A Word from Owner Tim Fields
Yard signs have been an integral part of my business marketing plan for almost twenty years.
They used to be 36″ x 24″, two-color vinyl on a metal sign blank, with a 1″ angle iron frame, and cost about $80.00 a piece. We used these for construction trade on jobs lasting for months. They were a very real part of my early construction sales success.
As we transitioned into the pressure washing trade, we knew that because yard signs had a proven track record, we needed to use them for this new business.
We didn’t really need the $80.00, heavy, metal variety. so we went with the ‘$5.00 screen print on coroplast’ models. We used them for several years, trying different designs along the way. They all performed poorly, if at all. As a small business owner, married to an accountant, I measure everything and ask questions about the marketing dollars I spend. How do I know that they all performed poorly? Because we got almost no response from them. Sure, they were cheap, but what’s the point if they were ineffective?
Looking for Options
Then, I hit up my local sign guy for a better quality full-color sign. They were 4-mil coroplast, $20 a piece, plus tax and the cost of stakes. While they looked far better than our first screen-printed, single-color signs, they still did not perform. All expenses included, we paid close to $250.00 for ten signs. Sure they were nice and they were definitely more attractive than that I had used in years past, but still, over time, they did not produce results.
I could not give up on yard signs because they had been so successful in the past. So, several years ago I had my graphic artist come up with a design that spoke about what we do, not who we are. The design had a richly-colored background coupled with clean, crisp graphics, and has resulted in a look and feel that we loved, and a customer response we hadn’t seen in the preceding 5 years.
We’ve tracked the results of our signs over time. One of the first “new design” signs has to-date produced 7 separate jobs, totaling almost $4,000.00. The lifetime value of that one $15.00 dollar sign is likely to exceed $10,000.00.
Not every location and not every sign is going to produce that result, but we offer a premium service to the discerning few, and our signs need to reflect that. The old ‘bandit’ signs don’t speak to that audience, but our new, custom-designed signs do.
I have one gutter sign that has resulted in over $1,500.00 worth of work. In a two block radius, Within the same neighborhood. From one sign.
Differentiation & Results
We no longer try to build our brand with the yard signs. We want them to work and to produce tangible value.
We want our signs to be Ferrari friendly. That’s right – at road speed, in a fancy shmancy car, even a disinterested driver would know in an instant what we offer based on our signs. And just as quickly, know that there was something different about the company behind the sign.
The really neat thing about nice yard signs is that they convey that sense of trust that can be so important in the more expensive neighborhoods that frequently use service contractors on a regular basis.
No yard sign, not even a really nice full-color sign from this site is going to take the place of a website or other professional marketing. But, what it will do is catch people where they are, add instant credibility and establish your qualifications. In an instant. Yes, we really are that shallow as a race. We all like nice looking things, don’t we?!