How to get more walk-ins to your business
Although we at Timely believe online bookings, email marketing and social media marketing is the way of the future, we still get suckered in by a good footpath sign! Street signage helps you establish brand awareness and is a great marketing tool which can lure further business from the street.
In this tech-centric, fast-paced world that we live in, we often get caught up with online advertising and marketing (and we should, because it works). But when it comes to really grabbing people’s attention, a good, old-fashioned sign is not to be overlooked!
Let’s take a closer look at the humble street sign and see how your business can increase its foot traffic.
- Increasing brand awareness: Customers are more likely to spend money with a business, or brand, that they’re familiar with. An attention-grabbing sign with your logo and branding on it can help plant the seed for future visits.
- Attract the locals and walk-ins: Impulse purchases are a real thing! Some might say a real problem, depending on which side of the transaction they’re on. Use your street sign to grab that attention and guide them through your doors.
1. What are you trying to achieve with your sign?
Outdoor signage can increase your business immediately (if it’s well done) but it can also create a slow burn in the form of brand awareness and curiosity. So it’s worth putting a bit of time into getting it right!
First of all, don’t make the mistake of cramming your street sign full of information. Nobody will read it if it’s confusing or stress-inducing.
This one from The Emporium Barber is a great example: it tells you exactly what you’re in for, and lets the branding hint at the vibe you’ll encounter. Simple and informative!
Decide what single purpose or message your sign is trying to get across. Are you trying to:
- get people through your doors?
- get people to your website?
- share information?
- push a promotion or special?
If you know what you want to achieve, your message will be undiluted and more effective.
2. What type of sign is right for you?
There are a few basic forms of signage. Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, you might want to use a combination.
Who doesn’t love some good chalkboard art?
But even if you’re not a secret chalkboard artist, it’s still a good investment. You can change your message as often as you want, so that it can be about a specific event (as in the above example from The Kitchen Table) or just about your usual offerings. The physical presence of a chalkboard is a wonderful way to draw the eye of a passerby.
Remember to print your logo on this board so it’s always visible, and always contributing to brand awareness.
Of course, make sure you’re complying with the health and safety laws of your town, if you’re using a chalkboard. Signs that cause foot traffic issues or trip people up might get you angry walk-ins, instead of curious ones.
Window signage that includes your logo and branding is a must! Create a window display that tells a story, and tells it well. Your window display must be your invitation to the passerby.
You want people who walk past your window to think “Hmm, the [insert your business name here]. I must look them up later!”
3. How do you make your sign effective?
We’ll get it out of the way: sometimes, bigger is better.
But if you don’t have the room or money for a big sign or fancy flag, location is also a big factor! A small sticker or poster right in someone’s line of sight, or placed somewhere that people are commonly lining up/waiting, can work just as well as a huge billboard.
Blow Ltd has a fairly small sign, but it’s placed at a height that takes advantage of the attention-grabbing fairy lights in the trees. The thoughtful placement probably leads to a lot of eyes on their branding.
Obviously your branding will inform this to a certain extent. But keep in mind what colors are 1) most readable and 2) most eye-catching.
If you’re unsure, do some tests. If you thought black type on bright purple background was an awesome idea, can you still read it at 2 yards away? How about 5?
Contrasting colours, such as black and white, often help with clarity. Colours that are more closely related can bring a sense of harmony, but make sure you’re not giving up legibility.
Cater your message to the type of sign you’re using (flag, chalkboard, window vinyl, poster, etc). Think simple, succinct and clear. People aren’t going to stop and try to solve the mystery behind the sea of words on your flag – they’ll just shrug and move on.
If you’re using a flag, that’s probably only going to be large enough for your branding. A chalkboard can sustain more information, so perhaps you would use that to promote deals, or particular services. But whatever you choose, remember, more is not necessarily better.
Your sandwich board is looking sharp, and your branding is capturing a whole heap interest! Once your walk-ins start wandering in, it’s time for you to do what you do best. But are you ready for this influx of clients?
Groom your waiting area
Make sure your waiting area is up to scratch. The more welcoming and pleasant the waiting area, the more likely your walk-ins are to wait for an available time slot. If you’re spending money on beautiful branding and signage, your waiting area should reflect the look.
A simple “take a seat” sign can be helpful. Books, magazines, and water make it clear that it’s fine for people to sit and wait.
If you’re worried about losing your walk-ins while you and your staff are busy, setting up a smartphone or tablet with a ‘Book Now’ button on the screen is a great option. Massage Clinic QT does this very well:
Prep your staff
Are you actually able to handle the walk-ins without losing track of things? We just released a new feature that makes it super easy to handle your walk-ins, without going through the full process of adding a new booking to the calendar. If you’re able to welcome new faces quickly and easily, they’ll be much more likely to return.
As you play around with different types of signage, you might find one that really does the trick. If you do, we hope you’ll share it on Facebook or Instagram! We love seeing what our customers are up to.