How’s your relationship with your Call to Action (CTA)? You know, that delicate offer we so often think too little about. We’ve all seen and perhaps used a CTA such as:

Buy Me.

Download NOW!

Read More.

Cold and pushy CTAs like the ones above can turn off conversions in a flash. Consider this: your website visitors may be brand new. For those users, “Buy Me” is threatening. Someone familiar with your brand may want to “Download NOW” but isn’t sure why they would bother. And “Read More” is fatiguing. We all have enough to read for two lifetimes.

The CTA is on our minds here at Connectivity because we’ve been considering the message and placement of our own CTAs. It’s a pain point: our current CTA on the Connectivity website links to a “request more information” form without offering additional helpful content. We can improve this experience.

So, as we clean things up on our own home turf, we thought our research would be helpful to other marketers out there in the enterprise and local business space. See below for great CTA tips. And please share your own CTA magic in the comments.

1. Choose the Right CTA

The first step in rehabbing your CTA is to choose the right message. Skip the tired phrases we mentioned above. Also take a pass on “submit” (yuck!) and “register now.” Registering implies a big time suck and who wants that? Try “sign up” instead. Other unhelpful CTAs are “pay now,” or “enter payment info.” These feel rushed with a layer of scary finality.

Instead, your CTA should tell the user the benefits they will receive for their click. “Get 2x more web traffic” is action oriented and will appeal to the marketer searching for ways to drive eyeballs to his or her site. “Save 20% off of your first purchase” is direct and a great coupon for savvy shoppers. “Start a blog in 30 minutes” offers a helpful path to success rather than a more generic “Click here for great blogging tips.”

A great CTA establishes urgency (but not desperate urgency!) that moves the conversion process along. Craftsy implies everyone else is already onboard: “Start learning with convenient access to the best instructors, in classes trusted by millions.” Unbounce’s CTA beckons the user to “Build a high-converting landing page right now.” Without the “right now,” the CTA is fairly tame. By adding a time element, (right now? Well, let’s do it!) the CTA cranks up the energy.

2. Place the CTA in the Correct Location

Make sure there’s a fast lane for any website visitors who already know your brand well and just want to hop to the buying process. For those visitors, a CTA in the sidebar might be helpful. For other visitors, getting hit with a CTA too early can be a turn off. You need to convince first with great content.

How much content? It depends, of course, on what benefits and information you have to convey. But generally, you’ll want to place the CTA both above the fold and below the fold. The above-the-fold CTA should follow a great block of helpful and succinct brand copy. The below-the-fold CTA should come after more copy with perhaps a testimonial thrown in or more extensive product benefits.

And as a last word, it goes without saying that A/B testing is a large part of figuring out the perfect CTA. Good luck and share your CTA experiences in the comments, below!

Alex is Connectivity’s VP of Marketing.