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45 best user engagement tools—and how to choose the right ones for your product

Our favorite SaaS tools for boosting user engagement throughout the customer journey—plus how to actually use them.
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User engagement is critical to product growth, so it’s no surprise that there are so many great user engagement tools available on the market. But with so many options, how do you choose the right SaaS tools for your company?

User engagement looks different from product to product, and choosing the right tools involves more than simple side-by-side comparisons and depends highly on your product. To make things easier, we researched 45 engagement tools and outlined some strategies for selecting the right ones for your product and team.

Engagement tools that help you listen to users

We all know that listening to our users is important. But in practice, deciphering user feedback into actionable insights can be a challenge (and a time-consuming one at that). More often than not, your users aren’t really speaking your language. That’s where user analytics tools come in—the right user analytics tool can help you translate raw user behavior into feedback you can work with.

Here are a few things to think about when you're choosing between user engagement tools:

Analytics is about more than just counting clicks

Listening to your users is more than just counting clicks, it's about making sense of their behavior. What pages they visit, where they travel next, where their mouse hovers—your users are constantly giving you feedback, if you know how to decipher it.

The right user analytics tool for your product will depend on many factors, including:

  • Depth and diversity of user sessions. Google Analytics is a must-have for every company, and it's a great place to get started learning how many users are visiting your website, and where they're coming from. If you’re looking to up your game with the next generation of analytics tools, we love Mixpanel and Heap. Companies with more diverse user bases or more complex workflows can also track individual user experiences with tools like FullStory, which acts like a DVR for user sessions.
  • Engagement goals and gaps. Once your company identifies its engagement goals, you can work backwards to figure out what tools will help you reach them. For example, if you're getting thousands of hits on your website but no conversions, use A/B testing software, like Optimizely to test out a different approach. If you're losing users a few days into their trial, consider using tools that improve user onboarding and in-app communication.
  • Team skill set. Every team has a different skill set, and you should tailor your tools according to who's going to use them. If your marketing team needs a little assistance parsing through all their data, choose a platform like Amplitude, which organizes your data into easy-to-understand visuals.

The best way to collect user feedback

Quantitative data can tell you what your users are doing, but qualitative data can tell you why. Surveys are a quick way to get direct, actionable feedback to improve your product experience.

The key is reaching users at the right moment. What that looks like will be different for every product and every user base.

  • Channels of user engagement. Users are more likely to open a survey if it's integrated into the ways they already engage with you. For example, if your users get an update email every week, you can use software like SurveyMonkey to add a survey to your newsletter. For more a more contextual outreach, you can use a product like Typeform to seamlessly integrate a survey into your platform, or use Appcues to create an in-app NPS survey.
  • Stage in user journey. When you ask a question can be just as important as how you ask it. For instance, you don’t want to derail the all-important user onboarding experience or interrupt a critical workflow with a survey. Consider where your users are in their journey, and use page, behavioral, and user ID targeting to connect with the right folks at the right time.

Engagement tools that help you communicate with users

Many companies engage their users at the beginning of their journey—with welcome emails, onboarding messages, and customer success outreach—but lack a clear, long-term engagement strategy. User engagement spans the length and breadth of the user journey and should slowly, but steadily, drive users deeper into the product. Your ability to keep the conversation going with relevant, helpful information can make the difference between customer retention and customer churn.

Here are some tried-and-true strategies for communicating with your users more effectively:

Clear in-app communication

In-app communication is the most contextual way to reach users. In-app communication shouldn't feel like a roadblock to the services you're offering—your messaging should feel like an extension of your product.

The right in-app communication tool for your product will depend on many factors, including:

  • Level of guidance. The keep to effective in-app messaging is balance—you want to educate your users, not distract them from their workflow. Keep the number of steps in your onboarding to a minimum, and focus your messaging on user goals, not features. To build in-app flows for user onboarding, feature adoption, support, etc—without eating up dev resources—try a third-party tool like Appcues, which allows just about anyone on your team to build native-looking user experiences without code.
  • Scalability of support. If you have a mature product with a lot of users, you'll get to know your common customer service issues pretty well. For solving common issues in the most scalable way, pick a customer service software like Help Scout or Zendesk that lets you make a database of FAQs in addition to in-app outreach.

Emails that enhance the user experience

Whether it's prescriptive onboarding emails or a weekly newsletter, your email engagement should provide real value to your users.

