Nickelled is just too bad to be true.
It is unbelievably overpriced for a tool that doesn’t provide much.
Having said that, since you are looking for an alternative user onboarding solution to Nickelled, you are in the right place.
Because in this article, I will:
- First, point out why Nickelled is probably not the one for you
- Than its 6 alternatives that can do the same or more as Nickelled, including open source and enterprise-ready solutions.
- And add a comparison table at the end of the list so that you can easily compare all the alternatives side-by-side.
I will evaluate each product based on my experience with them and the reviews I have gathered from trusted platforms such as G2 and Capterra.
So, let’s start with exploring today’s main act:
Why you need a Nickelled Alternative
1- 🐴 It is a one-trick pony with no features
It is correct that having the option to create guides without a browser extension or JS installation is great, but this doesn’t change the fact that Nickelled doesn’t provide anything else than product tours.
👉 An onboarding needs other user experience elements such as hotspots or checklists as well to be efficient.
2- 🎨 The customization is limited
You can change the colors of the walkthroughs and the position of the on-page elements, but that’s about it with Nickelled. There is no option to insert any visuals to the onboarding flows or change the shape or size of the elements.
3- 💰 The tool is incredibly overpriced
As someone who has been in the DAP business for years, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the pricing. Nickelled charges $249/month only for non-customizable walkthroughs? No wonder why they don’t have any customer reviews on G2 and only 6-years-old reviews on Capterra.
Top Nickelled Alternatives
I’ll go over each tool, compare them to Nickelled, and talk about in which cases they should be preferred. So, without further ado, let’s start with our first product:
1- Nickelled vs UserGuiding – No-code Interactive User Onboarding
UserGuiding is a no-code digital adoption solution that helps you provide better in-app experiences.
👉 Compared to its alternatives, UserGuiding is much simpler to use since it is a no-code platform. It doesn’t require a single line of code to work.
It works with a Chrome browser extension that lets you create various user onboarding elements directly on your website.
Compared to other tools, UserGuiding’s user onboarding features are much more extensive and significantly more affordable, while its analytics functions are limited.
But, this lack of product analytics can easily be covered with product analytics software (that’s more capable than Pendo) such as Mixpanel or Amplitude, which are easily integrated with UserGuiding.
UserGuiding offers a wide range of features, including:
- Interactive Product Tours,
- Tooltips and Hotspots,
- User Onboarding Checklists,
- Resource Centers,
- NPS Surveys,
- Easy Localization,
- Advanced Analytics with User Activity Feed,
- Custom user segments,
- Material Tagging and Easy Targeting,
- No-code customization,
- Advanced integrations.
There are three main upsides of using UserGuiding for user onboarding instead of Pendo:
Interactive in-app guidance
UserGuiding is the easiest tool to use among digital adoption platforms that offer a full scope of onboarding features, with a 93% satisfaction rate regarding the ease of use on G2.
UserGuiding’s guides are not only easy to install, but also quick to create. It is possible to push your guides live in under 15 minutes, and see instant results on how much the customer journey has improved.
With tooltips, modals, hotspots, announcement banners, checklists, and resource centers; UserGuiding offers powerful features for all pricing tiers – meaning that you don’t have go out of budget to have a good quality customer retention strategy.
By using UserGuiding’s browser extension, you can start building and customizing your interactive guides directly on your web app.
Surveys and NPS
In July 2023, UserGuiding launched their new feature, “Surveys”, which now allows users to create multiple different types of questions and combine them within a single survey (or launch different surveys for different segments).
With this feature, you can get the most specific user feedback that you need, exactly when you need it. UserGuiding also offers NPS surveys for companies to measure their promoter score, and combines all survey results in the dashboard.
Also, thanks to their user details & activity log feature, you can dig deep into how each user journey comes together, and find what is it that makes the customers’ digital experience special for them.
UserGuiding’s easy-to-create intuitive resource centers have increased their users’ activation rates over 25%.
