Resources for Buying and Selling Online Businesses

Simple Tips To Improve Conversion Rates


Jon MacDonaldJon MacDonald is the Founder and President of The Good, a conversion rate optimization firm that has achieved results for some of the largest online brands, including Adobe, Nike, Xerox, Verizon, and Intel. The Good helps brands understand their website visitors’ clicks and movements and how to use that data effectively to convert more of them into buyers.

Before The Good, Jon was the Interactive Development Manager at XPLANE and the Founder and Interactive Director of JonnyMac Interactive. In addition to authoring Opting in to Optimization and Stop Marketing, Start Selling, Jon regularly contributes to publications, including Entrepreneur and Inc. He is also an active committee member in industry associations and peer groups such as the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO).

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [02:13] Jon MacDonald talks about The Good and how it helps companies grow
  • [02:45} The journey of acquiring “” domain
  • [05:38] Why 98% of website visitors don’t buy from you
  • [09:42] Tips for improving conversion rates without offering discounts
  • [15:08] How to conduct user testing to improve your website
  • [25:08] Jon’s advice on how smaller brands can optimize their sites
  • [28:21] The Good’s customer success stories
  • [31:40] Jon explains why he wrote his books and how they’re unique

In this episode…

Are you an e-commerce brand struggling to increase online sales? How can you convert more website visitors into buyers?

Many e-commerce brands have great products or services but low sales because they lack a clear path to realizing their website’s potential. Jon MacDonald, an expert in driving conversion rates, explains how brands can optimize their websites to increase revenue. When you have a lot of visitors to your e-commerce store, but they’re not converting into buyers, Jon recommends having a professional help you understand and track the visitors’ clicks and movements and how they’re navigating your site. Once you know where and why people are dropping off in the sales funnel, you can improve your site’s efficiency and use the existing traffic to increase conversion rates and drive sales.

In this episode of the Quiet Light Podcast, Joe Valley and Pat Yates sit down with Jon MacDonald, Founder and President of The Good, to discuss how to convert your site’s visitors into buyers. Jon explains why 98% of your website visitors don’t buy from you and why, tips for improving conversion rates without offering discounts, the importance of user testing, and how smaller brands can optimize their sites.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:07

Hi, folks, it’s the Quiet Light Podcast where we share relentlessly honest insights, actionable tips, and entrepreneurial stories that will help founders identify and reach their goals.

Joe Valley  0:32

Hey, folks, Joe Valley here, my co-host, is Pat Yates today, he’ll be joining us in just a moment. And our guest today is Jon MacDonald from, this is going to be all about conversion rate optimization. And Pat, who happens to own by asked a lot of questions directly related to his e-commerce business, which makes it really useful and helpful from a user standpoint and what can and cannot be done to help improve that conversion rate and ultimately grow your business. Jon gives some great insights on what to do, how big you need to be to get started. And some of the mistakes that people make by looking at certain types of checklists, and just falling in that approach. So it’s very, very good if you want to improve your total revenue and your conversion rate along the way. Here we go with Jon MacDonald from Jon, welcome to the Quiet Light Podcast. How are you?

Jon MacDonald  1:35

I’m doing well. Thanks for having me today.

Joe Valley  1:37

Well, Pat and I are both happy to have you. Pat’s got some questions for you, given his own business entity that he runs by Everybody check it out. He’s partners with some guy named Robert from Shark Tank. And runs a hell of a business in addition to being one of the top quite light advisors. But enough about Pat, I’m bragging on Pat right now, Jon, instead of you.

Jon MacDonald  1:59

I’m not that important.

Joe Valley  2:01

Yeah, I’m happy to deflect. You’re vitally important that, Jon, for the audience that doesn’t know you, and, can you give us a little bit of background on yourself and who you are and what you do?

Jon MacDonald  2:13

Yeah, founder and CEO of The Good, we are a conversion optimization firm. So for about 15 years now, we’ve been helping brands convert more of their visitors into customers, mainly through data science. So helping brands to track every click and movement that’s happening on their site, understand where people are dropping off in the funnel and why and then helping them fix those issues.

