Vendor Review: Best Product Adoption Solutions

As many as 60% of users who sign up for a free trial of your SaaS app will use it once and never come back” - Intercom

As a result, there’s been no shortage of new SaaS solutions popping up to help solve this problem.

Which sounds great until you want to buy one.

Now, there’s no shortage of solutions - it’s a crowded & confusing space to buy from.

In this Vendor Landscape, I’m going to break down the main product adoption solutions so that you can get a better handle on what solution might be a good fit for your business.

What to consider when comparing product adoption software?

These are the 4 main factors you need to consider when purchasing a product adoption solution:

  1. Increase Adoption - Improve conversions of new users and engage existing users with walkthroughs and personalized in-app messaging.
  2. User Feedback - Launch a survey to find out your NPS or identify at-risk accounts.
  3. Product Analytics - Measure your onboarding funnel.
  4. Employee Onboarding - Help your employees use software faster

For this vendor review, I will rank the 6 market leader on how well they solve these 4 factors above:

If you’d like to skip to the vendor review of a solution you’re currently evaluating, just click the solution below:

  1. Appcues Vendor Review
  2. Aptrinsic Vendor Review
  3. Pendo Vendor Review
  4. Userlane Vendor Review
  5. WalkMe Growth Edition Vendor Review
  6. Whatfix Vendor Review
  7. Vendor Review Conclusion

Or if you’re looking for the best solution based on specific criteria, I’ve rated each solution on what they’re best at:

  1. Best User Onboarding Solution
  2. Best Value
  3. Best Mobile Onboarding
  4. Most Secure
  5. Cutting Edge Solution
  6. Customer Support Hero

Appcues Vendor Review

Best-User-Onboarding-Software

Website: Appcues.com

Great for: The SaaS product team that is looking to easily roll out user onboarding, feature announcements and NPS surveys.

Ideal Customer: The SaaS business that has a free trial or freemium model, between 50-10,000 employees and has a 3rd party analytics tool in place, such as Amplitude or Mixpanel.

Core problems addressed:

Product Adoption Solutions
Increase Adoption☑️
User Feedback☑️
Product Analytics
Employee Onboarding

Pricing: Starts at $159 / month for 2,500 users

Summary:

Appcues is a solid point solution if you want to drive product adoption and learn more about your users through NPS surveys or custom feedback forms.

When it comes to user onboarding, Appcues specializes in this space and has gone out of their way to give you onboarding tools like Interactive Modals, Checklists, Walkthroughs & Callouts which can help you convert new users into paying customers.

If you already have a 3rd party analytics tool in place, Appcues can easily be rolled out onto your application and is one of the most affordable solutions in the space.

However, if you don’t have product analytics already in place, you might be better off checking out another solution.

One thing you NEVER want to do is optimize an application without product analytics. It’s like trying to find the fastest way from Toronto to Los Angeles without a map.

Best-In-Class: User Onboarding Solution

Appcues' Features

Features
Employee Onboarding
Integrations☑️
Product Analytics
Surveys & Polls☑️
NPS☑️
In-App Messaging & Guides☑️
Feature Adoption☑️
User Segmentation☑️
User Onboarding☑️
Mobile App Walkthroughs

 

Aptrinsic Vendor Review

Best Value for Product Adoption

Website:  Aptrinsic.com

Good for: The SaaS business that wants to understand how people use their product and be able to do something about it.

Why people don’t choose Aptrinsic? Early stage companies who are not ready for a full solution.

Ideal customer: High growth B2B SaaS companies typically with annual revenue above $20M who are looking to improve product adoption, reduce churn and increase trial conversion.

Core problems addressed:

Product Adoption Solutions
Increase Adoption☑️
User Feedback☑️
Product Analytics☑️
Employee Onboarding

Pricing: Starts at $10,000 / year for 1 product & up to 1,000 monthly active users

Summary:  

Aptrinsic takes a holistic approach to solving product adoption and enables customers to execute Product-led Growth strategies.  It’s one thing to build user onboarding walkthroughs, but knowing what impact you’re making to the business is what counts.

Most user onboarding solutions will give you analytics on the walkthrough performance but won’t help you understand what impact you’re having on sales.

Aptrinsic does two things that are extremely powerful.

  1. Giving you both the user and account-level product analytics. Most analytics software will show you the performance of each user in your product, but this isn’t really too helpful if you’re trying to decide which accounts are at-risk or could benefit from a new solution your company’s rolling out. This one feature is extremely helpful if you want to be proactive about combating churn and growing the LTV of each account.
  2. Identifying Product-Qualified Leads (PQLs). First off, if you don’t know what PQLs are I created a video on the topic with ConversionXL that you can check out. If you do know what they are, you should know that they are extremely important to understanding how users are adopting your product.

