Can you ever have too many buttons?

When it comes to sales pages, is it best to scatter multiple buy buttons throughout the page so that someone can easily purchase at any time?

Or is there a smarter way to handle buy buttons?

If you’ve seen a few sales pages, chances are you’ve seen a few sales pages with an abundance of buy buttons scattered liberally through them.

Often the premise for this approach is to ensure that it’s as easy as possible for a reader to buy at the point in time when they’re ready buy.

That sounds logical enough and I know I used to buy in fully to the concept.

However, I’m not so sure it’s as clear cut as that now.

I’ll share my thoughts on three types of pages (the first of which isn’t a sales page in the strictest definition), lead magnet/list builder page, short form sales page and long form sales page.

Lead magnet pages

Yes, a page offering a lead magnet is also short form copy, and yes a lead magnet page doesn’t really have any buy buttons. However, they do aim to trigger an exchange of values between the page and the reader.

A lead magnet page should only every need one CTA button. The image could also trigger the action and I guess the copy could include a link as another way to present a differently worded CTA that still triggers the same action.

You should only ever need one button, because a page like this should only need the space of a single laptop screen to do its job. I do see that some marketers seem to be trending to adding further content to these pages, but I suspect this is being driven by “graphic designers” on sites like Creative Market who think they need to add more sections to their template packs to make the buyer think they’re getting better value.

I don’t personally see the value in adding stuff that removes the focus from the page’s single job of convincing a reader to share their email address in return for a sexy freebie.

If you can’t “sell” your lead magnet in the space of a laptop screen, you don’t need to add more sections and copy, you need a different lead magnet that’s more compelling and easier to explain.

Short form sales pages

The definition of a short form sales page is somewhat subject to a bit of subjective interpretation, with anything from a sentence to 1,000 words and everything in between filling the bill.

For the purpose of this article, I’m thinking of it being a page that is selling a lower ticket item, something that could be considered something of an impulse purchase.

Obviously the sticker price here will vary depending on the audience type.

It could be $7 self-liquidating offer for most of us, but for any self-respecting Russian oligarch, a diamond encrusted cod-piece, with a “I ❤ Vlad” motif picked out in flawless rubies might be their equivalent of a Hershy bar at the checkout.

I guess one way to define it for any market and audience would be to say it’s the kind of offer you’d be comfortable putting a 10 minute countdown timer on.

In this case, I think multiple buy buttons throughout the content is perfectly reasonable.

Some readers may literally click the first button, while others may read further down the page or the full length, before making a decision.

Almost every reader of the page should be able to comfortably make the purchase, so if they press a buy button, we should feel very confident they’ll follow through on their commitment.

Long form sales pages

Long form sales copy is going to be used to help sell higher ticket items. These are purchases that the buyer will need to think carefully about and may require time to establish how they will finance it or need to get the agreement of a partner.

They’re highly unlikely to click the first buy button they see and wave their credit card at the screen.

There is an argument against scattering multiple buy buttons through these types of pages, as they could arguably reduce your sales in some circumstances.

First, though, let’s kick the low hanging fruit.

The reason generally given for adding multiple buy buttons through a page is that it makes it easy for someone to buy if they’re never very far from a button that takes them to the cart page.

So let’s picture a customer who’s got half way down your page and all the possible objections to buying they had have already been successfully countered. Your $1,997 product seems to be what they need right now and they’re ready to buy.

They then look around the screen and upon seeing no buy button, which of these do they do?

  1. Mutter under their breath about the stupid designer not adding a buy button and head back to Facebook in the hope someone else’s course will turn up in their feed
  2. Fast scroll down the page to find the buy button

I guess another way to phrase the question is “precisely how much of a dipshit do you think your average customer is?”

If you’re really that worried about their mental capacity, it’s probably illegal for you to be selling directly to them anyway. You should be targeting your sales funnel at whoever is managing their conservatorship.

Could multiple buy buttons reduce your sales?

With buy buttons scattered liberally throughout the page, the chances of readers going to the checkout page before being truly ready to buy increases.

They reach the checkout and, being reminded of how much they’re about to spend, they realize they still have some objections that your copy hasn’t yet neutralized.

In the worse case scenario, they keep hitting the back button until they’ve left your page completely. Had they read the complete page, perhaps they’d have seen all their objections overcome and returned to the the checkout.

Even in the best case scenario where they resume reading your sales page, they may now be subject to a psychological cue that makes it harder for your page to close the sale.

Put simply, the unconscious mind has been primed to see the offer as not being a good buy.

To expand a bit, the buyer just rejected the offer and the unconscious mind knows they wouldn’t have done that without good reason.

If you’ve ever read Presuasion by Robert Cialdini, you may recall the concept that our actions can influence what we believe. It probably had a fancy name, but regardless, the idea thoroughly scrolled my nurd as it sounds so counter-intuitive.

To illustrate it, I’ll quickly summarize (to the best of my recollection) an incident Cialdini experienced and shared in the introduction. He was shadowing the top sales person for a company that sold some relatively expensive home improvement product. The company used set sales scripts, yet this sales person was consistently the top performer.

The script involved giving the prospects a questionnaire that took about 10 minutes and then the pitch.

At the first appointment, after starting them on the questionnaire, the sales person suddenly remembered they’d left some materials in their car. Rather than interrupt the prospects as they wrote their answers, the salesperson asked for a front door key so they could let themselves back in.

The sales person subsequently forgot the same materials at every other appointment that day and each time asked if he could have a key to get back in.

They later explained that people only give their door key to people they trust and that simple action primed them to have a greater degree of trust in him before he started the sales pitch.

As loco as that sounds, it’s claimed to be a real effect. Getting us to carry out a specific action can influence what we believe.

So in the case of someone going to your checkout page and then leaving without purchasing, the action may have the potential to make the person believe your product isn’t worth the asking price.

I appreciate that may sound a bit Gwyneth gloopy nutballs, but even if you doubt the psychology argument, if you don’t really need multiple buy buttons, do you want to take the chance?