Have you heard about MasterClass, Udemy, Domestika, or ApplyBoard? Each of them is an EdTech company that combines technology and education to enhance teacher-led online learning and improve students’ educational outcomes, cool right? 

Though EdTech is still in its infancy, it’s growing daily and has much potential. Before, EdTech companies’ products were incredibly basic, due to lack of demand, and rather poor in design and user experience. Today, there’s more focus on product-led growth (PLG) within the EdTech industry, providing people with bright, easy-to-use apps hyped up by its users. A great example is Duolingo, which uses gamification to increase retention and customer loyalty.

In this article, we’ll talk about how the EdTech industry started focusing on PLG and who the biggest leaders are. Also, we’ll explain how this approach can help increase engagement and customer retention. Let’s go!

This article will cover:

  • The EdTech industry’s shift to Product-Led Growth
  • Today’s Product-Led Growth leaders in EdTech
    • Duolingo
    • Newsela
    • PearDeck
    • TOMi Digital
  • Gamification in EdTech

The EdTech industry’s shift to Product-Led Growth

The focus on Product-Led Growth has spread across a wide range of industries, and EdTech has been no exception. With everything online evolving so quickly during and post pandemics, the education system has had to reinvent itself – and fast

It would be amazing for any of us to walk into any classroom today and see the massive changes teachers are making; adding computers, working together, using iPads, etc. Since this industry is constantly evolving, people have discovered that there are other ways to learn besides attending school. In today’s world, we can all gain knowledge through computers, mobile phones, software, and applications, which is why EdTech has started snowballing. Check our blog post on “How professors are adapting to EdTech” for a more in-depth look. 

But how are those companies growing that quickly? The answer is simple; with a product-led growth strategy. There’s a ton of evidence to show that adopting a PLG focus can bring your business the level of success you’re searching for. Here are just some of the major benefits of a PLG approach in the EdTech industry:

Gaining and retaining users

Growth in users refers to the number of people who signed up in a specific time period to use the product. Using the PLG strategy, users who like the product and start to use it for free will be more likely to purchase it. If they continue using it and find it useful, they’re more likely to become a long-term, loyal customer. A good example is Newsela. After adopting a PLG strategy in 2013, this EdTech company grew more than 15% per week.

Conversion to paid users

Through product-led growth, EdTech companies can dramatically widen their top of the funnel with engaged users and create a lot of goodwill. As a result, companies using this strategy are more likely to convert free users into paid subscribers, basing strategy on the product as the main driver of the company. 

Higher engagement

One of the main purposes of PLG is to maintain proactive engagement with each customer. This is an essential way to determine the value of the product provided. A good example of this is a classroom app that uses the number of engaged users (teachers) as an indicator of when the school is ready to buy schoolwide licenses. 

Time to Value

TTV is the period of time a user reaches the “aha” moment when first starting to use the product. It’s also related to the onboarding process they receive. The shorter, the better. A company that does an excellent job regarding the time to value is Remind. In just a few minutes, teachers create an account and add contacts to their list before sending out their first message. Their aha moment comes when they receive a response from a parent or student (often within seconds). 

All those benefits and examples demonstrate the importance of switching from traditional growth mindsets to product-led ones in the EdTech industry. Are you ready to bring forward your education platform? Click here if you want to create a powerful onboarding experience with FROGED. Alternatively, book a demo with us and take action! 

Today’s Product-Led Growth Leaders in EdTech

Product-led growth approaches are revolutionizing a lot of industries, including EdTech. Here are some of the most inspiring product-led growth leaders in the sector. Keep reading to learn more about how they use their product to create a loyal customer base.


We’re sure you’ve heard about it. Duolingo is a gamified language-learning platform that’s all about providing the best and most entertaining learning solution that’s all about the product. Designed as a game, Duolingo offers short lessons that must be unlocked as the learner proceeds, providing the perfect “levelling up” model. It also features written, dictation, and speaking exercises. It’s the world’s #1 way to learn a language. Because of its simplicity and product-led approach, Duolingo users quickly reach their ‘aha’ moment and often complete registration on their first session. Did we mention they offer a free version? 


Newsela is an instructional content tool that allows teachers to find articles with appropriate reading levels for their students. Newsela’s articles also feature questions and writing prompts that align with common core standards. With its PLG approach, the company offered a freemium version of its product at the beginning of the pandemic, which gave it a healthy bump of new users. Since then, gross bookings have grown 115% over the course of the pandemic. 


PearDeck is a Google Slides add-on designed to help teachers create engaging slideshow-style content for the classroom and for remote learning. They built integrations with platforms with high users like Google Slides, which allows teachers to create or edit presentations from within their own Google account. As a PLG company focused on its product, PearDeck has become an essential tool for many teachers.

TOMi Digital

As an educational learning platform, TOMi Digital offers a great product experience for its different customer profiles: Teachers, Studets and Parents. It allows its users to enjoy educational materials, classrooms, lesson plans and video conferences across multiple devices – no internet necessary! TOMi use a combination of product-led approaches, including a freemium/free trial option, but also providing proactive support articles, in-app onboarding and engagement flows, and a dynamic support widget. Hey, when you work in the education sector, you better make sure that your users can learn how to use your product as quickly and easily as possible, right? 

Gamification in EdTech

Everyone agrees that playing games while learning is fun, right? It has been demonstrated that the introduction of game elements to non-game contexts improves learning by increasing student motivation. Because of this, gamification is now a key element for the EdTech industry, effectively keeping users engaged. 

Given its highly engaging qualities, gamification is widely used in the online classroom, typically until students reach twelfth grade. Not only does it encourage learning, but also motivate action, influence behavior, and drive attention and knowledge acquisition. 

How can EdTech companies benefit from gamification?

EdTech companies can improve their products by adding games designed with AI, Big Data, cloud technology, mobile learning, and VR. All of these tools will: 

  • Increase gamified learning and allow students to use their imaginations to apply educational concepts. 
  • Allow teachers to apply those gamified practices when introducing new subjects and make their classes more dynamic.
  • Gain insights into the effectiveness of different solutions in the EdTech market. 

Product-Led Growth in EdTech

The data is clear! Product-Led Growth is the new trend in EdTech companies for many reasons. Not only does it give you a chance to create a more successful product and facilitate user engagement, but it also allows you to understand your customers better to create a more successful company.

In short, EdTech companies are now developing PLG strategies and placing more emphasis on customer retention, satisfaction, and loyalty rather than on the buyer. 

So, it’s time you got started!

Click these links to learn more about the pain points for users in EdTech, or and what every customer experience manager needs to know? Check our last posts on EdTech; “Dear EdTech Customer Experience Managers” and “My EdTech workarounds” or Book a demo to learn more about how FROGED can help increase customer engagement and retention for EdTech companies.