Signage Tips: Sign Holder Tactics for In-Store Lead Generation

Part one of any retail marketing strategy is driving traffic to your store. Part two is a little more challenging -- converting the traffic that comes into your retail store into profitable, dependable and loyal customers.

When used effectively, in-store signage can be an extremely helpful tool for generating leads in your store. Customers that respond to signs can join your retail business’s mailing list, enter into special offers, and even sign up for long-term recurring sales and services.

Like with any marketing campaign, the difference between successful in-store signage for lead generation and unsuccessful in-store signage can be small. From positioning to your message, a variety of factors go into ensuring that your in-store signage is successful.

Below, we’ve listed for “101” tactics for your in-store signage to make sure your signs generate leads, inspire customers to take action, and have a measurable positive effect on your store’s turnover.

Before anything else, think about visibility

If people can’t effectively see your in-store signage, no amount of great design and persuasive will have any noticeable effect on sales.

Before you think about design, copywriting or building an offer, you need to locate your store’s most visible, attractive areas for signage. The best places to hang in-store signs are areas that are easily visible from anywhere in your store.

Depending on your retail store’s size, you might want to use anywhere from one to two signs to 10+ in-store signs to spread your message. Go through your store and take note of areas that have excellent visibility from all angles and distances.

Then, create a path from the entrance of your store towards key areas. You should hang your in-store signage so that it creates a path for customers to follow from the moment they step into your retail store until they find the product they’re searching for.

Position signs at high-traffic, “bottleneck” areas

One great way to improve visibility and generate more leads and sales from your retail signage is to position it at high-traffic, “bottleneck” parts of your store. These are areas where two paths -- for example, two perpendicular aisles -- intersect with one another.

Customers naturally look for signage in these areas, making them the ideal place to deliver your message. Alongside navigational signs, hang your lead generation signs encouraging shoppers to sign up for your loyalty program or enquire about a special deal.

Since people naturally pass through these bottlenecks while navigating your retail store, each of these signs will receive a great amount of visibility. This makes this in-store real estate great for communicating your message to as many customers as possible.

Make your message visible using illumination

Experienced retailers understand the importance of lighting. Lighting makes products stand out from the crowd and visually “leap” off the shelf. Light is also an important visual cue, prompting customers to look in a certain direction and focus on a specific product.

Many retail marketers understand the importance of signage, but fail to reap its benefits due to poor lighting. If you use in-store signage to draw attention to products or generate leads, make sure that it’s illuminated properly.

As a general rule, any in-store promotional signage should be lit to at least twice the same level as your your retail store’s average level of ambient light. This improves signage visibility, as well as increasing readability for shoppers.

Only ever use a “three second” message

Around the world, advertisers follow a “three second rule” -- a generally agreed upon belief that any message that requires longer than three seconds to read, understand the process just isn’t likely to succeed.

There are situations in which the three second rule doesn’t hold -- for example, in B2B services and other complicated industries such as software. However, in retail, any marketing message that can’t be read and understood in three seconds is very likely to fail.

When you’re designing your in-store signage, keep the three second rule in mind. Limit text to the bare essentials, and use images to tell a story in a fraction of a second. You have a limited amount of time to reach your customers; do it in under three seconds and you’ll hit the mark.