The 9 Best User Onboarding Tools for Successful Product Adoption
Why is having the best user onboarding tool important?
Imagine this scenario:
You’ve just signed up for a new software tool for your business. You go through the process of registering, inputting your credit card, and creating a profile. You're so eager to get going. You log into the product and...
You have no idea where to begin.
Nothing makes sense and you can't find a helpful explanation anywhere in the product.
Maybe you play around for an hour to figure it out. Or maybe you simply cancel your account.
Bad experience either way.
In today’s age of highly personalized user experiences, consumers not only love a well thought out onboarding experience, they expect it. If you’re planning on converting casual users to power-users, you need a user onboarding tool to motivate product adoption.
The good news is there's a huge number of them out there to choose from.
Your user onboarding tool can be the defining factor in turning casual users into dedicated followers.
📚 Also read: The 9+ Customer Onboarding Best Practices and Frameworks
Why try a user onboarding software tool?
You work hard on making sure every product you offer is exceptional, but no matter how intuitive your design is, you still need a scalable onboarding process. According to Wyzowl, 63% of users consider a company’s user onboarding process before buying the product.
Improving user onboarding is one of the most tried and true ways to reduce SaaS churn and increase the likelihood that a casual user becomes a power-user.
So, what exactly is a user onboarding tool?
In short, a user onboarding software is any tool or collection of tools that acts as a guide to help your customer navigate the different features of your product. User onboarding systems can also help you get valuable analytics and feedback as you continue to introduce a new product.
The best user onboarding tools go beyond the typical onboarding flow. A comprehensive user onboarding solution will prioritize teaching users in a way that motivates curiosity and showcases a product's flexibility and scalability.
In this way, users are able to adopt the product quicker and use it with more agility. By employing a user onboarding tool you can rapidly minimize the learning curve and increase user satisfaction.
📚 Also read: 11+ SaaS Growth Hacks You Need to Know (If You Don't Already)
9 of the best user onboarding tools for successful product adoption
The world of product adoption tools is crowded. There are a number of really strong user onboarding solutions out there. Finding the one that works can easily become overwhelming.
Luckily, I've done the research so that you don’t have to.
Some tools come equipped with A/B testing, analytics, email marketing, live chat, NPS surveys, product tooltips, or even mobile SMS and push notifications. Pay for the features you need and not the ones you don't.
Without further ado, here are 9 of the best user onboarding tool on the market today.
1. Hopscotch: most affordable
Hopscotch has perfected the onboarding tour experience. And, they have done it without requiring you to be a tech genius. I shouldn't say "they've" -- I'm a cofounder of Hopscotch. I recommend it if you need a stupid simple, versatile user onboarding software tool. Hopscotch is completely no-code, and it features nearly all the same features as other onboarding software tools at less than half the price. It's completely no-code, so you can design product tours and get them live in under an hour. Plus, with design tools and drag-and-drop editing suite, you can get your product tours to look exactly how you want.
Segmentation by number of times customer has been seen, type of customer, customer has seen tour or not, and much more
Mobile and desktop adaptability
Interactive product tours via a drag-and-drop no-code builder
Hopscotch's biggest strength is its versatility. Comprehensive tour-builders, segmentation, and flexible designs to match your brand allow users to not only customize Hopscotch's user-onboarding experience, but also the builder experience. For what it offers, the price is well worth it. Additionally, Hopscotch is its streamline format that is adaptable to mobile, desktop, and tablet environments.
The biggest shortcoming when it comes to Hopscotch is its limited. It does one thing and one thing only: user onboarding tours. Other products on this list include features like NPS surveys or even email marketing. Hopscotch is very specialized.
Hopscotch is highly scalable and offers a flexible solution to meet tech teams of all caliber where they are. When it comes to cost, versatility, and integration capabilities, it's is a great option for businesses of all sizes.
Vism, GrowthBar, WellPrept, and Hotspex
Starts at $99/month
👉 Try: Hopscotch (no credit card required)
2. Appcues: best design interface
Appcues has simplified the creation and deployment of onboarding programs without sacrificing quality or features. While Appcues is great for welcoming new users, their strength lies in their integrative capabilities and no-code builder for creating tours.
No-code, drag-and-drop builder for onboarding flows
NPS and surveys
Mobile app capabilities
Analytics tools that you can actually send to your data warehouse or primary analytics tool
Integrations with Heap, Amplitude, Segment, and Zapier
Appcues is highly integrative and incredibly versatile. Their no-code quick build offers teams of all technical expertise an easy option for building user onboarding journeys. Appcues also offers A/B testing, NPS surveys, and custom goals for your tours.
Appcues no-code builder comes with drawbacks such as limited flexibility in terms of visual and operating customization (i.e. segmentation). Also, some visual customization like custom CSS is only available at higher tier plans. It's also a fairly expensive tool.
When it comes to a comprehensive solution for less technical teams, Appcues is a great option. It is best for companies who are looking for a straightforward onboarding experience that looks good and runs well.
