Pendo Features: An Honest Review
Although best known for its analytics, Pendo features include two other toolsets that are of value to product marketing teams.
In this article, we’ll assess the quality of Pendo’s features regarding product onboarding, analytics, product adoption, and feedback.
We will also suggest an alternative and more cost-effective solution: surprise, surprise – Userpilot.
Pendo’s Features for User Onboarding:
- Pendo offers tools for creating in-app guides and onboarding flows.
- It allows for the customization of guide layouts and triggers.
- Localization settings are available for multi-language support.
- Onboarding modules can be added to in-app resource centers.
Pendo’s Features for Product Analytics:
- Native analytics provide insights into user behavior and feature usage.
- Paths, retention, funnels, and analytics widgets are available.
- Third-party integrations with tools like Amplitude and Google Analytics are possible.
Pendo’s Features for Product Adoption:
- Product analytics help track user adoption and engagement.
- Feature engagement and click-to-track feature tagging are offered.
- Pendo provides feedback collection through surveys and polls.
Pendo’s Features for Product Feedback:
- CES polls and mobile app reviews gather user feedback.
- Pendo Feedback centralizes and integrates feedback with other tools.
- Segmented feedback allows for insights from specific user groups.
Why Consider an Alternative to Pendo:
- Pendo’s pricing may become expensive as MAUs increase.
- Data lag in analytics updates can affect decision-making.
- Userpilot is suggested as an alternative with real-time analytics and cost-effectiveness.
Userpilot’s Features for User Onboarding:
- Userpilot offers customizable UI elements for in-app engagement.
- It provides a no-code builder for creating onboarding flows.
- Funnel analytics and user segmentation aid in tracking onboarding progress.
Userpilot’s Features for Product Analytics:
- Feature tagging and trend reports help analyze user interactions.
- Userpilot integrates with popular analytics tools for data synchronization.
Userpilot’s Features for Product Adoption:
- Userpilot emphasizes product adoption with advanced analytics.
- Feature engagement tracking and feedback collection are available.
Userpilot’s Features for Product Feedback:
- NPS dashboards and survey templates gather valuable product feedback.
- UI forms can be added to collect feedback within in-app flows.
- Both Pendo and Userpilot empower product marketing teams to enhance user experiences.
What is Pendo?
Pendo is a product adoption platform that lets teams monitor product usage, analyze user behavior, and publish in-app guides. The no-code solution focuses on increasing user engagement and driving feature discovery.
Additionally, Pendo also lets you survey users, segment customers, and see how many site visitors or MAUs your web app is getting. Certain features like product areas, data explorer, product engagement score, and resource centers are locked to the Starter plan or higher.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of using Pendo:
- No-Code: Pendo lets you create surveys, and in-app guides, and track metrics without needing to write your code, which saves a lot of time (while making product experiments or split-testing a lot easier).
- Custom Themes: Pendo’s themes let you create multiple palettes and ensure that any in-app materials published align with your existing brand palette (however, you can only create/customize themes after you’ve installed the Pendo snippet).
- Flexible Dashboards: Pendo has plenty of widgets that you can add to your dashboard, including feature adoption, net promoter score, poll results, guide engagement, product stickiness, and MAUs — so you always have your most important metrics within reach.
- Integrations: Pendo has 50 different integrations to choose from including popular tools like Intercom, Jira, Okta, and HubSpot. Unfortunately, only four of these — Salesforce, Segment, Workato, and Zendesk — are two-way integrations that can share data both ways.
- Multi-Platform Analytics: Because Pendo is compatible with mobile applications, you’ll be able to track product analytics for both web apps and mobile apps. This gives you a more holistic view of how users (or specific segments) use your product on different platforms. Note: You’ll need to upgrade to Pendo Portfolio to add more than one product to your account.
Let’s explore the different aspects and features of Pendo that make it a versatile platform for various use cases:
Pendo’s features for user onboarding
Pendo is a product adoption platform that has the usual onboarding features that are commonly included with similar solutions. However, those using Pendo Free will need to note that they’ll need to find a new onboarding solution once they cross 500 MAUs or upgrade to the paid version.
There are a few ways you can use Pendo to improve your new user onboarding flows:
- Guide Layouts: Pendo has layout templates for lightboxes, banners, and tooltips that you can use to build onboarding flows for new users.
