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Unmarketing Cloud For Ed-Tech Businesses

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Education is core to our civilization and its progress. At WebEngage, we are privileged to be working with hundreds of ed-tech companies. These companies run their user engagement and retention modules on our platform. Through these modules, we impact the lives of tens of millions of learners and educators every day. We take immense pride in working with ed-tech businesses across the globe ranging from online education, pre & K12 learning, test & preparation platforms for learning management systems. This experience puts us in a very unique position to quickly identify and solve user retention problems in your business.

Hear from our customers in their own words:

Ed-tech businesses are complex

These businesses are usually “multi-sided” – more like a marketplace. Just glance through the illustration below to understand why are we saying this.

The Ed-tech ecosystem

The increasingly mobile user makes this problem even more challenging. More and more users of your business are using their mobile phones and tablets to engage with your product. In more ways than one, the consumer behavior in ed-tech appears to be very similar to that of an over-the-top media business. Now, add a layer of commerce on top of it. That’s content + commerce + multiple stakeholders (like a marketplace) in a single business. Precisely the reason why ed-tech businesses are complex.

Complexity is not a bad thing. But, you have to have the right tools and resources to handle complex problems. Your marketing automation stack is one of those tough choices you got to make. Most marketing tools out there were created keeping the needs of B2B businesses in mind. Yours is clearly a consumer business (B2C). Please don’t end up choosing from the former set. We wrote a very heavily read post on this topic sometime back.

Ed-tech businesses, because of their complex nature, need an unmarketing stack.

World’s first Unmarketing Cloud is here

We have built the Journey Designer product keeping communication in mind. Not marketing. This difference makes us stand apart from all other marketing workflow tools you have seen before. Customers across e-commerce, travel, fin-tech, ed-tech, gaming and content use our platform for a wide variety of use-cases. All of them ultimately aim to improve the user experience to achieve their marketing goals.

Marketing automation tools don’t solve for user experience. For once, you now have a platform which will help you solve your “unmarketing” problems. Underneath is the list of such complex problems we are solving for our ed-tech customers.

1. Getting your basic automation stack in place

If you have adopted a marketing automation platform for your business, you’d have already solved the problem of being able to send mass messages to users via emails, mobile push notifications or browser pushes. You may very well be sending certain triggered messages to users – on signing up, on completing a test etc. And, if you have spent enough time building your stack, you’d have also built drip workflows for engagement to convert users too.

If you are new to all of the above – please talk to our team to get you started. These are the basics you need to put in place first.

Basic’s done. What’s next? Read on…

Bonus Read –  Why Educational Technology cannot (and must not!) do without B2C Marketing Cloud

2. Re-activating users who lack the motivation


Aren’t most sign-ups on your platform “triggered”?

Someone failed to qualify for an exam and decides to prepare harder by enrolling in a self-learning app.
A parent visited their neighbor and saw their child doing better than their own and felt like enrolling his/her kid with an e-learning specialist.
Someone got a beating from their boss in a performance review and felt the need to re-skill.

A vast majority of such users will lack the motivation to come back to your platform again. We solve for this. Yes, we solve for lack of motivation. How? By being a bit pushy via sending highly personalized and timely reminders. Remember your mom during the school and college days? Think of WebEngage playing that mom for your learners!

There are a bunch of tactics our customers use to achieve this. You could automate a “come back to the platform” message to your users which triggers on, say, every 7 days of inactivity. What’s awesome is that these are not just one-time fire and forget messages. Journeys help you build a workflow for these use-cases so that you can stitch together a series of messages based on user action or inaction in the journey.

A quick example of an automated sample workflow: user inactive for 7 days? → send a “come back” message → wait for the user to login → didn’t login in 3 days? → use another channel to reach out (push, email, web, text message etc) → rinse and repeat.

Wanna see more? We have a cute gallery of many more such use-cases for your business. Think about the power of putting such use-cases on automation! Any user who goes inactive in a 7-day time frame will now be nudged so that they come back to your platform. We did something similar with our customer “Testbook”, leading the re-activation of 15% of their inactive users on an ongoing basis!

Download Impact Story – How Testbook used WebEngage’s Marketing Cloud to Reactivate 15% of Inactive Users

3. Engagement for multi-sided education platforms


Let’s see who your “users” are – Learners. Educators. Parents.

