A New Era Begins – I’m Joining Unbounce as Senior Conversion Optimizer


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Man I’m so freakin’ excited!!!  On July 1st, 2015 I will be joining Unbounce in Vancouver as Senior Conversion Optimizer. This is one of the most epic things that has ever happened to me! I’ll give you the story in this post. 

But be warned – this one is highly personal and sentimental. Read at your own risk…

The story of the little Danish cowboy who became a CRO (Sentimental musings on the AmTrack)

June 2nd, 2015. I’m sitting in the tiny sleeping cabin on the AmTrack train from New York to Chicago. I lost my travel docs so I can’t take the plane with the rest of the crew from Conversion Road Trip.

I’m trying to write a formal post announcing my new job. But I get sentimental when I travel alone. A myriad of memories and emotions emerge from the undergrowth of my memory. And I can’t control what materializes or where my mind goes.

Also, I have a bit of a hangover because I was out late last night drinking Malbec with my friend Oli Gardner from Unbounce. Unbounce – the amazing brand I will be part of in less than a month. I still can’t quite believe they really want me. Stuff like this doesn’t happen to geeky guys from Denmark.

But then again – I was never your typical Danish boy. When I was 4 years old, I wanted to be a cowboy. I wore my gun belt and cowboy hat all summer and refused to put on shorts because cowboys don’t do that.

I catch my reflection in the window. There’s a bald, bearded man staring back at me. I wonder what happened to the little cowboy?

I guess he traded in his gun belt for a laptop and became a CRO consultant. Then worked his way up from the bottom and made a name for himself in a very competitive international industry.

The bearded man is proud of what he has achieved. And the little cowboy?

Under the facial hair and crow’s feet, he’s still there. And I think he might have played a bigger role in all this than I give him credit for… 

Michael Aagaard (1985 vs. 2015)

Hiring a CRO has been top of mind for a long long time – yet it’s a little like hunting for unicorns wearing a blindfold. Virtually impossible.

Which makes it simply incredible that we’ve been able to bring Michael Aagaard onto the Unbounce team. Michael is conversion badassery in the purest sense.

Not only is he a 6-year optimization vet in this fledgling discipline, but he’s also a world class speaker and an exceptional writer who’s contributed no less than 17 blog posts to the Unbounce blog in the past few years. That’s like a f#@&!%G unicorn with three horns!

I’m stoked and proud to call Michael a close personal friend and can’t wait to work with him in the coming years. Welcome to Vancouver brother.

- Oli Gardner, Co-Founder Unbounce 

Oli and me in Berlin for Conversion Conference 2014

Oli and me in Berlin for Conversion Conference 2014

Why I love Unbounce

Unbounce was the first piece of software that made me say “Holy shit – this is exactly what I want!”

I fell instantly in love with the product. Later I fell in love with the people who make Unbounce the amazing brand that it is. I’m in awe of what they have achieved in such short time.

I’ve been a friend of Unbounce for a long time now. I’ve written 17 guest posts for the blog, held webinars with them, spoken at their conferences, and helped them optimize landing pages.

Moreover, Unbounce (Oli in particular) have always had my back and they’ve supported me for years and helped establish me as an international authority within the field of CRO.

Joining Unbounce now feels like coming home after a long journey abroad. 

A New era begins 

I will no longer be offering consulting services, as I will be dedicating all my attention to Unbounce. If you are looking for CRO help, I recommend Craig Sullivan or Peep Laja. I will still be doing speaking gigs and conferences – although not quite as many as before. 

My fiancé and I are moving to Canada in the end of June, and I’ll be working for Unbounce from the 1st of July. We are both very excited – this will be the adventure of a lifetime for us.

I’ve heard that it’s hard to make friends in Vancouver, but we already have 104 friends waiting for us, so I think we’ll be alright ;-) Vancouver, here we come!

Louise & I

Vancouver – here we come!

I’d like to thank the following people for believing in me over the years: 

Craig Sullivan, Peep Laja, Daniel Burstein, Boris Grinkot, Flint McgLaughlin, Sebastian Gullak, Oli Gardner, Georgiana Laudi, Rick Perreault, Ib Potter, Morten Vadskær, Marcus Sheridan, Dan Levy, Jens Schriver, Ton Wessling, Bart Schutz, Michael Lassen, Jens-Otto Paludan, Mom, Dad, Sofie – and of course the love of my life, Louise, I love more than I can say! 

(I know there are many more names I should have included, but then the list would go on forever. Never doubt that you are in my heart!)

Comments

  1. Congrats Michael, I’m so glad it’s finally happened. I still remember that night in the Vancouver bar last September – and here we are. See you soon, mate.

    • Michael Aagaard says:

      Thank you so much my friend! Yes that was a fucking great night. Can’t wait till you come over and visit!

  2. Congrats on the move Michael! You truly are one of the best CRO speakers/writers out there, and you + Unbounce can only makes things much more awesome :)

    Looking forward to what you guys cook up in the near future. Cheers!

