What web analytics (events + user flows) tool do you recommend for early stage startups?

Dhruv Bhatia
22 replies
I've tried Mixpanel, Amplitude, Clevertap, Moengage but somehow their base plan is too basic and the next plan is super expensive. I've also not been happy with their user flows and segments. I'm looking for a free tier that has events + user flows + segments for 1000 MTUs and/or a startup-friendly paid tier. I've also tried Pendo btw, but I find it irritating and over complicated to set up.

Replies

Developer & Growth Marketer
If you are in early stage... why not using google analytics? If configured properly, google analytics tell you the story
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Founder, Casa
@tommaso_cecchi yeah, I was thinking the same thing. But imo GA is more useful when you have more data because it samples. I want to understand each profile individually based on actions and flows. Mixpanel and all the above mentioned tools have this functionality but not really in the free version, and the paid version is too expensive.
Developer & Growth Marketer
In early stage is enough to understand the trend: where are my user came from? Which source of traffic converted the most? You can setup 20 goal per view and you can see the user flow in goal flow. With small data set you cannot be able to understand what is better and what isn't -> a/b test aren't valid. So, you can understand a lot with google analytics. In a later phase you can swith to another tool
Founder, Casa
@tommaso_cecchi true, maybe I should give GA a shot
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UX engr, cofounder of Phage Directory
@tommaso_cecchi GA 4 (the latest Google Analytics) is based on events and I think it's not polling / tracks every event, and you can connect it to BigQuery to analyze the actual events. Not as simple as Mixpanel's Live Data but still useful. Been playing around with comparing the two so far. Mixpanel is still easier but we're not close to 1k MTUs yet
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Founder, Casa
@yawnxyz interesting. Do you find the mixpanel dashboard(s) easy to understand and navigate?
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Founder of Kudu (holakudu.com)
Hi, I was struggling with this same question a few weeks ago. We are using Amazon Pinpoint, but it can be challenging in several ways, so I think the consensus says Google Analytics, Mixpanel or Amplitude. Maybe, the interesting point here is to configure your events in a way you can move easily.
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Founder, Casa
@anxo_armada true. I have been able to understand basic usage data using the above tools, and seems like I'll have to live with that for now since I don't have the budget for the paid tier. Amazon Pinpoint looks interesting, how would you rate its visualization?
Founder of Tetriz.io
Amplitude Mobile Analytics can actually work. The pricing is based on number of tracker events not on the number of user, so you can easily stay on free plan if you do not track to many events. You can also check out Smartlook Qualitative Analytics. Their free tier is only up to 1500 recording monthly, but the pricing is quite startup friendly.
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Founder, Casa
@fabian_maume thanks, I've used Amplitude in the past. Another tool I'm considering is heap.io, seems interesting as you don't have to configure events manually.
Founder of Tetriz.io
@dhruv_bhatia heap is good: smartlook has similar auto event identification feature.
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Founder, Casa
@fabian_maume thanks :), I'll checkout Smartlook as well
Product Manager @ Piktochart/Piktostory
I find Mixpanel to be a good tool though. Well, at least for their old free plan before the recent revamp that they did. It used to be 1,000 MTU (now 100,000) and lots more functionalities, but now there are limits of 5 reports per user for example which is quite ridiculous in my opinion. Were you perhaps on the new free plan? What was lacking? In any case some other that I've heard of but have not used them before are holistics.io and looker.com
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Founder, Casa
@elvin_lkh exactly, mixpanel used to be good before they did the redesign some time back. Now it's confusing to use as they are focused on enterprises and I don't find them to be startup-friendly.
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Product Manager @ Piktochart/Piktostory
@dhruv_bhatia i had the exact same feeling that they are trying to push towards enterprise! The new pricing didn't make sense to me because free MTU is 4x greater than the Pro MTU! Which means from free, you're immediately pushed to enterprise already without any choice. Would love to hear what you ended up with to use. I'm interested to learn, too!
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Founder, Casa
@elvin_lkh I was using mixpanel and moengage. Not been happy with either and I'm now planning to go with Heap. Happy to connect and discuss my experience with Heap :)
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Building data products. CTO @ Nami ML.
I'm a big fan of Heap. https://www.producthunt.com/post... We've operated in their free tier for a while. The other nice thing about their analytics model is that you don't have to know what you want to track in advance and do a bunch of instrumentation. They collect all the events produced and store them. Then at any point, you can define the event you want to track and it back-populates the data. I've found this really helpful versus something like Google Analytics where you have to do a lot of upfront tagging work. As a small startup, I never have enough time to go instrument everything in advance.
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Founder, Casa
@alejandro_cantarero1 Absolutely :). I plan on integrating Heap. Any thoughts on their marketing features ("send an email to a user after 1 week of inactivity" etc.)?
Building data products. CTO @ Nami ML.
@dhruv_bhatia I believe you can do things like this through their integrations. They have several to various email, marketing, and customer success platforms. However, I'm pretty sure all of their integrations require being on a paid plan, so we haven't tried to do anything like that. It would be easy enough though to generate a list of emails that meet criteria such as "1 week of inactivity" and export it so you could manually send an email. We use segment (https://www.producthunt.com/post...) to create some of our most critical events that get sent into all our tools (Heap, Email, CSM like Intercom) to achieve something similar to what you are describing.
front-end, marketing & tech
Start with Google Analytics. If possible, implement it server-side. Later, a complete setup for a SaaS might include: Google Analytics, Segment, Amplitude.
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