It doesn’t matter how much money you invest in your marketing efforts, it doesn’t matter how much you embrace social media to promote your massage therapy practice, and it doesn’t matter how many referrals you get…if your patrons can’t find your location! Well-lit, easy-to-read, and properly placed signage is important not only for the clients purposefully looking for your business, but also for potential customers driving by and noticing that a massage therapy business exists in their community. Your signage is just as important as your website and your business card. Here are some tips to keep in mind about your business signage:
Why Worry About Signage?
Effective small business signage has three main functions. It should draw in new customers, build your brand among consumers, and generate impulse sales from people who had no thought of getting a massage before they saw your sign. A great sign is a one-time expense that does its job 24 hours a day, every day of the year. A bad sign is also a one-time expense that’s like a bad employee you can never fire.
Ask Your Customers
The simple question, “Did you have any trouble finding us?” should be part of the greeting for all new customers. If the majority say no, then your signage is fairly effective. If you find people are eager to tell a long story about how they went through the grocery store parking lot and the gas station before finally figuring out where you are, your signs are not working.
Visibility is Important
This topic seems like a no-brainer, but how many times have you driven around trying to find a business and either given up or had to call for directions? People driving cars don’t have time to search for small signs or decipher fancy fonts. Make sure your sign is large enough to be visible from the road at a quick glance. Even if you’re not open at night, a lighted sign draws attention to your business and results in future sales.
Small sandwich signs or pole banners you stick in the ground are great ways to increase your studio’s visibility. Keep the message simple and use large, readable letters to attract attention. If you’re located in a shopping center, put a portable sign at each entrance to catch as much traffic as possible.
Motion Draws Attention
As cheesy as you may consider those sign spinners or people waving to be, the fact is that motion does draw the attention of drivers. Whether or not they are looking for your studio at the moment, chances are the fact there is a massage waiting just around the corner from their house will spur them on to make a future appointment. If you don’t want to pay a person to spin a sign, there are whirligigs and flags that will draw a driver’s eye in your direction.
Keep it Short
Any message you create on your signage should be brief and succinct. People won’t bother to try and read small text or complex messages. Large text that indicates the type of business and a discount price to get the customers in the door is all you need.
Know Your Limits
While billboards all over town are appropriate for a chain of massage studios, your neighborhood location won’t benefit from a sign 20 miles away. Unless there is absolutely no competition for miles, the chance of luring someone to drive a half hour for your services is too small to have a significant return on investment. You’re better off spending more money on a high quality, lighted sign that repeatedly reminds passersby of your convenient location.
Consider an attractive car wrap that not only advertises your business while you drive around town, but also is a mini-billboard you can park near the street to draw in pedestrians and locals. Although a quality car wrap can cost a couple of thousand dollars, it broadcasts your message to thousands of drivers every day. As a result, it is one of the lowest cost per thousand forms of advertising. If your budget is already stretched to the max, consider magnetic signs or stick-on vinyl lettering. It doesn’t provide the same sense of professionalism as a vehicle wrap, but is an inexpensive way to tell people about your business.
Once you have the customer inside the lobby, it’s the perfect opportunity to use signage to upsell other services. Along with massage, what else do you offer, additional products or services? Creative signage breaks the ice to help your therapists and office staff sell the features and benefits of everything your spa has to offer. Change your interior signage at least once a month and offer different specials. Repeat customers become immune to the same message over and over.
- Author: Mark Volkmann
- Published: January 28, 2015