WalkMe was one of the first onboarding solutions on the scene, initially focusing on training sales teams on how to use Salesforce.
Since its founding in 2011, WalkMe has gone on to build up an impressive breadth of features, also acquiring products that offer analytics, session replay, and other functionality. WalkMe is excellent for internal training (onboarding employees) for internal applications, such as CRM systems (think Salesforce, Oracle, etc.) and other enterprise-oriented training.
Since 2011, self-service UX and product-led growth have become key trends within SaaS and more products care about helping their end-users successfully use their products in a scalable way. Great UX design, free trials, and self-service user onboarding have replaced outdated methods such as sales calls, in-person training, and docs full of screenshots. Cutting-edge companies need solutions that make it easy to build native-looking in-product experiences, without sacrificing security, customizability, and reliability.
There are now a great set of WalkMe alternatives for those frustrated by WalkMe’s clunky UX, high-effort learning curve, and jack-of-all-trades approach. Each tool has its own strengths and weaknesses – in this guide, we’ll give you a fair overview of the tools you should try out if you’re walking away from WalkMe. Before we begin, let’s look at what WalkMe does well and also, what it's lacking.
Where WalkMe is a good fit
✅ Internal training on custom-built versions of enterprise applications (Salesforce, Workday, SuccessFactors, etc.)
✅ On-premise deployments (for products not yet fully in the cloud) or companies that don’t typically use third-party cloud providers
✅ Great for companies outside of the technology or SaaS industry (e.g. manufacturing businesses with “digitization” teams or IT departments) who are unaware of alternatives
✅ Enterprise customers with low (but highly valuable) monthly active user bases that are moving from in-person or face-to-face training into more interactive training
Where WalkMe may not be the best fit
🤨 Your company is scaling and you need a flexible yet affordable pricing plan that grows with you. WalkMe’s entry-level plan starts at $9000 a year and you’ll need to commit to an annual plan before you see the benefits.
🤨 If you’re moving fast and need multiple team members to create in-product announcements – WalkMe may not be the best fit. Third-party reviews complain about the steep learning curve and feel the UI is outdated.
WalkMe alternatives to start testing #
Looking for a new Digital Adoption Platform? Here are the three WalkMe alternatives we recommend you sign up for today and evaluate; Appcues, Pendo, and Chameleon – each with a TL;DR to get you to the good stuff. Need to make a decision ASAP? Here's a quick overview of the key differentiators:
Appcues: Excels at onboarding and NPS #
Appcues is a no-code solution for user onboarding and driving product adoption.
The tool offers a set of UI patterns to help you on your way to product-led growth.
Compared to WalkMe, Appcues offers a broader set of in-product experiences but struggles to effectively run these messages on Single Page Applications (SPAs), keep that in mind if that’s something you need.
Free trial available; Essentials Plan starts at $249 USD a month for 2,500 Monthly Active Users
With Appcues, their product is split into four categories:
Flows: these are used for onboarding and feature announcements. Flows are comprised of modals, slideouts, tooltips, and hotspots
Checklists: pop-out widgets where you can add “to-dos” for users. Each checklist item can launch a URL or a “Flow” (Growth Plan only)
Surveys: in-app Net Promoter Score surveys are Appcues’ main survey feature
Events Explorer: Appcues recently launched click-tracking, non-technical teams can define events from the Appcues app, and enable event tracking which can be used to trigger Flows and Checklists.
They've done an excellent job at making the product easy to use and they have a wide range of resources to help you get started and find further inspiration for your use cases – kudos!
Where Appcues is a good fit
✅ You need click tracking included as you look for a WalkMe alternative. Appcues is a great tool if your analytics suite is limited e.g. you only have Google Analytics.
✅ You need a wide variety of UI patterns. While Appcues has its three main products; they are broken down into many other elements like tooltips, modals, and lightboxes. Their templates are easy to get started with.
✅ Your focus is on "first-party product adoption". You don't want a tool to onboard your employees – you've got your eyes set on product-led growth.
Where Appcues may not be the best fit
🤨 You need A/B testing and plan to experiment with your in-product experiences – Appcues deprecated A/B testing for new accounts. It's still doable, but you'll need to add Optimizely to your tech stack to do so. This is something both Chameleon and Pendo offer natively.
