Appcues vs Userlane – Which Is Better for No-Code Growth?
Is Appcues or Userlane the best tool for no-code growth? And is there a better in-app onboarding software that would better fit your needs?
With so many alternatives on review sites, it’s a bit tricky to really choose one.
You need to consider your priorities and what functionality you’ll need from the tool to get the job done. Then there’s also the price that needs to match your budget. Right?
In this post, we’ll discuss exactly that – what the perfect too for no-code growth should deliver and which will be the best choice for your company’s needs.
Let’s dive in!
- No-code growth is an innovative method to achieve great product-led growth without having to code.
- No-code growth allows SaaS companies to massively reduce their CAC, operational costs, customer support, and success costs while boosting customer satisfaction.
- To become truly “no-code”, it’s important to ensure your chosen no-code solution offers basic UI patterns, enables segmentation, provides product analytics features, and allows integration with third-party tools.
- Appcues is a no-code onboarding tool that allows you to publish in-app onboarding tours, announcements, and launch surveys. It’s easy to track and analyze product usage with Appcues.
- However, you can neither build a resource center with Appcues nor design transition actions like driven actions, scroll position, or page change. It also heavily limits features that you can use on its basic plan.
- Another easy-to-set-up option is Userlane. However, it offers only interactive walkthroughs, known as lanes. There is also no Chrome Extension that you can use to build flows directly on your applications. Everything needs to be built into the dashboard.
- A great alternative to Appcues and Userlane is Userpilot. Userpilot offers great value for money and offers features to help you achieve no-code growth.
- With Userpilot you can create multiple UI patterns (available in all plans), collect in-app feedback, and track UI engagement (clicks, hovers, text input). However, Userpilot is available for a browser/web app only.
- If you’re interested in what Userpilot has to offer, book a demo today.
Looking for the best tool for no-code growth? Search no more!
What is no-code growth?
No-code growth is a method of achieving product-led growth (= using your own product as a lever and revenue growth channel) without coding, using no-code tools.
It essentially allows people like product managers, product marketing managers, or marketers (who may not necessarily have a background in engineering) to create e.g. in-app onboarding experiences, optimize signup and onboarding flows, etc. in order to achieve higher conversion rates, user activation rates – and in the long run –drive retention.
No-code movement in general empowers non-programmers to create software elements using a graphical user interface, instead of writing code. According to no-code advocates, technology should enable and facilitate the creation, not act as a barrier.
Why should you care about no-code growth?
Product-led growth is a way of generating revenue from the product itself – by improving user engagement metrics, working on smarter pricing and product plans to unlock more revenue through expansion, promoting word of mouth, etc.
It’s essentially free revenue from your existing user base, which is particularly important when your customers’ LTV is around $150 in total. By giving your product managers and marketers no-code tools, you can generate more no-code growth. Simple.
Let’s look in more detail at some reasons why no code growth is essential, especially for companies such as the ones mentioned above:
- No code growth can massively reduce your CAC.
- Generating Product-led Growth without code also means you don’t need to hire programmers to implement these tactics – which further reduces your operational costs.
- Applying product-led growth practices also reduces your customer support and success costs – as your agents don’t need to reply to the same repetitive questions over and over again, and can replace them with reactive tooltips – themselves, without any help from the developers.
- This contributes to higher satisfaction from the users in general – as they tend to prefer to self-serve rather than talk to support.
- Finally, no code product-led growth means free expansion revenue for your company – and who wouldn’t welcome that, especially nowadays?
Why do you need tools for no-code growth?
One thing is clear – to drive no code growth, you will need to use proper tools to automate flows and drive engagement.
To achieve product-led growth without coding, you need a no-code tool that will allow you to:
- Capture feature usage (with tools like feature tagging) and record all the events happening in-app regardless of the interaction type (clicks, hovers, form fills.)
- Capture qualitative data with e.g. session recordings
- Create interactive walkthroughs and onboarding flows
- Use the product to promote upsells
Tool’s must-have features for no-code growth?
Before deciding which no-code growth tool deserves your try, you should have a basic understanding of what features you should be looking for in “the one”.
