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  • Writer's pictureJolie Radunich

Marketing your student portal in today's competitive edtech landscape

When I was a kid in the early 2000s, student portals were the best, for all the reasons you'd expect:

  • Custom avatars

  • Fun games tied to learning content

  • Currency incentives to stay motivated

The student-facing experience in 2023 is a different animal. This is not your turn-of-the-century kid's portal.

Since more edtech exists, the competitive presence of portals gives buyers a near guarantee to find one in their product search. Of course, this means sellers need to step it up.

Portals are everywhere but what's more rare is:

  • Brands tying features to learning outcomes

  • Efficacy to back up usage

  • Marketing uniqueness

Think you know how to make a student-facing portal stand out in today's market? Keep reading to review some newbie product marketing tips.

Lead with "the how" and let the features follow

So you have a portal. Maybe broadcasting its existence is enough to get people excited, click links, and start trials.

But is it easy for your buyers to connect the dots and understand if the experience is eventually worth paying for?

A manager recently told me something that clicked: A better, smarter way to show a prospect or remind an existing customer of a product's value is to connect what you have to offer with why it's important to have it. Compare the following copywriting.

Bleh: Our solution includes a student portal for independent practice!

Better: Our solution includes a student portal to practice xyz skills at school and home!

Best: Our solution provides opportunities for students to practice xyz skills in an independent learning environment, with growth from usage backed by study x!

The 'Best' example most easily connects the outcomes teachers want, to the feature (aka the portal) that supports it. Plus, a little efficacy never hurts.

Results, results, results

The age of efficacy is upon us. Edtech buyers, especially admin, want to see how a product's data can point to student growth.

This means the cute, fun, feeling of your student portal can only go so far. You need to measure the student engagement and boosted learning performance that a portal vaguely points to on its own.

Some ideas to show student portal results:

  • Surveys

  • Interviews

  • Case studies

  • Testimonials

If something as detailed as a case study seems hard to swing depending on your access to resources, don't count out easy wins like testimonials! Research shows that:

72% of customers say positive reviews and testimonials make them trust a business more.

88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Products need to prove they're more essential than ever in today's market.

It would be a shame for you to miss out on reaching a share of your customers because of an avoidable mistake. Getting proof has short-term costs, but long-term consequences if not addressed.

Address the known

There's no need to overhype your student experience, especially if you can't. Admitting how common student portals are lets you lean into:

  1. Transparency. You aren't selling customers a checkbox feature

  2. Sharing what makes your portal unique (ie: 24/7 access or alignment to instruction)


  • What sets our portal apart? Xyz.

  • (If applicable) This portal offers more than a practice experience. XYZ

More than a student portal

Most of this advice probably isn't news to you, but a good temperature check of where your student portal messaging is at.

I'm sure you want kids to have fun while they're learning. And if you're anything like me I'm sure you want to offer them the student portal experience the company you work for has to offer.

To ensure this happens, we need to put in the work to explain why it's essential.



To read more content about what it's like learning product marketing after growing up using education products, check out the FREE monthly newsletter.

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