Joe Valley  2:37

Now, first, I have to ask about the URL, because that’s a hell of a URL. But that’s 15 years ago, you got that? Right.

Jon MacDonald  2:45

It is, and great story behind that. I’ll try to keep it short. But I bought it from somebody who was on a yacht.

Joe Valley  2:57

Might have been involved there was gonna be a short.

Jon MacDonald  2:59

I wasn’t on the yacht. But I found the domain, I tracked down who owned it. And I bugged the company secretary, every couple of days, until she finally said, look, our owner, he’s gone. He’s on a yacht on like, basically sabbatical. And he’s off the grid. And I don’t know when he’s coming back, I don’t want to tell you anyways, and I don’t really want to deal with this, he’s probably not going to sell it. So just stop calling. And I just kept calling. And eventually she said, okay, I’ll get the message to him. And then I got a call from him. And he’s like, I hear you won’t leave me alone, or leave my secretary alone. What do you want? Like said, I want Like, how do we make this happen? And he threw out some ridiculously high number and was like, basically a go-away number. And I said, I’m going to keep calling until we can work something out. That’s reasonable. Long story short, is I got him to finance it, sell it for way cheaper, because the economy, this is 2008 the economy kept tanking, he miraculously was no longer on a yacht, and was back in his office and was looking for some cash and was willing to sell or finance it for me. And do it for fairly cheap comparatively to where we started. And here we are 15 years later with the domain.

Joe Valley  4:22

A true entrepreneurs process, right, Pat? I mean, just tenacity not giving up and actually getting him to go from a huge number two financing the smaller number, pretty impressive.

Pat Yates  4:33

It’s actually pretty funny what kept you from going and finding an alliteration of it. Let’s say you added a word in the middle on the end or something like that, because we impatient that long, not many people would do that to try to get the right domain name.

Jon MacDonald  4:44

Well, we had the good group, so I had to fall back And the reality was, though, that’s just not as cool and our mission was started with our mission statement still to this day is to remove all of the bad online experiences until only the good remain. And I just felt it was really important that we said the good that that’s just that’s who we are. And that’s what we want out of the e-commerce shopping experiences. And that led us to just be pretty tenacious about getting into domain.

Pat Yates  5:20

I’ll walk you right where you wanted to go with that one.

Jon MacDonald  5:24

I appreciate the softball pitch.

Pat Yates  5:26

That’s a really good way to put it.

Joe Valley  5:28

On your homepage, Jon, it says 98% of your website visitors won’t buy from you today. Can you elaborate on that and help us out with what you do in that regard?

Jon MacDonald  5:38

Right. So I think it’s pretty clear the vast majority of spend to get people to your site is not going to convert from that visitor into a buyer. And a lot of people have that average industry conversion rate of 2%. And so that’s where we get the 98% aren’t going to buy. And so a lot of people are concerned about getting that conversion rate up. And they focus on the conversion rate number not on the people who aren’t converting. And so that’s really kind of the flip there is 98% aren’t buying, you’re worried about getting from 2% to 3%. I’m more worried about getting you from 98 to 90.

Joe Valley  6:20

More of why are they not buying versus how do I get them to buy?

Jon MacDonald  6:25

Exactly. So it’s removing those barriers, right. And the number one things e-commerce brands do and really just shoot themselves in the foot right off the bat, is they immediately go to discounts or promotions. Right, they immediately go to I’m going to do an email pop-up with 10% off, give me your email, and I’ll send you 10%, I’m going to convert higher. And the challenge is, is that they really hurt themselves because they get on this unsustainable discount hamster wheel that they just can’t get off of. It’s really hard once you have that going to retrain your customers. Right. So customers who come in via discount are forever going to be a discount customer.

Joe Valley  7:05

Hold on Jon, I just have to say, Pat, what the hell, I just want to buy and lonely. So there’s a 10% off Easter code sale there.