Resource centers allow you to create a self-paced learning environment right within your app without covering too much space.
You can trigger guides or surveys within UserGuiding’s resource center, insert external links, direct people to help center articles, or provide quick tips based on their usage – all from a single source
Analytics and Customization
UserGuiding brings analytics to a new level.
UserGuiding’s Analytics dashboard gives you actionable insight on the performance of your onboarding content. UserGuiding allows you to track view and completion data for each guide, tooltip, hotspot, checklist, and resource center – while also giving you information about daily active users, and satisfaction scores.
You can mix and match different survey responses and data on the analytics dashboard, and dig deep into each user’s activity using the user details page and activity log.
What is UserGuiding good for?
✅ The #1 strength of UserGuiding is the value it provides for the price it costs. UserGuiding offers a full set of no-code engagement and adoption elements for as little as $89/month.
✅ Unlike many other competitors, UserGuiding’s interface is very user-friendly so that even first-time users can set up and publish their own product engagement sequences.
✅ UserGuiding is also very customizable. You can play with your engagement elements’ shape, color, positioning, and much more.
✅ UserGuiding provides fast and solution-oriented customer support. This means that customers can get help quickly – no matter which time zone you are in – and solve their problems without friction.
What is UserGuiding bad for?
❌ Since UserGuiding’s main focus is onboarding, the analytics features it provides might not be enough for some companies. However, the tool provides various integration options with most analytics tools.
❌ Although you can use UserGuiding on mobile web browsers, it doesn’t work on mobile apps. If you need a solution to work on web and mobile, UserGuiding isn’t the one for you.
- 14-day free trial (no credit card required)
- Basic Plan: $89/month when billed annually for up to 2500 MAU. UserGuiding doesn’t limit the number of features available to the customers, and you can benefit from all features – with limitations on active campaigns. For instance, you can create as many surveys as you like, but set only one active at a time with the Basic plan.
- Professional Plan: $389/month when billed annually for up to 20.000 MAU with unlimited user guides. You get unlimited product engagement features, and you can have. 3 live surveys at a time with the professional plan. This plan also provides you with a dedicated customer success manager.
- Custom Quotation, Available for Larger Companies, removes all limitations and provides you the smoothest UserGuiding experience.
UserGuiding also provides add-ons, so if there is a specific feature that you need while you are on the basic plan, you can have it as an add-on without having to upgrade your package.
“You can get it going in minutes after signing up. The team is very responsive and they are always asking for feedback to improve the product.”
“Sometimes interface and Chrome extension could become confusing but once you get used to, it is not a big deal.”
UserGuiding vs. Nickelled
|In-App Resource Centers||✅||✅|
|Knowledge Base Feature Integration||❌||✅|
|Avg. Deployment Time||≈ 2-3 Hours||15 Minutes|
|Learning Curve||😟 Steep||🙂 Smooth|
UserGuiding also offers free migration services for your in-app content created using other software to minimize your switching costs.
Schedule a demo with one of our experts or start your free trial now:
2- Nickelled vs WalkMe
WalkMe seems to be a product experience platform enterprise businesses can’t live without.
And they might be right.
Compared to Pendo, WalkMe is an enterprise-focused and expensive digital adoption platform for user analytics and product experience.
Although both products have very similar key features, the way these features (such as product tours, analytics, and event tracking) are set up in each product differs a ton.
Here are WalkMe’s two strongest features:
Analytics and Insights
WalkMe excells in enterprise level DAP oriented data management.
If you’re more interested in using a DAP for instilling the adoption of digital products through organizations and teams, WalkMe should be your go-to. The setup takes more time, and it’s not as easily operated as Pendo, but it gets the job done for those who need to get other people to get the job done.
If you need a tool for customer onboarding, WalkMe isn’t the one for you. If you need a solution for employee onboarding, tracking, and management, then WalkMe can offer you quite a variety fo features that will maximize the employee’s productivity and get them quickly up to speed.
