In the study, psychologists displayed 24 varieties of gourmet jam at a grocery store, telling shoppers that if they just sampled a jam, a freshly minted coupon would be theirs. A few days later, they tested the same deal—but in lieu of 24 jams, simply showed 6.
Betcha can guess what happened.
The shoppers presented with 24 jams were one-tenth as likely to head to the cash register with a jam … the ones who sampled from the selection of 6 ended up purchasing more.
“Too many choices can overwhelm us and cause us to not choose at all,” psychologist Sheena Iyengar concluded. “For businesses, this means that if they offer us too many choices, we may not buy anything.”
Psychologists further concluded that more options also “lead us to be less, not more satisfied once we actually decided … there’s often that nagging feeling that we could have done better.” (You can head to Harvard Business Review to read more about the study.)
Here’s the thing: the science of marketing looks at buying psychology, and—by default—what gets your reader to take the desired action. While it’s SO natural to think you’re spoiling your dear reader with a bevy of choices, ways to engage, and new information (Follow me here! Subscribe for more tips! Here are 3 current promos! Check out my free audit page! Get your e-book!) the whole point of a CTA button is to give your visitors a single action to take.
It’s paramount to give your readers a single, certain path to follow towards a conversion … otherwise, we risk losing them in transit. Analysis paralysis.
I see a lot of creatives having 4, 5, 6+ CTAs in their Instagram Linktree landing page, but asking your reader to complete multiple actions can lead to decreased conversion. If you’re asking me to download your freebie, read your blog, send you an email, peruse the shop, and find you on Facebook, I’m already overwhelmed.
I tell my Copywriting for Creatives students to always have one goal for every landing page, every email, and every page of website copy they draft: one goal, one reader, one offer. So, when a reader hops aboard your website, the goal isn’t to overload them with a crazy amount of to-do’s and content. It’s to shepherd them towards the next step in their customer journey, and compel them to take ONE desired action.
Don’t give too many messages, don’t steer your potential clients in 500 directions—just coach them to the next step in the conversion process. There’s no magic number, but I’d recommend trimming your Linktree down to three buttons or less.
How to Write the CTA Copy