Most marketing teams struggle to make a distinction between them as far as engagement and retention are concerned. That’s because marketing automation platforms are not built keeping these multi-sided platforms in mind. Imagine triggering “your kid has missed the last 5 tests” message to the parent. Imagine sending a note saying “Your tutor has just published a new video” message to all “followers” of a certain educator? Imagine sending fee payment reminders to the parent and upcoming test reminders to both students and parents?

Also Read: How EdTech Companies can ace Teacher Retention with a B2C Marketing Cloud [Part 2]

WebEngage builds one of the most comprehensive profiles for each of your users. That becomes the starting point for you to automate for all the scenarios listed above. And, you can unleash the beast in you with our true cross-channel orchestration – we let you interchangeably use emails, mobile push, web push etc as mediums to communicate without making any distinction.

WebEngage is the only marketing automation platform that helps you implement one-to-many communication workflows. Like nobody’s business!

4. Concurrent test reminders

Is your business a test & preparation app? You’ll feel at home with us because we work with a lot of businesses like yours.

Do you struggle to get users to come back to your platform for tests? Despite you sending that last minute “your test starts in 10 minutes” messages? We can publish tonnes of data on why that isn’t going to be enough.

We do two very interesting things here:

First, we solve the need to convert your one time reminders into a workflow.
Quick sample:
Test coming up for a user in the next 24 hours? → send a “are you ready for your test” message 6 hours prior to the test → wait for the user to perform an action (like complete registration for the test) → doesn’t do that in the next 4 hours? → use another channel to reach out (push, email, web, text message etc) → rinse and repeat → send out the final reminder 10 mins prior to the test.

Second, we solve for concurrent reminders. Imagine a user who is subscribed to 2 different tests separated by a couple of hours on the same day. Now, take a look at the reminder workflow above. Shouldn’t this user be receiving 2 different set of messages for each of those tests?

Oh yes! We are the world’s first marketing cloud to solve for such use-cases of parallel execution of user journeys.

5. Improving subscription rate

improving-subscription-rate 10x

Who doesn’t want more paying users?

The eternal question is how? How should you convert a decent chunk of your sign-ups into paying users? You must have achieved a certain conversion rate on this funnel. And, if you have exhausted all your product & marketing tactics, we are about to offer you one more.

With our experience of working with ed-tech businesses, it’s become apparently clear that non-engaged users don’t convert. Try building some sort of a “free tier” in your product which offers a basic level of product experience. What we have observed here is that it is extremely easy to push users who have “used” the free tier to some extent towards the conversion funnel. They are the ones who are most likely to convert. To put it simply, we are asking you to split the conversion funnel into two parts – #1. Engagement and #2. Conversion. You’ll start looking at these as two different problems to solve, which will force you into optimizing both these funnels from content, product experience, and communication perspectives.

We have an immense amount of expertise in helping you improve both the funnels. We improved retention by driving content consumption at one of the largest OTT brands.

6. Churn reduction

Contrary to the popular notion, churn is a much easier problem to solve. If you make sure that your user, once subscribed, is constantly engaged, you’d be able to reduce churn.

Keeping users engaged? Ah, that’s tough.

There are two distinct areas here where the WebEngage platform helps in reducing churn for your business:

First, you can build your product communication on our platform. These are messages that create user delight. E.g see how happy a user gets once (s)he receives a message saying “hey, you achieved 2000 learning minutes“.

Think about the power of automating such communication? Between the 6 channels of engagement we offer, you can create some great user journeys to build an on-going, relevant and personalized communication with your users without breaking a sweat. Talking about personalization, have a look at this case-study with a global AMC giant to get a sense of how far you can go with us.

Second, we automate the renewal reminders and subsequent communication. Money matters are tough. Given a choice, nobody wants to pay :-). We help you build communication workflows pertaining to reminders. Here’s how we got 30% more renewals for an insurance provider.

Enough of selling!

What is WebEngage?

For the uninitiated, WebEngage is a marketing cloud for consumer businesses. We do some insanely awesome work with thousands of customers and help automate their user engagement via our platform. Our Journey Designer is the best-in-class communication workflow engine deployed to engage at the scale of hundreds of millions of users in real-time. Our Personalization Engine allows you to send deeply personalized, one-on-one messages to both anonymous and known users – for the former, messages could be personalized based on their actions; for the latter, based on their identity and actions. To top it all up, we have the one of most advanced analytics engine to help you build and analyze segments, funnels and cohorts.

Check Out – If You Have An Ed-tech Business, We Can Help You Generate More Revenue


Co-founder and CEO, 


Avlesh is the co-founder and CEO at WebEngage. He occasionally writes here and on his personal blog.

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