What’s Behind Calls to Action (CTA)?

Published on February 10, 2021

One of the critical factors in social media marketing is the calls-to-action. The lack of CTAs on your content or website will confuse visitors and have no idea what to do when visiting your page. It also helps the overall conversion rate of the website.

What’s behind calls to action? Effective CTAs are part of the human psyche. Whenever you go to a page, you ask yourself– what’s next? Where to go? Your potential audience has the same question also. They want to know what to do next and give them the direction to satisfy them on a psychological level.

There are four main parts of the psychology behind calls to action – anticipation, expectation, reward, audience-centered, and if you know these parts, it will help you create effective CTAs.


When we expect something to happen, that’s anticipation. You could be preparing for an event, checking your email for important announcements, or looking forward to your paycheck at the end of the month. You know something will happen, only that you are not sure when it will be.

Anticipation in digital marketing begins when someone visits your webpage. The audience starts to read, skim, watch, or expect to read something the audience wants to know.

Let’s say you wrote a blog about the best practices on Instagram. The reader’s anticipation starts with the title. They want to know what are the best ways to use Instagram.

The reader’s anticipation continues through the post’s body, which you can build and satisfy by giving relevant information, examples, and images that give people an idea about the idea. Your goal is to engage with your readers by giving them an exciting read until the end of the blog post. Make them feel closer to your brand.

Do not make your setup long. People will lose interest, or it will not have an impact if it comes too early. The key to building the audience’s anticipation is to give them enough information, which you know you can wrap up.

How to capitalize on anticipation?

Most people anticipate positive events, and that’s how the brain works. That’s why if you bring out a positive experience to your users, you are giving them most of their anticipation.

Use agreeable and appropriate language in your text, coordinate a comfortable design scheme for your page, and use positive words on the CTA button to make the most of your reader’s anticipation. Use statements that you know your target audience will accept.


If you have anticipation, you also have an expectation. An audience expects something big at the end of your article or content. The audience expects a resolution or a call to action. You need to satisfy their expectations to make their anticipation worth it.

Behind expectations is the psychological principle of a perceptual set. People have a set of expectations based on the context of what they see. It depends on how your audience reads your content.

For example, if your visitor lands at a signup page, they expect a CTA button with “Sign Up.”

No matter what page a user visits, they expect a direction on what they should do next in the context page.

Use expectation

The best way to satisfy your audience’s expectations is through the CTA. Do not create a simple text. Ensure that it will contextually fit the rest of your page. It has to be distinguished from the rest of your page.

You can do it by using big buttons with strong colors. Make them different from the rest of your website color scheme to make them noticeable.

Experts say warm colors such as orange is the best color scheme for CTA buttons; it will still depend on your website’s color. Ensure that the color scheme will stand out from your website, which is effective for any CTAs.


If you have anticipation and expectation, you need to have a reward. The reward will satisfy the audience by finding and clicking your CTA.

A reward is one of the most satisfying experiences of a person. Are you familiar with positive reinforcement? In psychology, when a person does something good, you reward that person. That’s why rewards will motivate a person to do anything.

If you use rewards on your CTA, it looks good with buttons. The audience finds buttons attractive. They love to push the button and see something exciting at the end– which is precisely the function of a CTA.

Make CTA Rewards Exciting

So, how do you make the reward and button scheme fit into CTAs?

Make your CTA button big to press. Let the button have a little pushback because of the click. Use short, simple, and practicals statements to provide excitement on the user’s anticipation, satisfaction and drive them to the reward.

Lastly, promise the users that they will have something in return. Everyone loves FREE, whether it is a trail for your software or a PDF document.


CTAs have to be audience-centered, and it is the most specific point in the list. When you say audience-centered, you do not focus on the user’s experience with your company, product, or service.

The most common way to address the reader in your content is to use the second-person point of view– you. Using is more conversational than using third-person pronouns. Using the second-person sounds like you are talking to your reader, while using third-person pronoun makes the reader feel like they are reading a book.

It may not have any difference for you, but pronouns significantly impact your tone, credibility, and overall direction of your writing.

Use Psychology on Calls to Action

Now, you have an idea of what’s behind CTAs, and you can use these ideas to improve your CTAs. The results of a compelling CTA will improve your conversion rates. Always test your CTAs to ensure it is working.

If you want to test your calls to action, use Visual Website Optimizer. It is friendly for users who do not have aunty coding knowledge. Be determined to create a compelling CTA.


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