Pendo vs Userlane – Which Is Better for No-Code Growth?
Which tool for no-code growth is worth your time and money; Pendo or Userlane? Or is there another in-app onboarding software that is superior than the two?
Choosing a tool can sometimes feel like a gamble and the plethora of no-code tools available today just adds to the confusion.
Before you select a tool, you need to consider your priorities and the functionalities you need to get the job done. You also need to ensure that the price of your chosen tool matches your budget.
In this article, we explore the must-have features of no-code growth tools and thoroughly compare a few top ones, so you select the best choice for your company’s needs.
Let’s get started.
- 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.
- Pendo is a digital solution that has the most impressive analytics, in-app feedback, and product adoption features. This solution works well for both mobile and web-based apps.
- Nonetheless, Pendo is limited in terms of onboarding elements. It doesn’t have much room for customization without coding and you can’t customize onboarding elements to match your native theme.
- 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 Pendo 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 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 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 important, 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 products 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. 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 to 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.
Pendo for no-code growth
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.
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.
Pros of Pendo?
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.
Cons of Pendo?
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).
What users say about Pendo?
Users appreciate Pendo’s analytics but find it complex for building in-app guidance using the guides feature.
As soon as it has been integrated, Pendo is easy to use and manage without the need for developers. I also like that usage is captured retrospectively and the dashboard views or ability to segment users/accounts based on different criteria is really powerful. The guides are great and multi-functional making it really simple for Product Managers to help users navigate with walkthroughs, or post announcements or poll users; they allow Product Managers to get creative with how they engage and interact with users directly in the product. – Parita P.
The best feature about Pendo has been the constant collection of User clicks without the need to set up trackers via code. This enables us to tag the usage directly from the tool and start monitoring historic data without having to involve development teams.- Joseph E.
Most users complain about the lack of granularity in analyzing data and the price.
Not much to dislike here, the general product is fantastic but there are some niggles. I think the track event feature, manual sending of tracking events, is the tool’s weakest link. It is not as developed as the rest of the suit and exploiting that data can be very cumbersome.- Joseph E.
And there’s more:
While reports are thorough, a little more granularity would be welcomed. I don’t like that Feedback is a separate cost, as it is a very powerful tool to find out what users want to see in future releases.- Rob S.
And there’s more:
Need to be able to drill more into the Dashboard widgets. For example, using the Stickiness Metrics widget of WAU vs MAU is valuable but I should be able to click into these widgets to figure out which specific Clients these are referring to by different segments. This would be helpful information to hand over to other teams like Customer Success. It would also be helpful to be able to see which Clients are not using certain features when using the Behavior section to create reports. For example, if a CSM has 30 accounts and we can see that 14 are using a specific feature, having a quick list of the 16 not using the fea -Computer Software Admin.
Is Pendo the right fit for your business?
Pendo shines when it comes to analytics, but that’s kind of its main superpower. Here are the top three reasons why you should be looking for an alternative.
- If you only need analytics, there are more affordable tools out there with better functionality too.
- If you want to build more than simple in-app guides and trigger them contextually, Pendo is not the best tool due to its basic guides functionality.
- Not convinced? The price in itself should be the main reason why Pendo is not the best solution.
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
There is a better tool for your SaaS than Pendo!
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 if 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, as 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 Extention.
- 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 Pendo 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.