What is WalkMe good for?
✅ WalkMe users get to enjoy an extensive set of high-value features and different onboarding UX patterns like tooltips, checklists, and progress tracking options with progress bars
✅ Although technical knowledge might be required, WalkMe offers a lot of customization options
✅ WalkMe is perfectly scalable for enterprises, especially if the use case is employee onboarding rather than customer education
What is WalkMe bad for?
❌ Among the WalkMe features, even core features might be too sophisticated for inexperienced users
❌ WalkMe’s feature amount/feature usage ratio is often low if there is no dedicated user or employee onboarding team
❌ WalkMe requires a technical skillset and occasionally coding knowledge; this makes setting up and using WalkMe harder than average
❌ Not so accessible pricing, WalkMe is not the best option for small or medium-sized businesses or enterprises with an immature budget structure
❌ WalkMe is enterprise software designed for enterprises, so feature updates following customer feedback might not be possible; likewise, customer service might be less accessible
WalkMe doesn’t have public pricing, but most of its users agree on pricing plans that vastly change in the 5-figure range. The average pricing for the small teams seems to be around $10,000/year, but since WalkMe is an enterprise solution that specializes as a DAP for large organizations, you might have to multiply the alleged numbers.
“Walkme has allowed us to almost entirely eliminate the need for live training. Our system is specialized and can be complex, yet we now have most clients onboard completely on their own with no training.”
“It becomes a bit difficult to manage active content when you reach a certain level of use.”
3- Nickelled vs. Appcues
Appcues, as one of the first user onboarding tools on the market, offers much more comprehensive user onboarding features compared to most onboarding tools.
The tool is beautifully designed for non-technical people to create and track in-app elements they use for their onboarding flows. With various features and in-depth customization complemented with ready-to-use templates, the tool has everything you need to create power users.
- Interactive Product Tours,
- Tooltips and Hotspots,
- User Onboarding Checklists,
- Resource Centers,
- NPS Surveys,
- Easy Localization,
- Advanced Analytics with User Activity Feed,
- Custom user segments,
- Advanced integrations.
Although the pricing of Appcues matches the price of Pendo’s “only product tours” plans, if you have to choose between the two for user onboarding features, Appcues wins by a landslide.
Here are the main features and reasons why:
Although Appcues is not the easiest tool to set-up, or the most affordable one, it is definitely a strong tool in terms of technical capabilities. Depending on your pricing package, Appcues gives you the liberty of coding and editing your guides to your ideal.
Once you get used to the UI and functionalities of Appcues, the tool becomes relatively easier to use, and maintaining your guides won’t be an issue. Of course, this is only applicable if you get past the steep learning curve with your technical capabilities or with the help of someone knowledgeable.
Experiments and A/B testing
You can choose to experiments with new flows or UI elements using Appcues’s new feature, experiments.
Using Appcues, you can create multiple different kinds of UI elements and show them to some. of your end-users while others don’t see it and compare the results. This way you can see which of you ideas reach the users more easily, and act accordingly.
Analytics & Data
Appcues’s analytics isn’t much different from it’s close competitors, such as UserGuiding or Pendo. You can see al the data of your guides, surveys, checklists, and so on. What makes Appcues’s analytics strong are the “journeys” and “experiments” features, which allow you to play with custom parameters and dive deep into details.
What is Appcues 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.
What is Appcues bad 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.
- 14-day free trial (no credit card required)
- Essentials Plan: $249/month when billed annually for up to 2500 MAU. This plan has lots of limitations, such as not being able to get localization features or any kind of account security possibilities. And if you are looking for custom CSS customization, you will have to make a huge price jump and pay for the Growth plan.
- Growth Plan: $879/month when billed annually for up to 2500 MAU. This plan removes most of the barriers, while some limitations persist. You still don’t get a dedicated customer success manager or security options, and you still don’t get localization support. Also, you cannot sign-up for the Growth plan without signing an annual contract, which can be a big burden for a lot. of companies.