Pat Yates  7:16

I tell you what, Jon, you mentioned something that is really, really pointed a lot of people. And I’ll tell you, I’m one of those people that I tried to do like Joe said, we will do targeted thanks, we’ll get this gasket people in. But I’m also one that hates doing like close-outs because I hate to have a customer come in and not be able to spend their full amount that they would like to spend because basically you’re trading money, especially if you’re selling at a call. So it’s really interesting. But to me that philosophy so can you expand on that a little more and maybe how you’ve encouraged people not necessarily do that. Because to be honest, I’m going to send or have all of it that retargeting email, there’ll be 10% off if they don’t buy. And I always thought that that would be a good way to convert it. So I’m interested to hear your insights about why it doesn’t.

Jon MacDonald  7:53

Well, it might work for the initial sale, right, but your customer lifetime value is what’s going to tank. One of two things is going to happen. Once somebody buys, they’re never going to want to pay full retail price again. So they’re either just not going to buy or they’re going to be in search of a discount code that they’re just gonna get frustrated, because they’re not working, right, they’re gonna go to all those discount codes sites, and they’re going to try every code and then your checkout, all of them are going to say invalid, or for new customers only. And they’re just going to leave. And that’s going to severely impact your cart abandonment rate. The second thing it’s going to happen is they’re going to go back to your site in an incognito browser. And they’re going to give you that junk, AOL MSN email address that they sent all their spam to, only to get that 10% off. So now what has happened is they’re going to convert using that you’re going to think you have a new customer, your database, your attributions off, you’re paying more to your email service provider, because you’re emailing the same person at two different addresses and you’re charged per email you’re sending to a lot of cases. So what happens is you’ve now created more problems for yourselves, all in the eye of 10% off, right? Because now your cost for email sending has gone up. It’s especially if you’re doing text messaging that’s coming up now. Now you’ve given somebody a discount that really doesn’t deserve it, or need it. And the reality is you’ve created this unsustainable discount that anytime you feel like you need more revenue, you’re going to run another sale. Or anytime there’s a holiday, you’re training people to run a sale.

Joe Valley  9:33

What is the alternative here, right? This is what everybody thinks they need to do. So what’s the alternative out of they still capture those sales without offering that discount?

Jon MacDonald  9:42

Right. So in order to get off this hamster wheel, the first thing I suggest you do is one not just pull it out, all the way right? Start by gradually reducing these right. The first thing I would suggest doing is to do something In the I like to call add addition, not subtraction. So most brands go to subtraction, subtract $1, or percentage off. Think about the addition, right? Add more value instead of subtracting cost. So how do you do that? You could do bundling, right? So if you buy more, you get immediate savings, right? And that’s inherent in the end, you can promote it in that way, right? But you’re getting people to spend more, you could also do things like free gift with purchase something that costs you less than that 10% most likely, you’re also giving them right. So a lot of times, it’s hard to tell I’m six foot seven or 15 shoe. On a podcast, it’s hard to tell. But I have a couple of places I go to buy shoes, because I can’t just find them anywhere, right? It’s really hard to find size 15 shoe anywhere. And one of my favorite things is they always said, finding socks and my size is a problem too. One of the things they always do is give me a free pair of socks when I buy shoes. And it’s like, that’s great. Now I’m introduced to a new product. Now I go back, and I buy more and more of the socks. In fact, I just did this the other day, there’s a brand called Lasso that makes compression socks for playing basketball and other sports. And I bought a pair of shoes they’ve through a pair of Lasso socks in and now I go back to that company and I just buy stocks from them instead of even going direct to Lasso brand.

Pat Yates  11:28

Jon let me ask you a question. It’s really interesting you say that, because I was going through this exercise looking at my business thinking about honestly, it’s really ironic, because the exact same thing is adding in socks or slippers that match a pattern. But the reason I mentioned this is because the reason I started looking at it was people were talking about the adding value versus discount. I’ve heard a lot of people speak about that. But again, I don’t know without running that a lot of people might be fearful of spending more money to be able to try to keep that engagement, if it doesn’t work against the discount. How do you mitigate that? And how do people decide between the two avenues. I mean, I hear what you’re pitching. But it is an investment for people to be able to do that. And they have to believe it’s going to work?

Jon MacDonald  12:08

Well, you have to look at it this way, 10% off is an investment as well, right, and a pair of socks at your cost should cost you less than that 10% discount. So the risk is actually less, right in terms of monetary risk. And there’s a whole bunch of things you could do there I talked bundling, you could sell a pair of slippers with three pair of socks at a discount over what the if they bought those all individually, you could do cross-sells and really focus on promoting those cross-sells, there’s just really need to get a little more creative here, you could do partnerships with other brands, right, that’s what they did with the Lasso socks, and how I ended up with those. You could do sampling, if you have a product where you want to throw in other products that are related. Maybe this is popular with like cosmetic brands, for instance, you don’t want to do a discount, but you want to get people to learn about new products, and there’s perceived value there, right, send them trial sizes and travel sizes, all of that should cost you pennies on the dollar to give you a discount overall, if it’s done correctly.

Pat Yates  13:16

And also the value of that in the customers’ eyes, they’re paying a 99 for a pair of socks normally. And that save them 8:99 That can be as much as you know, eight or 10% of a purchase price potentially is what you’re saying? Correct?

Jon MacDonald  13:28

Exactly. And the reality is, it could even be as simple as free shipping, right? Or if you offer free shipping, say, well, we’ll send you two-day shipping, that might cost you a couple of dollars to do two-day shipping, depending on your shipping volume. Where a consumer to them, there’s a lot more value there. And so I think you’re hitting on the right thing, Pat, which is what’s the perceived value from the consumer, the reality is you’re going to give someone 10% off and they’re gonna forget about that until they come back to buy again, there’s not going to be any reward when the package shows up. Right? They’re not going to be like, oh, yeah, that’s right, I got 10% off, right. Instead, if you throw a free gift in or something of that sort, they’re going to be reminded when the package arrives. And so now you have two positive touch points, as opposed to just the one that is a discount right up front that they’re going to honestly forget about until they come back to buy again.

Joe Valley  14:20

It’s interesting, I’m gonna keep looking, keep looking at your site, Pat, and what you’re doing over there. You’ve got that 10% off, and I’m looking at the black polka dot slipper and it’s $27. So that’s $2.70 that you’d be given off. But then when I click on it, and I’ve you the options, you also have pay interest for interest fee installments for orders over $50 with shop pay. And so, I mean, you’re offering that’s, that’s something, Jon, that would might make sense, right? So spend more than 50 and you’d get four installments on it. Maybe that would that be something that you’d say? If Pat was your client, say, let’s split test this, do that offer versus your 10%. And let’s see what converts more.

Jon MacDonald  15:08

I would certainly want to split test that. But I think if we’re getting into what we should be split testing, the first thing we need to do is be understanding why people aren’t converting. Right, instead of taking a guess around what we should split test, what we should do is diagnose before you prescribe. And I think that’s a big thing that conversion rate optimization over the past probably three years has gotten a bit of a bad rap. Because there are so many brands and service providers out there who are just running brands through a checklist. And it’s really not sustainable to just do a checklist, you really need to dive into your specific site, visitors experience your metrics and understand where people are dropping off and why. And the best way to do that is to combine both that qualitative and quantitative data. What do I mean, of course, look at analytics, look at heat maps, understand what paths people are taking through your site, maybe even do a little bit of survey, but you really want to actually talk to consumers do user testing, this is where you’re going to send people to your site who match your ideal customer profiles, ask them to complete some tasks while you record their screen and their audio. And you want to just encourage them to talk out loud, right. And so hey, I’m trying to find the right shoe for me. But I know I were 15. And there’s no way to filter by size. Right? Now, I’m really frustrated. And I don’t know what to do. So I have to click through every single product and understand which of these they have in my size. And that’s not a really good user experience.

Joe Valley  16:49

Let’s delve into that for a second. So are you sending an email inviting existing customers to go to your site and shop? Yes or No? No. Okay, who are you finding then?

Jon MacDonald  17:01

Yeah. So there are several ways to find these people, low budget, go to your local coffee shop, take your laptop, stand in line and say, I will buy you coffee, if I can steal five minutes of your time while the barista is making your coffee. And then throw your site in front of them and just say, hey, you know what, you’re looking for a pair of slippers, do whatever you feel works best. But just tell me what you’re thinking as you go through it. Interesting, it works extremely well. Now, more advanced for that. And also a little more costly. But more advanced, is that there are tons of databases out there of segmented users who can help you by basically, you just go and use. So you send out an email to all of the people that meet your segmentation requirements. And these people are usually trained on how to talk out loud, so you get a little better insights. But you almost don’t want them to be familiar with your site and your products you want those first impressions, somebody who has bought from you before is going to be biased, right? They’re gonna be biased by everything that’s happened post-purchase. And they also know where they’re going. They know what type of products they like. So there’s too many factors there. And you also, there’s a great book called The Mom Test, that is a really great example of this, it tells you how to do some of this user testing. But also, it makes a great point that you don’t want to ask your mom to be your user tester, because she’s only going to say good things about it. Right.

Joe Valley  18:41

Or should be brutally honest. Right? Moms can be tough.

Jon MacDonald  18:48

Maybe we should dive into that Joe a little bit and see.

Joe Valley  18:54

Let me loop around. Hold on.

Pat Yates  18:56

Hey, Jon, I guess I’m a question when you started talking about this, when I was reading the site, you have a trademark thing that’s conversion growth. And you obviously do the audits on-site and things, I see that on your site, you guys do a lot of that, which I think is great. When I look at it, maybe explain how the what kind of company is really in your wheelhouse because I look at some of the conversion gross stuff that can become fairly expensive for some people. Maybe it’s gauged more for enterprise-type clients versus individual straight entrepreneurs, but maybe you have something for a solopreneur and enterprise. So maybe explain how you go in and do that. And I don’t know, if you employ those user testers, they contract with you tell us about that process.

Jon MacDonald  19:36

Yeah, so you’re right, and that typically there, there are wide ranges of the type of clients who can get stuff out of conversion optimization in it. Let’s start at the high end and work our way down. So if you’re an enterprise brand, you typically have a team in-house and you’re looking for some outside perspective. I say this often, but it’s really hard to read the label from inside the jar brands are so close to their site, they know all of their products, they know how to navigate their site. They know the pros and cons, they wrote the product descriptions, they are not going to be the best to have a perspective on what should be changed and how customers are having a challenge. They’re just not they need outside perspective. And that’s where enterprise brands typically will bring us in. We are not necessarily experts at running testing, we’re experts at understanding what to test and how to ask the right questions. And that’s what gets developed over 15 years of doing optimization. Now, we can run tests like experts and do that stuff. But if you don’t test the right things, then you’re not gonna have the outcomes you’re looking for. And that goes back to what I was saying earlier, there’s a lot of checklists out there right now that brands or companies are just running brands through. And those checklists are not going to be effective. But it’s the only way to do testing for a couple of $1,000 a month. Right. So enterprise, that’s typically where they would hire us to do a larger audit or consulting engagement over a long term like Adobe we’ve worked with for seven years ongoing right? Now, midsize brands, generally, that’s where brands come in and do our what we call our conversion growth program, which is what you were referencing, this is an ongoing testing and iterative optimization, right? Our goal with this is to continually learn, test, and build upon those learnings the next month to grow and just continually compound that growth over time. That is what that program has been formed to do over a decade plus, the idea behind that is we’ll help you research and understand what consumers are saying, we’ll run some testing, we’ll learn from that, in the next month, we’ll come back run some additional testing, and we do it in these monthly cycles that are going to have enough time to produce for that mid-market brand. Now, generally, you want to have enough traffic to do testing to get a return. Right? If you have anything less than, say 50,000 unique sessions per month, probably not a good candidate to do testing, no matter what anyone tells you, you should not be doing testing. And this is actually the good part of Google Optimize, which was a really popular testing tool that’s been sunsetted by Google. It’s free, it works extremely well. But the vast majority of brands using it should never been testing in the first place. And they were doing it because it was a cool new thing to do. And it was a free tool. And but they only had 5000 10,000 visitors. And they wouldn’t get results that were mathematically accurate or statistically significant. Because they would run the test for three months and get frustrated. And they would just say, oh, well, that’s a little bit better. So we’ll go with that one. So there’s a lot of issues with that. But you’re right Pat, that you have to be of a certain size.

Pat Yates  22:58

So one thing you guys do is you give them a little bit of an insight on where to look if they’re having issues. So you’ll take a look, you’re not doing actual tasks, you’re telling them hey, if you fix your faceted search, if you do this on page, if you take your images down to three, I’m just making things up. They’re all these actionable tips that you give them, and then they want to go out and improve it. So how do you measure the metrics? Is it all about conversion rate and how it grows? Because sometimes, that’s a mixed bag of why people are converting, I mean, how do you measure it?

Jon MacDonald  23:26

Well, we are doing the testing for the brands as part of that conversion growth program. Each month, we’re telling them what to test what the insights are out of the data and what we believe they should test. And then we are doing building then running those tests for them. But the reality is that not every test is the goal is to improve conversion rate. But every test does need to have a clear goal and a metric attached to it. So the metric could be larger average order value, it could be just to get somebody the next step in the funnel, right? So are people dropping off on your homepage, let’s run some testing to get people to click through to a product category page, for instance, or from a category to a detail, a detail to add to cart, then focus on not reducing cart abandonment. Right. So you could go step by step down that funnel and look to improve it. But you really need to start at the biggest impact areas. And most brands think that biggest impact area is going to be in their cart. So they focus on cart abandonment, or getting people to add to cart when the reality is it’s a funnel, you want to have more people in get to that next step. So we often start at the top of the funnel, and work our way down. Because it’s going to be more impactful.

Joe Valley  24:41

Jon, I’m looking at the people that qualify for that service. And you know, it’s, as you said, 50,000 visitors a month, but also talks about spending if you’re comfortable spending $10,000 a month on conversion rate optimization For those companies that are doing one to $5 million in revenue that may not be comfortable spending that much. What advice do you have for that?

Jon MacDonald  25:08

Yeah, so during COVID, this was actually a big pain point for us, there were tons of new brands that were starting up and approaching us about helping them optimize their sites. But they just didn’t have the revenue or the traffic yet. Right. And it didn’t make financial sense. So what we did is I actually started an offshoot called The Good Ventures. And the idea behind The Good Ventures is to help the smaller brands. So our first product out of that is something called User Input. So it’s So we were talking a little bit about user testing. That is where user input really shines, we have a pool testing pool of several 100,000 trained testers that we’ve worked with over the years. And we have more segmented, we continue to build the database on these folks. So we have access to that. And so we wanted to share that with smaller brands at a price point, that’s very reasonable. So for a few $100, you can go get some user tests done professionally for you, and have really good insight about what you should be thinking about for your site. Then they also we also do through User Input, what we call assessments, these assessments are we’re looking at a generally three key pages of your site, and do a video review and provide some recommendations there of what you should be able to test. So helps people get to that next step without needing a done-for-you service, if you will.

Pat Yates  26:49

That’s really, really good. Looking at this, this seems like sort of where you start out getting the information. What’s interesting is as companies grow, they’re probably going to migrate over to the other services as well, because they’re going to see their ability to expand this is really great and kind of basically knocked yourself off a little bit, and more of an economical way to be able to use the basic services that people need to be able to at least get them started. Correct. That’s kind of what this is for.

