Top 10 Best Slack Alternatives for 2020

Slack is a wildly popular team-chat and collaboration app that solves three main problems –  team communication, collaboration (file sharing and integrations) and most importantly, staying up-to-date (notifications). However, it’s not always the best solution for your work communication and you may want to consider Slack alternatives.

Why Use Slack Alternatives

Users have a love-hate relationships with Slack. Of course, Slack is an excellent tool but it’s features, come at a price. Many refuse to use Slack exactly because of its price tag. Also, Slack offers way more features than your company may want to deal with, ending up notifications from the endless list of Slack apps pouring into your workspace daily.

Here are some of the reasons why you should consider a Slack alternatives:

  • The constant bombardment of incoming messages and notifications can be overwhelming on Slack.
  • Non-technical users find it challenging to use and retain Slack
  • Slack is priced at $8/user/month which may not be affordable for small businesses
  • Slack can be distracting since larger channels suffer from noise after a certain point which can start diminishing productivity.
  • Slack does not provide encryption keys on their servers

Whatever your reason, there are plenty of communication tools out there your team can benefit from. To help you find other options, we have put together a list of the best Slack alternatives for you.

Top 10 Best Slack Alternatives for 2019

Hangouts Chat

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Hangouts Chat is Google’s messaging platform which has direct messaging, threaded conversations and bots that have deep integrations with G Suite services. It allows your team of up to 8,000 members to easily communicate through the use of a chat room and direct messages.

In Hangouts Chat, you can also send private one-to-one or group messages within the tool. You can also integrate Hangouts Chat with Asana, Box, and Zendesk and 50+ other third-party platforms.

Pricing: $5/user/month

Top Features:

  • Voice and Video Calling.
  • Collaborating with all g-suites (Docs, sheets, presentations).
  • Store and share your files.
  • Security features like 2-Step verification and Single Sign-On.
  • You can use shared calendars, to view the availability of your team members.

Fleep

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Unlike other Slack alternatives, Fleep is an open network developed for project communication, so you can initiate a conversation with any Fleep user. All you need to know is the person’s email. Therefore, the app connects the gap between an inbox and a business messenger.

With Fleep, you can create, assign, search and track tasks with Fleep’s native task management tool. It also features an unlimited message history as well as unlimited integration in its free package.

Pricing: Free plans, business plan for €5/user/month

Top Features:

  • Support dialogue between team members and other people who are not in your organization.
  • Support file sharing.
  • You can track your message if it has been seen by any other Fleep user.
  • With Fleep You can also edit your sent messages.

Chanty

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Speaking of Chanty, its unlimited chat history feature sets it apart from other team chat applications. It is a free, simple, and intuitive team-chat app that organizes all your files, links, tasks, and conversations into folders in a feature called TeamBook.

Different from Slack, Chanty Chanty is faster and more affordable. It also allows you to turn any message into a task, assign it to your teammate and get notified when it’s done.

Pricing: Free plan up to 10 people. Paid plans start at $3/user/month

Top Features:

  • Quick buttons to get access to the entire history.
  • Highlight the team members with a quick mention of keywords.
  • You can turn any message to your task.
  • Chanty supports a ton of apps through Zapier.
  • It also supports voice chat, voice calling, and screen sharing.

Rocket Chat

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Rocket.Chat is open-source, which means— it is designed for anyone who wants to host their own chat service. Besides chat functionality, it has some other great features like audio/video conferencing thereby easing the collaboration with the team.

Rocket.Chat also provides a real-time automatic translation of more than 50 languages as well as voice messages and end-to-end encryption.

Pricing: Free

  • Audio & Video Calls and conferencing.
  • Screen Sharing
  • E2E and SSO encryption.
  • Real-time translation of over 50 languages.
  • Rocket.Chat can be tailored for endless customization.

 Skype for Business

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Skype is an all-around communication platform and has been one of the great tools for team communications. Currently owned by Microsoft, Skype lets you share your screen, audio, and video along with the text.

As a Microsoft product,  Skype is fully integrated with all MS Office products along with third-party applications. It also allows you to call actual landlines and mobile phone numbers.