- Custom Quotation Available for Enterprises
“The main benefit of Appcues is its flexibility. You can embed custom code into tooltips to change their appearance, run scripts, embed an iframe, or insert buttons that do custom actions.”
“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.”
4- Nickelled vs Pendo
Pendo is a robust product analytics, and user engagement platform businesses use to build better products.
Founded by the software entrepreneur Todd Olson, Pendo is based in North Carolina, US.
It is a very popular solution with thousands of customers, including big names such as Verizon, Zendesk, and Salesforce.
The platform has two core functions that users can benefit from: behavior analytics and user onboarding.
Pendo’s product analytics features can help businesses track user behavior, and product insights across the web and mobile devices.
Once integrated, you can see every user activity, which allows you to create different reports that can later be combined in custom dashboards that fuel your business decisions and help you find actionable insights.
Data-focused product managers use Pendo to understand what users are doing inside their product, what functions/features are being more utilized, how product changes affect business metrics, and more.
User/Employee Onboarding and Guidance
Additionally, Pendo has a “Guides” feature, using which you can create different in-app elements to pop up on the user interface to boost user experience and guide and engage with your users.
You can create interactive product tours, tooltips, announcement modals, and resource centers using Pendo; to set up a customer journey that sets users up for success.
Once combined with the analytics part of Pendo, in-app guides, and other elements can help your teams onboard users and employees with higher engagement.
Additionally, Pendo provides its users with a variety of in-app feedback collection elements that are extremely valuable when used correctly.
What is Pendo good for?
✅ The best feature Pendo provides is its in-depth analytics; meanwhile, its user segmentation truly makes a significant change in the way users consume onboarding material.
✅ Pendo puts together different solutions like user experience, user onboarding, and highly sophisticated data collection and analytics under one tool to guarantee customer success and easier customer engagement tracking for digital product teams.
✅ Founded in 2013, Pendo is among the first comers of digital adoption; it has a strong background and customer portfolio.
✅ Though Pendo is quite expensive, it offers a free trial and a freemium, something other platforms of its caliber rarely do.
What is Pendo bad for?
❌ Though Pendo represents itself as a digital adoption solution, its onboarding UX elements are pretty limited to the very basics, leaving out checklists, hotspots, and more.
❌ Being a highly sophisticated tool with a complex UI, it might be hard to set up and use if not used by an experienced user.
❌ Likewise, Pendo’s features tend to be complex and use case-specific, so it might be hard to leverage all features and possibilities without a fully established game plan dedicated to Pendo.
❌ Though Pendo does not publicly share its pricing, it is very well known that Pendo is more expensive than the market average.
❌ Yet another enterprise-level tool, Pendo’s customer service might not be as responsive as smaller products’ customer service teams.
Pendo has a free plan called “Pendo Free“. Pendo free allows up to 1,000 monthly active users for one web and one mobile app. Although Pendo claims it can be used to test the waters and see the software’s value, I’ll have to say you can only see if the platform works with your product or not with only a thousand users.
Also, Pendo recently released a fixed-pricing plan called the “starter plan,” which costs $7000/year but includes only a very limited set of features and no customer support.
For bigger plans, Pendo doesn’t have set pricing.
Instead, you can get a custom plan for your business by contacting their sales team.
However, there are various Pendo users that revealed the details of Pendo’s pricing. One user claimed that they are a medium-sized business that pays $12,000/year for the standard package of Pendo, while another user upped this number to $20,000. Additionally, there is a Pendo customer that claims to pay $2000/year just for the “Guides” feature of the product; so, you get the picture.
Pendo’s pricing is feature and usage-based, and it possibly scales with how many users you have, like other analytics tools.
“I like the ability to add things to pages without the need for a product release. If there is an issue, we can quickly make a lightbox guide to tell the user something isn’t working, or to give them an alternate route.”
