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These Must-See Sandwich Boards Will Crack You Up

FREE (hugs), (cold) BEER. Eye-catching, clever and inviting are three keys to mastering the sandwich board. What are your tips for signs that demand customers' attention and business?

Online marketing is vital to grow a customer base for your business today, but the old fashioned sidewalk sign (or sandwich board, or A-frame) can still be effective. 

Besides being a cheaper, convenient and portable form of advertising, a sidewalk sign can make you more money.

"According to The New York State Small Business Development Center, studies show that businesses that use signage purposefully placed outside on the premises, increase their sales and profitability. Use your sidewalk sign to tell people what they will find if they come inside," says Amber Keefer in the Houston Chronicle. 

Also, according to a FedEx Office study, more than two-thirds of customers have:

  • purchased something because a sign caught their eye;
  • simply entered a store because of something on a sign;
  • told someone else about a store because of its signage; and
  • believed a store's signage reflected the quality of its products or services. 
Read more small business signage tips from Small Business Bonfire

Copywriter Joseph D'Allegro is New Jersey's "own master of hilarious sidewalk promotions," according to The Huffington Post. He's helped out a local gym, hair salon and pizza joint with clever sidewalk signs. A couple of examples:

  • "Look as good as you pretend to be online. Join for just $299 a year."
  • "Doing taxes? Pizza goes great with tears." 
See more of D'Allegro's wit on HuffPost

The benefits are clear, but how do you make it work? We asked Patch readers to share some of their favorites, and if you have more you can post them to Instagram using the hashtag #PatchSandwichBoards. A few tips:

Be eye-catching: Make the most important words (such as FREE or TODAY) the largest, making it more difficult for people passing by to ignore your signs.

Be funny: Wit goes a long way. Make someone laugh, and they're more likely to support your business. Being topical, such as playing on upcoming holidays or pop culture events, also helps. 

Be direct: Do you have a special deal going on that day? Let people know! Being clever helps, but getting the most important message out is key. 

See more great sandwich boards on the Tumblr blog Sandwich Board Sightings

TELL US: How do you use sidewalk signs to draw people into your business? 

This article is sponsored by Wells Fargo Works. Watch the video series, then enter the contest where you could win a similar experience, including $25,000 for your business. Watch the videos and enter the contest here.

RON Ostrodamus May 22, 2014 at 12:10 AM
Finally something to make us laugh instead of cry!! Keep it up!
RON Ostrodamus May 22, 2014 at 12:35 AM
One good RO tradition that helps support business is the sandwich board though I hear that technically this against some arcane ordinance. Other cities such as Oak Park and Farmington Hills do not allow them and just look at ALL their boarded up stores. The trick to a good board is catching the eye and using a lost leader which is an item you break even on to bring people inside is the key. Big city restaurants use the term "Prix Fixe" which is French for fixed price that includes one price for a three or more course dinner that if ordered "a la carte" would cost much much more. Another key is having a daily special, and I mean daily. One restaurant that I talked into finally getting a board uses confusing terms such as buy this and this and get so much off. Nothing any different than he already has on the menu and the board remains unchanged since the day he put it out. Price is King, give them a deal and they will come. Once inside they and those who are with them may try something else, its common sense. I am disappointed that one sandwich shop is using a sign to thoroughly barricade the sidewalk. A wheelchair could not pass and when I mentioned this to the guy he gave an argument including that the city made him move his sign from the corner two stores away where it didn't belong anyway and gave him permission to use it literally as a barricade.. There is always a spoiler willing to kill it for everyone else. When he reads this I hope he gets the hint.

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