🤨 Your product is built in a Single Page Application (SPA). Third-party reviews speak of issues surrounding identifying elements within a SPA; AngularJS in particular. Give Chameleon a go.
🤨 You have plans for more than just collecting Net Promoter Score (NPS) from your customers. Appcues is a strong choice if NPS is important to you, but if you want more customization from your surveys e.g. CSAT, CES, and variable endings (e.g. if someone is unhappy, launch a Calendly booking form from your survey thank you step), then try Chameleon or Pendo.
Pendo: All-in-one product analytics #
Pendo is a product adoption platform that helps you build better product experiences
If your product runs on an iOS or Android app – Pendo is the best WalkMe alternative for you
Pendo is the WalkMe alternative with the strongest analytics features – an excellent choice if you don't have product analytics in your stack yet
Freemium available; pricing available on demand
Pendo comes with a set of in-product experiences to help you communicate product updates with your users or employees and gather feedback. With Pendo, you can:
Create product tours – known as “in-app guides”, that can be triggered based on user behavior
Gather feedback from users – they have a wealth of in-app surveys largely focused on gathering product feedback to fuel your roadmap or to measure customer satisfaction through NPS style surveys
Analyze user behavior with their analytics features and build up a Product Engagement Score (PES)
Where Pendo is a good fit
✅ You need to educate both your users and employees on how to use software. Pendo is the closest WalkMe alternative here on that front.
✅ You want one tool for your analytics and in-product experiences. Pendo does a good job of blending the two if your current analytics setup is limited.
Where Pendo may not be the best fit
🤨 You have a product analytics solution like Mixpanel or Amplitude already – you’d be duplicating your efforts. Try a tool like Chameleon that has two-way integrations with your favorite tools.
🤨 You need more flexibility with your in-product experiences and the way in which users engage with them. Appcues and Chameleon offer more UI patterns such as banners.
🤨 Pendo's pricing is a tricky one and it can get very expensive quickly. Third-party reviewers complain about pricing, that it's too high and increases steeply. Appcues and Chameleon both offer "startup-style" plans.
Chameleon: For "best-in-class" in-product experiences #
Chameleon is a digital adoption platform focused on driving self-serve success
Of all the WalkMe alternatives, Chameleon is the most likely to work with your tech, SPAs included
Compared to WalkMe, Chameleon is easier to use, offers better customization options, and more modern and robust integrations
Free trial available; Startup Plan begins at $279 USD a month for 2000 Monthly Tracked Users
All of Chameleon’s plans come with four fully customizable, no-code products. Let’s look at them in some more detail:
Tours are powerful flows for guidance and launches. Use banners, modals, hotspots, etc. to announce changes or guide users.
Microsurveys are contextual and targeted in-product surveys that are triggered based upon user actions – they enable you to build continuous feedback into your product throughout the user lifecycle
Launchers are highly customizable in-product widgets that you can use as checklists or help menus to deepen user engagement and feature discovery
Tooltips provide in-line help to unblock users and are dynamically deployed wherever you discover users need more info
Where Chameleon is a good fit
✅ You need complete control over the design and placement of your in-product experiences. Chameleon is built to blend in and look 100% native, and you have precise targeting of where they appear included on all plans – you choose when and where experiences are seen – based on user actions, or what people are seeing on the page.
✅ You've built up a solid product-led tech stack already and need robust integrations. With Chameleon, 20+ integrations are included; every plan includes Mixpanel, Heap, Amplitude, FullStory, and Slack integrations (to name a handful!).
✅ You need an easier to use, WalkMe alternative. Chameleon releases new features biweekly to improve their user experience and has a wealth of resources, webinars, and guides to help you get started quickly.
Where Chameleon may not be the best fit
🤨 Your analytics set-up is limited – Pendo is the best solution for you if you're not ready to commit to a solution such as Mixpanel or Amplitude yet.
🤨 You want to run messaging on external applications e.g. Salesforce. We can't show Experiences on domains you don't own. Pendo's "Adopt" product is what you're looking for.
🤨 You need to run your in-product messaging on a native mobile app. You can still send usage data from your mobile apps to Chameleon, to allow you to target web users based on their mobile activity, or launch Experiences in mobile apps that are wrapped versions of a web app. Try Pendo, Braze, or Airship.