In the marketing world, many people believe that big is good and bigger is better. This arms race approach to advertising has resulted in many business owners assuming that small signage and brochures just isn’t worth the investment. After all, who will ever notice it?

The reality, on the other hand, is that small signage works. From classified ads to digital banners and search adverts, marketing channels that most people think of as “small time” can result in a huge amount of leads, sales and revenue.

Things are no different inside a retail store, where small signs and notices can often have a far greater impact than their bigger counterparts.

In this guide, we’ll explain how you can make a big impact using small retail signs, from inside your store to at the checkout. We’ll also share our favorite tips for getting the highest response rate from your small signs, notices and mini adverts.

Place small signs in important places

A small sign can have a huge effect, provided you keep it in the right place. Install a small sign advertising a two-for-one offer deep in your store and you’ll probably have mixed results; install a small sign near your checkout and it could have a massive effect on customer behavior.

The most effective places to instal small signs are in important parts of your store -- areas that any customer will visit. You’ll also get the best results from your small signage by installing it in area where customers wait, such as a checkout line or around a large product display.

For example, try installing sign holders in the queue area for your checkout. A selection of three to four signs, each in a separate holder, lets you deliver several different offers and messages to your customers, increasing the likelihood of people taking action.

If you run a restaurant, you can use small in-store signs to encourage certain behavior from your tables, such as motivating customers to order promotional items, tag your restaurant on a social media platform or sign up for your loyalty program.

Placement is key to getting the most from small retail signage. Install your signs at choke points in your store and you’ll notice a marked improvement in response rate from your customers.

Keep your small signage as simple as possible

Because small signs only give you a limited area to display your content, it’s important for you to keep your message short and simple. A long message, as effective as it might be on a big sign, is far more likely to go unread when it’s printed in a tiny, almost unreadable font.

To get the best response rate from your small signage, it’s important to keep your message as simple as possible. Use short headlines (under five words, if possible) and simplistic copy that tells your audience exactly what to do in order to claim your offer.

A classic example of a highly effective short sign is a buy-one-get-one-free promotion. All that’s required is a simple heading and a list of the items that are eligible for the promotion. With this, customers know all they need to know in order to take action.

Small retail signs are best suited to simple, easy-to-understand offers. Keep your offer simple and you’ll get great results from a small sign in a high-traffic area; make it complicated and it’s far more likely to be ignored than observed and acted on by customers.

Use a heading-to-text format, with no subheadings

Because of the limited amount of space you have with a small retail sign, it’s important not only to simplify your message, but to shorten it as well. This means removing non-essential elements from your sign design, such as imagery and subheadings.

Instead of the usual heading-subheading-text format, one of the best ways to approach a small retail sign is to use a heading-to-text format. This lets you expand on your offer using paragraph text without letting your heading and subheading take up too much visual real estate.

The key to an effective small sign is to keep it short, punchy and simple. Instead of adding long copy and subheadings to your signs, try placing them near your checkout and other areas with staff on hand, so that your team can easily answer customer questions.

Improve your in-store signage and generate more sales

From sign holders to table tents, we produce custom displays and holders that help your retail business attract more customers and generate more revenue. View our product range online or contact us to learn more about how we can help your retail business improve its signage.