When I was a kid, the three-second rule came into effect when you dropped your snickers bar on the floor. If you could pick it up within three seconds, you could eat without fear of germs and dirt; you were free and clear. Okay actually, two days ago I used the three-second rule on a donut, but oh well. How does this relate to yard signs again?

The three-second rule in marketing is slightly different. Here we’re talking about a way to make your yard signs communicate better. This rule is based on the fact that people see your sign for approximately three seconds as they drive by.

So, when you’re coming up with the copy for your signs, write a few down, each on a separate sheet of paper. Next, get a person or a few people to act as a sounding board (I usually use Gary, our shop manager). Finally, show each piece of paper to your helper(s) for three seconds.

In three seconds, people should be able 1.) Understand what product or service you’re selling; and 2.) locate your company contact information for example your phone or web site address.

Almost all of the pre-designed yard-sign templates available on our site have gone through the three-second test to ensure they are clear and get to the point.

Try it out the next time you need to create a sign. It really only takes a few minutes, but can make a huge difference on how well your signs drive business.