Overall, Aptrinsic has built a product adoption platform that is catered to helping you improve your customer acquisition efforts, increase the LTV of each customer and identify at-risk accounts to combat churn.

Although the price seems high for a SaaS product, when you compare it to WalkMe’s Growth Edition at $18,000 yr for a lot of the same features, it’s almost half the cost.

Best-In-Class: For what you get, Aptrinsic is the best value.

Aptrinsic’s Features

Features
Employee Onboarding
Integrations☑️
Product Analytics☑️
Surveys & Polls☑️
NPS☑️
In-App Messaging & Guides☑️
Feature Adoption☑️
User Segmentation☑️
User Onboarding☑️
Mobile App Walkthroughs

Pendo Vendor Review

Best Mobile Onboarding

Website: Pendo.io

Good for: The product team that wants to understand and guide their users.

Why people don’t choose Pendo? Most early-stage SaaS companies don’t choose Pendo due to the price.

Ideal customer: Well-established, expansion stage B2B SaaS companies who have a freemium or free trial offer.

Core problems addressed:

Product Adoption Solutions
Increase Adoption☑️
User Feedback☑️
Product Analytics☑️
Employee Onboarding

Pricing: I tried to get pricing on Pendo but they don’t like to share that info, even if you ask nicely. 🙂 Needless to say, don’t expect this to be a cheap option.

Summary:  

Pendo is heavily focused on helping product teams provides user insight, guidance and communication seamlessly.

They do this by using both user feedback, and detailed usage data to automate and personalize user onboarding and in-app communications. Pendo doesn’t just look to help users understand the impact of their onboarding content, but allows them to automatically customize that content based on user or account profile, feedback provided, in-app behavior, and previous interactions with onboarding content.

In addition, Pendo has two key differentiators compared to its competitors:

  1. Mobile apps. Most product adoption solutions in the B2B SaaS space focus only on Web apps. Pendo provides a solution that spans both web and native mobile apps. If you do have a mobile app, this may be a great solution for you.
  2. Integrations. Pendo has close to 30 integrations including many common knowledge base, help desk, and chat tools. These allow users to bring relevant support content directly into the product rather than forcing users to search through external portals.

Overall, Pendo’s product seems very straightforward, however, I don’t have any idea if the price is worth the value. With that being said, they do have a free NPS tool that might be worth checking out.

Best-In-Class: Mobile Onboarding Hero

Pendo’s Features

Features
Employee Onboarding
Integrations☑️
Product Analytics☑️
Surveys & Polls☑️
NPS☑️
In-App Messaging & Guides☑️
Feature Adoption☑️
User Segmentation☑️
User Onboarding☑️
Mobile App Walkthroughs ☑️

Userlane Vendor Review

Most Secure Product Adoption Platform

Website: Userlane.com

Good for: The enterprise team that needs a navigation system for software both internally and externally.

Why people don’t choose Userlane? Userlane is not the best option if you’re looking for a pretty design. Userlane prioritizes function over design.

Ideal customer: The Fortune 500 and mid to large SaaS companies.

Core problems addressed:

Product Adoption Solutions
Increase Adoption☑️
User Feedback
Product Analytics☑️
Employee Onboarding☑️

 

Pricing: The basic package is approximately $550/month for yearly subscription packages. With that being said, they do have a promising startup package for early-stage ventures. You can apply here.

Summary:  

Userlane prioritizes function over design. This is partly because Userlane has one of the most secure systems in the world and it’s platform is being used in some sectors like banking.

Userlane differentiates itself in two big ways:

  1. Security. Userlane prides itself on security. It’s platform can be installed on-site and has been used by some of the largest banks and investment firms in the world.
  2. Employee Onboarding. Userlane helps companies that have complex internal tools, get up-to-speed faster. This is much like user onboarding with the exception that you don’t have to onboard people on your software.If you have highly paid employees and can save them hours or days off of learning a new software, you can easily save yourself millions throughout a year.

Overall, Userlane takes a unique position in the market by focusing on security and speed. If these two elements are crucial for your business, I’d recommend checking out Userlane.

Best-In-Class: Most Secure Product Adoption Platform

Userlane’s Features

Features
Employee Onboarding☑️
Integrations
Product Analytics☑️
Surveys & Polls
NPS
In-App Messaging & Guides☑️
Feature Adoption☑️
User Segmentation☑️
User Onboarding☑️
Mobile App Walkthroughs

WalkMe Growth Edition (GE) Vendor Review

Cutting Edge User Adoption Platform

Website: walkme.com/growth-edition/

Good for: The SaaS business that wants a holistic approach to solving product adoption.

