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

Seems like you can’t decide Pendo vs Userguiding vs Userpilot? Choosing the right product growth platform for your SaaS is a real challenge.

Review sites aren’t always helpful – so we decided to provide you with a more in-depth comparison of the three tools, going into details about features, use cases, and the main pros & cons.

Whether you’re looking mainly to improve your user onboarding or product analytics, collect user feedback, or NPS – you’ll find what tool provides the best offer.

Let’s dive straight in!

TL;DR

  • Pendo is a comprehensive digital adoption platform that offers impressive analytics, in-app feedback, and product adoption features and it is used for user onboarding and customer insights.
  • UserGuiding is a lower-cost, entry-level product adoption tool that offers no-code interactive walkthroughs and segmentation to customers who are tight on budget.
  • Userpilot is a code-free product growth solution that allows you to create interactive walkthroughs with a wide range of UI patterns, such as tooltips, banners, modals, slideouts, etc. You can also use the tool to collect customer feedback and access powerful product analytics.
  • Though all 3 tools are already established and well-known in the SaaS market, each has its pros and cons that you need to be aware of.
  • Pendo is great for product analytics but it doesn’t allow you to target users segmented by in-app events with the in-app guides you’ve built with it.
  • Userguiding has a good variety of UI patterns so you can choose anything when building flows and guides but it has limited capabilities on the Basic plan.
  • Userpilot comes with unlimited onboarding flows in all plans, advanced analytics, and powerful segmentation functionalities. It offers the best value for your money.

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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 Userguiding?

UserGuiding is a lower-cost, entry-level product adoption tool offering a range of features to help companies onboard new customers and boost product adoption.

UserGuiding excels at building simple onboarding experiences for users. It includes a no-code builder, segmentation options, and easily added UI patterns like hotspots, tooltips, and modals.

Although it also has some other goodies like a resource center and analytics, the meat of this product is its onboarding flow builder. If all you’re looking for is a relatively easy way to build simple onboarding flows, this could be a great choice for you. However, people looking for more analytics, customization, or complex integrations should probably look elsewhere.

What is Userguiding best for?

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

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.
  • Use a variety of UI patterns, like checklists tooltips, modals, and slideouts to prompt the right in-app experience, to the right persona, at the right time in their user journey.
  • Add emojis, gifs, images, or videos to customize your onboarding flows and have them match your brand.

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, 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 that costs $299.
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So Which tool should you choose – Pendo, Userguiding, or Userpilot?

As you can see, both Pendo, Userguiding, 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

Userguiding pricing

UserGuiding’s pricing model is far simpler than others on our list. There are three tiers, each one charging a set amount for access to certain tools.

Here are its packages:

  • Basic will give you access to only the most essential onboarding tools: Starting at $99/mo or $69/mo (if you buy the yearly contract), this budget option has a few limitations to consider (i.e. just 1 Team Member, a limit of 20 guides, and 2 checklists, UserGuiding branding on all UI patterns).
  • Professional adds unlimited guides, hotspots, and checklists. Starting at $399/mo or $299 /mo if billed yearly.
  • Corporate gives you access to everything plus personalized coaching. Starting at $699/mo or $499.mo for a yearly plan.

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 Userguiding vs Userpilot?

Pendo reviews

Userguiding reviews

Userpilot reviews

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

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).

Userguiding pros

There are some advantages when it comes to choosing UserGuiding. Here are its pros:

  • For small startups or independent businesses, the price is an attractive element to consider.
  • A good variety of UI patterns to choose from when building flows and guides
  • Unlike some of the more expensive options, you can choose to add a Resource Center (a bonus for self-service support).
  • For a budget tool, UserGuiding still offers integrations with other applications, such as Mixpanel, Hubspot, Woopra, Slack, Webhook, etc.

Userguiding cons

Though UserGuiding is a solid product many improvements are still needed. The cons of using UserGuiding include:

  • There are many bugs and performance issues when using the tool. The UI is also fairly tricky to navigate.
  • It has limited functionality, particularly on the basic plan. There you only have a small range of features available – all with the UserGuiding watermark/branding.
  • Technical knowledge is required to get the maximum out of this product.
  • Customization and design options for UI patterns aren’t the greatest.

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, Userguiding, 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.

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