This question is posed to me numerous times a day. I get phone calls but mostly emails from potential clients who are testing the water to see if an LED sign will be affordable for their church, school or business.
I began working in the sign industry in 1996 and I have found it both challenging and rewarding. In a single day I may speak with a pastor of a small country church and a minute later a CEO of a large corporation. The one conclusion I have come to which comes through in each conversation is that most view the sign as an after-thought instead of their primary marketing tool! For the most part churches, schools, and business have inadequate signage at best. Their signs are often too small for the traffic speed or just down right unattractive conveying little to no information.
The first problem with the question, “How much does an outdoor LED sign cost?”, should be obvious. Imagine going to a car lot and asking “how much is a car?” The answer to this question will depend on numerous factors. For example, what kind of car do you want? Do you want sports utility vehicle, luxury, compact, or sports car? Do you want this year’s model or last years? Do you want the basic package or one which is fully loaded with bucket seats and all leather interior?
The same goes when trying to price an outdoor LED sign. Do you want single sided or double sided? Are you looking for single color, tri-color of the high impact full color LED sign? By the way, the latter comes in either standard definition of high definition resolution. Will you just be putting text messages on the LED sign or do you want to do graphics and animation? The answer to these questions can change the price of an LED sign drastically.
Attempting to answer the question “how much does an LED sign cost?” via email or throwing out a price to a client on the phone is difficult until it is understood what they want to do with their sign!
So how do I answer this question? I usually respond with the following. “Well, I’ve done small signs as low as $5,000 and large billboard type signs in excess of $200,000 and then just about everything in between. The average full LED sign solution price, including install and identification signage, ranges between $20,000 to $30,000.”
And herein lies the problem which I stated earlier, “…most view the sign as an after-thought instead of their primary marketing tool!
Consider these facts put forth in numerous studies conducted by the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Digital advertising is far less expensive than traditional advertising. Why? Because 85% of your potential customer base will pass by your business around 10 times each month. When one considers the fact that SBA studies show that 90% of commuters will READ an LED sign compared to only 10% who will read a conventional “static” sign, the real question becomes not “how much is an LED sign” but “how much revenue are you losing by not having an LED sign?”
“The on-premise sign is a permanent ASSET which, unlike other media, is exclusive to the business it advertises. Also unlike other advertising media, it is on the job 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.” (emphasis added) — “SIGNS: Showcasing Your Business on the Street. The Importance of Signage for Your Business” – Prepared for the U.S. Small Business Administration By R. James Claus, Ph.D. and Susan L. Claus.
The SBA conducted a comprehensive two-year study of 165 small businesses who surveyed between 15 to 30 first time walk-in customers asking them “how they learned about us?” In all, 2,475 new customers were surveyed. More than half responded that the company’s sign was their first exposure to their products and services. The conclusion was startling; a bright easy to read sign can generate between 15% and 45 % of your company’s overall revenue. – “Commercial Signage and Its Importance to Small Business” SBA, The Small Business Advocate: Vol. 22, No. 2
The study ended with this startling conclusion. “…[those]who choose to use an electronic display typically see an increase in business of 15% to 150% with effective content being the key.” — http://www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/start/pickalocation/signage/emcfaq.html
To say it another way, if you view an outdoor LED sign as the best marketing tool your business, church or school can invest in with guaranteed results, then the question “how much does an outdoor LED sign cost” becomes quite superfluous.
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