Appcues vs. Intercom 2024 Comparison – Which one is the one you need?

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    Home / SaaS / Appcues vs. Intercom 2024 Comparison – Which one is the one you need?

    Appcues is a great product with a strong base and many mid-market customers. But does being the first in the market mean being the best?

    And then, there is Intercom.

    Intercom is an easy-to-use product that provides live chat and surveying features, but… it can’t help you with onboarding as much as Appcues does.

    So which one is better for you?

    Which one of these tools is the one that is the better fit for your needs and goals?

    To help you find an answer to those questions, I will:

    • Introduce Appcues and talk about the tool's cons and pros,
    • Introduce Intercom and talk about the tool's cons and pros,
    • Compare those tools side-by-side for you to have a better overview.

    And also, if you want to skip all those, you can benefit from this quick table:

    Side-By-Side Comparison Table

    Appcues Intercom
    Starting Price
    G2 Rating 4.6⭐ 4.5⭐
    Interactive Walkthroughs
    Add-on $199/month
    Included in the add-on above
    Included in the add-on above
    Onboarding Checklists
    Included in the add-on above
    Announcement Modals/Banners
    Included in the add-on above
    NPS Surveys
    In-Product Surveys
    Add-on $49/month
    In-App Resource Center Partially Available 
    Avg. Deployment Time  2-3 Hours 
    3-5 Days
    User Segmentation 
    User Analytics 
    Multi-Language Support 
    User Tracking 
    Knowledge Base Integration 
    Only Available For Pro Plans
    Product Analytics
    Custom Dashboards 
    Learning Curve  😟 Steeper 
    😐 Steep

    What is Appcues?

    Appcues is a pioneer of “no-code” onboarding tools on the market.

    what is appcues

    They have introduced various onboarding elements for the first time while offering great fundamental solutions to their customers.

    With a strong focus on user onboarding to web apps and digital products, Appcues can solve all your digital adoption needs regarding your customers and help you become a product-led business.

    Pros 🤩 Appcues is good for:

    ✅ Appcues can help you create beautiful and interactive product walkthroughs to provide your customers with an engaging onboarding experience, and get them to like your product easily.

    ✅ Appcues provides exquisite customer support. They are great at coming up with quick and highly personalized solutions to all your problems whenever you have one.

    ✅ Founded in 2014, Appcues is among the firstcomers of no-code digital adoption; it has a strong background and customer portfolio.

    Cons 😮‍💨 Appcues isn't good for:

    ❌ Appcues isn't the best when it comes to analytics features. If you would like to get the best out of your customers, you will have to use integrations.

    ❌ No matter how friendly the UI is, Appcues has a steep learning curve that you must get past - which is only possible if you have enough technical knowledge.

    ❌ Appcues is also not affordable. Their starting price is not only above the market average, but they also don't grant access to all features in the essentials package.

    Appcues Pricing

    • The Essentials Package of Appcues starts at $249/month when billed annually with 2500 MAU.
    • The Growth Package of Appcues starts at $879/month when billed annually, again at 2500 MAU.
    • The Enterprise Package of Appcues doesn’t have public pricing, so you need to get a custom quotation.

    What is Intercom?

    Intercom is a widely known and capable customer service tool providing many features and leveraging customer satisfaction.

    The tool also has a G2 rating of 4.4 and is trusted by giant companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Shopify, and Microsoft.

    While the tool is known mostly as chat software, there is more than that to Intercom. It is a full package for almost any customer support team with features such as:

    • Business Messenger,
    • Customizable Bots and Automation,
    • Product Tours,
    • And Help Center Articles.

    Pros 🤩 Intercom is good for:

    ✅ Intercom is a good choice for people who need an all-in-one tool to analyze, engage, and guide users.

    ✅ The tool’s starter plan is fairly priced, and it is a good choice for newly established businesses with fewer users.

    ✅ Intercom’s live-chat feature and chatbots are definitely top-tier and useful for businesses that need to provide support to users as quickly as possible.

