As far back as you can remember, you’ve always wanted to be a gangster; the admiration, the respect, the scores of scantily clad babes walking in and out of your luxury beach house – it sure does beat the regular 9 to 5.
Instead you chose a life of spreadsheets, emails and monthly reports, and the only money laundering you’ve ever attempted was the time your wallet accidentally fell into the toilet. Yes, it may not be the most glamorous life, but by God it’s honest.
However, it’s worth noting a certain affinity between conversion marketing and the key rules of pulling off the perfect heist – as demonstrated in the movies – the two share a lot more in common than you may think.
So with that being said, here are 3 movie rules to pulling off the perfect heist and how they can help with planning your next big ‘conversion caper’.
1. Always Vet Your Crew
First and foremost, nobody can pull off the perfect heist all by themselves. But if movies have taught us anything, rarely will a job go according to plan, usually because of some psycho loose cannon, an undercover cop, or a double-crosser on the team.
If you want a consummate example of what comes of failing to vet your crew properly, pay close attention to the Reservoir Dogs gang (because somebody seriously dropped the ball on that one). The inevitable blood bath ensues and the entire film is spent trying to figure out who is responsible for setting up the rest of the team. In fact, they spend more time squabbling amongst themselves than they do planning the actual heist.
“I say the whole plan became null and void once we found out we got a rat in the house”
– Mr. Pink, Reservoir Dogs
How this could help your conversion caper
When it comes to conversion marketing, your ‘crew’ is your traffic. You might be the brains of the whole operation but you can’t expect to do this alone. After all, these are the guys who are going to make you money with every successful conversion. What’s more you need to know – beyond a shadow of a doubt – that your traffic is dependable, viable and above all else, arriving at your page from a trustworthy source.
There’s a whole swarm of rats out there just looking to screw you over for personal gain, but you can reduce that risk by keeping a close eye on the traffic arriving at your page. Avoid partnering with untrusted or low-quality ad networks, search engines or directory sites, and create exclusion lists to prevent anybody you don’t trust from seeing your ads to begin with.
2. Keep it Simple, Keep it Quick
Everybody knows when it comes to pulling off the perfect heist, that timing is everything. Not just regular timing either; we’re talking glass-cut precision, right down to the slightest millisecond timing. Every single move has to be executed promptly, swiftly and without hesitation because the clock is always ticking.
Consider Robert De Niro’s character in Heat. Unless he knows for sure that he can walk into a situation and be done within a certain time, he just won’t do it. He knows that the longer a job takes, the greater the risk something may go wrong.
Is any of this starting to sound familiar?
“Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you can’t walk out on in thirty seconds flat, if you feel the heat coming around the corner”
– Neil McCauley, Heat
How this could help your conversion caper
Just like any professional thief who wants to avoid a stint on the inside, each and every visitor arriving at your landing page will be keeping a very close eye on that clock, their finger dubiously poised to click the ‘exit’ button should they feel it necessary.
Landing pages are fraught with proverbial tripwires, pressure sensors and any number of time-wasting obstacles that come in the way of a successful conversion; typically in the form of misleading headlines, long-winded copy, and poorly structured content that fails to lead to a valuable action. If a visitor isn’t able to glean exactly what you’re offering in the initial moments of arriving then the risk (of wasting their own time) is just too great for them to stay.
A simple landing page design typically yields the best results, so keep it clean-looking, free from clutter and ensure important information is relevant and concise. Remember, this is supposed to be a simple ‘in/out job’ with no complications, you don’t want to keep anybody waiting at your landing page any longer than is necessary. Which leads us to …
3. You’re Going to Need a Flawless Getaway Plan
Ah yes, the obligatory getaway plan. No heist movie is complete without it, and no heist of any kind should be attempted unless you have one in place. Only an idiot would even try.
From The Great Train Robbery to Ocean’s Eleven, by way of a speeding chase through the streets in Drive, extraction is always quick, clean and without any room for mistakes. But most important of all, everybody walks away with their share of the goods.
“You don’t need to know the route. You give me a time and a place, I give you a five minute window”
– Driver, Drive
How this can help your conversion caper
By now you’re probably picking up how this works and hopefully figured it out, but let’s explain it anyway.
If your ‘crew’ are ever going to make it out with the ‘goods’ (with your share represented in commission) they’ll need clear instruction what to do… otherwise your hard work and careful planning will have all been for nothing. This means putting an effective, easy to follow extraction plan into place. We are of course talking about your call-to-action.
Just like any good getaway plan, your landing pages effective CTA needs to be accessible. Make it big, bold and keep it above the fold so that people can easily find it. It also needs to be free from obstruction, so try to keep any accompanying copy to an absolute minimum.
In a nutshell, you don’t your visitors to have to work out for themselves how to complete a successful conversion (or risk them bottling out before they’ve even started) you need to show them the route and provide a clear path for them to make it out with your big score.
At Clickthroo we see a lot of landing pages, many of which explicitly fail to follow these 3 basic rules. The perfect heist relies on all of the factors being present, and your landing pages are no different if you want to get away with the ‘loot’.
Now, cue the inevitable shoot-out.
Today’s post is brought to you by PPC Hero Ally Dave Bird. Dave is the CEO of Clickthroo, a landing page marketing solution that allows marketers to easily build self-optimizing landing pages and then show personalized content to each landing page visitor based on who they are and what they are looking for. The platform is primarily used by advertisers, agencies, and affiliate marketers. @clickthroo