Although the exact features you need will differ based on factors such as the size of your company, your business strategy, and your goals, here are the most crucial features you should look for:
- Truly “no code” – make sure the no code growth tool you pick really allows you to build and style robust and native-looking in-app experiences without coding. You will be surprised how many tools require the knowledge of CSS to publish decent-looking onboarding flows.
- Make sure the tool you choose has all the basic UI patterns available – e.g. checklists, modals, tooltips, banners, and hotspots. This will allow you to create all the product-led growth experiences you may need.
- Targeting the experiences to the right user segments is extremely important for your PLG plays to be successful. So make sure your no-code growth tool offers advanced segmentation capabilities so you can build customer segments based on product usage, in-app behavior, feedback, and user persona so you can craft hyper-personalized messages and trigger them at the right time.
- On that note – real-time, event-based triggering is an important feature of a product growth platform that only a few solutions on the market currently offer. Being able to respond to your users’ actions in real time can be critical to pushing them toward those precious conversion points.
- Finally: product analytics is another “must have” that a good no-code growth platform should provide. You should be able to monitor your users’ behavior with it, the engagement with your PLG in-app experiences, and how they contribute towards improving your metrics.
- The right code-free PLG tool should also offer integrations with other tools so you can add them to your stack and get better insights on your data under one roof.
Appcues for no-code growth
Unlike Userpilot, the functionality is limited if you are using the basic plans.
Appcues were 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.
Pros of Appcues?
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.
Cons of Appcues?
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 lack 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.
What users say about Appcues?
What do Appcues users share about their experience? Overall users feel positive about Appcues.
Here’s an example summarizing some key points about its features and the value it offers. You can find more reviews on G2 or Capterra.
The best part of Appcues is the guided tour features which they call flaws. Especially on a team with limited resources, it allows you to improve your activation and engagement overnight by using this feature to guide your users around your product. What I love even more is the design and UX features are modern unlike other tour tools we’ve researched, and the software is easy-to-use with the need for a developer after the initial installation. – Raeann F.
However, there are some points that could be improved:
As with all software, you will run into irritating limitations. Appcues does collect a lot of data that could automatically be turned into user attributes (like the first log-in or visits per month) but they don’t do that. Jumping between the build mode and the studio can also become very confusing at times. – Ville T.
Is Appcues the right fit for your business?
There are good and bad when it comes to using Appcues but to sum it up, here’s why you might need an alternative:
- You need to build complex user flows and target them to specific user segments. In this case, you will need more than basic segmentation.
- You want to track product usage properly and don’t want to be limited by Appcues’s event explorer.
- You want to take full advantage of all onboarding functionalities (like a checklist) without paying a premium crazy price for them.
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)
There is a better tool for your SaaS than Appcues!
Userlane for no-code growth
Userlane is a code-free digital adoption platform that allows you to create in-app interactive content to guide new users and increase product adoption.
Userlane offers all the basic things you need to create interactive in-app guidance and nail your onboarding.
Here is what you can get with Userlane:
- Create interactive in-app guides with modals, tooltips, and checklists to remove the guesswork and guide new customers step by step.
- Target guides, hints, and announcements to the right people at the right time to maximize engagement.
- You can also add videos, gifs, and links to enrich your in-app content.
- With the code-free editor, you can record the tutorials and share them with your users. With multiple language support, make sure that your customers get the in-app experiences in their languages.)
- However, Userlane allows you to only build logic flows (“lanes”) directly in the tool’s dashboard. It doesn’t work in a chrome extension by pointing and building UI patterns directly on top of your native UI (like e.g. in Userpilot).
Pros of Userlane
Userlane is a popular digital adoption tool and comes with many benefits. Here are its pros.
- Lanes are easy to set up and implement.
- Easy to add gamification elements to your onboarding.
- Includes real-time analytics so you can identify behavior trends and act on them.
- Doesn’t require technical knowledge as it’s mostly code-free.
