Cheap Campaign Signs | 10 Ways to Save on Political Signs
Cheap Campaign Signs... Do They Really Exist?
The quest for cheap campaign signs, was a daily struggle when I was a campaign manager. I would just try to find campaign signs within a reasonable budget, but it wasn’t always easy. Campaign signs have been much maligned as a tactic, but they are not going away anytime soon. As a strategist, my goal is to make a yard sign as efficient and strategic as possible while staying within a reasonable budget. I am not alone, as I know many campaign managers and field directors who are still on a quest cheap political signs. We all know campaign signs can be a budget buster, but is there such a thing as cheap campaign signs? Campaigns are expensive, so figuring out how to find cheaper signs is an important part of running a more efficient campaign. The more you keep your cost down for collateral media like signs, the better off your campaign will be. Here are our tips on how to make cheap campaign signs and focus your budget.
10. Don’t buy yard signs on a whim.
Most people waste a lot of money on "cheap campaign signs" at the beginning. We all know there is no such thing as a cheap campaign sign if it just sits inside a campaign office or on the median of a highway. A yard sign used poorly is very expensive and a waste of money. Make sure you have a plan and a goal for your campaign signs before you buy them. A well-used yard sign can be a cheap campaign sign, if you do it right.
9. A four-color yard sign is never cheap.
Pick one or two colors for a sign. The number of colors is a big part of the difference between expensive and cheap campaign signs. Don't believe the hype around the need for a four-color political yard sign. There is no return on investment and the cost of printing increases exponentially based on the number of colors you use.
8. Don't use a photo.
As we have said in the past, adding a photo to a political sign is a trend that can make for an expensive campaign sign. Photos don't print well on many yard signs and if you like the way your photo looks now, you won’t like it when it goes through rain and snowstorms. Once you have to replace cheap campaign signs, it makes you realize they were not cheap, to begin with.
7. Order fewer.
Contrary to popular belief, ordering fewer signs saves money. Sales folks have mastered a pitch about getting campaigns to buy more signs by selling the idea of buying signs in bulk costs less. “The more signs you buy the cheaper the yard sign,” they’ll say. On a per unit price this is true, but based on the total actual price it is not true. More signs are more expensive. So bottom line: budget and order only the amount you need.
6. Only put up political signs in real locations.
We have all seen it: Piles of yard signs on the median of local roads hawking everything from mattresses to real estate to political candidates. The role of a campaign sign should be to reinforce support from an individual and to connect that same support with neighbors, friends, and members of the household. When you see a campaign sign on a median or telephone pole think of it as $8 wasted.
5. Limit the time it takes to put up a yard sign.
Putting up signs is a lot of work and it costs more in time to build and place signs than to buy the signs. So if you plan on having a yard sign campaign, organize routes for signs, plan a space and time for yard sign set up and delivery. A more efficient sign program means cheaper campaign signs.
4. Don't buy into peer pressure.
Peer pressure has a cost. If everyone tells you that you must have yard signs, make sure everyone is giving you a campaign sign location and will really take a sign. Have supporters pay for signs. If your supporters really want signs ask them to pay a small amount for it. If someone will pay for a sign or for a few signs then they could become a donor or volunteer.
3. Save stakes and wire.
Wire and stakes are not cheap. Finding a previous candidate or operative who has sign materials in their garage can save you significant money.
2. Know who is printing your yard campaign sign.
Most of the union printed yard signs are printed in just a few plants around the country. Even if you are working with someone locally they may not actually be printing your signs. That means you could be paying an additional commission from a vendor as well shipping costs. This all can add to an increased price.
1. Pick one format and material.
You do not need seven kinds of cheap campaign signs. Pick a size that works for multiple uses and don't promise everyone they will get the exact size they want. A colorful political sign or a bad sign can last for a long time, but the cost of that material can make for an expensive campaign sign. Window or rail signs are also nice, but they may not cover most of your district. Make sure you pick a format that is as versatile as possible.
Looking for cheap campaign signs? Starting a political campaign? Start with a good budget and make sure you have the money to do the fundamentals including buying campaign signs. Understanding how a budget is an extension of your campaign strategy is a key to winning. Download our political campaign ebooks here or drop us a note if you want to talk about your campaign.
Have more questions about cheap campaign signs? Drop us a note or check out our ebook on running for office.