4.6/5 on G2
ProfitWell, Adroll, Privy, and Tempo
Starts at $249/month
3. Intercom: most comprehensive suite
Intercom is a popular brand for onboarding a product that is being used in a communication based field. Intercom’s software is, literally, goal oriented which allows you to develop onboarding flows that lead customers down a customizable pipeline. But it does a whole lot more, including live chat, AI chatbots, and messaging like email, SMS, and mobile messenger.
Multimedia integration options
Email, SMS, mobile messenger, and other engagement campaigns
Intercom offers a code-free and streamline tool for building product guides and tools. It is built for customer support teams at its core. So it is capable of engaging users in a million and one ways -- including user onboarding. Intercom offers a wide range of event-triggered tooltips to empower customers to navigate and self-solve problems.
One of their biggest cons with Intercom is that the product offers limited customizability in terms of tours and analytics. Users can sometimes find their building workflows to be clunkier than other onboarding tools due to the code-free model. Also, the price is prohibitively high for most teams.
It's a great product for enterprise teams that want a comprehensive customer support software solution instead of a frankenstined collection of tech solutions.
4.4/5 on G2
Atlassian, Notion, Etoro, and Microsoft
Contact for pricing
Chameleon’s versatility and smart configuration makes it easy for experienced tech teams to create highly customized user onboarding experiences. Templates and analytics allow Chameleon to meet tech teams where they are at, while still providing users with a unique experience. You can customize product tours in a million and one ways, and put them all together with an easy drag-and-drop editor.
Tour builder templates
Analytics and Insights
Real-time experience triggering
Large selection of styling options
Mobile app adaptation
AB testing capabilities
Integrations with Amplitude, HubSpot, Mixpanel, Salesforce, Heap and Segment
Chameleon offers a seamless platform for product adoption workflows. Their tour builder offers users a wide range of templates so that any product person or marketer can assemble tours. Furthermore, their analytics and insights are comprehensive. Features such as A/B testing, goal setting metrics, and more offer businesses great insights into how customers are interacting with a product and potential hotspots in the onboarding process.
For the limited services offered by Chameleon, some companies may find that their price point is significantly higher. Additionally, their customization options require more advanced IT knowledge. Finally, according to G2 reviews, the software is not quite as intuitive to use as other product onboarding solutions.
For companies that have the capital and manpower to learn the system, Chameleon is a great option. The software offers a happy-medium for larger companies who are looking to build a user onboarding solution that is highly customized who may not want to build something from scratch.
4.4/5 on G2
Segment, Copy AI, Degreed, and Flexport
Starts at $299/month
Userflow excels in personalizing the user onboarding experience to create a truly unique and powerful product onboarding experience. Its wide variety of tools allows for comprehensive product adoptions and onboarding flow flexibility. Plus, it has an excellent preview mode via a Chrome Extension, which enables you to build out your tours in preview mode. It's pretty useful if you're building a lot of complicated tours targeting specific elements on your site.
NPS Survey and analytics
No-code event tracking
Preview functionality via a Chrome Extension (with 4,000+ downloads)
When it comes to building a highly interactive onboarding experience, Userflow excels. Userflow enables product managers and marketers to easily integrate diverse media elements such as audiovisual walkthroughs, Gifs, and more. Additionally, tooltips and hotspot identifiers help developers be proactive in building the product onboarding flow.
One downside of Userflow is that its wide array of features can become a steep learning curve for its users. Additionally, because the company has made its software accessible to both technical and non-technical teams, there is room for growth when it comes to customization and in-app flexibility.
Overall, the Userflow solution offers an easily scalable, highly customizable product.When we consider price, functionality, and versatility, Userflow provides a well-rounded option for development teams for all sizes and technical expertise.
4.8/5 on G2
Fleetcor, Johnson & Johnson, Payfit, and Descript
Starts at $200/month
Pendo began as an app analytics solution, but has since transitioned to a comprehensive suite of user adoption products. So, if you’re looking for a powerful tool to both guide your users and learn about their behavior, Pendo is it. This onboarding solution is best for companies who are looking for insight and advanced onboarding capabilities.
NPS surveys and analysis
Integrations with Slack, HubSpot, Jira, Salesforce, Segment, Zendesk and Intercom
Pendo gives users a wide breadth of control in individualizing dashboards and building unique segmentation parameters. While Pendo is predominantly an onboarding tool, it does provide developers with substantial data and analytics to aid in product planning and intuitive marketing solutions. This can be an added bonus for teams looking for an onboarding tool that is somewhere between the minimum viable product and a CRM.
While Pendo is a powerful tool, it is one of the more expensive software solutions on the market. Additionally, their platform requires self-sufficient and independent analysis of metrics and data points. These drawbacks may make it an unrealistic product onboarding solution for smaller businesses and startups who don’t have the capital, man power,
For businesses who are looking to have a stronger grasp of how users are interacting with your product, Pendo is a great option. Because of their price, Pendo is often favored by companies who are already well established and have the financial and time capital to invest in their onboarding flows.
