gathered from multiple sources such as customer interviews or support ticket analysis.

Here are some UserGuiding features you could consider using to collect product feedback:

  • Surveys: Due to the limitations of the Basic plan, UserGuiding surveys could be more useful when collecting user feedback. Product feedback surveys usually focus on a specific area or feature which means you’ll need more than one active survey running concurrently.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): While satisfaction metrics like Net Promoter Scores fall into the quantitative data category, looking at NPS trends both before and after a major product update can help you determine how users are responding to the latest set of changes.
  • Checklists: Checklists are traditionally used to facilitate onboarding and feature discovery but you could conceivably add a step that prompts users to leave product feedback after completing their product tour.

Note: Because UserGuiding only lets users on the Basic plan have one survey active at a time, there’s a high likelihood that the volume of product feedback you’re able to collect will be bottlenecked at some point.

Appcues vs UserGuiding: Which one you should choose?

To further simplify this selection process, let’s break down the strengths and limitations of each tool. Understanding the distinct advantages and potential drawbacks of Appcues and UserGuiding will provide you with a detailed roadmap for making a well-informed decision!

Pros and cons of Appcues

Pros of Appcues

As a first-comer in the no-code product adoption landscape, Appcues offers several valuable features. It’s suitable for mid-market SaaS businesses looking for a simple, easy-to-use tool that enhances user onboarding, retention, and the overall customer experience.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of Appcues:

  • Intuitive UI and UX: Appcues offers a straightforward interface that’s easy to navigate and use. Users with non-technical backgrounds can design captivating in-app flows and onboarding journeys with its simple drag-and-drop builder. You can tailor user journeys with various UI patterns, from modals and hotspots to tooltips, slideouts, and banners.
  • Simple setup: You can get started with Appcues in minutes by adding the SDK to your app’s source code or integrating Appcues with Segment or Google Tag Manager. Then, add a Chrome extension to launch the Appcues Builder in a few quick clicks and start creating in-app flows.
  • Feedback options: Create Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys to collect actionable user feedback. You can even check and analyze NPS analytics on your Appcues dashboard.
  • Mobile onboarding: Besides web apps, you can use Appcues to create end-to-end experiences for mobile apps. It supports various mobile environments, including Native Android, Native iOS, React Native, Flutter, and Iconic.
  • Extensive integrations: Appcues integrates with 20+ email automation, CRM, and analytics tools, including Heap, Zapier, HubSpot, Google Analytics, and Google Tag Manager. Many of these include two-way integrations.

Cons of Appcues

Appcues comes with a ton of useful features you’d expect from a leading product adoption platform, but it does have a few shortcomings.

Let’s look at a few drawbacks of Appcues:

  • Poor element detection: The Appcues algorithm occasionally struggles to detect in-app elements, unlike some of its competitors like Userpilot. It’s particularly limiting when you want to add tooltips to individual options in a dropdown menu.
  • Limited customization capabilities: While Appcues lets you customize pre-designed templates, you’re limited to basic options like font style, size, color, and padding. Advanced customization requires working with CSS code, which can be challenging for non-technical teams.
  • Basic analytics: Appcues provides insights into product usage and customer behavior. However, you can’t access in-depth analytics without connecting to a third-party tool like Amplitude or Google Analytics.
  • Limited survey options: Appcues lacks variety in feedback collection and survey options and doesn’t offer integrations with other platforms like Google Forms and Typeform. You can only build NPS surveys. This is in contrast to some of its competitors, like Userpilot, which offers an extensive library of customizable survey templates.
  • Higher pricing: Starting at $249 per month, the Appcues Essential tier has several constraints, such as limited UI patterns and no custom CSS support. Moreover, localization support is only available in the Enterprise tier. If your app is multilingual, you’ll have to shell out a ton of money to make the most of Appcues.
  • No live chat: While Appcues offers educational resources and a help center (Help Docs), customer support is limited to email and phone.

Appcues comes with a ton of useful features you’d expect from a leading product adoption platform, but it does have a few shortcomings.

Let’s look at a few drawbacks of Appcues:

  • Poor element detection: The Appcues algorithm occasionally struggles to detect in-app elements, unlike some of its competitors like Userpilot. It’s particularly limiting when you want to add tooltips to individual options in a dropdown menu.
  • Limited customization capabilities: While Appcues lets you customize pre-designed templates, you’re limited to basic options like font style, size, color, and padding. Advanced customization requires working with CSS code, which can be challenging for non-technical teams.
  • Basic analytics: Appcues provides insights into product usage and customer behavior. However, you can’t access in-depth analytics without connecting to a third-party tool like Amplitude or Google Analytics.
  • Limited survey options: Appcues lacks variety in feedback collection and survey options and doesn’t offer integrations with other platforms like Google Forms and Typeform. You can only build NPS surveys. This is in contrast to some of its competitors, like Userpilot, which offers an extensive library of customizable survey templates.
  • Higher pricing: Starting at $249 per month, the Appcues Essential tier has several constraints, such as limited UI patterns and no custom CSS support. Moreover, localization support is only available in the Enterprise tier. If your app is multilingual, you’ll have to shell out a ton of money to make the most of Appcues.
  • No live chat: While Appcues offers educational resources and a help center (Help Docs), customer support is limited to email and phone.

