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How To Use Psychology to Improve CTAs

The ‘Call to Action’ has become so ingrained in websites that it’s become a part of user expectation. Users have gone from wondering, “Where do I click?” to furiously shouting “WHERE DO I CLICK!” With that in mind, how can digital marketers stand out on SERPs when many websites are designed with a similar layout for similar intent? Whether you’re looking to drive conversions or build brand awareness, there are several psychological triggers that can mean the difference between a user converting or bouncing.

Activate Senses for Winning CTAs

A 2006 study from researchers in Spain asked participants to read sensory-related words while an fMRI machine scanned their brains. When they saw words like “coffee” and “cinnamon,” the part of their brain related to smell activated, but if they read words like “chair” and “key,” the same part of the brain remained dark. The brain doesn’t make a distinction between reading sensory-related terms and experiencing them. Marketers can incorporate sensory-related terms to influence users to convert.

Set an expectation with a CTA, but incorporate terms that activate senses. Mention that “the new car smell is only a click away,” or “schedule a test drive to feel the rich leather,” to activate senses and generate clicks.

Do Pronouns Matter for CTAs?

Consumers want a more personalized experience when it comes to online shopping, and using “I/My” pronouns instead of “You/Your” pronouns have been shown to have a positive impact on conversions. Adding a personal touch to inventory buttons with “View My Inventory” or incorporating “I” into the CTAs will likely produce better results than “View Available Inventory” or using phrases like “Are you ready to schedule a test drive?”

What about CTA placement?

About 80% of readers only read headlines, but if they reach 50 words, there is very little drop-off in engagement up to 500 words. If a reader believes that the content above the fold on a website is worth reading, they’re likely to continue, and be more motivated to click after reading than before.

CTAs need to be contrasting color to the page and visible, but placement really doesn’t have any impact on click through rates.

Ultimately, an effective call to action depends on the actual copy. If a reader finds a page to be of poor quality or offer an unsatisfying experience, they’re likely to leave the site no matter how awesome your CTAs are. Create copy that answers user questions better than your competition and you’ll find that bounce rates will drop and overall conversions will increase.

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