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Top alternatives to Appcues



Appcues is a DAP software company that was founded in 2013 in the US. It presents itself as a no-code platform and features flows (as they call the product tours), hotspots, onboarding checklists and NPS surveys. Having said this, there are still several quite substantial reasons to consider an alternative for Appcues. In this article, I will discuss these reasons as well as present top 3 alternatives for you to choose from. 


Appcues is integrated with a range of tools such as Heap, Google Tag Manager, Segment and more. Some of these integrations are only available in higher plans. Appcues places heavy emphasis on user segments, events and goals. Their theme builder is beautiful. However, installation was a little unclear, and seems to require developer intervention on your side. Additionally, MAU-based pricing can be restricted for many. Good side is that Appcues has a free limited trial. 


Appcues Reviews


Appcues is rated at 4.7 / 5 on G2 based on 156 reviews and 4.8 / 5 on Capterra based on 100 reviews. 



Pros 👍

Cons 👎

Provides a simple solution when it comes to measuring NPS, the core metric of technology businesses. If you are integrated, it easy to generate custom fields and greatly improve pop outs with specific segments.

Frequent bugs when building flows requiring a refresh. Lots of cool stuff you can do but it often requires time from developers to implement properly. Anyone running ad blockers won't see Appcues flows at all. There seems to be a significant delay between steps, both when previewing flows and when seeing them as an end user.


The overall sentiment is that Appcues is not easy to install. Also, even with the product guide that’s in the Appcues dashboard, it’s instantly noticeable that there is a delay between steps. It’s just not so quick for some reason. 


Appcues Pricing




Appcues falls into the group of DAP’s that adopted the MAU-based pricing. For those of you new to it, MAU-based pricing will charge you based on the number of monthly active users you have, ignoring the fact that in many cases guides and other content will be targeted to a group of your users, and many of your users may not ever interact with Appcues content. An ethical way to charge clients would be an assist-based pricing, where a vendor charges for users that actively interact with the DAP.. Moreover, Appcues is quite expensive:


There is a free trial, limited to 50 flows shown for two weeks. After that you will need to upgrade to a paid plan. 


Pricing plans


An interesting thing about the pricing is that you can configure the desired amount of MAUs for each plan, giving you flexibility in selection as you may not need all features of higher plans but still have a large user base.


Essentials - $299 per month (monthly) for 2500 MAUs

Growth - $879 per month, paid only annually for 2500 MAUs

Enterprise - custom plan


Cost per MAU in Essentials plan is $0.1196 for 2500 MAUs, $0.0718 for 5000 MAUs and decreases from there on when more MAU’s are added. 

Cost per MAU in the Growth plan is $0.3516 for 2500 MAUs, $0.1998 for 5000 MAUs and decreases as MAU’s are increased. 


Why consider Appcues alternatives


  • Pricing - Appcues adopted the MAU-based pricing which is not only expensive, but also unethical. It also makes it difficult to gradually introduce Appcues content to your app users, as you are forced to pay for the entire user base from the outset, and time to reach proof-of-concept stage has a high cost. 

  • No free forever plan - this is the case with many DAPs, however not offering a free forever limited plan restricts access for a DAP experience to many smaller businesses and solo-preneurs. Yes, there is the free trial - but the reality is that in the world of DAP’s two weeks are just not enough to implement a solution and try it in real-life situation. This forces clients to buy something they have not seen in action and don’t really know the actual impact of. 

  • Difficult to install / configure - Though Appcues offers quick installation with Segment and is also integrated with Google Tag Manager, we found it difficult to get a clear picture of what precise steps are needed to install Appcues. Clearly it is a script living on your pages, but then there are add-ons such as event tracking and segmentation, which seem to require additional setup. 

  • Essentials plan limitations - Essentials plan doesn’t give the ability to create checklists, and is also limited to up to 5 segments, event triggering and more. This would be fine if we ignored the price of the Essentials plan. 

  • Localization only available in higher plans - you can only add languages to your content in higher plans, which makes it a bit difficult to integrate Appcues on a multi-language application. This should not be a problem as Appcues could put some sort of limitation on how many languages you can add in the lower plans, but they didn’t. 


Appcues alternatives


Here are top 3 alternatives to Appcues

  • Usetiful

  • Lou Assist

  • Intercom Product Tours



Usetiful




Usetiful is a no-code DAP that is easy to install, build, preview and launch tours and onboarding experiences. 


Usetiful has a very inclusive pricing, which makes it an excellent alternative to Appcues. You can confidently say that Usetiful provides equal value for a fraction of the cost. 


Usetiful has a free forever plan - which makes it possible for solopreneurs and very small companies / applications to leverage product guides and checklists. This also enables apps considering Usetiful to be able to get to proof-of-concept before they pay a single cent. 


Usetiful tour builder and other parts of UI are clear and simple, while providing a level of sophistication and feature-richness many apps in the DAP space will envy. 