- Flow Triggers: Pendo’s guide activation options let you trigger an onboarding flow when new users land on a particular URL, use a specific device type, interact with a tagged element, or match the target segment.
- Localization Settings: Localization settings can stop an onboarding flow from triggering if it hasn’t been translated into the user’s chosen language. Because Pendo has no AI-powered localization features, you’ll need to upload language CSVs manually for this to work.
- Onboarding Module: You can add the onboarding module to your in-app resource center in two clicks then change the color, text style, and progress icon to align it with your product’s brand palette.
Pendo’s features for product analytics
Pendo has no shortage of product analytics capabilities as both native features and third-party integrations. You’ll even be able to access the most important metrics like MAUs and feature use from the home dashboard itself.
Here’s a closer look at Pendo’s analytics features:
- Native Analytics: Because Pendo is a product adoption platform, most of its adoption and engagement analytics are native to the solution. This means you’ll be able to track the number of views, clicks, and interactions that specific in-app guides or product areas get.
- Paths: The Paths section of your Pendo account shows you which paths users take when coming from a specific page or which path they took to get to a particular page. You’ll also be able to sort this data by segment, and date, or see the paths taken by individual visitor IDs.
- Retention: Pendo’s retention analytics dashboard lets you see cohort retention data from month to month. You’ll also be able to toggle between visitors versus accounts, switch between weekly or monthly views, and measure retention for specific segments.
- Funnels: Pendo’s funnel analytics can tell you how many unique visitors have seen your funnels, how many attempts have been made to get through the funnel, and the average time it takes to complete the funnel. You’ll also be able to see completion rates and sort by date or segment.
- Analytics Widgets: Pendo’s home dashboard lets you choose which widgets you’d like to add or remove. You’ll be able to select from various analytics widgets that track product goals, feature adoption, guide views, time-on-app, and other core metrics.
- Third-Party Integrations: Pendo has integrations with tools like Salesforce, Intercom, Segment, Slack, and more. Linking your Pendo account with these third-party solutions will make syncing and sharing data seamless (but do note that Pendo doesn’t update analytics in real time).
Note: Pendo’s HubSpot integration is a one-way integration, which means you won’t be able to sync data both ways between the two tools. You’ll need to upgrade to the Growth plan or higher to use Pendo integrations.
Pendo’s features for product adoption
Because product adoption is the primary use case for the Pendo platform, most of its features contribute towards onboarding users, tracking adoption analytics, monitoring usage patterns, or measuring churn rates.
Pendo’s product adoption features include:
- Product Analytics: Pendo analytics can show you patterns in user behavior, underutilized areas of your product, and other usage data. Pendo divides its analytics into funnels, paths, and retention — the latter of which is capable of tracking cohort churn over time (months or weeks).
- Feature Engagement: Pendo’s dashboard widgets let you see feature engagement from multiple lenses to ensure you get the full picture. You’ll be able to view the features that generate the majority of click volume and track features used by accounts/visitors.
- Build guides to drive engagement: Pendo has layout templates for lightboxes, banners, and tooltips that you can use to build onboarding flows for new users.
- Feedback Collection: Pendo can gather user feedback through polls, input fields, and NPS surveys. Its NPS surveys can be delivered both in-app and via email while giving the option to include follow-up questions that provide qualitative feedback.
Note: Pendo in-app resource centers can only be created if you’re on the Growth or Portfolio plan.
Pendo’s features for product feedback
Product feedback can provide targeted data on the product as a whole or specific features. These will offer insight into which features are easiest/hardest to use, which ones make your product sticky, and which changes to make to keep your largest customers satisfied.
Here are the Pendo features that you can utilize to collect product feedback:
- Customer Effort Score (CES) Polls: CES polls created with Pendo can provide insights on which areas of your product are easiest to use. These CES polls can also target specific segments to see if new users are struggling with a feature that power users have no problem with.
- Mobile Reviews: Those using Pendo for mobile apps can also use its product feedback features to collect reviews for the iOS App Store or Google Play Store. In addition to offering insights, these reviews could also boost user acquisition (provided they’re mostly positive).
- Pendo Feedback: Pendo offers a separate product called Pendo Feedback that can be used to centralize feedback and integrate that data with tools like Salesforce or Jira. Pendo Feedback uses custom pricing and is charged by the seat.
- Segmented Feedback: Pendo feedback lets you see what segment respondents are in, how much they spend, and other relevant user tags so you can highlight responses from your most valuable customers.
Why you might need a Pendo alternative?
There are a few obvious instances where you’ll likely need an alternative solution to Pendo — such as these use cases:
- Over 500 MAUs: If your product has more than 500 MAUs then you’ll need to subscribe to a premium Pendo plan (which tends to be significantly more expensive than other competitors on the market).
- Real-Time Analytics Needs: Companies that operate in fast-paced work sprints will likely opt for product adoption solutions with real-time analytics since Pendo’s one-hour data lag can data-driven decision-making difficult.
- Expensive Pricing Model: Pendo is more expensive than most solutions on the market and the subscription cost rises rapidly as your MAUs grow. Even if you’re on the Starter plan, you could be paying $35,000 annually once you reach 10,000 MAUs — which makes it harder to scale.
When it comes to customer feedback, some users were not satisfied with Pendo as a product adoption solution due to the amount of effort it takes to use the tool regularly:
I’m giving a 1 so unfortunately I can’t give much love. It’s already my second job using Pendo and I’m not impressed. A/B testing numbers are different between the API export and CSV export in the UI, no 50/50 split between test and control, support is slow, event tracking doesn’t handle aliasing, only 7 days of historical data can be sent with Segment which make backfills impossible, NPS forms are shown in multiple tabs and doesn’t close once it’s been submitted in one of the tab.
Why Userpilot is better than Pendo?
Userpilot is a no-code digital adoption platform that has a few clear advantages over Pendo, such as:
- In-App Engagement: Userpilot has UI elements that are more customizable, the capacity to include videos/GIFs, Calendly embeds, an advanced resource center, and a user-friendly flow builder — along with standalone onboarding checklists with their analytics.
- Product Experimentation: Userpilot has a plethora of product experimentation and A/B testing features, while Pendo locks even the most basic guide experimentation capabilities behind its Portfolio plan.
- Real-Time Analytics: Userpilot updates analytics dashboards in real-time while Pendo only refreshes data once per hour (and can even take an additional 15 minutes to finish updating the data during high-volume periods).
Userpilot’s transparent pricing ranges from $249/month on the entry-level end to an Enterprise tier for larger companies.
Furthermore, Userpilot’s entry-level plan includes access to all UI patterns and should include everything that most mid-market SaaS businesses need to get started.
Userpilot has three paid plans to choose from:
- Starter: The entry-level Starter plan starts at $249/month and includes features like segmentation, product analytics, reporting, user engagement, user feedback, and customization.
- Growth: The Growth plan starts at $499/month and includes features like resource centers, advanced event-based triggers, unlimited feature tagging, AI-powered content localization, EU hosting options, and a dedicated customer success manager.
- Enterprise: The Enterprise plan uses custom pricing and includes all the features from Starter + Growth plus custom roles/permissions, access to premium integrations, priority support, custom contract, SLA, SAML SSO, activity logs, security audit, and compliance (SOC 2/GDPR).
Userpilot’s features for user onboarding
User onboarding is a crucial part of the customer journey as it speeds up the adoption process and increases retention rates. Onboarding is one of Userpilot’s core use cases along with product growth analytics and user feedback, so it has plenty of features that you can utilize.
Here are some Userpilot features you can use when onboarding new users:
- No-code builder: Creating flows with Userpilot is as simple as installing the Chrome extension, selecting the UI patterns you’d like to use, and then editing the content/settings to suit your use case. You can also use templates to create modals, slideouts, tooltips, and driven actions.
- Native tooltips: Userpilot lets you create native tooltips that show up when users hover over an element or click on an information badge. Since these native tooltips attach to the element itself, they aren’t page-dependent and will show up on any screen where that element is visible.
- Funnel analytics: Userpilot’s advanced analytics lets you create funnel reports that track the onboarding journey. You can also add filters (like name, user ID, signup date, operating system, country, etc.) and monitor the total conversion rate from the first step of the funnel to the last.
