How many CTAs should I use? It’s a simple question that reveals some sticky issues in your approach to marketing. Should you include multiple and frequent calls-to-action (CTA) on a web page? What about in an email? Should you use more CTAs in some channels than others? It’s one of the oldest and most heavily disputed questions in digital marketing.
A call-to-action (commonly abbreviated to “CTA”) is a prompt to continue your journey as a customer. In B2C marketing, common CTAs include language like “Buy Now” and “Create Your Account.” In B2B, where the sales cycle is usually considerably longer, CTAs usually reflect the prospect’s position in the funnel. The purpose is to move them to the next stage of their journey. In either case, the goal is always to drive the audience to take up your call to action and do just that: act!
Some of the most common CTAs, mapped to the stages of the sales funnel, include:
- Awareness: Learn More
- Consideration: Download Your eBook
- Decision: Book a Demo
- Retention: Become a Rewards Member
- Advocacy: Tell Us What You Think
Getting back to our initial question: The truth is, it’s not as simple as asking “How many CTAs should I use?” It’s more helpful to look at each channel individually. Let’s break down a few CTA best practices by marketing channel!
How Many CTAs Should I Use on a Web Page?
Different webpages have different objectives, so let’s start with the homepage and narrow down to the more granular pages.
Your homepage will likely have multiple CTAs because it often serves as your visitors’ initial introduction to your brand. Maybe these users want to learn a bit more about your products and services, so you should have an easy path to help them navigate to your most common and lucrative offerings. Or, they might not even be sure of what they’re actually looking for yet — customers at this point only know that they have a problem and have just started their search for a solution. These prospects might be interested in downloading an eBook or viewing a product overview video, so you should create a compelling CTA to get them to do so.
Then there’s the ultimate goal for any B2B marketer: the “Handraiser.” You’ll want to direct these hot prospects to complete a “Contact Us,” “Talk to an Expert,” or “Book a Demo” form on your homepage. This way, your sales team can follow-up directly (and, ideally, immediately) or at least push the lead back to marketing to be entered into a nurture campaign until they’re in a better position to discuss their needs and a potential purchase.
Product Page CTAs
Most product pages will have at least two CTAs because there are usually two types of visitors. On the one hand, you could have a prospective buyer who’s a little further down the sales cycle and ready to speak with a salesperson. You need to have a prominent call-to-action that gets these handraisers (see above) where they need to go.
On the other hand, as I’ll continue to stress throughout this blog, not every visitor is ready to make a purchase. In fact, some aren’t even close to doing so and have just begun the research phase of the customer journey. These people need content, not phone calls. So give them what they want in the form of an eBook, webinar, podcast, etc. and make sure that you have a strong CTA that clearly instructs them about what will happen and what they will receive if they click on your button.
Support Page CTAs
Support pages will also likely have multiple CTAs because your prospects will likely have several different questions that you might be able to answer without a phone call or through a chatbot. These pages are a great opportunity for you to present all your great content square in front of your audience.
For instance, if someone has a question about a specific product line, you could provide a link that allows them to download an ungated datasheet about that offering. Or if they’re not even sure how or why they might need your services, you could include a link to download a high-level thought leadership piece that is designed to educate prospects who are new to your industry.
How Many CTAs Should I Use in a Marketing Email?
Any discussion of CTAs should begin and end with intentionality. What do you want to achieve with this page or this blog or this landing page? Much like webpages, marketing emails often serve different purposes, but there are still email call-to-action best practices to keep in mind.
A trigger-based email might thank a user for joining a webinar and then take that opportunity to place a single handraiser CTA button at the end of the copy inviting them to book a product demo. Alternatively, a lead nurturing email might have a primary CTA that asks the reader to download an infographic and then a secondary button to get them to schedule a call. As long as you’re motivating your users to take action and providing a tangible benefit if they do so, you’re probably on the right track.
How Many CTAs Should I Use in a Blog?
Blogs are a bit unique because they represent a golden opportunity to further educate your audience. In fact, we recently updated our blog template to create more opportunities for additional content. In this new version, we have at least seven calls-to-action, although most of them are fairly obscure and benign to prevent distracting the reader.
On each blog page, we have:
- 4 pieces of recommended content in the sidebar
- Newsletter subscription field in the sidebar
- One piece of sticky content in the sidebar
- And then the same piece of content that is in the stick is also placed as the primary CTA at the end of the blog
As I said, this is a new approach for us, so we don’t have a ton of data outlining our progress so far, but adding related and relevant content to blog pages is always a good idea. Think about it: you’ve already secured an interested audience, so why wouldn’t you want them to keep learning more about pertinent content that is both educational and presents your organization as a true thought leader in your space.
Furthermore, when you create awesome industry reports or are featured in an analyst report, you have to get this information in front of prospective buyers. And since blogs are often one of the leading traffic sources for organizations of all sizes, they can be a terrific place for subtle self-promotion as buyers move from the top of the funnel toward the middle. Blogs are meant to educate your audience and build brand awareness, so keep serving up awesome content, and you’ll keep moving them through the sales funnel.
How Many CTAs Should I Use in a Dedicated Landing Page?
This one is a no-brainer and not really disputable in my mind. The purpose of a dedicated landing page is to get your audience to convert. That’s it. That’s all. So you do not want to confuse the issue by asking them to do more than one thing. Thus, these dedicated landing pages should only have a single CTA.
What’s more, you shouldn’t include any navigation on these dedicated landing pages. You’ve likely put in a lot of time, effort, and even money to get your users to arrive on this page, so why would you give them the option to go browse on your website for five minutes and then bounce? And since your landing page should be focused on a very specific conversion action that your users inherently asked for by clicking through to the page, your conversion rates on these pages should be significantly higher than other channels.