Why people don’t choose Walk Me GE? The cost is much higher than point solutions.

Ideal customer: SaaS companies who have 150 employees or less.

Core problems addressed:

Product Adoption Solutions
Increase Adoption☑️
User Feedback☑️
Product Analytics☑️
Employee Onboarding☑️

Pricing: WalkMe GE starts at $1,500/month and can vary depending on application/user count.

Summary:  

WalkMe is the pioneer of the product adoption space. Founded in 2011, they have defined many of the features and best practices for a product adoption platform. For the purposes of this vendor review, I'm going to focus on their new product, Growth Edition.

Like Aptrinsic, Pendo, WalkMe GE focuses on taking a holistic approach to addressing product adoption.

Two of the most unique offerings of WalkMe GE are:

  1. Using AI to improve retention and find accounts that are likely to churn. This feature can come in handy if you have a large number of users and want to pin down what actions in the product are leading indicators of churn or, on the bright side, upgrading their account.
  2. User recordings. Watching your users go through and use the product can help your product team build a better user experience and identify frustrating moments in the product. What’s extra special about this is that if you use Zendesk or another support integration, you can see the user recording associated with each customer support ticket. This can help you save time identifying what the real problem is.

Overall, WalkMe GE borrows a lot of the power features from its enterprise products and packaged them in a great way to improve product adoption. With that being said, it is one of the most expensive applications on the market. Pendo is equal if not more expensive. 

Best-In-Class: Cutting Edge User Adoption Platform

WalkMe Growth Edition's Features

Features
Employee Onboarding☑️
Integrations☑️
Product Analytics☑️
Surveys & Polls☑️
NPS☑️
In-App Messaging & Guides☑️
Feature Adoption☑️
User Segmentation☑️
User Onboarding☑️
Mobile App Walkthroughs ☑️

 

Whatfix’s Vendor Review

Best-In-Class Support-Driven Onboarding

Website: Whatfix.com

Good for: Companies that are looking to provide effective product adoption for users by reducing onboarding time.

Why people don’t choose Whatfix? B2C SaaS companies whose main goal is to track users and drive conversions based on product analytics.

Ideal customer:  SMBs for user onboarding and support. Enterprise for digital adoption, employee training, and change management.

Core problems addressed:

Product Adoption Solutions
Increase Adoption☑️
User Feedback☑️
Product Analytics☑️
Employee Onboarding☑️

Note: Although Whatfix does offer product analytics, it is not as comprehensive as Pendo.io's analytics. With that being said, Whatfix does currently offer ways to see how users engage with your product, with more things on the roadmap.

Pricing: Whatfix's pricing is fully customized and can vary depending on the application/user-count/number of walkthroughs.

Summary:  

Whatfix is known for its ease-of-use, ability to support on-demand enablement and exceptional service.

Whatfix differentiates itself in two big ways:

  1. Just-in-time help widget. This helps improve user productivity by providing query resolutions that are highly specific and contextual to the user’s state within the application.
  2. . If your team is using popular enterprise applications like Salesforce, SuccessFactors, ServiceNow, or Oracle you can easily roll out training templates to your team that will reduce your onboarding and product adoption time significantly.

Overall, Whatfix is heavily geared towards helping on-demand support teams. They do this by helping companies drive adoption through effective onboarding in a simple, intuitive manner while shortening the learning curve for users. If your team is swamped in customer support tickets and wants a solution to help minimize request while providing a better user experience, Whatfix might be a good fit.

Best-In-Class: On-Demand Support

Whatfix’s Features

Features
Employee Onboarding☑️
Integrations☑️
Product Analytics☑️
Surveys & Polls☑️
NPS☑️
In-App Messaging & Guides☑️
Feature Adoption☑️
User Segmentation☑️
User Onboarding☑️
Mobile App Walkthroughs

Conclusion

Although there are quite a few product adoption solutions, each one has its unique take on the market.

If you already have product analytics such as Amplitude or Mixpanel and want to improve your user onboarding, I’d recommend checking out Appcues or Whatfix.

If you want to train your employees in external applications (ie SalesForce), I’d recommend checking out Userlane or Whatfix.

If you want a comprehensive solution that includes product analytics, user onboarding, and user feedback, you can’t go wrong with checking out Aptrinsic or WalkMe Growth Edition.

Regardless of what solution you choose, I hope this vendor review helps you make a decision.

P.S. If you’ve already used one of these tools, leave a comment with why you decided to choose it. It will help other people make a decision.

 

Wes Bush
Wes Bush
Wes Bush is the bestselling author of Product-Led Growth. He founded the Product-Led Institute to help SaaS leaders learn "how" to build a product-led business.
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