Best Practices

The best free tools for building your product-led growth tech stack

Published Apr 25, 2022

Maybe your company is in its earliest stages and you just raised your first round of funding. You’ve heard about being product led, and you know product-led strategies can take your org to the next level. But, you’re on a bit of a tight budget.

Or maybe your organization is a bit more established and you want to test the waters of product led before diving in completely. Or, perhaps you work at a large enterprise, and you want to prove out the effectiveness of product-led strategies before trying to get buy-in to invest in a few new tools you’ll need to put them into practice.

No matter which of these situations you find yourself in, there are plenty of tools for becoming product led out there that are free to use. We put together this list of free product-led tools you can add to your tech stack—without breaking the bank.

The ideal product-led growth tech stack covers three main areas:

  • Product analytics, engagement, and feedback
  • User onboarding and support
  • Product-led operations

The free tools below are our picks to satisfy each need.

Product analytics, engagement, and feedback

Product analytics and in-app guidance: Pendo Free

A good product engagement platform forms the basis of any product-led strategy. It provides insights into how your product is used, and the means to act on those insights to offer an exceptional software experience for your users.

Pendo Free is Pendo’s freemium offering. Pendo pairs robust product analytics with flexible, easy-to-use in-app guides to provide a complete platform for understanding product usage, supporting users in-app with user onboarding and tutorials, and driving up adoption, engagement, and retention on web and mobile.

Pendo Free is an excellent option for quickly getting started with in-app guidance and product analytics—two key capabilities any org that’s trying to become product led must have available in their stack. Since Pendo combines retroactive analytics and in-app guides under one hood, they work seamlessly together to power your end-to-end product-led strategy. That way, you can understand product usage, then use contextual in-app guidance to improve the user experience. 

It’s also super easy to install: You just copy and paste a snippet of JavaScript onto your app’s pages.

Free terms: Includes unlimited use of Pendo analytics and in-app guides for free, up to 1,000 monthly average users on web and mobile.


Heat mapping and session replay: Hotjar

Hotjar lets you see how users interact with your product or website with heat mapping and session playback recording. Paired with product analytics and in-app guides from a system like Pendo Free, you’ll be able to obtain—and act on—a full spectrum understanding of how your platform gets used.

Free terms: Free up to 2,000 pageviews per day.


Data infrastructure: Segment

Being product led depends on both having rich user data and making sure it can talk to all your organization’s other systems and teams. Segment makes that possible. 

Free terms: Free for up to 1,000 visitors per month, connect 2 sources, 1,000+ integrations.


Qualitative research interview scheduling: Calendly

Qualitative data is the yin to quantitative data’s yang when it comes to being product led—they work together to help you build the best possible product. 

But every product manager has felt the pain of trying to identify and wrangle customers into interview calls to collect user feedback. Calendly gets those meetings scheduled quickly and efficiently, without having to send unnecessary emails back and forth to find a time that works for all parties.

Calendly lets your customers access your calendar, see your availability, and schedule a meeting with you at a time they prefer. It’s a great tool for easily connecting with your customers to collect qualitative data and feedback, and you can even put the link to your calendar right inside your Pendo Free in-app guides and trigger them based on product usage, so you can solicit the interviews based on what your users are doing in your app at any given moment.

Free terms: Free tier offers one calendar connection for one user.


User onboarding and support

In-app onboarding: Pendo Free

Pendo Free makes another appearance here. Pendo’s in-app guidance pairs with its product analytics to help you create automated, tailored in-app app walkthroughs and onboarding flows to lead users to your product’s “aha” moments and help them succeed from day one and beyond.

Digital whiteboard: Miro

A major component of a well-designed product-led growth strategy is having a clear view of the user touchpoints and workflows in your product. Miro is a digital whiteboard tool that lets you visualize your onboarding processes, user workflows, and other parts of your PLG strategy. It’s also collaborative, so other members of your team can work on boards at the same time.

Free terms: Free with 3 editable boards, premade templates, and core integrations.


Video Hosting: Wistia

Some people prefer to learn visually. With Wistia, you can create video tutorials for parts of your product, then upload and embed them into in-app guides, so users can watch a quick clip and learn how a feature is used instead of reading documentation or text-based instructions.

Free terms: Free up to 50 videos.


Video Messaging: Loom

Similar to Wistia, Loom offers quick easy video messaging, which you can record then embed in in-app guides to offer users support on the fly, inside your product.

Free terms: Free up to 50 users, with 25 videos per person and a five-minute video limit.


Product-led operations

Collaboration and communication: Slack

Making sure everyone in your org is on the same page is a lot easier when you have a centralized communication and collaboration tool. Slack offers that, with channel- and direct message-based communication and easy document sharing. 

Just finished designing that Miro board illustrating the onboarding flow you plan to implement with Pendo Free? Just drop it in your team Slack channel for everyone to see and weigh in on. Want to keep tabs on the results of your latest sentiment surveys? Feed the results into a channel with one of Slack’s integrations.

Free terms: Free, with limits on message history, video calling, storage, and integrations.


Task Automation: Zapier

Say you’ve got an in-app survey running to see how your new product-led, in-app onboarding experience is performing, and you want everyone in your org to be able to see the results as they come in so you can all start working on improvements right away. Zapier can send each answer directly into a Slack channel for the whole team to view.

Free terms: 5 Zaps for free for up to 100 tasks per month.


Databasing: Airtable

Looking for an easy-to-use database system for organizing your customer feedback for interviews and surveys, product roadmap, content library, and product-led marketing campaigns? Look no further than Airtable.

Free terms: Unlimited databases for up to 5 creators and editors.


Project management: Wrike

Executing product-led strategies involves a lot of moving parts, so it pays to have a good project management system to keep everyone marching to the same beat.

Free terms: Free for up to five users.


CRM/marketing automation: HubSpot

Hubspot is a leading CRM for sales, customer service, and marketing automation. They offer a free version of each of those platforms, and each is a necessary system for any product-led organization to have in place.

Free terms: Free CRM, email and forms, and help desk tools.


Product-led Revenue: Correlated

Product data isn’t just useful for product planning and in-app support. It can also be used to inform your revenue teams. Correlated connects directly to your customer data warehouse so your revenue team can build automated playbooks based on how people use your product.

Free terms: Free with their Startup plan for one user.


Payment Processing: Stripe

OK, this last one is not entirely free, but you won’t incur any charges until you use it. Stripe is a leading payment processing platform, and you can use it to offer customers the ability to pay for things inside your product to support cross sell, upsell, and expansion initiatives.

Free terms: 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction