How did we acquire the first customers


by: Michal Szymanski


We operate in the freemium business model.

It means that the basic version of our product is available for free. You have to pay for the extended version.


In order to properly understand of our method used to acquire the first clients, you have to remember two things:

  1. We did not run direct sales
  2. We did not promote directly the paid version of our product

In an open source environmental, advertising of anything what is paid, is threaten with an immediate ban and getting the spam label.

In such circumstances it was essential for us (and still is) to promote our free version of MDB. The way we ran the promotion of this version in the first months was described in the previous article.

The only way that we used to convey the advertising information about our paid version, it is retargeting. This issue is described in the next sections.


The most important part of our mdbootstrap.com website is an extensive technical documentation consisting of thousands of pages.

In this documentation the user can find solutions to its problems, components and functionalities ready to use in working with MDB.


A large number of pages of this documentation help MDB users deal with the most of problems without our involvement. It is a huge convenience, both for them and us.

The scheme is very simply and immensely efficient - at the beginning of every page of documentation is shown a solution, that works with a free version of our software. So the user can easily and quickly implemented it at home.

In the best-case scenario, when he sees that implemented solution works, willingly gets to know the next part of documentation and more elaborated applications. He can browse the impressive gallery of components and functionalities without limitation, but each of them is market that works only with the paid version of MDB.


The picture below presents the diagram described above. The component marks in red works in the MDB Free version. Whereas the components below are marked with the label "MDB Pro Component", which means that to use them you need the paid version of our product.

Click here to see the diagram live

We acquired our first client 22 days after the beta release.

49 dollars. Pennies which at that time tasted better than one million.


In the first months our sales were as follows:

the first month - $343

the second month - $1112

the third month - $1538

The breakthrough came only after 6 month, when our SEO efforts brought the first harvest. During that month we earned $7196 and began growing rapidly.


Currently web reach engines generate over 80% of traffic. For comparison, social media are only 3%.

The organic traffic is also of the better quality and more efficient in converting than the social media traffic. That's why SEO has always been and is our priority when it comes to marketing.

How we exactly run our SEO activities I describe in detail in the following sections.


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Michal Szymanski

Co-founder of MDBootstrap and BrandFlow. Entrepreneur, web developer, UI / UX designer, marketer. Dancer and nerd at the same time.

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