The psychology of “Call to Actions”

A “Call to Action” (CTA) is a fundamental element of every website page.  When a visitor comes to your website they need to be told what to do next.  Without a “Call to Action” they will wonder off and you will lose the chance to convert them to a customer.   Worst still, they’re expecting one.

There have been many studies carried out to understand the psychology of “Call to Actions” that not only include the colour, border size, font style and copy, but the psychology that motivates our behavior.

Visitors Expect a Call to Action:

When we land on a web page we are conditioned to expect a CTA based on our past experiences.  We are expecting to be summoned into action, we know it coming and our minds have decided that there will be a CTA on the page.  With that in mind, make your CTA obvious.

The CTA tantalises our sense of curiosity:

Our minds are curious about what will happen once we have clicked the CTA.  Curiosity is powerful, (not so good for cats) because of the promise of what lies beyond, satisfaction.  CTA’s that use “ultimate, guide, secrets and tips and tricks” really spark the visitor’s curiosity and drive them to click through.   To increase curiosity, explain some, but not all.  Use the CTA copy that promises ad discovery, a secret, or some new knowledge.

CTA’s that feed our Anticipation:

Psychologically we are wired for anticipation.

Tell a Story.  We are suckers for a story and the CTA should be the climax of the story.  The landing page is the introduction, the CTA the climax and the click through page the resolution.

Build it up.  The greater the anticipation the grater the emotional experience of clicking the CTA.

Invite Agreement.  People like anticipating positive events so present agreeable pictures and agreeable statements.

The CTA Rewards us:

We are conditioned that a reward will come after we click on the CTA.  Our mental history tells us that clicking or signing up brings a feeling of reward.  By promising a reward you can strengthen the desire to receive that reward which will increase your conversion rates.

In conclusion, there is psychology in everything we do but by understanding the psychology of CTA’s you can target your copy to tap into your visitor’s inner psychology and increase your conversion rates.

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