Jon MacDonald  27:12

That’s exactly it. And it was to diversify to get in early with these brands, so that we continue to build with them. And also to solve for what I just morally am not in line with, which is that checklist I keep talking about, right? A lot of brands are trying to, service providers are trying to get down to a couple grand a month, and just running people through checklists, and it’s not effective. This is a better way to get very specific feedback on your site from consumers about what you should change. And so that’s really what we believe is the right way to do it. And wanted to make sure that brands have access to that at an affordable price point.

Joe Valley  27:12

It’s pretty impressive considering the size of some of your clients like Adobe and some of the others that you’ve got, just as an entrepreneur, Jon, aside from helping people with conversion rate optimization, how did you manage to work with these brands like Adobe, I think we got Nike, Xerox, Adobe, the cars and many more. I mean, talk about cracking that door open for us.

Jon MacDonald  28:21

Oh, well, it’s 15 years in the making. First of all, it didn’t happen overnight.

Pat Yates  28:26

Short time I got overnight success, right?

Jon MacDonald  28:29

That’s right. I will say a couple of things. The first is that I’m fortunate to be based out of Portland, Oregon, which is where Nikes, headquartered. And everybody wants a piece of Nike, but also anybody who has worked with Nike, a lot of other enterprise brands think that you’re not validated. Right? So part of this could work with any enterprise client is to get that first enterprise client, and then tout that you’ve worked with them as kind of social proof. And that’s really what we latched on to early on, was let’s just focus all our effort on getting one or two big names, that then we could say we work with these big names and have that social proof. And that’s where Nike really came in now that the trick with Nike and anyone who could do this Nike is big corporate machine, but they only have one or two major agencies that work with them on the marketing front. And then they dole out really small projects to a bunch of small shops. And it’s easy to go get some of those if you just start doing some Account Based Marketing, finding the right contacts for what you do. They really do prefer to contract these things out instead of hiring them in so going and getting one or two of those small projects from them. And then you’ve worked with Nike. And then once you’re a vendor for somebody like a Nike because that can be a process to become a vendor for these get through that procurement team and everything else do you have the patience to do that you’re on their vendor list. And then people can find you internally, or you can start broadening your Account Based Marketing out to other divisions, etc. That’s how we’ve grown Adobe over the years is we started with one contact, and then have expanded that out over time and into multiple divisions. And that’s been really fruitful.

Pat Yates  30:26

I think a lot of people can get stuck with Nike and Adobe maintaining is a whole different thing. So obviously, you’ve done a great job maintaining those customers, so they wouldn’t be around, it’s a great way to go about it. It’s kind of like in licensing was like one of my things when you do DreamWorks, and you do Disney, every other license would assume that there’s an opportunity that you at least implement Well, in the way that you’re starting. It builds competence. And everyone, when you see those names, there’s no question about it.

Jon MacDonald  30:50

Yeah, that social proof is a big thing in enterprise, because the number one thing that enterprise brands are concerned about, or the employees that you’re going to be working with are concerned about is losing their job. They don’t want to look bad, right? So what do you do, make them look good. And in doing that, they’re going to spread the word, they’re going to continue to give you more work, because it’s the old saying that nobody gets fired for hiring IBM, right or buying IBM, whatever it is. It’s true, like, if you have a safe bet, and you can prove and give them a return on that investment, then they’ll come back to you, and continue to work with you.

Joe Valley  31:27

Jon, one of the other things I see here, in your profile is author and speaker, can you talk about the book that you’ve written recently, because I think that’s really a way for people to gain knowledge without investing too much.

Jon MacDonald  31:40

Yeah, so wrote a book called Opting In To Optimization. This was born out of the pandemic, going into the pandemic, I said, hey, I have a lot more time on my hands. I’m not driving into the office every day, I’m not taking my kid to all the activities. What can I do with this extra time that is going to come out of the pandemic being fruitful, right. So I decided I was going to sit down and write out all the core tenants that we’ve learned, and that we believe in 15 years, there’s tons of resources, about tactics for conversion optimization out there, how to do conversion optimization, but there’s very little about theory, how to think about it. What I wanted to do was provide the guide for how to think about conversion optimization. And that’s what Opting In to Optimization is, it’s a practical guide on how to think about, how you should approach optimization and also when it makes sense for your business. So there’s a basically taking the 15 laws that we found of conversion optimization and putting that into a book format.

