What’s behind door number three? The answer to that is the proverbial determining factor in whether or not a customer walks through your front doors or a competitor’s. Whatever your business or budget, great signs are the best – and most cost-effective – way to draw customers to you. Below are some nifty tips that can help businesses get the most out of their signs and their advertising campaign budget.
Get Out There!
Though ordinances prevent businesses from creating trip-hazards with their signs, they still need to be clearly visible, 24/7. So, if you use a patio easel during the day, make sure that when you pull it in for the night, you’ve got something equally visible taking its place. Roadside, neon, and sidewalk signs are ways to do this.
Don’t Fear Ostentation
Unless your business is only after those who happen to luck upon it while walking or riding by, bigger really is better. A billboard or car top sign, are some options to consider investing in, and include directions to your establishment.
Consider Alternate Views
Depending on where your sign is located, it can be blocked by cars or surrounding landscaping (esp. with sidewalk signs). Pair this type of signage with eye-level window, awning, or rooftop signage. For corner signs, it’s best to make it visible from every angle.
Use What You've Got
Not all storefronts work for signage. Objects placed in front of an establishment painted with the company logo can get around this. Painted awnings or entrance steps are some other options to optimize available space to advertise.
Work the Nostalgia
Customers have soft spots for local love, family-owned and operated, and businesses that have stood the test of time. A simple “family owned since______“ is a simple and easy way to capture a customer’s attention.
Utilize Social Media
That blue birdy is your friend. "Follow us @______" can get folks to come in or come back that would otherwise not. Another advantage of building social media on your signage is that once people check you out on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook you can expose them to a menu of incentives.
- Contrasting a light color font on a dark background, or vice versa, works well.
- Fonts should be legible and uncomplicated
- Choose colors that correlate with your restaurant’s theme
- Background or graphic elements shouldn’t overpower the actual message
Timeless Sign Elements
Humor and brevity, are essential in signage. It’s estimated that the average amount of time a potential customer will give a billboard sign is six seconds. 10 words is the maximum you want to have in a sign to capture a customer’s attention, especially if they’re driving by.
Animation and Action Grab Attention
Programmable signs can bring an element of surprise and suspense to signage that can differentiate one business from another. Blinking, crawling, and flashing text that can capture an audience through conveying a story. But whether or not you invest in a basic swinging sidewalk sign or hanging porch sign, by adding animation will invariably draw more attention to your business.
"Attract Diners with Your Outdoor Restaurant Sign”, The WEBstaurant store, http://www.webstaurantstore.com/articles/attract-diners-with-your-outdoor-restaurant-sign.cfm
"Lighted Signs & Illiminated Signs for Placement for Exterior Building Exposure", Blue Pond Signs, http://www.bluepondsigns.com/illuminated-signs.html