Leveraging Psychology for Your Call-to-Action Buttons

Leveraging Psychology for Your Call-to-Action Buttons

July 24, 2020 Off By Koehler Home Decor

Although your e-commerce site is probably filled with them how often do you take the time to examine and analyze how well your call-to-action buttons are converting?

The very name of the button, call to action, states there is a necessity for the person engaging with them to be prompted to perform a task. Therefore, your call-to-action buttons should be usable, but they also need to be actively persuasive to encourage more clicks and higher conversion rates .

Do they really make a difference?

Call-to-action buttons are the biggest subject of A/B tests run by businesses (they make up around 30% of all tests). The difference between a poor and a great CTA can be anything from a few percent to a few hundred percent and more!

So, let’s take a look at how you can make these buttons more enticing, and increase the number of times your browsers are tempted into clicking them.

Psychology tips to increase conversion

1 Color psychology

Color plays a very important role in determining the pull of your button. The color you choose can determine who clicks, how many times they click, and how quickly they click. The chart below makes use of long held psychological beliefs about the effects of color on the human brain.


For example:

– Females tend to prefer the colors purple, green and blue, while men tend to prefer blue-green and black

– Blue is a color considered to build trust while yellow tends to signify a warning.

These subliminal factors and others should be taken into account when designing CTA buttons to ensure the right audience is drawn to ‘click’. Not only is it important to choose the right color, but to ensure that the entire page or interface is also aesthetically pleasing. Take a better look at the background color of your page to ensure colors don’t clash and your button isn’t lost in the background.

2 Placement psychology

You want your call-to-action button to stand out on the page, otherwise it will get lost among other elements and garner fewer clicks. If your button has an important message – like Buy Now – ensure that it is positioned where it will stand out.

You also want your users to understand what happens when they click on your button. It’ often a good idea to introduce your button with accompanying short text to support why the user should click it, what are the benefits for them? Twitter does a great job here.


3 Visual Psychology

The shape and overall design of the button is where you can get creative, but keep in mind particular shapes could add to – or detract from – the ‘clickability’ of the button.

Take into consideration the following:

People like curves. It has been found that rounded corners draw attention to the inside of the button, whereas square edges draw attention away from the centre. 

Neuro-aesthetics researchers have found that people prefer rounded shapes and these shapes actually cause more activity in the visual cortex . In other words, they get people more excited.

Size = Importance. The size of the button should be determined by how important that particular action is to be carried out.

4 Wording psychology

The importance of the message plays a huge part in determining the design of the button. In an increasingly fast paced society, the concept of reading long text becomes less and less appealing.

As a result, you need to ensure that the call-to-action button is as specific as possible, and gets the message across in the shortest amount of time.

How do you do that?

Be specific. Consider what you want the user to do and use a command to describe the button. For example, buy, watch, download etc. However, take some of the biggest conversions come from using less generic and more specific phrases, like the one below.


image source

Clarity. If necessary, include a simple message on the button to clarify any ambiguity that may be there from the command. Through simplicity is important, clarity is essential.

5 Emotional psychology

It is important to keep in mind the emotions you want your end user to feel while scrolling through your product pages and website in general.

Whether it be a sense of urgency, pity or excitement, you want to give them a reason to click on your button. Think about what calls you to action and why.

Why should a customer buy from you? Is it because they you are having a one-day sale, or because they were only available at your site? Our minds are triggered into action by emotions as well as a perceived sense of need to perform an action. With your CTA button, you have the opportunity to develop a sense of need or create a sense of urgency or desire to take your users to the next step.


As humans, we’re pre-programmed to respond to images. They draw us in emotionally. The images you use alongside your CTA can play a huge role in creating the right emotion to engage users and increase conversions. Spotify does a great job here as you can see above.

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