When you're sending emails correctly, they should feel like an extension of your brand. The value you provide to users in emails should supplement and support their in-app experience.

The right email marketing tool for your company will depend on many factors, including:

  • Degree of personalization. People hate generic emails. Any email platform worth its salt will let you add a {First name} tag, but tools like Marketo, Mailchimp, and Hubspot allow you to segment your sends by for more personalized engagement.
  • Deliverability issues. If you're having trouble with email throttling or if you're constantly getting marked as spam, your most important priority is getting your emails into your users' inboxes. Products like SendGrid focus on deliverability by monitoring and combating email throttling and other similar problems. If you want to expand on other email features, Customer.io's analytics integrations and A/B testing are worth checking out.

To push notify or not to push notify

Push notifications can annoy users and drive them away if you're not careful. Oftentimes, it's easier for a user to drag and drop your app into the trash than to dig deep into their settings to turn off the pinging.

Here are some factors to consider about whether or not notifications will end up pushing your users away.

  • Urgency and timing. If you can make push notifications an extension of your product, then you should absolutely use them. Could you imagine ordering an Uber and not getting a push notification telling you to come outside when it arrived? Pushwoosh is a good tool for event-triggered notifications, while Twilio takes things a step further with SMS.
  • Regular check-ins. If your app tracks data over time or collects information of some kind, then you can send a weekly check-in without blowing up your users' phones. If you have something useful to share, like a weekly analytics report, a tool like Airship or Leanplum can help you engage existing users.

Taking charge of the conversation

User engagement is a 2 way street, but the responsibility for keeping the conversation going is on product owners. While users may reach out occasionally to give you feedback, it's your job to make sense of user behavior before you have a churn problem on your hands.

The right tools can make taking charge of this conversation easier. We've given you the strategies to choose wisely.

Now, here’s the full list of our 45 favorite engagement tools...

45 best tools for user engagement


Analytics tools

  • Amplitude—cross-platform, automated user behavior insights
  • Mixpanel—track and analyze user interactions across web and mobile
  • Heap—automatically, codelessly captures complete behavioral datasets
  • Fullstory—individual user session playback and real-time session browsing
  • Segment—allows you to easily integrate customer data into your favorite tools
  • Google Analytics—comprehensive analytics platform with a powerful freemium offering
  • Hotjar—heatmaps, session recordings, and conversion funnels
  • Optimizely—A/B testing, user webpage personalization
  • Woopra—end-to-end customer journey analytics
  • Clicktale—heat maps, session replays, and experience analytics
  • Treasure Data—enterprise customer data platform

In-app communication

  • Appcues—targeted in-app messaging for user onboarding, feature adoption, and customer success
  • Wistia—video hosting and analytics, integrated calls to action
  • Drift—in-app chatbots for sales and marketing
  • Help Scout—ticketed customer support, in-app chat, and knowledge database
  • LiveChat—in-app chat, analytics reports
  • Helpshift—in-app chat, knowledge database, and customer segmentation
  • Zendesk—live chat messaging, knowledge database, self-service support
  • SendBird—1-on-1, group, and public messaging
  • SnapEngage—live chat for sales and support

Push notifications

  • Twilio—SMS, mobile, and web push notifications through a single API
  • Leanplum—push, email, in-app, and SMS notifications with multi-channel branching
  • Airship—segmented, interactive mobile push notifications, in-app messaging, and SMS
  • Iterable—cross-channel engagement with email and SMS
  • Pushwoosh—event-triggered push notifications
  • Localytics—data-driven user insights for personalized messages

User feedback and survey tools

  • Typeform—beautiful, conversational forms and survey builder, with tons of integrations
  • SurveyMonkey—popular survey tool with integrations and skip logic (branching)
  • Qualaroo—in-app and on-site integration, with skip logic and visitor targeting
  • GetFeedback—drag-and-drop survey builder, real-time analytics, optimized for mobile
  • Surveygizmo—automated survey data analysis
  • Zoho—multichannel distribution
  • Checkbox—multichannel distribution, automated data analysis and real-time reporting
  • Google Forms—free, simple analytics

Email platforms and tools

Author's picture
Katryna Balboni
Content and Community Director at User Interviews
Katryna is the Content and Community Director at User Interviews. Before User Interviews, she made magic happen with all things content at Appcues. Her non-work time is spent traveling to new places, befriending street cats, and baking elaborate pies.
Skip to section:

Skip to section:

User engagement is critical to product growth, so it’s no surprise that there are so many great user engagement tools available on the market. But with so many options, how do you choose the right SaaS tools for your company?