“One thing that can sometimes make me frustrate when I build a guide appears as if it’s natural to edit the text in the center of the guide, but Pendo can edit only from the left.”
5- Nickelled vs Usetiful
Usetiful is a SaaS product that helps you create interactive product adoption tours.
Usetiful will help you create no-code product tours, checklists, hotspots, and feature update alerts. This way, you can have many features with one tool, and easily increase your product adoption and feature adoption rates, as well as reducing the weight off the support team’s shoulders.
Also, the Marketplace page on their website makes it easy to find relevant tools (free and paid) to even further improve your business without hours of research.
Let’s take a deeper look into the tool’s strongest features:
Usetiful uses a more traditional approach to product tours. You can create basic tooltips that point to the element you want to show, but don’t really let you interact with the element itself. That’s why Usetiful’s guided tours are step-by-step, but not interactive.
You can embed videos and images into the product tours as well. As for the customization options, they would let most users down as there is very limited options for customization.
Just like any other in-app guidance tool, Usetiful also offers checklists where you can trigger guides. While the progress bar is an important feature for better engagement that most companies miss, the lack of proper customization options show itself with this feature as well.
Usetiful also allows you to create the most basic (and average-looking) in-app surveys. You can use the survey results and written feedback to enhance your onboarding and increase engagement rates.
While the tool is cheaper compared to most of its competitors, its features and services are limited accordingly.
Let’s take a look at Usetiful’s strengths and weaknesses right after we see the pricing and reviews.
What is Usetiful good for?
✅ For what it provides, Usetiful offers a user-friendly onboarding and walkthrough creation experience.
✅ Usetiful is very easy to set up and use, even for non-technical people.
What is Usetiful bad for?
❌ Usetiful’s survey implementation feature is very restrictive and difficult to use, giving users a hard time getting feedback from end-users.
❌ Although the given segmentation options are good themselves, Usetiful’s segmentation feature is limited and very incapable.
❌ Usetiful doesn’t provide lots of templates or suggestions, leaving you all the hard work of creating all flows from scratch.
- Free version available with only 1 tour and up to 2000 assists, which is basically the number of monthly active users.
- There is a 14-day free trial for all the paid plans but the signup requires credit card information.
- Plus Plan costs €29/month for up to 5000 assists and gives you access to the checklists, but doesn’t give you the flexibility of having a dedicated customer support manager or employee onboarding features.
- Premium Plan costs €69/month for up to 10,000 assists, and €299/month for up to 35,000 assists. This plan has better features along with a capacity of 7 team members, but still doesn’t include integrations.
- Enterprise Plan requires contact with the sales team and finally unlocks integrations.
‘’Usetiful is easy to set up and customize (we had to change its style to support RTL languages) and even non-techy people managed to add online tours to the web app we’re building for our nonprofit.’’
‘’Missing some more complex functionalities such as in-depth reports, feature adoption, customer surveys & feedback, extra design features and templates’’
6- Nickelled vs Stonly
Stonly is a self-serve support and user education platform that offers engaging and (not so) interactive guides for software products.
The customer service software especially started generating more attention after the series A investment of $22M it received in January 2022.
Stonly offers a fairly basic solution to educate users and take some weight off the shoulders of the customer support team on a small budget, but it might not be giving you the best bang for your buck.
Stonly helps you create help centers and knowledge bases that are much more engaging compared to the traditional ones that are just chunks of writing piled up on a website.
Stonly onboarding offers step-by-step instructional guides that you can add images inside to illustrate your topic better, and the content of these step guides can be optimized based on end-user segments and preferences.
These step interactive guides can also be triggered through tooltips and hotspots for a more hands-on experience.
Of course, you can use these guides to create product tours, that show your users how different UI elements and core functions of your product work.
Stonly Knowledge Bases and Resource centers
Along with onboarding flows and knowledge bases, Stonly also allows you to create basic launchers with resource centers in them. From those launchers, you can trigger guides, access knowledge base articles, or get support information.
