Using the Power of Psychology to Hyper-activate Your CTA Button

Written by Alex Harris

An understanding of the internal workings of the consumer mind is like the Holy Grail for marketers everywhere. Ever since products could be sold, producers have devoted massive amounts of capital to get into the psyche of their target audience in order to increase sales (also known as conversions in the online world). The primary purpose of your landing page is to increase the conversion rate through the CTA button, and, believe it or not, psychology can help.

Please be aware that I am not trying to convince you that I can read minds, or that I possess knowledge of advanced psychology. However, researchers have led us to a set of basic psychological principles that have been proven to work. While you may have felt “out to sea” when it comes to online marketing, you can now embrace some science to steady yourself and produce results.

The following psychological principles are designed for marketers just like you, who require practicable solutions in the mission for more conversions:

Principle #1: W.I.I.F.M. 

While “W.I.I.F.M.” might sound like a new radio station, it is actually a fundamental marketing concept: “What’s In It For Me?” In fact, it is fundamental to all human behavior, as we are only interested in doing things that will benefit us in some way—it is just the way humans are. So, if you want your potential human customers to end up making a conversion on your site, then you need to give them a good reason to do so.

Humans are always looking for not only reasons to make decisions, but also for compelling reasons to go through with something; well, most of us do, anyway.


As an online marketer, you can use this feature of human psychology to make sure that visitors are both aware of what you are offering, and how their lives will be enriched through your product. By addressing the W.I.I.F.M. question, you have enhanced the functionality of your landing page because you have made it even easier for people to say yes to you.

Gary Gutting, a University of Notre Dame philosophy professor, confirmed in his interview with the New York Times that free will still drives consumers; however, the more that marketers know about their consumers, the better that they are able to present a superior choice for them. By reading this information, you are taking that first step, and now you can apply “a reason why” to your landing page.

TradeShift presents a reason to rationalize a purchase very clearly on their landing page. Everyone loves a getting things for FREE, right?


Principle #2: A Culture Of Storytelling 

You don’t need to be a historian to know that stories have been central to human culture since the dawn of time. The massive success of Hollywood and characters like Harry Potter are further confirmations of just how much we cherish narratives—from the fantastical to the terrifying, stories are now all around us.

Scientists believe that our ongoing fascination is due to the overwhelming emphasis that is placed on the subconscious mind, as 95% of our thoughts are processed in the sensory area of the brain that registers sight, sound, smell and taste. An immersive story allows its audience to deeply experience the events being described and such a powerful tool has been adopted by marketers.

Experience has shown that the most consistent storytellers are the most effective, and many can be found in the emerging field of brand publishing. The Red Bull energy drink brand has gained a global reputation for its narrative marketing, which has taken on the forms of video, music and imagery.



Principle #3: A Mosquito Bite On The Brain 

Before the FOMO phenomenon, a Carnegie-Melon professor and a neuroeconomist named George Loewenstein introduced the information gap theory: when there is a discrepancy between what we know and what we want to know, then we act to close that gap.


Curiosity was described by the professor as a mental itch, or a mosquito bite on the brain—instead of being harmful or life-threatening, the information gap is an emotional annoyance that can only be resolved once the itch is properly scratched. This theory is further discussed in this article about “The Itch of Curiousity”.

Final Thoughts

You should already see the potential for marketers, as a skillful combination of influential copy and a well-thought-out campaign can leave potential customers craving an outcome that can only be realized with a click of the CTA button. 

Teasers are an excellent example of this, as creative outlets progressively unveil an upcoming production to the public until they cannot bear to wait any longer. not only understands the information gap, but also the power of the invite. On their landing page, they not only enticed people with a compelling offer, but they also offered an invite, which represents something exclusive, thereby increasing the allure.


The online marketing realm is like a battleground and the better armed you are, the easier you will be able to fight for the attention of your prospective customers. Take these principles and strengthen your armor today.

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