How Ed-Tech Companies Can Get an A+ in Student Retention With a B2C Marketing Cloud

Kinjal Shah
7 min readApr 14, 2020

Originally published on WebEngage.

It’s time to focus on the MOST important vertical of any educational technology (edtech) business i.e. Students. For the convenience, anybody who falls under any of these categories will be addressed as a Student:

  • School/University Pupil
  • Competitive Exam Aspirants
  • Working Professionals who are continuing education

Before we proceed any further, let’s say it out loud that it’s the best time to be a Student.


  1. The penetration of internet and smartphones has made technology a child’s play for Students.
  2. Educational technology has made global as well as home-grown subject materials available to anyone with an internet access.
  3. Students have an easy access to their personal and/or parent’s disposable income for education.
  4. Education (both online and offline) has become not only affordable but also high on quality.

Are these factors impacting businesses in the educational technology sector?


  1. Students’ (and/or Parents’) are expecting enhanced learning experience, value-added services, technology-enabled facilities, 24×7 offline and online support, etc.
  2. The growing demand for edutech services has resulted in a number of edtech businesses mushrooming in this sector. Consequently, this industry is witnessing intense competition and low customer loyalty.
  3. And as per the economics of supply > demand, edutech companies are forced to keep the course fees affordable or low.

Then how are the edutech companies retaining customer, building their loyalty and making profits?

By intertwining their platform with a marketing cloud like WebEngage.

Confused? Let me explain.

A full stack marketing cloud enables any edtech business to:

  • get a complete view of their customer base in form of a unified profile;
  • create real-time user segments based on various combinations of user and/or behavioural attributes;
  • launch a targeted, coherent as well as triggered cross-channel marketing campaign;
  • design and automate customer journey maps and communication workflows
  • receive rich and comprehensive analytics report on the periodic basis.

“I’m still confused!”

Then let me explain with a used case of an exam preparation platform, XYZ Tests.

Use Case: How Test Preparation Platforms can master Student Engagement and Retention using a Marketing Cloud

Like any other exam preparation business, XYZ Tests has multiple challenges at every stage of its student lifecycle. But before we jump to them, let’s first understand an elementary life cycle of a student.


A Student’s life cycle starts when he/she lands on the website of XYZ Tests via multiple sources like social media, display ads, search engine, word-of-mouth, etc. On the website, the student browses through various test prep courses until he/she finds a fitting one.


Once the student selects the test prep course, he/she creates a new account on XYZ Tests by filling up a lead generation form.

An account creation results in a generation of a Student Profile on XYZ Tests which contains exam-related information like:

  • Personal information (eg: Date of birth, location, etc.)
  • Educational and professional background
  • Exam(s) appearing
  • Date(s) of exam(s), etc.


Since XYZ Tests has a freemium subscription model, the student is given access to the limited number of free mock tests of his/her selected exam(s). The student attempts the mock test and submits it for scoring.


On submission of the mock test, a performance report is automatically generated. This report contains stats such as:

  • Rank / Percentile
  • Total number of attempted questions
  • Number of correct and/or incorrect answers
  • Time taken to complete the test
  • Correct Answers, etc.


Now that the student is converted and engaged, XYZ Tests retains him/her by:

  • Offering attractive discounts on paid tests
  • Introducing value-added services (eg: one-to-one career counseling, mock test analysis by subject experts, latest question bank, etc.)
  • Proposing the premium membership plan
  • Free test prep resources, etc.

Now that you closely understand the Student Life Cycle, it’s time to unveil the potential problems attached to each stage.

Even though the above list of challenges is not exhaustive, it’ll still give you a gist of how XYZ Tests can lose a high valued student at every stage of its life cycle.

“So is there one single solution for all these challenges?”

Of course, there is. It’s called a marketing cloud solution. It can enable you to engage as well as retain your users without breaking into a sweat.

Don’t scratch your head. I’ll simplify this further with two generic use cases.

Use Case A: Free Mock Test Reminder

Suppose XYZ Tests wants to push a newly registered user to complete his/her two free mock tests before it could pitch paid subscription plans to him/her.

“Excuse me. Would sending a reminder email work?”

Sending JUST an email will definitely not work. You’ll need to create a mix of multiple cross-channel, personalized and timely messages to achieve the desired goal.

And the best way to implement the above is by creating a customer journey with builders like WebEngage Journey Designer. With this drag-n-drop workflow designer, you can orchestrate a targeted and tailored cross+multi channel marketing campaign to engage your users at their moments of influence. Here’s a video to explain how it works:

For this use case, the journey given below will not only identify the right set of newly registered user, but also send hyper-personalized messages triggered at the right moments.

When a Student signs up for XYZ Tests and completes his/her profile [Event: Student Profile created], he/she enters the journey.

If the Student completes both the tests [Event: Free Mock Test 2 submitted] within the 3 days of profile creation, he/she is asked to purchase a Paid Plan via a hyper-personalized email.

If the Student DOESN’T complete the Free Mock Tests within the 3 days of profile creation, then he/she is nudged to do the needful using multiple channels such as web push, email, and SMS.

In case the Student still doesn’t attempt Free Mock Test 1 within the next 2 days, he/she is sent an SMS.

Use Case B: Paid Plan Abandonment Recovery

Suppose Alex (from the previous use case) is intrigued to find out more about the paid plans of XYZ Tests. He clicks on ‘Gold Paid Plan’, and he is redirected to the landing page.

If he clicks the ‘BUY PLAN’ button for Gold Plaid Plan, an event ‘Interested in Gold Paid Plan’ triggers. And Alex enters the journey given below.

If Alex doesn’t log in [Event: Login successful], he’ll be sent a web push notification after making a quick check whether he is reachable on a web push or not.

In case Alex logs in [Event: Login successful] but doesn’t make the purchase within the next 30 minutes, he’ll be sent a reminder either via SMS (primary channel) or Email (secondary channel).

WebEngage + Educational Technology

WebEngage is a complete marketing cloud that is built for scale and stability. This powerful tool can enable your EduTech business to launch cross-channel marketing campaigns supported by hyper-personalized messaging. Our flagship feature, Journey Designer, is the easiest customer journey workflow creator of them all.



Kinjal Shah

Content Marketer @ WebEngage. Logophile. Creative. Child at heart. Free spirit. Founder @ Smallogs.