These days, if I'm browsing edtech company sites I'm doing competitive research.
So I decided to mix it up and put myself in the shoes of a buyer. Someone whose only intro to three edtech companies was on their sites.
The companies I decided to explore were:
with a K-12 age range
spanning a range of topics: language learning, communication, math & ELA
After browsing NovaKids, AllHere, and SplashLearn, here's what I learned about what it takes to attract new customers.
Aggressive marketing can be attractive
You'd be surprised how jazzing up traditional CTA's like "buy now" can come across as cute instead of annoying, or hustling.
What does jazzing up a CTA look like? It ranges from cute taglines to creatively designed CTA boxes.
Ultimately, the reader should be familiar with a site's CTA style. After all, companies don't just want to inform, they want to convert!
When design underwhelms, copy has the chance to soar
I'm drawn to edtech brands with a kiddie feel, which often shows up in their logo or web design work.
Immediately expressing kid-centric messaging tells me, as a visitor, that I'm in the right place.
Not all edtech companies incorporate this youthful feeling into their designs, but they might in their copy.
In my brief analysis, a few words and phrases stood out to me across the three sites:
Fall in love with math Unlimited fun. Unlimited learning. Kids see fun. You see real learning outcomes. Learning English is like playing a game
Also, anytime serious academic research makes people excited that they've learned something, is a win.
The widest reach doesn't mean the best impact
Claiming to serve millions of kids a year offers more bragging rights.
But products, platforms, and tools that I've never heard of are also making a big impact. Bigger than I would've thought.
I found the 3 companies I'm writing about here after scouring several lists of edtech companies.
I'd never heard them mentioned in the many industry newsletters I subscribe to, or my budding networking list on LinkedIn.
Another interesting note: some of these sites are racking up edtech awards—which should be taken with a grain of salt.
If you summarize, they will come
Buyers have specific wants. They want to be well-informed before making their purchase, and at the same time don't want to feel overwhelmed.
In this experiment, less was more: fewer pages, and snappy, clear CTA's. Navigating an edtech company's site shouldn't feel like a scavenger hunt.
The one place I'd approve of leaving an overwhelming amount of information is in the footer.
First impressions matter
You can't redo the first few seconds you spend on a site's landing page.
In those brief moments, the colors, quality, and feeling you get dictate if and how you continue to explore.
First impressions on a website are design-related 94% of the time:
What's the brand name?
How's the logo designed?
How are these elements are unique, funny, or punny?
I was drawn to the sites that had a kiddie feeling, with emojis, cartoons, gifs, videos, etc.
And for the sites that didn't bring elements of fun? Scrolling through each page reminded me that what I was doing was work.
Channel your edtech kid to make a great first impression
If you're starting a new role, project, or work quarter, take the newness as an opportunity to make a great first impression.
Think back to how you were taught to make good first impressions as a kid.
Now channel your attitude and work ethic to do the same.
Whether you're working with the same people or new ones, the impression you leave on them can make or break their takeaways.