Pros and cons of UserGuiding

Pros of UserGuiding

UserGuiding has quite a few benefits as a product adoption solution, particularly for early-stage SaaS companies that need an easy-to-use starter tool for their small (but growing) team of product developers or marketers. Let’s look at some of the pros that UserGuiding has to offer:

  • Chrome extension – UserGuiding utilizes a no-code Chrome extension.
  • Survey template gallery – UserGuiding lets you choose from six survey templates or create your own survey from scratch.
  • Analytics dashboard – users can see their monthly active users (MAUs) for the month, monitor the number of views their guides are getting, and see how many interactions checklists or resource centers have had in the past week from the UserGuiding homepage.
  • Custom themes – granular theme customization and color selection.
  • Easy onboarding – onboarding checklist walks you through key steps, such as how to get the UserGuiding Chrome extension and create your first guide.

Cons of UserGuiding

While there are quite a few benefits to using UserGuiding, there are three significant drawbacks to note:

  • Dashboard customization – you can’t edit your home dashboard or choose which analytics you want to see.
  • Pricing jumps – upgrading from Basic (2,500 MAUs) to Professional (20,000 MAUs) increases your subscription cost by more than 4x.
  • Manual localization – UserGuiding doesn’t have AI-powered localization, so you’ll need to manually download, translate, and upload every CSV when attempting to localize content for your product.
  • HubSpot integration – the UserGuiding-HubSpot integration is only a one-way integration which limits its functionality and prevents you from setting up two-way data synchronization between both platforms.
  • Limited analytics – the analytics dashboard only shows you data for onboarding materials created with UserGuiding and even those analytics are quite limited as surveys only show you total responses rather than letting you select a date range.
  • Survey limit – you can only have one active survey on the Basic plan which is disappointing considering UserGuiding costs over $1,000 annually (whereas Userpilot lets you create unlimited surveys and collect up to 250 responses per month on the cheapest plan).

Userpilot – A better alternative for your SaaS

Userpilot is a product growth platform that drives user activation, feature adoption, and expansion revenue. It also helps product teams collect user feedback, streamline onboarding, and gather actionable insights from analytics.

With Userpilot, you’ll be able to track both product usage and user behavior to get a holistic view of how customers use your product — which will guide future development, improve the user experience, and inform your growth efforts.

Pros of Userpilot

As a full-suite digital adoption platform, Userpilot has all the features you need to onboard users, track analytics, and gather feedback from customers without writing a single line of code. Here are a few pros of using Userpilot as your product growth solution:

  • No-code builder: Userpilot’s Chrome extension lets you build flows, add UI elements, and tag features without writing a single line of code.
  • UI patterns: There are plenty of UI patterns to choose from when using Userpilot, such as hotspots, tooltips, banners, slideouts, modals, and more!
  • Startup-friendly: Userpilot’s entry-level plan gives you access to all available UI patterns so you can hit the ground running.
  • Walkthroughs and flows: Build engaging interactive walkthroughs and personalized onboarding flows that target specific segments of your user base.
  • Self-service support: Build an in-app resource center to help users solve problems, customize its appearance to align it with your brand, and insert various types of content (videos, flows, or chatbots) to keep your customers satisfied.
  • A/B testing: Userpilot’s built-in A/B testing capabilities will help you split-test flows, iterate on the best-performing variants, and continually optimize based on user behavior.
  • Feedback collection: Userpilot has built-in NPS surveys with its own unified analytics dashboard and response tagging to help you retarget users. There are other survey types to choose from and you can even create your own custom survey.
  • Survey templates: There are 14 survey templates to choose from so you can gather feedback on specific features or run customer satisfaction benchmarking surveys like CSAT and CES.
  • Advanced analytics: Userpilot lets you analyze product usage data, monitor engagement on all in-app flows, and use the data to create user segments that are based on behaviors instead of demographics.
  • Event tracking: Userpilot’s no-code event tracking lets you tag UI interactions (hovers, clicks, or form fills) and group them into a custom event that reflects feature usage.
  • Third-party integrations: Userpilot has built-in integrations with tools like Amplitude, Mixpanel, Kissmetrics, Segment, Heap, HubSpot, Intercom, Google Analytics, and Google Tag Manager so you can share data between all the solutions in your tech stack.

Cons of Userpilot

Of course, no tool is perfect and there are a few cons to consider before choosing Userpilot as your user onboarding or product growth solution:

  • Employee onboarding: Currently, Userpilot only supports in-app customer onboarding.
  • Mobile apps: Userpilot doesn’t have any mobile compatibility which could make it difficult for developers with cross-platform applications to create a consistent user experience for both versions of their product.
  • Freemium plan: There’s no freemium Userpilot plan so those bootstrapping their startup and need sub-$100 solutions should consider more affordable onboarding platforms like UserGuiding or Product Fruits.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this post helped you decide whether Appcues or UserGuiding is more appropriate for your company. As you can see – both have many upsides and downsides.

Undeniably, Userpilot provides a better value for money and is a better choice for a mid-market SaaS, especially when it comes to user onboarding and user feedback.

If you’re interested in finding more, book a demo with our team here!

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