User engagement looks different from product to product, and choosing the right tools involves more than simple side-by-side comparisons and depends highly on your product. To make things easier, we researched 45 engagement tools and outlined some strategies for selecting the right ones for your product and team.

Engagement tools that help you listen to users

We all know that listening to our users is important. But in practice, deciphering user feedback into actionable insights can be a challenge (and a time-consuming one at that). More often than not, your users aren’t really speaking your language. That’s where user analytics tools come in—the right user analytics tool can help you translate raw user behavior into feedback you can work with.

Here are a few things to think about when you're choosing between user engagement tools:

Analytics is about more than just counting clicks

Listening to your users is more than just counting clicks, it's about making sense of their behavior. What pages they visit, where they travel next, where their mouse hovers—your users are constantly giving you feedback, if you know how to decipher it.

The right user analytics tool for your product will depend on many factors, including:

  • Depth and diversity of user sessions. Google Analytics is a must-have for every company, and it's a great place to get started learning how many users are visiting your website, and where they're coming from. If you’re looking to up your game with the next generation of analytics tools, we love Mixpanel and Heap. Companies with more diverse user bases or more complex workflows can also track individual user experiences with tools like FullStory, which acts like a DVR for user sessions.
  • Engagement goals and gaps. Once your company identifies its engagement goals, you can work backwards to figure out what tools will help you reach them. For example, if you're getting thousands of hits on your website but no conversions, use A/B testing software, like Optimizely to test out a different approach. If you're losing users a few days into their trial, consider using tools that improve user onboarding and in-app communication.
  • Team skill set. Every team has a different skill set, and you should tailor your tools according to who's going to use them. If your marketing team needs a little assistance parsing through all their data, choose a platform like Amplitude, which organizes your data into easy-to-understand visuals.

The best way to collect user feedback

Quantitative data can tell you what your users are doing, but qualitative data can tell you why. Surveys are a quick way to get direct, actionable feedback to improve your product experience.

The key is reaching users at the right moment. What that looks like will be different for every product and every user base.

  • Channels of user engagement. Users are more likely to open a survey if it's integrated into the ways they already engage with you. For example, if your users get an update email every week, you can use software like SurveyMonkey to add a survey to your newsletter. For more a more contextual outreach, you can use a product like Typeform to seamlessly integrate a survey into your platform, or use Appcues to create an in-app NPS survey.
  • Stage in user journey. When you ask a question can be just as important as how you ask it. For instance, you don’t want to derail the all-important user onboarding experience or interrupt a critical workflow with a survey. Consider where your users are in their journey, and use page, behavioral, and user ID targeting to connect with the right folks at the right time.

Engagement tools that help you communicate with users

Many companies engage their users at the beginning of their journey—with welcome emails, onboarding messages, and customer success outreach—but lack a clear, long-term engagement strategy. User engagement spans the length and breadth of the user journey and should slowly, but steadily, drive users deeper into the product. Your ability to keep the conversation going with relevant, helpful information can make the difference between customer retention and customer churn.

Here are some tried-and-true strategies for communicating with your users more effectively:

Clear in-app communication

In-app communication is the most contextual way to reach users. In-app communication shouldn't feel like a roadblock to the services you're offering—your messaging should feel like an extension of your product.

The right in-app communication tool for your product will depend on many factors, including:

  • Level of guidance. The keep to effective in-app messaging is balance—you want to educate your users, not distract them from their workflow. Keep the number of steps in your onboarding to a minimum, and focus your messaging on user goals, not features. To build in-app flows for user onboarding, feature adoption, support, etc—without eating up dev resources—try a third-party tool like Appcues, which allows just about anyone on your team to build native-looking user experiences without code.
  • Scalability of support. If you have a mature product with a lot of users, you'll get to know your common customer service issues pretty well. For solving common issues in the most scalable way, pick a customer service software like Help Scout or Zendesk that lets you make a database of FAQs in addition to in-app outreach.

Emails that enhance the user experience

Whether it's prescriptive onboarding emails or a weekly newsletter, your email engagement should provide real value to your users.

