Yard sales, open houses, and even house parties are all events that people advertise with yard signs. No matter what is going on, yard signs are a great way to bring in a lot of people, especially when they are just walking or driving by. There are plenty of strategies that sign posters try, but if they don’t follow some of the most basic rules, they won’t be as effective as they could be.
Yard signs still sell to this day, and thousands are purchased weekly because they still work. If they didn’t work, people would stop buying them. Window cleaning businesses, blind cleaning businesses, local home service businesses, they all use yard signs. They use them because they work. People would naturally stop investing in yard signs if they didn’t work.
There are some simple elements and strategies that anyone can use to make sure their sign, no matter what style it is, has a real impact on potential visitors and customers.
Visibility of the Sign
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when advertising their event is using a sign that is too small. If someone passing by in a car cannot read the sign, you have lost potential customers or guests. There are several things you should consider to make your sign visible:
• The size should be no smaller than 11″ x 17″. Anything smaller is too hard to see when driving past. Most city jurisdictions allow signs up to four square feet, so use as much space as you can.
• Match the word size to the sign. Small words on a big poster are drowned out by white-space (the area left blank around words and designs) or too many designs. If the words are too big, they end up squished together or broken apart on different lines, which can make the message confusing.
• All words should also be dark and easy to read. The more contrast between the words and the background, the easier it is to read even at a distance.
• Steer clear of fancy fonts – they are hard to read and most people won’t make the extra effort to decipher it.
Don’t be afraid to go big, it might cost a few more bucks, but sometimes in advertising it’s better to pay more and have a successful project than to pay less and have a failed project. Small signs will lead to failure with yard sign marketing.
Quantity and Placement
Before you place any signs, you should see if your city has a limit on the number or size that is allowable. In general, you want to put up a lot of signs because the more you have, the more people will know about your event.
The best places to put your signs are at every intersection around your event location, especially the busier ones. Also put signs in well-travelled areas that allow local advertising. Many cities have places that everyone knows to look for yard sales, open houses, etc., and these are definitely locations where you want to be seen.
Another thing to consider is posting arrow signs to help direct people, particularly if your location is a bit harder to find. If this is a strategy you want to use, place them every mile or so to help people know they are still on the right track. Also, every four-way intersection requires at least 3 signs to effectively divert traffic to your spot. If your city doesn’t allow this kind of signage, at the very least make sure the address is prominent on each sign.
Wording and Text
There are a lot of ways to phrase the information on your signs. People often try to be really creative by adding graphics or coming up with clever catch phrases. While these may get the attention of some people, the vast majority are going to find it all distracting or sloppy.
The first thing to remember is to keep everything uncluttered and to the point. Phrase things simply and make sure all the important information is on there. List things like what the event is, the days and times it is being held, and of course, the address. Don’t worry about trying to be funny or clever – just get the information to the customer.
Keep the wording simple and to the point. Too much textual content on a sign is not effective. Use words that sell, and are easy to understand.
Know Your Limits
No sign has enough room to include a ton of information. Actually, most only have room for the main points and little else. If you are having a garage sale, the worst thing to do is print “Garage Sale” annoyingly big and then scribble or print the rest of the information at the bottom.
There’s also no reason to print on both sides of your signs, especially if you are hanging them up on poles. There are specific types of signs that are the exception to this rule, like feathered flags or some types of banners, but most signs are not free standing or hanging. People cannot read around a pole, and most won’t even try.
The last thing to remember is that you should always be aware of the rules in your area. There are a lot of people who try to use yard sign marketing for all kinds of events, so cities have ordinances to keep things in control. If you do not look up the rules, you will risk having your signs taken down and possibly even accrue fines.
Following the rules also helps build a reputation with the officials, which always is helpful if you are planning to do a lot of this type of marketing during the year. The opposite is also true – if you break the rules consistently, some cities have the power to prevent you from market in their boundaries in the future. Follow all the tips and rules for using signs in order to have the most effective yard signs for your event.