An effective sign motivates the viewer to take action in some way. Sometimes, the sign specifically tells the viewer what to do, whereas other times the call to action is more subtle. Regardless of the way you implement it, it’s important to include something in your ad that stays with the reader after he/she is no longer viewing your sign. Here are some examples of compelling messages you can incorporate into your business signs.
Call Us—This newspaper ad for a dentist office is effective because it incorporates the popular strategy of “scare tactics” by alarming the reader with something that could affect them (a dental injury on the job). It proposes a hypothetical problem to get the reader’s attention, and then directs them right the solution (a phone number, in this case). Notice the ad doesn’t say “Book an appointment today!”—rather, it simply encourages the reader to call for more information.
Research Us—Sometimes an intriguing, and possibly even vague, advertisement can be very successful. The idea is that you give the reader enough to catch their eye and then the tools needed to find out the rest. A great example is this ad for The Andy Warhol Museum’s new iPhone app. Here The Warhol has incorporated trendy QR codes into its logo (which is usually a colon) to entice the reader to do more research. The website and App Store mention are also listed. Use this strategy for large vinyl banners that are to be seen from far away, or even a car window decal. The viewer won’t have much time to see the ad anyway, so you want to pique their interest enough that they’ll look you up later on.
Follow Us—Social media has taken society by storm, so another great strategy for your signs is to encourage the viewer to follow you on Twitter, like you on Facebook, etc. Once they get to your page you’ll have the opportunity to deliver your sales pitch, along with other unique and interesting content. Volvo demonstrates this concept here via a banner on the Youtube homepage, which encourages viewers to follow Volvo on twitter to stay updated on the new XC60 model.
Identify With Us—Many ads are used for branding purposes, so although there’s not a hard sales pitch, they still connect with customers and motivate them to buy a product. The key to these ads is to resonate with the viewer, so relevant images and targeted content are key. Your window graphics should have this focus so customers can clearly identify the purpose of your business. This Got Milk? ad is a great example—men all over the world can identify.
Shop With Us—Last but certainly not least is the shopping ad, which encourages customers to purchase your products or services. That’s ultimately the point of your business anyway, right? This Lane Bryant ad features not only a great deal, but also a deadline, which are the two keys to making this type of ad successful. Customers need to see value and urgency for the ad to convince them to make a purchase.
Although your ads should always be consistent from a brand standpoint, it can be worthwhile to vary your strategy and message to reach different types of customers. Not everyone likes a hard sell, whereas others won’t respond to a sign that’s too vague. A good mix of ads with different focuses will generally produce a great result.