When you're sending emails correctly, they should feel like an extension of your brand. The value you provide to users in emails should supplement and support their in-app experience.

The right email marketing tool for your company will depend on many factors, including:

  • Degree of personalization. People hate generic emails. Any email platform worth its salt will let you add a {First name} tag, but tools like Marketo, Mailchimp, and Hubspot allow you to segment your sends by for more personalized engagement.
  • Deliverability issues. If you're having trouble with email throttling or if you're constantly getting marked as spam, your most important priority is getting your emails into your users' inboxes. Products like SendGrid focus on deliverability by monitoring and combating email throttling and other similar problems. If you want to expand on other email features, Customer.io's analytics integrations and A/B testing are worth checking out.

To push notify or not to push notify

Push notifications can annoy users and drive them away if you're not careful. Oftentimes, it's easier for a user to drag and drop your app into the trash than to dig deep into their settings to turn off the pinging.

Here are some factors to consider about whether or not notifications will end up pushing your users away.

  • Urgency and timing. If you can make push notifications an extension of your product, then you should absolutely use them. Could you imagine ordering an Uber and not getting a push notification telling you to come outside when it arrived? Pushwoosh is a good tool for event-triggered notifications, while Twilio takes things a step further with SMS.
  • Regular check-ins. If your app tracks data over time or collects information of some kind, then you can send a weekly check-in without blowing up your users' phones. If you have something useful to share, like a weekly analytics report, a tool like Airship or Leanplum can help you engage existing users.

Taking charge of the conversation

User engagement is a 2 way street, but the responsibility for keeping the conversation going is on product owners. While users may reach out occasionally to give you feedback, it's your job to make sense of user behavior before you have a churn problem on your hands.

The right tools can make taking charge of this conversation easier. We've given you the strategies to choose wisely.

Now, here’s the full list of our 45 favorite engagement tools...

45 best tools for user engagement


Analytics tools

  • Amplitude—cross-platform, automated user behavior insights
  • Mixpanel—track and analyze user interactions across web and mobile
  • Heap—automatically, codelessly captures complete behavioral datasets
  • Fullstory—individual user session playback and real-time session browsing
  • Segment—allows you to easily integrate customer data into your favorite tools
  • Google Analytics—comprehensive analytics platform with a powerful freemium offering
  • Hotjar—heatmaps, session recordings, and conversion funnels
  • Optimizely—A/B testing, user webpage personalization
  • Woopra—end-to-end customer journey analytics
  • Clicktale—heat maps, session replays, and experience analytics
  • Treasure Data—enterprise customer data platform

In-app communication

  • Appcues—targeted in-app messaging for user onboarding, feature adoption, and customer success
  • Wistia—video hosting and analytics, integrated calls to action
  • Drift—in-app chatbots for sales and marketing
  • Help Scout—ticketed customer support, in-app chat, and knowledge database
  • LiveChat—in-app chat, analytics reports
  • Helpshift—in-app chat, knowledge database, and customer segmentation
  • Zendesk—live chat messaging, knowledge database, self-service support
  • SendBird—1-on-1, group, and public messaging
  • SnapEngage—live chat for sales and support

Push notifications

  • Twilio—SMS, mobile, and web push notifications through a single API
  • Leanplum—push, email, in-app, and SMS notifications with multi-channel branching
  • Airship—segmented, interactive mobile push notifications, in-app messaging, and SMS
  • Iterable—cross-channel engagement with email and SMS
  • Pushwoosh—event-triggered push notifications
  • Localytics—data-driven user insights for personalized messages

User feedback and survey tools

  • Typeform—beautiful, conversational forms and survey builder, with tons of integrations
  • SurveyMonkey—popular survey tool with integrations and skip logic (branching)
  • Qualaroo—in-app and on-site integration, with skip logic and visitor targeting
  • GetFeedback—drag-and-drop survey builder, real-time analytics, optimized for mobile
  • Surveygizmo—automated survey data analysis
  • Zoho—multichannel distribution
  • Checkbox—multichannel distribution, automated data analysis and real-time reporting
  • Google Forms—free, simple analytics

Email platforms and tools

Author's picture
Katryna Balboni
Content and Community Director at User Interviews
Katryna is the Content and Community Director at User Interviews. Before User Interviews, she made magic happen with all things content at Appcues. Her non-work time is spent traveling to new places, befriending street cats, and baking elaborate pies.
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