Joe Valley  32:51

And how do they buy it? Is it available on Amazon? Is it digital?

Jon MacDonald  32:56

It’s everywhere books are sold, you can also go to and purchase it there. You can get an eBook copy there, you can get an audiobook of me reading the book. It’s also up on Audible, etcetera, Spotify, all those things. There’s a passage from Hamilton the musical in there. And I ended up attempting to wrap that passage in the audiobook so that I got to say, you need to buy it. There you go. They give you a good reason to do the audiobook. But yeah, it’s actually was Amazon bestseller for over a month in e-commerce category up on Amazon, which had a great reception. We still sell dozens copies a week and really excited about it. Almost a year later now.

Pat Yates  33:49

Well, one thing I can say about both of you, you both written books, I’ve educated a lot of people I know Joe’s book, every time I talk to people, it’s like actionable tip after actionable tip after actionable tip, which I think probably people read your book, they’re gonna get the same thing from it.

Jon MacDonald  34:03

Yeah, that’s exactly it. And this was actually my second book, the first book called Stop Marketing, Start Selling was all about why brands invest all this money into marketing, but very little into actually selling once somebody gets your site, and all the tactics that they need to be following. And that’s what the first book was about. So I didn’t want to write another tactical book, I really wanted to write another. Here’s how you need to be thinking about this, because that’s where I’m seeing these days as conversion optimization gets more popular. That’s where I’m seeing a lot of the challenges come into play as brands don’t know why they should be doing optimization or when they should be doing it. They just hear about it. And they say, you know, I should be doing conversion optimization. And they start off on the wrong foot because of that.

Joe Valley  34:51

Yeah, I think that’s the case too. I think everybody that hears about it knows they should be doing it. They just don’t know how to get started so they can grab the book, I’m gonna get Opting Into Optimization. I got it right. And should they just go to Jon? Or how did they reach you?

Jon MacDonald  35:10

Well, if they want to get in touch with me, of course, you can go to or just send me an email. It’s just [email protected]. Feel free to email me I’ve given that email address off for 15 years, nobody really abuses it. I would expect nothing different. But if you have a question, I’m happy to answer it. Try to respond to as many emails as I can. So by all means, just reach out. I’m also really active on Twitter, and LinkedIn. So feel free to find me on there. Not hard to find.

Joe Valley  35:40

Yeah. How did they find you on Twitter? I know a lot of folks.

Jon MacDonald  35:42

Yeah, @JonMcDonald. So JON MACDONALD.

Joe Valley  35:50

Awesome, awesome. Listen, man, appreciate you coming on and helping out the audience and helping Pat out here too, because he needs to do to improve that conversion rate on by

Pat Yates  36:01

You just got one more follower instantly, just from that post, that was me. I love it. I love Twitter anyway. But this is really Jon, this is an amazing business. And I love the fact that you have something that can get people started to get actual tips to get going. And eventually, if they build a 10 15 20 million, you’re gonna have the upside to it. It’s really amazing. And actually, I think, not only gonna be a podcast host I’m gonna be a customer really, really soon. Because I’d love to see what they do with it. I think I’m gonna sign up do one just from outside just because I’m curious. I’d love to see the process.

Joe Valley  36:30

And then you got to have him back on in the year. Pat.

Pat Yates  36:33

I need a $399 coupon though. You have one of those that you get out.

Joe Valley  36:37

We’ll talk. All right, Jon. Thanks for coming on. Appreciate it.

Jon MacDonald  36:43

Thank you. Appreciate it.

Outro  36:46

Today’s podcast was produced by Rise25 and the Quiet Light content team. If you have a suggestion for a future podcast, subject or guest, email us at [email protected]. Be sure to follow us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, and subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.

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