The Best Free & Affordable Roadmap Tools for SaaS Companies

The Best Free & Affordable Roadmap Tools for SaaS Companies

May 26, 2021

Do you want all the benefits of using a SaaS roadmap tool but without paying a hefty subscription fee?

If so, you are in the right place. We’ve put together a review of freemium and affordable roadmap tools that offer all the features SaaS (software as a service) companies like yours need to succeed.

Before delving into these products, let’s take a closer look at why your SaaS company needs roadmap tools and how to pick the right one for your team.

Why All SaaS Companies Need a Public Roadmap Tool

Basic roadmapping software provides a visual guide of the development progress of a product. Members of the development team use the roadmap to stay updated as the product passes through each development stage. The roadmap also ensures that the product’s developers do not deviate from established plans and goals.

The best roadmap tools update not just the product development team but also interested public stakeholders. It may seem counterintuitive to make your roadmap public, especially in the highly competitive SaaS industry, but we promise it’s worth it.

Below are some reasons why:

Proof of innovation

The motto of today’s world is, innovate or die. Use a public roadmap to show your customers that you are constantly innovating and creating new ways to satisfy their needs. It increases customer engagement, and according to Gallup, B2B companies with high levels of customer engagement have 63% lower customer attrition.

Gather customer feedback

If you don’t listen to customer feedback while creating a product, you might end up with a finished product that fails to resonate with your target audience. Avoid such issues by carrying your customers along during each step of the product development stage. Do this with a public roadmap and use the customer feedback to tailor products to deliver better customer satisfaction.

According to Yonyx, other benefits of regularly communicating with customers are understanding them better and displaying your commitment to making them happy. When customers notice your effort, they feel more valued, leading to higher customer retention.

Collaborate with stakeholders

A public roadmap tool facilitates working with stakeholders from all over the world. As long as they have internet access, team members, consumers, investors, and other interested parties can check product development updates. Besides checking for updates, stakeholders can make contributions that add value to the product development process.

Communicate with customers

Use the public roadmap to keep active and prospective customers updated about upcoming features. If existing customers know that new and better product features are coming, it keeps them engaged throughout the product’s lifecycle and reduces customer churn. It can also generate leads and win over potential customers by showing them that future features will make the product worth their while.

Build trust through greater transparency

Your public roadmap can generate social media buzz among your target market. The more customers are talking about you, the more brand awareness you generate.

Also, having a public roadmap creates transparency. According to Sprout Social, 85% of consumers are more likely to give a business a second chance after a bad experience if the brand has a history of transparency. Since every brand experiences a crisis at some point, it helps to win the loyalty of your customers today by being transparent.

Here’s an example roadmap built with Frill:

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You can use Frill to gather ideas from users, share your roadmap, and make announcements about new releases.

Let’s look at some important features of product roadmapping software.

What features to look for in a roadmap tool

You can draw a roadmap of your company’s plans on a whiteboard and share it with your team, but that’s not efficient. A better option is a tool that your team and other stakeholders can view and collaborate on from anywhere in the world, 24/7. That’s why web-based roadmap tools are the preferred option.

Most roadmaps for SaaS companies are timeline or time horizon roadmaps. Timeline roadmaps show ideas and planned activities for the coming months. At Frill, we use a time horizon roadmap, which splits projects into plans, under-development projects, and completed tasks.

Time horizon roadmaps may be more comprehensive and easier to follow, but you can opt for a timeline roadmap if it better fits your needs. However, before picking a time horizon or timeline roadmap, verify that they have the following features.

Public roadmap

Private roadmaps are only accessible by developer teams and other authorized parties, while a public roadmap is accessible by all. We’ve established that public roadmaps can benefit you and your customers immensely by keeping your customers updated about upcoming products and features.

Keeping your customers updated shows that you value their attention and opinion. It also proves to customers that you are willing to go the extra mile to retain their patronage.

Feedback portal for users

It’s not enough that your users can see your roadmap. They should also be able to interact with it and provide feedback about how they feel about your product plans. To achieve this, you need a roadmap that features a user-friendly feedback portal.

You can also use the feedback portal to collect insights about how to improve the customer experience of your users. According to PWC, even when consumers love a product, 59% will dump that product after several bad experiences.

Update announcements

Choose a public roadmap that allows you to share announcements about the latest product features and updates.

According to GrooveHQ, announcements can build tremendous loyalty and retention among customers. Announcements ashow customers that you are transparent and constantly working to improve product quality.

