Software

Best 7 Pendo Alternatives In 2021

July 19, 2021

Can’t decide which Pendo alternative is right for your SaaS? Great product adoption software can increase digital adoption, optimize user satisfaction and boost retention rates. So, in this article, we’ve compared Pendo with our top seven best Pendo alternatives to help you make the most of this investment.

Why Pendo? 

Pendo logo

Pendo’s a leader in SaaS onboarding. It’s a comprehensive solution for user onboarding, analytics, and in-app user feedback. It’s great for large enterprises with big budgets who know they’ll use all of its many features – and from people in this space, we’ve heard good things.

Pendo NPS Score
Pendo collects advanced user feedback to provide in-depth analytics.

Key features of Pendo: 

  • Qualitative and quantitative user feedback collection
  • User segmentation and flow triggering, essential for great onboarding flow design 
  • Interactive product guides
  • Product roadmap

Why should you choose Pendo? 

  • In-depth analytics
  • Advanced user segmentation and targeting
  • Includes a product roadmap, which is great for product managers

Why shouldn’t you choose Pendo?

  • Limited onboarding elements, especially when compared to the range of UI patterns offered by dedicated onboarding software
  • Limited customization options without coding
  • Complex to use because of so many features
  • Zero pricing transparency

Pricing

While there is a free price plan, it’s limited to 1000 MAUs (monthly active users) and does not include analytics or integrations. The three other levels (Team, Pro, and Enterprise) are price on request (reportedly upwards of $15,000 per year) and limit features. Only at Pro level do you have full access to user guiding, feedback and insights.

See our full post on Pendo pricing here.

What To Consider When Deciding On Pendo Alternatives

Consider your company’s needs and resources when comparing the different Pendo alternatives we’ve picked in this article:

  • Pricing: define your budget and be wary of any hidden costs, especially around the number of MAUs.
  • Ease of setup: if you don’t have a team of in-house developers, don’t pick software that requires professional setup.
  • Size of your company: are you looking for a small business experience or do you require an enterprise-level platform? Keep in mind how many MAUs and team members will need access to the software and look at the limits of the Pendo alternatives.
  • Required features:
    • Extensive range of UI elements to show users around your app
    • User segmentation & flow triggering for more effective onboarding
    • Analytics to be able to assess and improve your user experience
    • User feedback collection
    • Language localization if you’re targeting users in multiple countries
    • Collaboration so multiple team members can create flows and access analytics
    • Integrations with the platforms you use
    • Device compatibility: software accessible on mobile, tablet, etc.
    • Availability for web and/or native apps, depending on your SaaS
    • Global customer support

Pendo Alternatives #1: Nickelled

Nickelled logo

Key takeaway: Nickelled is one of the best Pendo alternative for smaller businesses and startups wanting advanced onboarding experiences with built-in analytics for their web apps.

Nickelled Mission Dock example
Nickelled offers a range of onboarding elements to optimize your product adoption strategy.

Key features of Nickelled

  • User segmentation and targeting
  • Interactive onboarding experiences with extensive UI elements
  • In-depth analytics
  • Collaboration capabilities
  • Cross-platform functionality and integration with Salesforce, etc.
  • Localization, allowing you to successfully onboard users in multiple languages, like online translation platform Gengo does with Nickelled
  • No coding required
  • Zero download – browser based with no extension required
  • Customization
  • Dedicated user support

Why should you choose Nickelled?

  • Code-free product tour creation in minutes 
  • Affordable pricing plans
  • Extensive range of onboarding elements
  • In-depth analytics and built-in user feedback surveys 
  • Unlimited collaboration on guide creation and analytics 

Why shouldn’t you choose Nickelled? 

  • NPS tools currently unavailable
  • Some coding knowledge required to fully customize your onboarding flows
  • It’s just for web apps

Nickelled Pricing Compared to Pendo’s

Nickelled offers affordable and transparent pricing plans: the Starter plan starts at $99 per month (with discounts available for annual payment) for unlimited team members and MAUs. Plans are based on the number of onboarding flows you create: up to 10 for Starter, up to 25 for Growth, and up to 100 for Premium. Each level also includes a 14-day free trial and 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pendo Alternatives #2: WalkMe

WalkMe

Website: https://www.walkme.com

Key takeaway: The pioneer in app walkthroughs, WalkMe offers powerful product tours for large enterprises (including Microsoft and PayPal) with the capacity (in budget, team, and time) to set them up.

WalkMe offers advanced analytics to find user pain points and optimize product tours.

Key features:

  • Product walkthroughs
  • Multiple languages
  • In-depth analytics
  • User segmentation

WalkMe Pros

  • Effective product walkthroughs 
  • Advanced analytics on user experience
  • Works with most software packages
  • Extensive support from a global support team

WalkMe Cons

  • Requires professional setup
  • Very expensive
  • Limited onboarding patterns: at Nickelled, we believe a range of UI patterns is the best way to create an engaging and effective onboarding experience
  • Steep learning curve

Pricing

WalkMe has a two-tier model. Their basic plan is limited to 3 product walkthroughs with 5 steps in each; 300 MAUs, and basic support. Whereas, their custom pricing plan has unlimited access to all of their features and reportedly costs between $9,000 – $50,000 per year.

Read more about WalkMe pricing in our overview piece here.

