7-Second Thoughts March 12, 2023

Nothin’ but a MacGuffin

A MacGuffin is a device whose sole existence is to drive the plot forward.

You seen it in movies from time to time

Starting with Alfred Hitchcock’s The Maltese Falcon

The ark in Raiders of the Lost Ark

The briefcase in Pulp Fiction

The necklace in Titanic

Even the ring in Lord of the Rings (!)

Macguffin’s are seemingly important plot elements

But in the end are simply there to catch the audience’s attention and maintain suspense

Or in your case:

To convince your prospect to click on your call to action button.

See if this helps:

When you’re developing the first 7 seconds of your website

To say who your prospect is

How you help them

And the outcome of that help

Keep in mind that your ultimate goal is to

Provide just enough value

And earn just enough trust

That your audience invites you into their inbox

On a regular basis.

I’m here,


P.S. George Lucas was the first to cleave from Hitchcock’s rule and maintains that the Macguffin must have meaning (R2D2 in Star Wars) Personally, I’m on Team Lucas. If the purpose of the first 7 seconds is to persuade your prospect to approve your request to darken their digital door, your 7 seconds must have undeniable meaning if they’re going to continue to welcome you.

Like this message?