Pricing: Free with Office 365, starting from $8.25 /user/month

Top Features

  • Simple to understand User Interface.
  • Seamless Integrations.
  • More affordable starter plan for businesses.
  • Desktop interface for system admins

Yammer

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Yammer is a great premium team communications tool that looks pretty much like a private Facebook feed just for you and your team. Currently owned by Microsoft, Yammer lets you integrate and collaborate easily with other Microsoft products.

With a powerful context-based search feature and support for all major platforms, Yammer makes it easy to organize your team’s discussions, files, and updates on a particular topic.

Pricing: Free for educational organizations, Paid plans start at $3/user/month.

Top Features

  • Keep docs, photos, and videos in context by adding them to conversations.
  • Safely collaborate with contractors, customers or sister companies.
  • Groups as lists of users
  • Social network functionality

MatterMost

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MatterMost is an open source team chat software that you can customize completely based on your company’s needs. Mattermost is much better than Slack in threaded discussions, a highly-coveted feature available in this app completely for free.

MatterMost comes with three different editions, of which one is an open source and the other two are designed for commercial purposes.

Top Features

  • MatterMost can be integrated with most of the available DevOps tools like Jenkins, Git, etc
  • All the conversation made between the teams are properly organized in MatterMost.
  • MatterMost also offers screen sharing and audio/video calls.
  • Matter most supports multiple languages.
  • You can also customize the notification received over mobile, desktop and web.

Pricing: Free to 39$ for a year.

Ryver

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Ryver is another excellent team communication and team management app that makes a power move combining team communication and task management features in one app.

Apart from the chat, Ryver offers Workflow automation as well, which means all the operations like task assignment, notifying team, etc can now be automated and thus save time.

Top Features

  • Task assignment and team notification can be automated.
  • Dedicated Task manager to track all your conversations.
  • Screen sharing and audio/video calls.

Pricing: 49$ for 12 users to 99$ for unlimited users per month.

CA Flowdock

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CA Flowdock’s is just another Slack alternative. Flowdock is a team chat tool where all the project flows and conversations between the team members are very well organized in threads.

In Flowdock, you can make video calls through appeair.in, and have access to more than 100 integrations.

Top Features

  • In Flowdock, all the conversations are organized in threads.Team members can start the conversation privately.
  • It supports video calling and screen sharing among the team members.
  • Available on multiple platforms like Android, iOS, Windows devices, etc.

Pricing: Free to USD 9$ for a month.

Jostle

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Like hangouts, Jostle is another excellent Slack alternative which is cloud-based intranet tool, which means all the conversation between the team members is strictly limited to your organization.

Jostle Supports decent integration tools like Google Drive, Twitter, Gmail, etc.

Top Features

  • It supports voice and video calling between the team members.
  • It supports multiple languages.
  • Jostle is available on multiple platforms like Android, iOS, Desktop.

Pricing: Varies with users

Also See: TeamWave.com – Integrated CRM, Project Management & HR platform.

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How to Take Your SaaS Sales to the Next Level with User Onboarding

Your customers’ first experience is absolutely important. Here’s how to make it count.

What happens when a user signs up for your platform or product?

Many SaaS companies think that — the moment after they sign up is when they’ve “won” the user.

In reality, 50-60% of SaaS users will open an app once and never log in again.

For most companies, especially SMEs, there are two essential milestones that need to be reached before a customer can reach their full value potential:

  • The moment a customer signs up for your service, and…
  • The moment a customer achieves their first “success” with your service.

Customer-lifecycle

 

In the graph above, you can see a disproportionate amount of your customer churn will take place between (1) and (2). That’s the point where your users drop your product because they get lost, don’t get something, don’t get value from the service, or simply lose interest.

In order to decrease that opening churn, smart companies focus on user onboarding: the process by which you help a customer go from stage 1 to 2 as fast and smooth as possible and win you higher customer retention and more satisfied customers.

The Basic

We have a simple question.

After you’ve done the hard work of getting a person to your site for the first time, how many get to the experience you wanted?

Yes, We’re talking about that hard to pin down the feeling of core product value – the “aha moment.”

