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

Seems like you’re comparing Pendo vs Chameleon vs Userpilot? Choosing the right product growth (or digital adoption) platform for your SaaS is no mean feat.

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

Let’s dig in!

TL;DR

  • Choosing the best tool for SaaS product growth is not a joke so here we review the best tools in the market.
  • Pendo is a digital adoption platform that allows you to build user onboarding guides, and walkthroughs in a WYSIWYG editor, you can also create short polls to collect 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, Pendo is good for product analytics but it offers limited onboarding elements and there is no public listing, you should ask for a quote.
  • 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 Pendo?

Pendo is a comprehensive digital adoption platform with impressive analytics, in-app feedback, and product adoption features

It caters primarily to enterprise users and probably has the most advanced analytics of all tools we’re covering in this article. But it all comes at a price.

What is Pendo best for?

Typically, SaaS Product Managers consider Pendo 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 Pendo 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.

Pendo for user onboarding

When it comes to user onboarding, Pendo offers guides for building in-app guidance that improves user onboarding across web and mobile apps. But how much do they cost, and are there better alternatives on the market?
Here’s what to expect from Pendo guides:

  • You can build guides using templates, and there’s also a WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) visual design studio editor for creating new designs from scratch.
  • You can use Pendo’s free version to create user onboarding guides, but you’ll only get access to limited features and basic analytics.
  • Types of guides you can create using Pendo include Lightbox, Banner, Tooltips, Polls, and Walkthroughs. The drawback with them is that they are quite basic and don’t allow much customization without coding. Even Pendo’s own onboarding guide is a series of purple tooltips.
  • You can also build checklists with Pendo but not as standalone UI elements as users can only access them from the resource center (if they know they exit). This makes it hard and not intuitive for users to access guidance, and overall defeats the purpose of using checklists.
  • Pendo product guidance for mobile works across Android and iOS mobile apps, so if you’re looking to support your mobile customers through their onboarding, Pendo might be for you (be aware that Pendo for mobile guides is not included on the free plan).

Guides or product tours are essential tools for user onboarding, and it will be difficult for new users to find their way around your app without them. The absence of these UX designs will lead to friction, naturally resulting in increased churn.
But do you need Pendo for this?
The answer is you don’t have to use Pendo in particular. There are other product adoption tools that give you more value for your money, so it’s always good to check the available options before settling for one.

Pendo for product adoption

pendo product adoption

Pendo is a robust product adoption platform with user engagement features, impressive analytics, and in-app feedback.

It caters mainly to the enterprise sector and as of the end of 2022, has the most advanced analytics of all product adoption tools on the market. Here’s how Pendo can help you improve product adoption: When it comes to product adoption, Pendo offers analytics features to track the adoption of features as well as guides for building in-app guidance that improves feature adoption both on web and mobile apps.

Here’s what to expect from Pendo’s product adoption features:

  • Pendo’s analytics allow you to evaluate each feature usage and which features deliver the most value.
  • You can see which features are underused for different user segments.
  • You can then build guides to improve the adoption of these features.
  • You can use Pendo’s free version to create guides, but you’ll only get access to limited features and basic analytics.

Pendo for user feedback

Pendo offers polls (also called micro surveys at Userpilot) through their guides which collect user feedback and gauge sentiment at different points in the user journey.
Polls come with basic functionality and are available on the free plan. However, if you want to collect user sentiment with NPS surveys, you’ll need a paid plan that doesn’t come cheap at all.
Here’s how you can collect user sentiment feedback with Pendo:

  • Add short polls on your guides and UI patterns built with Pendo.
  • You can use only text polls, yes/no polls, numbered scales, or multi-choice polls and add them as building blocks when building the guides.
  • There’s not a lot of customization, like themes or emojis available, but it’s enough to collect data in-app.
  • If you are willing to pay for the Growth plan, you get access to Pendo’s NPS feature too.

The downside of using Pendo for collecting user feedback is that you can’t use the insights to personalize the user experience. For example, you can’t create user segments based on NPS scores or specific answers you collect with your polls.

Considering the price you have to pay for Pendo, you’d expect more from it. If you want to both collect and act on user feedback, you should use a better tool. And, with the risk of sounding biased, Userpilot gives you more value for money here.

You can build micro surveys, embed Typeform long surveys, collect and analyze NPS responses, and segment users based on scores and responses so you can trigger more personalized experiences.

Get a Userpilot demo here.

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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 Pendo, 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 Pendo. 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.

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

As you can see, both Pendo, 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!

Pendo pricing

Pendo’s pricing is only available to you if you ask for a quote. The company doesn’t list pricing on its site for the higher tiers. However, some reviews say they have prices starting at $20,000-$25,000 per year for a single product, and around $50,000 per year for the mid-tier package.

The tricky part when it comes to Pendo’s pricing is that you get to pay separately for different modules:

  • Pendo Free: up to 500 MAU, single-app, and basic functionality and analytics.
  • Pendo Starter $7000/year: 2,000 MAU limit, multi-app, and access to premium features like NPS but it doesn’t include advanced analytics or integrations
  • Pendo Growth: Custom MAU, single-app, NPS and PES, resource center, and access to support compared to lower plans
  • Pendo Portfolio: Custom MAU, multi-app, cross-journey reports, experimentation, and 1 free integration included.
  • Pendo Premium: Custom MAU, multi-app, everything in other plans plus custom roles and permissions and advanced security
  • Pendo Feedback: collecting feature requests is a separate module with custom pricing.
  • Pendo Adopt: employee onboarding is a separate module with custom pricing

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 Pendo vs Chameleon vs Userpilot?

Pendo reviews

Chameleon reviews

Userpilot reviews

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

Now let’s see what pros and cons each tool have and who is the better one.

Pendo pros

Despite the price and its steep learning curve, Pendo does have a few pros compared to its competitors.

  • Pendo is known for its good and easy-to-use analytics tools like Paths, Retention, and Funnels. (As of Q1 2023, Userpilot will have the same analytics features, with more robust functionality).
  • Pendo has a shareable product-planning tool to organize customer feedback and prioritize high-value features. It helps keep teams aligned with the shared feature-planning guide.
  • It works on web apps and mobile apps so if you need both, this might be a good choice for you.

Pendo cons

Surprisingly for a product engagement tool that claims to be “all in one” you can’t act directly on the user analytics from Pendo in Pendo.

That’s because Pendo doesn’t allow you to target users segmented by in-app events with the in-app guides you’ve built with it.

Here’s a short list of Pendo’s cons:

  • It doesn’t allow you to trigger experiences based on in-app events either. This is probably because of tech debt – but makes Pendo’s analytics pretty much NOT actionable.
  • Pendo offers limited onboarding elements, which means you can’t always create the best experience for your users. If you want checklists these can only be accessed from the Resource Center which defeats the purpose of having them in the first place.
  • Pendo’s pricing is only available to you if you ask for a quote. The company doesn’t list pricing on its site for the higher tiers. However, some reviews say they have prices starting at $20,000-$25,000 per year for a single product, and around $50,000 per year for the mid-tier package. This might be Pendo’s biggest downside.

If you’re looking for a tool that shows you user analytics in real-time and allows you to trigger in-app experiences based on in-app events and user behavior in real-time – Userpilot offers these features (and at a lower price tag too).

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

In this post, we’ve discussed how Pendo, Chameleon, and Userpilot 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. Hopefully, you’d like to give Userpilot a chance – see you in the free trial soon!

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