7 Tips for Your Business Sign or Lawn Sign

business sign tipsDo you have a retail storefront?

Are you a contractor that is supplying services at someones house or place of business?

You should be using a business sign, like a sandwich board or a lawn sign, to draw in traffic or build awareness for you business. Signage is an excellent way to help generate sales leads for your company.

Below are 7 tips that will help you generate a higher percentage of sales leads:

7 Tips for Your Business Sign or Lawn Sign

Phone Number

This is just basic common sense.  But believe it or not, business owners forget to add this one important piece of information to a business sign.

So that you can track your results from any lawn signs, use a unique phone number that people can call. By doing this, you will be able to see how many leads came from that phone number. A great service for this is Toll Free Forwarding or Google Voice.

Your Address

If you have a retail establishment that you want people to go to, why not list your address on your business sign?  It should help you to drive foot traffic to your retail location.

A Strong Call To Action For An Offer

Do you want to get someone to do something? If so, you need to have a “call to action.” Basically, you need to tell people what you want them to do.

A suggestion that ties into the next 2 tips (QR Codes and Text Codes) is to have a coupon or special offer that allows you to capture an email and other relevant information.  By capturing an email, you will have the ability to continually market to someone with an email newsletter.

A QR Code

Add a QR code to your business sign that is tied to a special offer or something that a potential customer may want. The QR Code should send the person to a mobile ready landing page that has a sign up form.

Once the person signs up for your offer, they will be sent an email with a code or a coupon.  A service that I have used before is Kawya.

Text Code or SMS Code

A text code or SMS code will allow a person to text a specific keyword to and assigned short code. This may sound confusing, but in reality, all you do is find a SMS marketing provider and register a keyword. Then you will be able to start directing people to a specific landing page on your website.

I interviewed Jed Alpert, who wrote “The Mobile Marketing Revolution” and he stated that the:

“. . . response rate from adding a text code on a sign is up to 10 times greater compared to no code.”

I can confirm this as I have a client where we added a text code to a radio ad they were running and they saw a twenty-fold increase in sales leads from that spot.

Here’s one more use for a text code:  Place one on your vehicles so that people will connect with you.

For the QR code and the text code, have separate landing pages and coupons and coupon codes. You want to do this so that you can track a conversion rate.

For example, you can see how many people used your text code by the number of hits to a specific page. Then you can see how many people sign up for an offer and finally, the amount of people who redeem your coupon or offer.

Website Address

Make sure that you add your website address to your business sign. If your domain is too long, use a shortener like Bit.ly or get a separate shorter domain that redirects to your website.

Bit.ly allows you to make a vanity url and you can also track the clicks from that specific url. As a suggestion, make sure that if you have an offer on your business sign – that the Web address corresponds with that offer. Don’t just send them to your homepage as your conversion rates will be far lower by doing this.

Email Address

Create a unique email address to put on your business sign so that you can track the amount of inquiries that come in.

Add all of these tips to your business sign and you should see an increase in the amount of sales leads that you generate.  By the way, this isn’t just for signs.  Use these different tactics on business cards, letters, mailers and other printed material that you have as well.

If you have other business sign tips, please share them in the comments.

Sandwich Board Photo via Shutterstock


Chris Hamilton Chris Hamilton is small and medium business sales and marketing consultant who writes a daily blog, SalesTipADay. He also hosts an online video interview show at NetCastEvent, where he interviews some of the worlds best sales and marketing consultants.

33 Reactions
  1. I think this is a great tip Chris and would just like to add to those who go this route, PLEASE make sure the text can be read from a distance. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to get a phone number off of a car magnet or road side but I just couldn’t see it without being up close, which we all know is not often possible if you are in a car on a highway or driving past a business quickly.

    • Deirdre,

      I agree.

      I actually saw someone a few months ago with their fax number on their truck. Great for all those mobile fax machines in cars. 🙂


  2. I would add that you probably don’t want all 7 on the same sign because it will look really crowded and lose focus. Look at the purpose of the sign and use the elements that are most relevant.

    • Robert,

      Good point.

      I would suggest that in certain circumstances you could deploy all of these, but be careful doing it.


  3. Mark @ ThinkTraffic

    Great post Chris.

    Personally I think that QR codes have a way to go (in terms of adoption by the market), but adding them certainly makes you look up to date.

    Adding some way of getting people to your website is a great idea though. Even local restaurants can make the most of marketing online these dates and marrying your online presence with your offline is crucial.

    • Mark,

      The adoption of QR codes has come a long way, but I agree, it as a long way to go.

      I see people with QR codes on their trucks/vehicles, which is great when they are parked but not when they are moving.


  4. Great tips, Chris. Having a text code is really important. With mobile marketing on the rise, you must give people that flexibility. I’m sure it’ll def bring in more business.


    • Hi Ti,

      I think text codes will become more prevalent in the next year or 2.

      One great thing about capturing mobile numbers is that you can market to an audience where the read rate can be as high as 100%. But it has the ability to be abused, which I hope doesn’t happen.



  5. Before posting your lawn signs . Make sure local ordinances are met. I’ve heard of companies getting hefty fines.

    • Yes Bill, thanks for adding that.

      I realize that each place has it’s own rules and that people should do their due diligence.



  6. I would also add that it would be smart to check with local ordinances about sign usage. Here in Arizona, many cities have laws that prohibit the use of A-signs that obstruct the view for drivers. Unlawful placement of A-signs could result in civil liability in the event of an accident.

    Best advice – check into the local laws before placing A-signs. Even if your sign is not an A-sign, cities have regulations on EVERY aspect of signage that is visible in public view. I’ve had a friend who was cited for simply having the word “COFFEE” shown from his window at his coffee shop. Everything needs a permit.

    • Great info Joe. I didn’t think of that.

      I know that in Calgary, where I live, there are specific streets that you can not put a sign up on.



  7. Chris,

    Thanx for sharing. I am exploring vinyl or magnets and will be sure to do a QR code.

  8. Hi Chris,

    I just found you, and your article on signage is really excellent — lots of good, specific tips. I am starting a blog on marketing to help my SCORE clients — no ads, nothing for sale — and I am wondering if I could use you and your signage article in my blog? I would give full credit plus space on my contributor page.

    I’m just starting and only have a couple hundred people so far (exactly 2 weeks up and running), but I’m working hard to bring valuable new thoughts, and your article is excellent. You’ll get a kick out of what one of our contributors is saying tomorrow on branding… Thanks! Cheri Carroll

  9. Hi Chris — I don’t know anything about text codes or SMS — could you tell more?

    • Cheri,

      This is a “how long is a piece of string” question.

      What are you trying to find out?


  10. That is a lot of things to go on one sign. Is it best to have all of that on just the one sign? Also like how texting codes is up there twice.

  11. It is interesting to see how business signs have evolved over the years. They used to be just the name, and now there is so much more! I think that it is really great that there are so many technological ways to reach out to customers in order to give them an idea of what your business is about.

  12. My cousin has just started a small clothing business and is in need of signs for advertising. Thank you for sharing these tips on how to improve business signs. I find that it is very important to include the phone number. With this detail, people will be able to contact my cousin from far away and possibly even pass the number along to interested friends.

  13. Remembering to put your contact information on your sign is important. I agree that it is common sense, but reminders are always helpful. It’s probably really helpful for people who are interested and don’t have time to stop by.

  14. I really like your idea to use a QR code. I would think that helps a lot and can encourage people to use their phones to look you up right away. In addition, I think it’s important to find the right sign company that is close to where you are so that you can communicate well and gets what you need to get done done.

  15. I do like that you recommend including a call to action in the design of a sign. After all, while a sign can just display information, it is not very effective that way. Instead, if you include a call to action, you are encouraging your customers to interact with your business in a way.

  16. News ideas for me to implement on my business. Thanks for the tips!!

  17. It’s interesting to know that you can add your website address to your business sign. My sister just opened an online business, and she is looking for advice to attract more customers. I believe that adding her website address to her business sign will help her to get more customers.

  18. Yes. We need signs NOW

  19. I think a lot of newer businesses forget how signage can help generate sales leads. People will see your sign and remember it. This will eventually bring them in one day when they are walking past it.

  20. These tips are extremely helpful. I would probably explore the QR and text codes that you have mentioned and how to implement that as a strategy to generate more leads.

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