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Top 4 EdTech Marketing Strategies to Boost App Engagement – Clémence Illien, Director of Marketing & Communication at Nomad Education


There has been a massive sea change when the pandemic hit the world that led to an exponential adoption of technology in education. Many education technology start-ups started mushrooming with learning apps even more than before on play stores, normalising digital education tools for millions of students and teachers. 

But with thousands of apps in the digital market as competitive as it is, what makes yours unique and how do you expand and grow your customer base in a short period? In this interview, we ask Clémence Illien, known as a marketing expert, to share some of her insights on improving app engagement and strategies to give your app the best chance to find success. 

What’s inside?

  1. Clémence Illien’s Career Journey
  2. Seizing the marketing moment
  3. Developing as a Marketing Leader
  4. Top 4 EdTech Marketing Strategies to Boost App Engagement
  5. Use accolades to your advantage
  6. Harnessing Nomad’s potential
  7. Lesson Learned
  8. Who is Clémence Illien?

Clémence Illien’s Career Journey

Clémence is a marketing person and a user experience expert, who’s previously worked for digital marketing start-ups, where she honed her marketing skills. She is better known as a marketing mastermind with a strong human touch — key qualities in enticing and increasing customers’ subscriptions. 

After 8 years of gaining exposure in the marketing field, in 2019 Clémence became the Director of Marketing and Communication at Nomad Education, an education app that helps students to improve in their studies. “I’m just a marketing person but I am very happy to dedicate my skills to these social projects.”

Seizing the Marketing Moment

Students are more often driven towards using a smartphone for every purpose. We leveraged this key fact — We invented a mobile education app called Nomad Education in 2011, that caters to French-speaking students from age 10 to 25, helping them to get better grades, pass exams, and choose their academic guidance for their courses.

There are students who need more training courses for other reasons – learning to speak eloquently because eloquence is very important in France,  developing soft skills and enhancing knowledge on news. A huge part of that is creating the human touch with the right learning environment. 

As human beings we need to ensure that learning should be made available to everyone at no cost, therefore we made it a free app and accessible without a Wi-Fi connection, which is important for students, especially in Africa. “We are spreading fast in Africa with over 300,000 users as of today.” Currently, Nomad Education mobile app has a presence in almost 200 countries in the world and is widely used in France and Francophone Africa.


We make the learning process fun and easy and at the same time help students to understand certain subjects at a deeper level but in the simplest way, using puzzles, videos, quizzes, assignments, and interactive learning with teachers.

Some of our most popular content last year included:

  • Brevet
  • Bac
  • BTS
  • Licences

Developing as a Marketing Leader

We have built a free app that has more than 1 million young users every year seeking help in their studies, no matter their social or academic level. My role is to ensure that we have more people succeeding in their studies annually.


This involves acquisition, partnerships and CRM to reach the right people at the right time, with the right message. The way we do it is : 

  • Work a lot on our ASO strategy to make sure that we can easily be found in the app stores.
  • Analyze the attribution of our app download so that we can optimize each channel and focus on the most efficient.
  • We analyze our subscription funnel in order to optimize the % of users who go until the end.
  • Engage our users in the app on the long term by using coaching, gamification and direct marketing.

Our acquisition is an organic audience and word of mouth, so our marketing costs remain quite low compared to most competitors.

I’m also responsible for finding the best ways to reach the biggest number of students around the world to use our educational app, optimising our funnel with product team, converting users at the end of the funnel, and developing the customer lifecycle to re-engage with marketing automation. 

While I was doing this, I realised that it is not just about driving more downloads or installs but also making sure that we help as many people as we can. We have to plan which market we want to penetrate, while creating a context that is suitable for different cultures to make them engage in the app. 

To attain more engagement, there are several process you can follow, examples below.

Top 4 EdTech Marketing Strategies to Boost App Engagement

These marketing methods will be helpful to educational app developers in promoting and monetising their products as well as increasing their customer base.

1. Create a Plan

Make a well-defined plan and realistic goal. If you are creating an educational app, you probably have a clear goal in mind. What is the purpose of this app? Who is your audience, does it bring any changes to their life etc?

We made our app so that students can focus on their study in an independent way with no external pressure from their parents or teachers. Our app is 100% mobile because it prevents the lack of equipment in terms of computers, which is very common in Africa.  

2. Get Creative With Social Media Platforms

The most popular social media platforms among millennials are Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok. As for social media platforms these are the ones you will find younger users spending their time on.

We positioned our app on social media platforms to raise awareness for people who don’t know us. It’s a fantastic way to promote your app.

We communicate exclusively with young users, with that in mind, we ensure that the ads are funny and vibrant that will gravitate towards them.


3. App Store Optimisation (Aso) Is the Lifeblood of Educational App

90% of the apps are never downloaded and we have the chance to download a lot because of ASO. There are rules that you must know how apps go higher in the iOS and android store.

If you have a lot of users with very good grades, there’s a high chance that your product gets noticed.

We also found a way to distinguish our app from others with a feature that could help to boost engagement through knowledge-oriented activities.

That’s how we managed to aggregate our content of more than 400 diplomas, where everyone can find the degree they’re currently studying in the app and improve on their studies.

4. Word-of-Mouth

We encourage mouth-of-mouth advertising through testing and reviews. Allow students to review online after the class. This way it complements the rest of our strategies as students will recommend the app to others.

Use Accolades to Your Advantage

We have bagged major awards among which include Deloitte education prize and Coalition for education from UNESCO. This also helped shed a light on what we do more on a B2B level.

Harnessing Nomad’s potential

Our approach at Nomad Education was to measure the results, and go from there. They started putting their CDP to work harnessing data from marketing activities, email and SMS marketing, before then adding in tools like our CRM, marketing automation, and analytics platform. 


We started to generate value with these combinations. It allowed us to provide more customised suggestions and serve our users with activation and educational content.

As soon as we started personalising our communications, we saw an increase in conversions. We also keep in our mind that Nomad Education is user-centred and helps students instead of maximising for profit. 

Our vision is about creating a positive impact on a student’s life. This is incredibly important so we came up with this solution to help educators provide lessons, grade assignments, or have class discussions on a certain topic that students find difficult to cope with within school. Teachers also use live interactive video lessons to coach and guide students daily. 

All our contents are written by 400 teachers that work with us to spread their knowledge wider to our community of 1 million users.

Lessons Learned

  • It is important to have a team who adapt to the social project very strongly, especially in marketing because we are the voice of Nomad Education towards the world : users, partners, institutions and parents.
  • Make a plan. If you are creating an educational app, you probably have a clear goal in mind — What is the purpose of creating it? Who is your customer?
  • Ensure your content caters to your customers’ culture, that way you are able to attract them to use your app.

Who is Clémence Illien?


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