  3. WE ARE SO EXCITED! YAYYYYYY AND WELCOME!

  4. Hej Michael – godt gået!

    We will miss you on the Danish CRO-scene. Glad I got to do some shows with you. Best of luck over there.

    /Ole

  5. Hey Michael – congratulations! A great CRO joins a great product team.

  6. Congrats Michael! Oli is the epitome of cool and he’s very knowledgeable too. I’ve been a subscriber to Unbounce’s newsletter for some time and I must say that every email I get from them is packed with very useful content. Their podcasts are truly priceless gems.

    • Michael Aagaard says:

      Thank you Wayne. Yep I agree 100% – one can’t get much cooler than Oli :)

      – Michael

  7. AMAZING!!! I am so happy for you man! Congratulations :-)

  8. One of us! One of us! One of us!

    Really excited to work with you. Welcome to the family!

    By the way, I always thought of you and Oli as the Bash Brothers from Mighty Ducks 2. http://geekpilgrimage.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/bashbrothers.gif

    • Michael Aagaard says:

      YAY! Thank you so much Corey – it feels so amazing that it finally all came together.

      In just a few weeks I’ll be working in the new office with you – WOOP WOOP!

      Yep – that’s Oli and me before a gig :)

  9. So frickin excited to work with you even more closely and learn from you, buddy. Honoured to have been at the bar that night in Vancouver. What a journey. Congrats and welcome :D

    • Michael Aagaard says:

      Me too Dan – it’s going to be epic! Can’t wait to visit you guys in the Montreal office!

      Yeah man – it’s been quite a journey, so happy it finally became reality :)

  10. LASSE SKOV says:

    Fantastisk Michael! Absolut velfortjent!

  11. That’s awesome Michael, many congratulations!

  12. Congrats Michael, and congrats Unbounce :-)
    Great move, good luck!

    • Michael Aagaard says:

      Thank you so much Jules! I hope to see you soon man, it’s always a huge pleasure hanging with you and the rest of the crazy Dutch crew :)

  13. Chris out says:

    Congrats Michael!

    I hope that you have a great time at Unbounce.

  14. Paul Cheney says:

    Congrats buddy! Good to see you livin the dream!

  15. Dustin drees says:

    Congratulations Michael, all the best to you on your new journey!

  16. Wow so great such excitement….good luck
    John

  17. Congratulations Michael.
    I wish you the best on your new road and I am sure the Unbounce team is thrilled to have you as their new member. You deserve it.

  18. Wow! This is exciting. I’ve been one of Unbounce’s biggest fans for quite some time and this just makes me love them more. You’re one of the top CRO guys out there and I’m indebted to you for all the great insights you bring to those of us coming up through the ranks. Can’t wait to see what you do at Unbounce. Congrats!

    • Michael Aagaard says:

      Aw thank you so much Jen – that is so sweet of you to say!

      Thank you and looking forward to seeing you in Vancouver :)

  19. Very exciting news Michael – congratulations!!
    I’m curious why now? UnBounce knew of your genius awesomeness for a while – you knew and loved them – we’d love to learn what joined these two forces together now? Story time? You rock man – thanks for all your killer work – can’t wait to see what you have planned for UnBounce!

    Ari

    • Michael Aagaard says:

      Thank you very much Ari!

      It’s a pretty long story. The short version is that both parties had to be in the right place for this to happen. Also getting a work permit turned out to be much more complicated than first expected, so that delayed things.

      – Michael

  20. Congrats and welcome to Canada! And what better day to start than on Canada Day! :)

  21. shannon macleod says:

    Awesome news! Congrats Michael. I am huge fans of you and Unbounce, so this collaboration will be epic! I worked with Rick, Oli and Carl in a previous life. They are good guys – salt of the earth. I’ll be sure to swing by next time I’m in town for “beer Friday at the Oli Bar.”

    • Michael Aagaard says:

      Thank you so much Shannon! Yes Rick, Oli and Carl are amazing people. Looking forward to a beer with you in Oli’s bar :)

  22. Congrats Michael!!
    Guess I’ll have to go to the unbounce conference to hang out now :)

  23. Awesome, congrats!

  24. No place like Canada when you’re after “hockey stick” growth :) Congrats!

  25. Congratulations Michael!

    Enjoy Canada and good luck!

  26. Heidi Collin says:

    Kæmpe tillykke, Michael!!
    Det er så sejt gået – sikke en lynkarriere du har bedrevet :)
    Tak for dine mange input, for værdifuld inspiration og stort engagement. Det har vi nydt rigtig godt af her i OK! Det er helt uomtvisteligt dig, der har kickstartet og oplært os i at tænke i og arbejde med konverteringsoptimering.
    Jeg ønsker dig held og lykke og alt det bedste i Canada ;)
    Heidi

    • Michael Aagaard says:

      1000 tak Heidi!

      Det varmer mit hjerte, at du følger med og tager dig tid til at skrive til mig!

      OK vil altid have en særlig plads i mit hjerte – det var på mange måder der, at jeg tog mine første CRO-trin :)

      Tak!
      – Michael

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