Pendo Alternatives #3: Appcues

Appcues logo

Website: https://www.appcues.com

Key takeaway: Appcues is a well-established Pendo alternative offering a range of onboarding UI patterns, though still at a price point geared towards larger companies.

Appcues
Appcues allows for extensive user segmentation to create targeted onboarding solutions.

Appcues Key features:

  • Interactive onboarding experiences
  • Integrations across popular software (however, some of the most important are on premium price plans only, e.g. Salesforce, Zendesk, and Slack)
  • User segmentation and flow targeting

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of onboarding patterns, unlike Pendo and WalkMe
  • In-depth reporting and analytics
  • Strong integration suite

Cons

  • MAU-based pricing makes it expensive for businesses with users in the thousands.
  • Limited in-app styling (CSS required)
  • Requires setup by developers

Pricing

AppCues has three pricing tiers with increasing costs based on the number of MAUs. Essentials starts at $249 per month (paid annually) for 2,500 MAUs and limited features (3 team member licenses, up to 5 user segments, limited customization options etc.). The Growth plan, which starts at $879 per month for 2,500 MAUs, gives greater access to features, while Enterprise pricing gives full flexibility and access to the features required. Each price plan has a free trial.

Pendo Alternatives #4: Userpilot

Userpilot

Website: https://www.userpilot.com

Key takeaway: Userpilot combines onboarding and user feedback in one tool designed for SaaS businesses, although it’s not the cheapest Pendo alternative.

UserPilot
Userpilot lets you segment users and trigger flows based on their actions.

Key features:

  • Advanced onboarding flows
  • In-app user feedback collection
  • Segmentation and targeting
  • Customization

Pros

  • Contextual onboarding triggered by user behavior
  • Fully interactive walkthroughs and product torus
  • Easy installation with no coding required 

Cons 

  • Limited analytics compared to other Pendo alternatives
  • Not great for employee onboarding through third-party apps such as Salesforce or Hubspot
  • MAU-based pricing is not ideal for apps with thousands of users.

Pricing

Userpilot’s two-tier pricing model is a similar cost to Appcues. Both plans start with 2,500 MAUs and the price scales up with more users. Prices start at $249 per month for the Growth plan and $749 per month for the Enterprise plan, and the Growth plan is one of the best Pendo alternatives for offering full access to most features. The Growth plan’s main limits are in a maximum number of team members for collaboration (20) and in less access to customer support.

Pendo Alternatives #5: Whatfix

Whatfix logo

Website: https://www.whatfix.com

Key takeaway: Whatfix offers comprehensive and personalized user onboarding experiences designed to improve product adoption. While it’s popular with enterprises, its limited analytics and complex interface mean it’s not the best Pendo alternative.

Whatfix displaying in MS Dynamics CRM tool
Whatfix’s onboarding flows include a range of UI elements.

Key features

  • Compatible across devices and browsers
  • Smart segmentation and targeting
  • User tracking
  • Great customization

Pros

  • Highly customizable user onboarding experiences
  • No coding required for setup — although you’ll still need to download a browser extension
  • Automated multi-format content creation

Cons

  • Editor reportedly prone to bugs and error
  • Limited analytics, some integrations require help from the Whatfix support team

Pricing

Whatfix does not display a transparent pricing strategy, requiring businesses to contact them for custom enterprise pricing. While they do offer a free trial, it’s not instant or self-service.

Pendo Alternatives #6: GainsightPX

GainsightPX logo

Website: https://www.gainsight.com

Key takeaway: GainsightPX is a powerful analytics tool and product engagement platform with a focus on customer success. Best for large enterprises who already use Gainsight’s other tools.

GainsightPX
GainsightPX offers some of the most advanced analytics of any Pendo alternative.

Key features:

  • In-depth analytics
  • User surveys and product feedback
  • In-app communication and engagement

Pros

  • Collecting and analyzing user feedback
  • Customizable product tours
  • In-app communication with users

Cons

  • Limited range of user onboarding elements
  • Has to be installed via Salesforce

Pricing 

This tool offers basic, professional, and premier plans based on the number of features but all pricing is on request.

Pendo Alternatives #7: UserGuiding

Userguiding logo

Website: https://www.userguiding.com

Key takeaway: UserGuiding is an easy to use, no-code onboarding software with a range of UI elements. It’s a popular and budget-friendly Pendo alternative for smaller businesses and startups, however, features are limited on the most affordable price plans.

UserGuiding
UserGuiding’s onboarding flows are customizable on the highest price plan.

Key features:

  • User guides with a range of onboarding elements
  • Customization on the highest price plan
  • Integrations
  • NPS surveys

Pros

  • Interactive, segmented, and targeted onboarding experiences
  • Affordable pricing plans

Cons

  • Basic analytics
  • Features and MAUs capped on the most budget-friendly price plans

Pricing

UserGuiding’s three-tier plan is based on the number of MAUs, starting at $82 per month paid annually for 2,500 users, making it the most affordable Pendo alternative on the market.

Seven alternatives, but which is right for your SaaS?

Your product adoption software needs depend entirely on your business. Large enterprises with big budgets and a dedicated team of developers may well find that Pendo is the ideal option for them. And honestly, if you’re weighing Pendo against alternatives such as Walkme and Appcues and you can afford Pendo, we’d suggest it’s a great option.

Whereas, smaller companies who want affordable advanced onboarding and analytics solutions that are easy to install will find a Pendo alternative like Nickelled is a much better fit.