There are growth specialists/experts, who’ve spent thousands of hours learning how we all can be made active through usability and A/B tests of copy, design, and UX.

While that canvas of work that we all enjoy is available at all times, as we get used to the great products we use every day, we lose what it takes to get us on board.

Onboarding is the process of getting a new user to a must-have experience, and a set of best practices to get them active. Good onboarding involves a mix of selling, educating and using your product. 

In this article, we’re looking at 8 tips for users onboarding to get an idea on where their own onboarding process may be lacking and could use some clever optimization.

8 User Onboarding Tips

1- Consider your customer: Set expectations

Define and prioritize your goals for what you want the user to accomplish. Show your customers exactly where they are in the user onboarding process and how much they have left to go through the endowed progress effect. Make your users more motivated to finish with every step that they take.

For example, look at how Evernote does this to help users set up their account, with a progress meter showing them what they can expect to be doing throughout the onboarding process:

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2-  Don’t Overwhelm New Customers

SaaS companies often become so excited about the possibilities of their product that they feel like they need to show their customers everything the second they sign up for our product. Rather, businesses should focus on taking a step back and think about what their most successful customers did when they first joined their product.  

To avoid overwhelming new users, make every step in the process as simple as possible. Has the most limited amount of friction possible. If you have an engine of growth in the onboarding, avoid it. If you have a request for social shares in the onboarding, avoid it. If you have an email opt-in or a “special offer” from the user onboarding, avoid it.

For example, Dropbox could tell their new users to “upload all of their files,” rather, their onboarding flow requests the user to upload a single file:

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3- Know your customers

You should also understand what success means to your customers. Give a sample of the real-life value of your products that you offer, rather than as an external experience stapled on long after the “real product” has been completed.

All users are different, so you need different skills, different needs. Users respond differently depending on the simplicity or complexity of the product and the onboarding process. 

The most certain way to understand customer-defined success is simple: Ask the customer.

That’s what TeamWave, one of the best CRM for small businesses, does with their very first onboarding email that every new user receives:

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Building relationships with users like this will help you improve your onboarding process today and over the long term as your user’s needs change.

4- Get to the “ah-ha” moment ASAP

As a SaaS business owner, one of the most influential things you can do when a user signs up is to provide immediate value. Help your new customer understand the value of your product as soon as possible. 

While it might take time to fully onboard a customer, it is possible to enable them to succeed with the software quickly. This is easier than it sounds. This can be in the form of a small feature that is easy or fun to use like generating a report, creating an invoice or sending a text message. 

If the user is successfully using a few features of the product within the first few minutes of the onboarding process, they will be more inclined to spend the time needed to learn the full platform. However, the most important thing is not the value of the particular feature but the experience for the user to feel successful and build some confidence that they can use the product.

5- Ask What You Need Not What You Want

Do you really need your user’s debit/credit card from day one?

Do you really need your customer’s last name?

Or their email id?

You may have a valid reason for needing this information, but how discreetly have you thought through all of the info that you asked for in your onboarding flow?

Why do you want your user’s last name? If it doesn’t give value to you, think about not asking for it. Every bit of information that you ask for is another level for the user to complete, and every level is a possible abandonment point.

6- Behavior-based communications

Gone are the days of sending emails based solely on the number of days customers have been trial users. 

Forget your 10-day trial – users onboard and convert based on behavior. 

Based on research, here are some facts and figures to prove the above point:

  • 80% of SaaS sales conversions happen in the first 40 days. This is true regardless of whether it is a 15-day trial, 30-day trial, or freemium offering.
  • 50% of all SaaS sales conversions will happen AFTER the trial ends.
  • SaaS companies that rely on the trial and as a primary conversion trigger are missing opportunities.

However, there is no “best” way to onboard because customers convert at different moments. Our recommendation is to transform customers based on behavior instead of an imperious X-day trial. This is easier than it sounds:

  • Give early conversion incentives for users who get value sooner.
  • Try to close qualified trial users up to 6 months after the trial ends. 
  • Timed trials are excellent for creating a conversion incentive, but start them once customers get value from your service – Also, don’t rely on an X-day trial for all of your customers.
  •  Use exit intent technology to collect feedback for the time users have.

