How to drive engagement with outdoor signs

Your customers are exposed to hundreds of ads a day between TV, Radio, browsing the web and their commutes to and from work. So what kind of ads do you need to create to really get their attention? We’ll work to answer that exact question in our latest series called “The Effectiveness of Signage,” where we cover the do’s and don’ts of sign advertising.

Our First Experiment

On our drives to work every morning, we see all sorts of signs. There are yard signs for political campaigns, security systems, realtors and so much more. Along the busier roads, there are signs plastered all over telephone poles and crosswalks. Then there are the sign spinners. Those guys or girls who hold signs and dance like their life depends on it. We’ve all seen them, but does all that boogying really work? So, we wanted to find out. We decided to test a few signs of our own served to oncoming traffic in the city, with the simple invitation, “Hoot if you see this sign.”

Our ultimate goal was to see whether a person being present with the sign made a real difference in completed calls to action. The results might surprise you!

Too Long, Didn’t Read

Here are some of the nuggets we’ve pulled out of our findings you can take advantage of right now. We’ll go over the specifics of how we arrived at these recommendations throughout the rest of the article:

  • Signs get noticed despite repeated studies claiming we’re blind to ads.
  • Using a person boosts engagement: if it is appropriate for your business, try having someone stand out by the sign to help attract customers—the human element will drive a greater response rate than just having a sign posted.
  • Use color contrast.
  • Make your message short and clear for drivers passing by to read.
  • If you want to get more people to respond to your sign, make your call to action (CTA) as easy as possible (low-involvement) to eliminate barriers. (keep your message simple)
  • Give oncoming drivers enough time to react to your sign.
  • Location matters—make your sign as visible as possible. Place your sign in a well-trafficked area when possible.

What This Means for You

One of the more obvious takeaways is that people notice signs while driving! Whether they pay attention or not relies heavily on design, copy, and size. As long as the text was legible, the design didn’t make a major difference, as long as it didn’t get too crazy. Plenty of people saw our signs but for whatever reason, didn’t complete the CTAs. Maybe they were just reluctant to honk or wave; maybe they absent-mindedly read the sign. What was interesting is the place at which most drivers would complete the call to action.

Are you interested in increasing your business traffic with signage? We are the go to guys for favourable signage materials and hardware.