When considering windowfront signage for your small business, there's a few mistakes that most businesses make that keep them from realizing the full value of the advertising space. To be sure, your front windows are one of the cheapest and easiest opportunities you have to make a branding statement, as well as an opportunity to get the attention of people passing by your store. Not utilizing them to their full potential is a big miss! In this article, we'll cover your two main choices on messaging, and some tips and tricks to get your signage noticed.
Your two main choices
In putting signs in your front window, you have two general directions to go with....reinforcing your brand, or posting up a call to action. In most cases, the window front area is best used as a call to action. After all, your primary signage, whether channel letters, or a large light box, is almost always showing your brand. So, unless you have "generic" main signage that doesn't call out your store name, try and reserve most of the window space to create a specific call to action.
What's a "Call to Action" ?
A "call to action" is either an explicit, or implicit message to potential customers that entices them to come into your store and take an action...either to buy something, or to see your product, sign up for your mailing list, etc. An explicit call to action is one that spells it out. For example "BUY NOW. MATTRESSES ON SALE". An implicit call to action is less specific, but still carries the same message. Perhaps "LIMITED TIME SALE". It's not telling them to buy, but it's certainly stressing the reason why they should.
The most important thing to keep in mind on a call to action is to keep the message short. People generally have short attention spans, and won't take the time to read a long message. "BUSINESS CARDS 1000 for $20" will get much more attention than "BUY BUSINESS CARDS NOW, PRICES STARTING FROM $20".
And, of course, your potential customers need to be able to see, and read the sign to take action on it. A good rule of thumb used in the signage industry is to allot at least 1 inch of letter height for every 10 feet away the customer is. So, if the road is 70 feet from your windows, aim for at least a 7 inch high letter. They can read a 7" high letter from about 140 foot, but it doesn't really catch their attention until about 70 feet. To test it out, you don't really need anything fancy. A black marker and a some white paper will do. Tape together some paper into the size and shape of the sign you intend to display, and write the letters with the marker. Try a few different letter heights, and tape them in your window. Now, put yourself in the customers place. If they are driving by then get in your car and drive by your store. Are the letters tall enough that you can read them? Are they big enough in your field of view that they get your attention?
Lastly, a way to add some additional "punch" to your windowfront signage is to invest in illuminated signs. The experts at BrightSigns, who run the popular websites http://www.brightledsigns.com and http://www.neonsigns4you.com, say that neon and led signs can make a huge difference in whether your signs get noticed or not. Often times, a smaller 12"x24" neon sign will get noticed before a huge 2 foot X 5 foot banner. And, you can boost that up even more by adding flashing or animation.
Whether you decide on a simple banner, or an illuminated LED or neon sign, be sure to maximize your investment. Got tinted windows? Cut out the tint if it's obscuring the sign! Do you have narrow windows separated by aluminum dividers? Consider spreading your message across more than one sign, instead of trying to squeeze it all into a single window!