Can my email have more than 1 call to action?

Subscriber Felix inquires:

Should each email only have 1 call to action or can you have a couple like “click on this link to read the blog” and then later in the email ask them to share the blog post via a click to tweet link? Is it ok to have more than one call to action or just stick to one?

Less is always more when it comes to calls to action. In 99% of cases you want to stick to just one.

That's especially true when you're selling something, whether the “sale” is to click a link for a blog post, share something on Facebook, or buy a product.

Recently one of my clients was using a templated welcome email from a popular email marketing system. This template, which was billed as “the perfect welcome email,” prompted subscribers to:

  • Check out the archive of past articles
  • White-list the sender
  • Drag the email out of Gmails stupid “promotions” tab
  • Create a folder for their emails
  • Follow them on Facebook and Twitter

When you hit readers with that many calls to action, guess what happens?

After the first link, the number of subscribers who actually click anything dropped like a rock.

By the time they got all the way down to the Facebook link, only 1-2% were still dutifully following the instructions.

If only 1 out of 100 people are going to take an action, why even bother including it? (You can always ask people to follow you on Facebook later—in a dedicated email where you'll get a high response rate.)

Instead of bombarding your subscribers like this, keep your emails focused by repeating the same call to action multiple times.

For example, if your goal is to get them to click a link, you can include the link near the top, again above the salutation, and one more time in a P.S.

That way you're increasing your clickthrough rate without watering down your call to action.