- User segmentation: Userpilot lets you segment users based on the device they’re using, where they’re located, their engagement data, or which NPS rating they selected on the latest survey. You can then filter your analytics dashboards to see which segments struggle with onboarding.
Userpilot’s features for product analytics
Product analytics lets you collect and analyze data about how users interact with your product so you can extract actionable insights. Userpilot lets you look at granular product analytics, such as which features have the highest adoption rates, and big-picture insights like trend reports.
Here are Userpilot’s top product analytics features:
- Feature tagging: Userpilot’s click-to-track feature tagger lets you view how many times a feature has been used and by how many users to measure its adoption. Users on the Starter plan can add up to 15 feature tags while those on the Growth or Enterprise tier can create unlimited tags.
- Trends and funnels: Userpilot’s trends and funnels report lets you extract actionable insights from big data. You’ll be able to see which stage of an onboarding/conversion funnel most users drop out on and create trend reports with detailed breakdowns by user or time period.
- Saved reports: The saved reports analytics dashboard shows you all the reports you’ve created and lets you filter, export, or delete any reports in a single click. In addition to adding filters or sorting by report type, you can also edit or duplicate reports to help you review analytics.
- Analytics integrations: Userpilot integrates with some of the most popular analytics tools like Amplitude, Mixpanel, Segment, Google Analytics, and more. This makes it possible to sync product analytics both ways between the tools in your tech stack (two-way integration is only available for Hubspot at the time of writing, more to come).
Userpilot’s features for product adoption
Product adoption is when users become repeat users of your product. It covers the entire journey spanning from the awareness stage to trial signup and finally full-on adoption. As a product growth platform, Userpilot has advanced analytics capabilities for tracking adoption over time.
Here are the Userpilot features that can help you measure and improve product adoption:
- Product analytics: Userpilot lets you create trend reports to track adoption over time by feature or segment, funnel reports that show you which steps of the process most users get stuck on, and integrations with third-party analytics providers so you can sync data between tools.
- Feature engagement: Userpilot’s click-to-track feature tagger lets you see how often a feature is used and by how many people. You’ll also be able to see the top 20 events for a certain period or create custom events that group multiple features for clearer insights.
- Feedback collection: Userpilot has a no-code survey builder with 14 templates to choose from. You’ll be able to collect quantitative data like CSAT, CES, or NPS ratings and qualitative feedback on the strongest/weakest parts of your product straight from your users.
- User insights: The Insights dashboard lets you monitor user activity based on which segment they’re in and which company they’re from. You’ll also be able to choose from daily, weekly, and monthly periods to see if user activity is shifting towards full product adoption over time.
Userpilot’s features for product feedback
Product feedback is essential for identifying the opinions that users have of your product and ways to improve their experiences. Userpilot’s extensive analytics and feedback collection capabilities help you extract the most actionable insights.
Here are the features you can use to ask product feedback questions and analyze responses:
- NPS dashboard: Userpilot has a unified NPS dashboard that shows you all the survey analytics and lets you sort through responses by segment or time period. The dashboard automatically calculates the total response rate and percentage of promoters, passives, or detractors.
- Survey templates: There are 14 different survey templates in Userpilot to choose from. These include templates for collecting qualitative feedback on specific features, product strengths/weaknesses, overall satisfaction, and evaluating the level of product-market fit (PMF).
- Survey Analytics: Userpilot’s advanced survey analytics capabilities let you look at the most popular choices, what percentage of users chose certain options, and sort through the qualitative responses to open-ended questions by segment, company, or time period.
- UI forms: When adding UI patterns with Userpilot, you have the option to click on the green plus icon and add an input field or multiple-choice form for users to fill in. This is a quick way to integrate product feedback collection into any new or existing in-app flows.
In this comprehensive assessment of Pendo’s features for product onboarding, analytics, product adoption, and feedback, we’ve explored the various aspects of Pendo’s capabilities and its strengths and weaknesses.
As an alternative, Userpilot emerges as a strong contender. Userpilot offers advantages such as in-app engagement with customizable UI elements, advanced product experimentation, and A/B testing capabilities, real-time analytics updates, and transparent pricing plans that are more cost-effective than Pendo for businesses with growing user bases.
Ultimately, the choice of the best alternative depends on your requirements and preferences. We hope that our exploration of these tools has provided you with valuable insights to help you make an informed decision.