Cons of Userlane
However, this tool has some flaws so it’s better to get an overview of its cons iif you’re thinking of buying it:
- Not that many integration options. As of now, it has integrations with Confluence, Zendesk, and KnowledgeOwl.
- Some of the UI patterns, like hotspots and tooltips, aren’t as functional as users might like.
- Offers only interactive walkthroughs, known as lanes.
- Works only in the dashboard and can’t be launched in a Chrome extension as most of its competitors, like Userpilot does.
What users say about Userlane?
When it comes to reviews, customers are mostly enjoying a positive experience with Userlane. Here is what they say:
What I find most helpful about Userlane is its simplicity. In that I mean, it’s just easy to start using it out of the box and they continue to add great features all the time.
The tool is really intuitive to use and self-explanatory. Even multi-language support can be handled easily with hardly any effort. I also like the analytical options provided. Last but not least the service team is very supportive not only with technical questions but also in learning how to make the most out of the tool for our specific use cases.
We are using Userlane since almost two years and are always happy to implement the newest features. Big kudos to the Customer Support and Customer Success Team. If you need help, they help you almost instantly and provide easy-understandable solutions. I seldom worked with such a nice organization.
But at the same time, some customers are having complaints about the tool. Mostly they are related to a lack of user friendliness and difficulties for complete novices.
Here is what they say:
Sometimes it is quite complicated to build a guide within our software. But I think this depends on the structure of our software with so many iframes within iframes…
In general, Userlane offers far more advantages than disadvantages.
However, if there should be improvements from our point of view, then the analytics could be further expanded. They currently reflect a good status of the use of guided tours, but could be a little more detailed at one point or another.
The only thing that for me is frustrating at times, is that the actions bar is now located vertically on the screen, versus its previous location across the base of the screen.
This is not user friendly where needed to scroll up or down the page, which was possible previously, but not so easy now. Also the actions bar covers some of the page content, so have to regularly move the actions bar from left to right and vice versa
Is Userlane the right fit for your business?
Userlane is a good tool but it’s not perfect and might not be the right tool for everyone. Here is why you might think about exploring an alternative tool:
- You can only create interactive walkthroughs to guide your new customers and everything is done in the native dashboard and not in a chrome extension.
- It doesn’t offer an in-app help center and there is no capability to provide self-service support.
- Pricing is high as it mainly targets enterprise accounts with more than 500 employees.
Userlane’s pricing is not public and you should reach out to their sales team to get a quote.
But keep in mind that it is based on two things: the number of guided users and the product features you want access to.
There is a better tool for your SaaS than Userlane!
Is there a better alternative for no-code growth?
Pendo and Userlane are good tools for no-code growth. We’ve seen how they compare to each other and what you can achieve with them. Call us biased, but if you’re looking for something better, Userpilot offers more value for your money than these tools.
Userpilot for no-code growth
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.
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:
- 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.
Pros of Userpilot?
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, 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.
Cons of Userpilot?
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 enterprise-level tool. So $249 a month might be too expensive for really small startups.
What users say about Userpilot?
Let’s check what real users like about Userpilot.
Userpilot is an incredible, user-friendly software that allows us to create unforgettable experiences for our clients! From basic to complex experiences, we have been able to do them all with ease! I would highly recommend this software to anyone who wants to provide their clients or users with the best product tour experience. The possibilities of what you can create are endless! – Tayla G.
Userpilot is simple to set up, use, and does not require any dev – which means instant publishing. This is critical for us as a SaaS company that releases new features frequently; we need the ability to inform our customers of changes quickly, and doing this in our platform through Userpilot allows us to reach the right audience, at the right time, in the right place. There have been many awesome extra features we’ve discovered since coming on board, and it’s been great to see new features released frequently. The tool itself is intuitive and reliable. Having used similar products previously that were clunky and buggy this has really made us happy with our decision to move to Userpilot. – Melina K.
Get more value for your money with Userpilot!
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.
This is the end of our thorough comparison between Appcues and Userlane. You should be able to make a confident decision by now. If you’re looking for a solid tool for no-code growth that promises great value for money, give Userpilot a go. Book a demo today.