Usetiful Pricing


  • Free forever plan - EUR 0 forever - limited to 1 product tour, 1 smart tip group  and 2000 assists per month, 1 team seats

  • Plus - EUR 29.9 / m - 5000 assists per month, 2 team seats and access to User Onboarding Checklists

  • Premium - EUR 99 / m - 20 000 assists per month, 7 team seats

  • Enterprise - custom plan based on customer needs



Usetiful Reviews

Usetiful is rated at 4.8 / 5 on G2 based on 14 reviews and and 4.8 / 5 on Capterra based on 4 reviews. 

Here is some user feedback. 



Pros 👍

Cons 👎

The whole platform is very intuitive and easy to handle. Everything is clear and Useitful guides you through everything as you'd expect it from a company where the core functionality is as described.

Complex settings when configuring the single-page application. I needed support to get all the configuration in place.



Usetiful VS Appcues


Overview comparison



Usetiful

Appcues

Free forever plan

Easy to install

Assist-based pricing

Lowest equivalent pricing plan cost

EUR 299 annually

USD 2988 annually



Lowest-plan feature comparison

In this section, we will compare the lowest paid plans of Usetiful VS Appcues




Usetiful

Appcues

Capacity

5000 assists / month

2500 monthly active users

Product tours

Unlimited

Unlimited

Smart Tips

Unlimited

Unlimited

Checklists

Unlimited

Unlimited

Hotspots

Unlimited

Unlimited

Custom CSS

Localization

Unlimited segmentation

User Licences

2

3




Usetiful summary



Usetiful is a fairly priced Digital Adoption Platform, that will enable you to install and start building tours quickly. At the same time, if you need help, their support has proven to be very helpful based on recent feedback from customers. 




Lou Assist





Lou Assist is a modern DAP that offers in-app announcements, product guides and hotspots as SaaS. 

Like Usetiful, Lou features a free forever plan, though the pricing is a bit more on the expensive side. Your workflow in Lou will be relatively fast and simple, offering plenty of customization in a clear interface.

Lou Assist Pricing

  • Free Forever  - $0 - Limited to 2 announcements and 1 tour, 1 team seat

  • Startup - $99 per month or $948 annually - Unlimited tours and announcements, 3 team seats, 2 500 MAUs

  • Growth - $239 per month or $2388 annually - Unlimited team seats, 10 000 MAUs

  • Enterprise - starts at $3588 annually, 10 000+ MAUs

Lou’s pricing is based on MAUs, and even though it seems relatively inexpensive, it can get very costly very fast.

Lou Assist’s Reviews

Lou has a rating of 4.7/5 at G2, 4.6/5 at Capterra. 



Pros 👍

Cons 👎

The onboarding and ease of use makes it easy to start using the service to provide value to our customers by showing them how to use our system

Lou then require installation of some code snippets on the "Head" of the site, and some other codes for segmenting visitors.

For those who are not familiar with code snippets installation, this may represent a challenge. I can complete with ease, but it does not mean that it is for everyone. But I believe in case of difficulties, support team by Lou would be able to help.


When considering alternatives to Appcues, you should certainly check out Lou. It is a relatively easy-to-install tool that may save you some time. Lou is in the group of DAPs with democratic pricing and a free plan on offer.




Intercom Product Tours





Most people who are at least a little aware of online support and marketing tools know Intercom. Intercom was founded in 2011 in California and was originally a customer messaging platform, which is now called Conversational Support. Intercom used several tools that could help it be considered a DAP. In 2019, however, Intercom stepped in the DAP game completely by releasing their Product Tours feature. 

Intercom’s Product Tours are an intuitive choice to go with if you are already on their platform using other tools. However, there are several pitfalls - users report issues with dynamic pages and elements without static ID’s. Don’t let vendor lock-in get the best of you. Also, Intercom is typically too costly for SMEs. 


Intercom Product Tours pricing


Intercom does not market product tours as a separate offering, it is only available as an add on to any other plan you are subscribed to. However, at the very least it will cost you $216 per month as the product tours add-on costs $149 per month and the cheapest possible other Intercom plan will cost you $67 per month. Intercom can get very costly very fast as their pricing is based on “per seat” factor - the more teammates you have, the more it will cost you. 



Intercom Product Tour reviews


Intercom’s Product Tours are not reviewed as a separate product online, so we have very limited feedback on this product - we dug up Intercom general reviews to find useful information so you don’t have to. 



Pros 👍

Cons 👎

We tried the additional extended features like Product Tour for example, which is simple and easy to use, but customizing it to the extent that we would like isn't possible through Intercom.

Missing more in-depth analytics and editing an existing tour could be easier



Intercom’s move to product tours is a smart decision given the DAP market dynamics. If you are already invested in any Intercom product, then it is worth trying -  it will be easier for you to try and implement their Product Tours. 


Summary


It would be easy to consider Appcues a good DAP, but many factors such as pricing and ease-of-use stand in the way. We compiled this alternatives list to help you make a better informed decision when considering a DAP in general or when looking for a replacement to Appcues.


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