Search function

Product updates and customer feedback can run into the hundreds on a public roadmap. Simplify entry navigation by choosing a roadmap with a search function. The Frill search bar allows you to find specific entries within seconds by simply entering a keyword and hitting enter.

Amazing UX and single sign on for users

Your roadmap should show users that you’re building what they really want. But how can you build what users want if you don’t have their feedback?

Not only should your roadmap tool have a feedback portal and public roadmap, but it should also have killer UX.

The UX of your roadmap will speak volumes about your brand. If you’re using something old and ugly, users might think you built that.

But we all know that UX isn’t just about looks. Great UX means that users are more likely to interact with your roadmap. They’ll be more likely to leave you feedback, check out your roadmap, and comment on what you’re building if they enjoy the user experience.

You should also make sure the tool you use has SSO available, so users don’t need a separate login just to engage with your roadmap.

Top free & affordable roadmapping tools

We have examined how a SaaS roadmapping tool can benefit your company and the features of a good roadmap software. Let’s now look at your best budget-friendly options.

1. Frill

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Frill is a simple-to-use roadmapping tool that SaaS companies use for engaging and enlightening their users about upcoming product features. It’s known for having great UX compared to most other roadmap and feedback platforms.

The tool’s user-friendly interface simplifies leaving feature suggestions and consumer feedback. If you take action regarding a user’s contribution, the contributor will receive a notification.

Contributors can also upvote ideas or feedback from other users, so you know which suggestions to prioritize.

Pricing

Frill has a forever free plan, which is suitable for individuals and small companies. Larger companies that need to track more customer ideas can opt for the $25 per month Business Plan or the $149 per month Enterprise Plan. A two-week free trial is available for both paid plans.

2. Hellonext

alt_text Hellonext simplifies collecting customer requests regarding features that SaaS companies can add to their tools. You can use Hellonext as a private or public SaaS roadmap tool and publish news about new feature updates. Another benefit of this tool is you can pair it with other tools, such as Slack, for better collaboration with your teammates.

Pricing

The most affordable Hellonext plan is the Runway plan, and it costs $12 a month. However, the better value plan is the Take Off plan, which costs $25 a month and allows you to customize roadmaps. There’s also a $50 a month plan, which is suitable for larger companies. A two-week free trial is available for all these packages.

3. Nolt

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Nolt is another convenient roadmap software that works with the tools most SaaS companies use, like Trello and Slack. You can make the feedback board private or public, and you can ban problematic users.

Users can upvote ideas shared on the roadmap, and you can prioritize the most upvoted ideas for action. To make sure you don’t miss anything, Nolt sends weekly email reports regarding activity on your feedback board. Users can also receive email updates about their contributions.

Pricing

You can have more than one feedback board on Nolt, but the platform charges $25 per board. Each board can have an unlimited number of users and posts.

4. Noora

alt_text Many SaaS companies use Noora to show users what they are working on and gather customer feedback about their upcoming products. The intuitive tool simplifies building and updating public roadmaps by automatically creating roadmaps with data collected from your posts.

You can customize public roadmaps with your brand colors, and Noora provides users with automatic roadmap updates via email.

Pricing

The lowest-priced Noora plan costs $29 a month, and it provides unlimited public boards and Slack integration. The $59 package offers more features, including the option for private boards. You also have the option to customize a package to contain only the features you want. The price of the custom package depends on the features you add.

5. Airfocus

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Airfocus simplifies building a product strategy and executing it with team members spread all over the globe. Depending on your preferences, you can create either a timeline roadmap or a Kanban roadmap. Both have a drag-and-drop interface that makes it super easy to modify or update roadmaps.

You can engage in real-time discussions with users that share ideas or updates. When sharing roadmaps with these users, you can modify the settings to ensure that only authorized people can see sensitive information. Airfocus doesn’t have a feedback portal yet, but one is coming soon.

Pricing

The lowest price plan costs $19 but allows only one user. The $39 plan offers a better deal because it allows five contributors and unlimited viewers. Alternatively, you could opt for the $79 plan or custom plan.

6. ProductBoard

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ProductBoard bridges the gap between a product team’s ideas and what the target users want. It accomplishes this with a public roadmap platform for sharing product plans and gathering customer feedback.

You can also use the customer feedback tool to source new ideas about how to improve your product. For optimal engagement, you can tailor your product roadmap to be aesthetically pleasing and constantly updated.

Pricing

The most affordable ProductBoard plan costs $20 and comes with enough features to support a small or upcoming business. Larger enterprises can opt for the $50, $100, or custom plan. If you can’t decide on the right plan for your business goals, use the 15-day free trial to explore the features of each plan.

