How to use data and tech to take a bigger share of the ed tech bonanza

  • 24th October 2022

Companies can get their fair share of the fast-growing ed tech market as long as they recognise what technologies they need to keep customers and deal with an equally fast-growing set of competitors, says Jason Smith, vice-president at MoEngage.

Jason Smith, VP UK & Europe, MoEngage

Global ed tech was worth $106.46 billion in 2021 and is growing fast, to the point that it is now predicted to grow by 16.5% a year between 2022 and 2030 and reach $605.40 billion by 2027. Providers were, in a way, blessed by what was otherwise a global tragedy, the pandemic, which forced millions of educational establishments and their students online.

As a result, the corporate learning and the massive open online course (MOOC) market has been predicted to grow at a 29% annual growth rate to reach $21.4 billion by 2025. In addition, Learning House states that 87% of students use mobile devices to search for new online programmes.

So far, so good. However, most ed tech grew to service an industry that was subsidiary to mainstream learning delivered live or in-person and was not designed to meet the needs of a new type of customer that manages so much more of their life, and with great facility, digitally.

What this means is that to increase engagement, retention or convert free customers to paid ones, it is crucial to focus on each micro-moment in the customer journey and personalise communication based on their interest, progress and friction points.

In addition, ed tech providers need to start building a 360-degree view to get insights into the customer, their journey, and campaign effectiveness, so that communications can be personalised effectively.

This journey is different from before as more and more customers are seeking lifelong education to support careers that are more likely to change often and significantly. They also want greater gamification of lessons which suits them better than traditional teaching served up in notes and lectures. And in addition, they want this learning to be personalised.

So, providers have a dual challenge – winning, converting and keeping customers but also serving them in the ways they choose. First understanding where this can go wrong is key to developing a strategy for success and adopting the right tech to enable it.

Consider the hurdles impacting process in the following four areas:


  • Standing out in a competitive market
  • High cost of acquisition due to compromising on margins to match competitors
  • Fragmented market base, where the end-user isn’t always the decision-maker
  • Lost opportunities with anonymous visitors not signing up


  • Low course completion
  • Lack of real-time analytics and insights to base personalisation efforts on
  • Low feature discoverability


  • Abandonment post-app install
  • Drop-offs during sign-up and onboarding
  • Incomplete profiles


  • Retention rates in ed tech are about 4% compared to an industry average of 36%
  • Drop-offs after completion of one course
  • Struggle with converting free trial customers to paid subscribers
  • A higher rate of inactivity

The first step towards preventing these problems arising is having the data to understand what is going on. Customers become inactive or dormant when navigating through an app or ordering becomes difficult and they don’t see value in it. Customers also expect a hyper-personalised experience, across channels, so receiving impersonal communication about offerings that don’t interest them is a good way to lose them. Analysis of these particular cohorts can pinpoint the exact point in their journey where customers are dropping off equally experiencing a Aha! moment.

In our latest report, we have developed seven use cases to show how to respond to classic scenarios.

1. Downloaded your app but didn’t initiate sign up

The goal is to complete sign-up and open the app while communicating value and benefits of the app. Intent is to track drop-offs and achieve onboarding completion.

2. Customers who initiated sign-up but left midway

The goal is to bring the customer back to complete sign-up while communicating ease of signing up. Intent is therefore to remove points of friction.

3. Sign-up has been completed

The goal is to guide them through features and collect data to help personalise their experience while finding out their subject interests, age, education level etc. Intent is to communicate how to best derive values from your offering.

4. Personalising engagement to ensure course completion

The goal is to use rich insights to personalise communication and ensure course completion while the messaging is to increase interest in the next module of the course, interactive activities, tests etc. Intent is to nudge learners towards completing the programmes they signed up for.

5. Customers about to go dormant

The goal is to identify actions preceding dormancy, encourage activity and re-engagement while increasing interest in the next module of the course, interactive exercises, tests etc. The intent is to nudge learners towards completing the programmes they signed up for.

6. From free to fee

The goal is to convert freemium customers to paid subscribers while highlighting features and services that are exclusive to your subscribers. The intent is to show them the added value of subscribing to your service.

7. Customers who uninstalled the app

The goal is to re-engage churned customers while asking for feedback, new features related to features of the app they’ve used in the past, comeback offers. The intent is to reinitiate interest in your app/offering.

Across all these activities, the channels used are Push, SMS, email and in-app.

With the right tech, ed tech brands are able to design marketing automation flows that are easy to create, visualise and deploy across channels. From there, ed tech companies can set up predictive segmentation and recommendations, using a customer’s behaviour and personality to predict their future actions. They can then be sent dynamically personalised product recommendations they are most likely to engage with at a time and channel they’re most likely to respond through.

For more information on how ed tech businesses can evolve their offer and deliver one-to-one engagement to drive customer lifetime value and boost revenues, visit:
Beyond the Classroom: Insights-led Engagement for Ed-Tech | MoEngage

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