In this episode #35, we are talking with Esben Friis-Jensen, co-founder of Userflow, (, a no-code tool for building customized in-app tours, checklists, and surveys. Userflow was able to bootstrap to over 500 customers and millions in ARR with a team of just three people. Esben shares some hacks they use at Userflow for customer retention. He talks about going from building a 200 employee company to a tiny team of 3, from $37M in funding to bootstrapping. Esben shares his experience with hacking user acquisition, finding product-market fit, and using previous experience in building a new company.

(0:00:07) – Bootstrapping Success

Esben Friis-Jensen, co-founder and chief growth officer at UserFlow shares his journey from working in a big consulting company and founding Cobalt, a cybersecurity software as a service company, to starting UserFlow with his friend Sebastian. We explore how Espen and Sebastian bootstrapped to over 500 customers and millions in ARR with just a team of three, and how they avoided raising money on the wrong product market fit model. We also discuss the advantages of being a second-time founder and the surprise of being able to grow at the same rate as a VC-backed company. Finally, we hear the origin story of UserFlow and how Esben and Sebastian ended up in a totally different direction from their previous venture.

(0:12:23) – Product Lead Growth and Self-Serve Onboarding 

We discuss the journey of UserFlow and how they have built a more sustainable go-to-market model. SMM, SEO, and content have been essential for their product lead growth approach, from acquiring customers to onboarding them and getting them to the initial ‘aha moment.’ Esben also shares the importance of self-service in the current digital age, and how companies can learn from signing up for popular SaaS products to improve their own experiences.

(0:24:29) – AI and Customer Retention in Bootstrapping

Esben Friis-Jensen explores the use of AI in solving customer problems, as well as the importance of customer acquisition channels such as SMM, word of mouth, and SEO. Esben shares his experience with building his personal brand, the transition from outbound to LinkedIn outbound, and the use of social selling. Finally, we discuss retention and how they use Usefrlow and emails to keep customers engaged.

(0:34:30) – Bootstrapping and Pricing Strategies 

We discuss the importance of focusing on building a great product and not being afraid to charge what it’s worth. Esben also explains how bootstrapping a business helps to control expenses and why it’s important to look at payback periods and customer acquisition when making decisions. We also explore pricing strategies, such as looking at competitors’ prices and keeping plans simple, as well as charging for friction in the procurement process. Finally, we discuss the importance of transparent pricing and user-based pricing.

(0:41:40) – Reduce Churn, Future Sales 

We talk about the challenges of reducing customer churn for UserFlow. Esben explains they have tried to solve the issue through product engagement, onboarding, and in-app onboarding, rather than a customer success team. We look at how understanding the reasons why customers are leaving and taking actionable steps to prevent churn can be beneficial. Esben shares his experience of the correlation between companies who offer demos and meetings and those who don’t fully engage with the tool. We discuss the importance of data analysis to identify the early signs of customer churn, and how customer losses can be used as an opportunity to improve. Finally, Esben shares his biggest win and failure for UserFlow.

(0:49:16) – Optimizing SAS Organizations for the Future 

We explore the end-user era and how SaaS organizations can become more efficient. Esben shares his thoughts on the changing sales industry and how money was too readily available in 2020. We consider the implications of layoffs on the tech industry and the potential for increased job opportunities in the SaaS industry. Lastly, we look at how AI will impact the labor market and the need for solutions to ensure people can still live well despite the changes.

Head of Growth,