7. Upvoty

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You can integrate Upvoty with Chrome, Mozilla, Zapier, Slack, Intercom, and other platforms to gather and manage user feedback from various sources. Upvoty also provides the option to share your roadmap publicly or internally.

Users can vote on ideas shared on public roadmaps, so you know which ideas to act on or ignore. Upvoty also has a Changelog feature for communicating new updates and releases. Users receive automatic notifications about each update release, making it easy to carry along stakeholders throughout a product’s lifecycle.

Pricing

You can access Upvoty for just $15 per month, but that gives you access to just one feedback board, and only three team members get access. Alternatively, pay $25 per month for ten team members and access to five feedback boards. The $45 package provides unlimited feedback boards.

8. Convas

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Convas is a roadmapping tool for sharing product development information with a select few or the public. The product roadmap automatically shows all Planned, In Progress, and Completed feedback posts. Users can share, discuss, and upvote feedback while your team stays in control of everything, including Slack notifications, spreadsheets, emails, and more.

The user feedback and discussions are excellent for getting valuable insight into customer likes, dislikes, and preferences regarding planned product updates.

Pricing

Convas is available as a freemium product, but the freemium version has limited features. For example, you can track only 50 users with a freemium account. If you pay $15 a month, you can track up to 100 users. For $150 a month, you get unlimited tracked users.

9. Canny

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Launch a public product roadmap on Canny to keep everyone in the loop. The map comes with notifications that automatically update users about new features and drives customer engagement. It’s also great for collaborating with teammates in various locations and departments.

Its simple roadmap design simplifies collecting feedback from consumers and showing stakeholders your latest SaaS innovations.

Pricing

Canny is one of the pricier SaaS roadmap tools on our list, but qualified companies can access discounts. The cheapest package costs $50 a month and provides facilities for 100 tracked users. If you pay $200 a month, you can have 1,000 tracked users and access to private feedback boards.

10. ProductPlan

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ProductPlan is an advanced roadmapping tool for ensuring every team member is on the same page regarding product development strategies and objectives. Its visual roadmap is easy to follow and understand, and regardless of the package you purchase, you can have unlimited viewers. Each viewer can provide valuable feedback regarding how best to progress with your product development.

That said, unlike other roadmapping tools on our list, ProductPlan doesn’t provide a public roadmap option. Instead, you can create unlimited roadmaps and share them with specific stakeholders via secure links. Doing so eliminates issues like competitors spying on your roadmap.

Pricing

Creating live product roadmaps with ProductPlan’s drag-and-drop editor is hassle-free and fun. $39 a month is all you need to get full access. You can also customize plans to fit your budget and other preferences.

11. Roadmunk

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Roadmunk provides you with several templates for creating a useful and visually stunning product map. It features a drag-and-drop editor for modifying templates to suit your needs and collaborating seamlessly with teammates.

Choose between a swimlane and timeline roadmap style and capture feedback from customers. You can also manage and filter feedback to ensure that you see the most important ones first.

Pricing

If you are an individual or new company, the $19 per month plan is adequate. You get unlimited roadmaps, feedback submission via a Chrome extension, and feedback management tools.

Go for the $49 per month package if you want custom roadmap color palettes and up to five reviewers to have access to your account. There’s also the $99 plan for companies that need advanced security and support.

12. Trello

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Trello is one of the most popular platforms for organizing and managing team members in various locations. One of the platform’s most powerful tools for remote collaboration is the customizable Trello board. You can use it to create simple product roadmaps, which you can share with team members and stakeholders.

Unlike similar tools, Trello has a website version and an Android and iOS app. On the downside, feedback collection is unavailable.

Pricing

A free version of Trello is available, but if you want unlimited boards, you have to pay for the $10 plan. The $10 plan also offers a timeline view for monitoring every step of your project’s progress. There’s also an Enterprise plan, but you need to contact the Trello sales team to negotiate a price.

What’s the Best Low-Cost Roadmap Tool for SaaS?

When looking for a roadmap tool for your SaaS company, don’t prioritize cheap over quality. You want a product that’s within your budget but still offers all the features you need, such as a:

  • Public roadmap
  • Feedback portal for users
  • Announcements page for updates
  • User-friendly interface with a search function

Compared to other SaaS roadmap tools, Frill offers all these features and more at the attractive price of $0. You can use the free plan for as long as you want as long as you stay under 20 ideas. If your company rolls out lots of products each year, update to one of the paid plans so you can collect more ideas from your users.

Want the roadmap and feedback tool with the best UX and pricing? Check out Frill.