Because Stonly doesn’t offer surveys or such, this is about everything that their launcher can do.
Also, Stonly doesn’t provide analytics capabilities. Therefore, you will have a difficult time understanding how your users behave and navigate within your product.
Although it doesn’t actually have the most interactive content, it can be a good choice for small to medium-sized businesses that would prefer free/affordable products.
But if you have quite a few users, then you should be ready for questionably high pricing plans, since Stonly only has a starter plan, and an expensive plan.
What is Stonly good for?
✅ Stonly is relatively more affordable and has a free plan, which is something that most of its competitors don’t have.
✅ Stonly makes it easy to create product walkthroughs. Once you pass the integration step, the ease of use increases quickly.
What is Stonly bad for?
❌ If you want to integrate Stonly into your UI elements, and, of course, implement Stonly’s knowledge base and help center into your platform, you’ll definitely need a bunch of developer hours to get it done.
❌ It looks like most of the interactivity, in Stonly’s case, is pressing the “Next” button on the guide steps after reading a bunch of text and looking at a screenshot.
❌ Your customization options are very limited with Stonly. After a while, a lot of the guides look very similar to each other, and since you’re limited to a single element, you can mix things up as you can in other user onboarding products like UserGuiding.
Stonly’s pricing model has 3 pricing tiers at the moment, and a 14-day free trial:
- Free plan forever without charge for up to 1000 MAU and 5 guides. On this plan, you don’t have access to multiple knowledge bases or guides, and you can’t localize your content.
- Business Plan: $199/month with 4000 monthly guide views, $399 with 15000 monthly guide views with unlimited active guides. On this plan, you get access to language localization, 3 knowledge bases, only 4 integration options, and SEO customization. You don’t get any additional support experience as this plan lists the support as “self-serve”.
- Custom Enterprise Plans: Additional Enterprise features with increased usage limits, but you need to contact Stonly’s sales team for a custom quote.
“Among all platforms for the effect of a Knowledge Base, Stonly is by far the best-looking one. Absolutely love the guide’s display and how easy it is to find them.”
“The interface is still very much oriented to a mobile experience (single column with a lot of negative space). Allowing dynamic optimization based on a desktop vs. mobile experience would be ideal.”
7- Nickelled vs Intro.js
Looking for a free solution to create product walkthroughs and onboard users?
Intro.js can help you do just that, well not just that since you will need to pay a small amount to use the library in commercial products. It is an open-source user onboarding solution that you can create product tours with.
If you adopt Intro.js for your product, you will not have access to analytics or segmentation features and the variety of onboarding elements will be extremely limited with just feature introductions and product tours.
Also, since it is an open-source library, you will need full-time devotion of a developer to implement to your product.
As I’ve mentioned, you’ll need a license for commercial use:
- Starter pack without any official support for $9.99,
- Business pack with a month of official support and code review for $49.99,
- Premium package with a year of official support, code review, and unlimited projects for $299.99.
“I really like the Intro.js plugin because documentation is straightforward and easy to understand. This can work on almost any webpage using jQuery as an included library.”
“The library is definitely open source and free software, but at the same time if I want to use it for commercial use it seems I need to pay a license fee. Why is this required if the code is open source?”
8- Nickelled vs Crumble
Need something even more basic and completely free? Here’s Crumble:
You’ll only be able to create bubbles that show around your product, but as we all know, some products are self-explanatory and don’t need anything else than a few bubbles.
You can download Crumble from the public repository on GitHub.
Nickelled Alternatives Comparison Table
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should use Nickelled?
Product managers and customer success managers should use Nickelled to improve their user onboarding.
How much does Nickelled cost?
Nickelled starts from $99/month with the Guides Package and it allows you to create up to 10 guides.
What are the top alternatives to Nickelled?
The top 6 Appcues alternatives are UserGuiding, Walkme, Appcues, Pendo, Intro.js and Crumble.