    Cons 😮‍💨 Intercom isn’t good for:

    ❌ Although Intercom is fairly priced for starter-level companies, the pricing becomes unbearable very quickly. Most companies complain about how Intercom finds ways to charge users more and more each passing day.

    ❌ Intercom’s live chat feature simply rocks, but the onboarding feature is limited to tooltips only, which is not enough to create a fully-cooked onboarding sequence.

    ❌ Intercom helps you provide better support to your customers, but their own customer support is horrible since they usually respond late and can’t come up with quick solutions.

    ❌ Intercom isn’t a data tool, and the analytics and data they provide are very limited. Therefore, you will have to adopt a second tool for analytics—such as Google Analytics—to handle the data part for you.

    Intercom Pricing

    According to user comments on Reddit and HelpCrunch, Intercom’s pricing can range between $74/month (only for newly established companies with under 5 employees) and $999/month. Also, some features are billed separately and cost an additional monthly fee.

    • Starter Plan: $74/month for small businesses
      • Product Tours Add-On: $199/month
      • WhatsApp Add-On: $9/user
      • Surveys Add-On: $49/month
    • Support Plan: Custom quotation upon request
    • Engage Plan: Custom quotation upon request
    • Convert Plan: Custom quotation upon request

    How about having the best of both? 😎

    Way too many products have hidden costs all over like it's a big secret nowadays, and honestly, even before.

    What difference does doing that make, I couldn't tell.

    best of both


    But I know a different user onboarding tool that can make a huge difference in your onboarding flows - and budget.

    UserGuiding is an (absolutely) no-code digital adoption tool that's easy to use, geared up for effective onboarding for both customers and employees, and budget-friendly.

    Some of UserGuiding's features are:

    ✅ Interactive guides and product tours,

    ✅ Tooltips, checklists, hotspots, and other onboarding elements, 

    ✅ Powerful analytics,

    User segmentation and targeting,

    ✅ Resource centers, 

    NPS survey, and more!

    Don't want to pay thousands of dollars for a product you cannot use effectively? You know where to go.

    Appcues vs Intercom

    Appcues Features Intercom
    Appcues’s main focus is providing amazing onboarding features, thus, compared to Intercom, Appcues is a better solution. Onboarding
    ⬅️ 🤩 
    To compete with a digital adoption platform in terms of onboarding, Intercom has a long way to go.
    Although Appcues does provide in-app analytics, since it is not the tool’s main focus, you might need an integration to handle the analytics. Analytics
    🤩 ➡️ 
    Intercom isn’t an analytics tool either, but still, the range of options and the ease of use of the analytics feature is much easier compared to Appcues.
    Appcues provides NPS surveys and simple feedback surveys. If you need a bigger variety, you should go with Intercom.  Surveying
    🤩 ➡️ 
    Intercom is a complete user engagement platform, so it is not surprising that their surveying and user feedback options are more comprehensive and higher-rated on G2, compared to Appcues.
    Appcues’s pricing starts from $249/month – which is above the market average.  Pricing
    🤩 ➡️
    For the starting price, Intercom provides more than Appcues and has a better price, but beware that this pice will go up exponentially.
    Appcues is not the easiest-to-use tool on the market, but compared to Intercom, it is a tad easier to set up and figure out how to use. Beware that Appcues does require technical knowledge at some point.  Ease Of Use
    ⬅️ 🤩 
    Intercom is one of the easiest to use among its competitors. You can use Intercom without any technical knowledge at all, but overall, Appcues is an easier tool to use than Intercom since Intercom has more layers and functionalities.
    Appcues clearly cares about their customers and this is why they provide fast and personalized customer support – as per what actual users have said about them.  Customer Support
    ⬅️ 🤩 
    Intercom’s customer support to enterprise customers is said to be exquisite. However, for all other businesses, it can take up to a whole day to get a response from their support team.

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