Grammarly user

The fairytale journey of Grammarly

Grammarly’s journey from 2009 as an English writing assistant to 2020 to be named the World’s most innovative AI company, is nothing but a fairytale. The success story of Grammarly as a product or brand is the perfect blend of user demand, technology, and the marketing strategy, which helped Grammarly to be at the right place at the right time. In 2020 Grammarly has over 30 million daily active users. Here, I am going to brainstorm why and how Grammarly has become what it is today. But before that, let’s quickly go through its journey.

The journey from a writing assistant to the communication partner

In 2009 Max, Dima, and Alex started an English writing assistance company. It had started with a paid subscription model. The product was primarily focused on grammatical corrections. Its target audience was universities and schools. Slowly it started gathering usage data and user feedback and looking beyond grammatical mistakes, writing structure, tonality, and basic mechanics of the language. Grammarly also found that its user base was distributed across countries and professions. In fact, most of the conversions were coming from professionals like lawyers, marketers, bloggers, and journalists. People were using the tool everywhere, from personal emails, essays, and research papers to even high-stake professional writings. It is then, that Grammarly decided to switch from the earlier enterprise model to the consumer model and introduce its freemium model. And the user growth shoots.

Later it started integrating the product with apps like Microsoft Office and browsers like Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox to make writing so convenient that Grammarly becomes an integral part of communications. Grammarly launched keyboards for Android and iOS to give writing suggestions for everything that we do on our smartphones. Kudos to the team for always thinking one step ahead. Users welcomed these free tools with both hands. They launched their desktop platform, which constantly checks the basic grammatical mistakes and gives users a score on clarity, readability, and engagement. It also highlights the areas where Grammarly Premium can help improve. In 2019, Grammarly introduced a tone-detector to help users understand how their writing may be perceived so they can communicate as they intend. Grammarly business targets the enterprises, help businesses improve their content, and engage with their customers with consistency and clarity.

The core behind Grammarly’s immense success is its technology and design simplicity. Grammarly binds its expertise in natural language processing, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine learning with years of experience and presents it in such a simple and intuitive way that it gives users a sophisticated experience and confidence. Grammarly has created full-sentence rewrites, tone adjustments, and fluency suggestions to enhance writing. And with over 30 million daily users and over 30,000 enterprise-level users, I believe the best experience is yet to come.

So, what are the key highlights of the Grammarly journey?

 Adds value to the user’s life

Grammarly presents itself as a writing enhancement platform. It is committed to the mission of improving the way people communicate. With the help of natural language processing and artificial intelligence, Grammarly has managed to advise users on grammar, syntax, and mechanics of English, as well as provides a ranking on clarity, effectiveness, and readability. The suggestions are so effective, that it sets an industry standard and places Grammarly at the top of it. The potential customer base for Grammarly is over 2 billion.

Simplest and smoothest design possible

The UX of Grammarly checks every aspect of a well-designed product. It is simple, intuitive, and consistent. The moment I signed in to Grammarly, I exactly knew what to do and how to do it. They have managed to wrap the complex backend mechanism with its minimalist design. The design creates curiosity around the premium features. The green tick provides a sense of confidence.

Platform-agnostic approach

Grammarly has established itself everywhere users need typing. From Microsoft Word to Google docs, browser extensions in Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, and Keyboards in Androids and iOS, Grammarly is assisting you everywhere to write better. The basic features like grammar, punctuation, and spelling check are free. These features intrigue users to further explore the premium features. If not, the free users become potential users of Grammarly.

Effective acquisition plan

In-app messaging, email marketing, youtube marketing, and social media campaigns communicate the value proposition to the already well-informed and interested Grammarly users of Grammarly premium. The writing score, the yellow underlines highlighting the areas telling that Grammarly can help you improve your content better and deliver how you intend to, encourage users to explore the premium features. 

User contribution

As usual, the users decide the fate of a product. In the initial days, actively soliciting customer feedback helped Grammarly switch from enterprise to the consumer market. It also helped Grammarly to establish itself beyond a grammar-spell checking platform to something that can rewrite an entire sentence, and give suggestions on clarity. User feedback helped Grammarly build up a knowledge base of thousands of grammar and scenarios and push it way ahead of its competition.

The data-driven improvised decision, aligned with the vision

This is, in fact, the most important learning we can take away from the Grammarly journey. Throughout its journey, the vision was the same, to help people enhance their writing and communicate better. All the decisions the team took, were aligned with their vision. In its journey, Grammarly has switched from enterprise to consumer market, then later, started appealing to the broader audience with Grammarly business. Still, it is hell-bent on its vision.


Grammarly is one of my favorite apps that I use almost daily. And the more I write, the more I am liking it. I always believed that expressing thoughts in words is something very personal and subjective. It was challenging because, for a large population, English is not the first language. And there is a huge difference between writing something word-to-word in plain English and conveying the intent. I am very satisfied with what Grammarly has achieved so far and looking forward to what awaits next.

How do you like my writing? There are more such case studies. Happy reading.