4.4/5 on G2
Salesforce, Okta, Morgan Stanley, and Verizon Connect
Starts at $7,000/year
Userpilot offers a comprehensive option that offers great scalability. They've aligned themselves around product growth: so Userpilot's friendly platform helps you guide users to adopt features and reduce churn. Userpilot is highly-rated and is indeed one of the original players in the product onboarding space.
Event tracking and feature tagging
NPS survey and microsurvey builder
Userpilot’s biggest strength lies in its self-help-centric approach to user onboarding and education. With built-in tools such as the resources center and NPS survey builder, the program is designed to help business owners anticipate the needs of users throughout the onboarding process. With Userpilot, it's easy to reduce time to value for your new signups, and quickly get them up and running with your product’s key features.
Userpilot's biggest shortcoming is that the app can sometimes be clunky when it comes to physically building the platform. Developers who are looking for refined control of their programs will find that Userpilot to be limited in its customizing capabilities.
For companies who are looking to create an analytics heavy onboarding program, Userpilot is a great option. Their affordable, highly-integrative tool and easy-to-use building tools make it accessible to businesses of all shapes and sizes.
4.6/5 on G2
Adobe, UIPath, Rock Content, and McGraw Hill
Starts at $249/month
If you’re looking for a tool that essentially provides you a blank canvas, Customer.io is just that. This user onboarding product is great for large businesses with a very specific vision for their user onboarding program. The wide array of tools and in-app flexibility allows you to design unique messaging strategies. But note that Customer.io is really a full suite of onboarding tools, including email, in-app messaging, SMS, and more. It's great for mobile businesses, which is unique on this list.
Customizable email campaigns
Segmentation and customer matching
One of the biggest strengths of Customer.io is its easy to use workflow builder. The simple design and navigable layout makes building onboarding flows easy. Additionally, because customer.io is a comprehensive CRM and engagement tool, it offers several options for customizing timing and drip campaigns within your onboarding process.
While Customer.io provides great flexibility, the absence of onboarding analytics is noticeable when compared to other tools. Additionally, Customer.io’s primary focus is customer management and lead capture, making the tools available for onboarding flows limited. In general, it does not offer as much flexibility when compared to other applications.
For businesses that are looking for a more well-rounded program that extends beyond onboarding, Customer.io can be just that.
4.3/5 on G2
The Knot, Shutterstock, Careguide, and Mapbox
Starting at $100/month
Multiple plug-in options
The jQuery plug-ins are valuable in providing structure and versatility to tech teams. Their open-ended programming model allows developers to build highly customizable user onboarding programs and additional plug-in options can help to create a cheaper, more in-depth, and unique product adoption solution.
Other Helpful Tools
When it comes to building the best user onboarding experience, integrating different tools can help you build a more well-rounded experience for your user. On top of this, it can give you valuable information about the behaviors of your users and where you may need to improve your onboarding experience.
Here are a few software solutions that may be helpful for better understanding your customers’ behaviors and building a more successful onboarding solution.
Comprehensive heatmaps provide you with an overview of how customers interact with your page. Hotjar also offers you the ability to optimize how you ask for feedback, build surveys, and can even see where your users spend the most time with user recordings.
At its core, LiveChat is a real time messaging system. This highly scalable tool is powerful for supporting and engaging customers. LiveChat offers tools like chat features in multiple languages, file sharing, and even credit card masking to help support customers through the onboarding process.
If you’re looking to better understand your customers, an analytics software like mixpanel can help you understand your users. Mixpanel can take abstract metrics from a large data lake and build comprehensive reports. You can then use these reports to analyze usage trends, optimize workflows, and understand long-term customer interactions.
Heap is another analytics tool that can help you gain a wider understanding of your customers and your digital experience. Heap provides impact analysis, ability to compare user segments, and offers a sophisticated tracking software to better understand cohorts. If you’re looking to heavily personalize your user’s experience, a software like Heap can be invaluable.
The data-analysis software industry is crowded. But, when it comes to building the most productive user onboarding experience, there is no such thing as too much data. Employing supplementary softwares such as Heap, Mixpanel, or Hotjar can be the difference between long-term customer retention and high customer churn.
User onboarding is non-negotiable for companies that are looking to survive in the fast-paced digital world. Not only is a user onboarding program important for successful adoption, it lets your customers know that you value their time which, in turn, makes customers value your product even more.
The best user onboarding tools guide customers toward key actions that promote curiosity and empower customers to self-solve as they learn your product. Simultaneously, they offer users easy access to support teams. This provides a safety net for both users and businesses.
If you’re not convinced that you need a user onboarding experience at this point, here are a few statistics to drive our point home:
97% of companies see a great user onboarding program as necessary for product growth. (UserGuiding)
60% of companies use at least 4 software tools for building a comprehensive customer onboarding solution. (Rocketlane)
80% of users say that they have deleted an app because they didn’t know how to use it. (Wyzowl)
86% of consumers say they are more likely to be loyal to a business that has a comprehensive onboarding program. (Wyzowl)
📚 Also read: The 17+ Best SaaS Metrics
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Simple and delightful onboarding tours your users will love.