Whether you’re working with text messages in a single color or moving animations for a full color LED display — your message needs to be eye-catching and easy-to-read at a glance. Start with a basic plan before you create your message.

Keep it short and to the point
Use short and simple words for fast and easy comprehension. Focus on a single idea or message. High frequency and repeated exposure will ensure your message is received and remembered. You don’t have to convey your entire idea in one message. Your audience is likely passing by your location on a daily or otherwise regular basis. They may not see every message on your sign each time they pass by. But the repeated exposure will make your messages memorable. It can be more effective to rotate fewer messages rather than a large NUMBER of messages because the repeated exposure of your message rotation will likely be more easily remembered.

Consider the time it takes drivers to pass your sign. If your sign is at an intersection where traffic is stopped or delayed, displaying more messages in a rotation can be very effective because your audience has more time to read your messages. But if your audience is moving more quickly, they may not see your entire message in one pass. Fewer messages displayed in the rotation may be more effective because of the higher rate of repetition.

Target your messages
Schedule messages to reach your audience by the time of day. If you’re promoting breakfast specials, schedule messages about those specials to appear in the morning hours to attract a hungry audience. If you’re promoting a big weekend event at your school — run your message during the times when parents are picking up or dropping off students. If you’re raising funds for your church, schedule your messages to display when drive-by traffic is the heaviest.

Target different demographics. The working commuter is driving past your location during weekdays. But the evening and weekend passer-by is a different driver demographic. The weekend driver is more likely to live in your community. Make sure your sign messages connect with each type of viewer by scheduling different content for different demographics.

Don’t forget to self-promote. Include messages with your hours of operation, phone number and website.

Keep things fresh
Keeping your messages fresh is essential to capture the attention of your audience. If your messages don’t change very often or your message rotation only contains two or three messages – your driving audience will stop paying attention. Update your sign with useful, curious or fresh messages to attract and keep the attention of your passing audience.

One of the most powerful tools your LED sign brings to you is the ability to

schedule your messages in advance. This allows you to coordinate your outdoor advertising with other sales promotions or special events. You have the ability to schedule your messages in advance, so they can start and stop at exactly the right time to reach your audience.

If your sign message is the same – day in and day out – the viewer can develop “sign immunity” and simply stop paying attention to your sign. Changing your message often encourages the passing viewer to check your sign for new messages.

Create a sense of urgency
Displaying deadlines or time limits can create a sense of urgency. For example “FRIDAY ONLY” or “THIS WEEKEND” lets the viewer know their opportunity to participate in the event will expire unless they take action.

* This blog is a reflection of my opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Signs Plus. You can email me at colleen@signsplussigns.com for any comments, questions or assistance.