7-  Show Off the Platform

Many businesses use mediums like videos/guides as a way to walk new customers through a product.

For example, take Trello for instance, it has an onboarding guide with cards that both the show and tell the customer how things work.

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If you have features in your platform that you can use to both show and tell, doing so can be an excellent way to explain and bolster the value of your product at the same time.

8-  Measure

Onboarding is about the experience of doing business with you. Analyzing the data is crucial when looking at whether your current customer onboarding is successful and in figuring out where it needs improvement. 

Most customers don’t come back after the first session, so metrics are crucial to ensure you keep investing time to help users find value and have them return. 

Bottom Line

The onboarding process is hard. It is a delicate balance between hand-holding users and naturally allowing them to realize the value of the service or the product. SaaS teams who have effective user onboarding flows are constantly testing and improving them. 

Make sure you’re obtaining enough data to have complete visibility over your customers’ progress toward success. Continue to look at your onboarding flow critically from your customer’s perspective and refine, analyze your data, refine, analyze your data, refine…

To learn more about user onboarding best practice check out this resource

 

Starting a SaaS Business? Consider White Label Partnerships

SaaS is a revenue and distribution model for software “product” companies that make money by charging customers on a monthly or annual basis. The SaaS business can be incredibly profitable if “product-market” fit is achieved and unit economics are right.

So how do you go about starting a SaaS company? How do you pick the right business idea? How do you hire a team to build the product for you?

Your first instinct may be to hire developers (in-house OR outsourced) and then try to do-it-yourself. After all, that’s what entrepreneurship is all about, right?

Not always. The technology business is very competitive. Picking a product idea or making a business plan is the easy part. Building a high-quality software product from scratch is really difficult and can actually be a high-risk option. Building your own product can lead you to:

  • Reinventing the wheel, making mistakes that others before you have already made and mastered
  • Dramatically slow down your time to market, as you try to troubleshoot and increase your learning curve outside your core competency
  • Spend too much money developing tools and solutions that already exist
  • Miss out on resources and expertise in the specific space where you need a focused solution

The million dollar question: Is there a way to mitigate risk? Is it possible to start a SaaS business without being involved in product development (and maintenance)?

Yes. You can license white label software, rather than building the product yourself.

“White label” refers to a fully supported product or service that’s made by one company but sold by another. As a reseller, you can purchase a White-label product license. That way, you (the white-label reseller) can customize the product with your own pricing plans, logo and identity, allowing customers to associate the product with your brand.

Benefits of a white-label partnership:

  1. It’s quick and easy to brand. White label solutions are generally fully integrated and ready-made, which makes branding & adding new features very easy. As the reseller, you’ll be free from concerns about needing to spend time and money on research, development and testing.
  2. It keeps your customers happier. Your customers have an end goal, and using a mature solution can give them a clear and simple path to reaching it. The time (years!) that it takes to develop your own solution can force customers to look elsewhere. You can avoid this with a ready-to-use, proven business solution that meets their needs immediately.
  3. It saves you time and money. Developing a high-quality solution from scratch takes a large amount of financial and human capital. Even if you think you can build it yourself, it’s important to factor in time for marketing. Remember, it takes time for product architecture, design, building, and testing. Cutting corners in any of these steps can leave you even further behind.
  4. It gives you access to exceptional talent. Building high-quality web & mobile applications needs expertise. It’s difficult to hire (and manage) a team of “rock-star” designers, developers & project managers. By simply licensing a white-label solution you can get access to a great team that may be willing to collaborate on new ideas & features.
  5. It allows you to focus on your business’s core competency. In many cases, the solutions that companies hope to build themselves fall far outside of their areas of expertise. It’s not smart to stretch your resources to do something that doesn’t fit within your core competencies. Avoid making the same mistakes that others have made before you.

Bottomline

White label reseller program and partnerships in SaaS can help you utilise your business’s unique branding to offer a product or service without investing in infrastructure or technology creation around the solution. You can focus on building your brand and selling your services while simplifying the conversion path for your customers.

List of Software / SaaS companies that offer white label partnerships: