For many marketers, the trope “bigger is better” is more than a useful idea – it’s the guiding principle behind every campaign. While big signage is usually more effective for catching attention than small signage, it’s not always the best choice.

A strategically designed small sign with the right message, when used properly, can often outperform its significantly larger counterparts and generate a huge volume of foot traffic, leads and sales for your retail business.

If your business has limited space to advertise and needs to get the best bang for its buck, there’s no need to worry. Apply these five tactics to get the best sales results, even from a small retail sign.

Keep your message extremely simple

The simpler your message, the more easily you can tell your target audience what to do in a limited amount of space. Keep your message extremely simple so that there’s no ambiguity about what people should do after seeing your retail sign.

Aim for three to five words in your signage – just enough to tell people what you’ve got to offer. Good message ideas include a statement of value of a description of the products or services your business offers.

Don’t ask for something – tell people what to do

When you ask for something in your marketing – for example, by asking people if they might like what you’re offering – you force them to think instead of making them act quickly.

This can cost your retail business interest and foot traffic, particularly if you only have a limited amount of space to deliver your message. Instead of asking people what they think or how they feel, tell them how to act in your signage.

Clearly communicate your offer’s value

What value does your business offer? The key point of your marketing message – whether it’s a discount sale or a unique selling point of your business – should be clear in explaining the value that your business offers.

Value could mean being cheaper than your competitors and offering better value for money. It could mean selling a higher quality product. Focus on communicating your offer’s value in your signage, as people are motivated to act by good value.

Use icons and symbols to communicate in a small space

Since you only have a limited amount of space to communicate your message, it can be more effective to communicate your advertising message through symbols than by using text alone.

From arrows pointing towards your store to cut-price symbols to showcase value, it can be surprisingly easy to communicate a long and complicated message simply by using the right combination of descriptive symbols.

Choose an eye-catching, high-contrast color scheme

The more colorful your retail signs are, the more they’ll stand out. Since you have a limited amount of space in which you can deliver your message, it’s important that people can notice it and easily respond to it.

Use high-contrast color combinations like black and white, blue and white or yellow and black to make sure your signage stands out. A great way to make a sign pop out from its surroundings is to use a bright, colorful border around its edges.

How can your business generate interest with a small sign?

Marketing your retail business using small signs might seem impossible, but it’s an interesting exercise in breaking your marketing message down to its basics that any business can benefit from.

Simplify your message, use symbols to communicate value and encourage people to act, and make your signage visible with a high-contrast color scheme. This way, even a small retail sign can have a potentially massive impact.