It’s Time to Learn a Thing or Two: The Effect of COVID-19 on Education Apps

By Team Braze Apr 16 2020

Even though the entire world is streaming more media than ever, there’s still time to fill as we all adapt to the new normal. Beyond rewatching The Office, consumers are turning to personal development, spending their extra hours learning a new language, taking virtual classes, or playing games to improve brain function. As a result, the education industry has a renewed user base eager for brands to help them decide how to use their time and energy wisely.

To get a clear picture of the effect of COVID-19 on education apps, Braze looked at three key areas: retention and acquisition, monthly active users (MAU) and sessions, and messaging. Here’s what we found:

Retention and Acquisition

  • We found a 26.84% increase in 7-day retention between January 2020 and March 2020. This stands in sharp contrast to the industry-agnostic -41% change.
  • There was a 163.14% increase in mobile app users in March 2020 compared to March 2019.
  • Mobile app users grew by 97% between February 2020 and March 2020.
  • 97% of those new March users are using mobile apps.

MAU and Sessions

  • There was a 32.63% increase in MAU. On average, education apps saw just 3.75% growth in a typical 29-day period in 2019.
  • Sessions have skyrocketed by over 100% in the last 29 days. In 2019, the average monthly increase in sessions was 4.09%.
  • 50% of users had greater than one session per day in the past 29 days. We also found a strong positive correlation between the number of a user’s sessions per day and their spend.


  • This year, messaging outreach accounts for a 18.73% uplift in monthly growth. In 2019, however, outreach accounted for a 30.72% increase. The lower overall messaging volumes combined with significant increases in MAU growth means that sessions and purchases could be even higher if education apps increased messaging in a thoughtful, relevant way.
  • Open rates have decreased for both push and email, making it more important than ever to send relevant, personalized messages that deliver value to consumers

However, during this time, education companies have to be careful with how they interact with customers. One of our customers, Busuu, a leader in the education space, provides a good example of how to do this when launching their Keep Kids Learning initiative:

Final Note

As consumer patterns change, brands need to evolve right there with them. We’ve all seen dozens of out-of-touch emails with nothing to say or updates from companies you haven’t interacted with since 2011. Don’t be that guy. To learn more about the new best practices and who is getting it right, check out what Braze CMO Sara Spivey had to say about messaging in the time of COVID-19.

Team Braze

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