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SCfearfarm
07-24-2011, 03:18 PM
Hey guys,
Sundays are usually the days we take off from the "manual labor" work and talk about all of the things (that can be done with A/C in this 100 degree weather). Today we got in a debate about our advertising signs and I wanted to ask you guys for your input. Here in our area yard signs (18x24") are very effective because we are in a rural area with lots of 4-way stops and not very congested roadways. So, a lot of our money and focus goes into yard signs and 3x8 ft. and 4x8 ft. vinyl banners. There are also not very many billboards in our area, so 4x8 seems very large riding down the road to most. My questions are this:

If advertising 30-45 minutes away in another town or city does putting your location "Blacksburg, SC" on your yard signs have a good or bad effect on your customers? One thought is if they see the sign and the location is 45 minutes away they may not ever visit the website because of distance, the other thought is just put the name of the haunt and the website on the sign so that the sign is not too busy and it will make them go to the website to see where it is and a well designed website will at least get to make another impression on them. What is your opinion?

Also, on the bigger banner signs for those of you that use them, what do you give the property owner so that they let you put them on their property? Free tickets to our haunt may not be interesting to the 90 year old man that owns that great corner lot? Is there anything that you guys have found to be a good bartering tool?

And the last, is there a time frame that is too early to set out these type signs? Right now we're thinking labor day, but is that too late? We are opening on Oct. 7th. We don't want to get them stolen/torn up, but do want to get maximum exposure.

Thanks for your help in advance! These were the debates we had today and its getting close to print time!

Matt

Haunted Prints (EOM)
07-24-2011, 04:25 PM
Matt,

I would stray away from putting your city (address) on your banner of yard sign. *Main reason being is that it does not add any value to your advertisement. *I would stick with your website and logo alone. *Maybe some intriguing phrase like "Creepiest Haunt In Carolina". *Pushing customers to a well designed and visual intriguing website will bring you more customers. *Someone who live 60 miles away will be more likely to visit your haunt after viewing it's enticing content over one who just sees your sign.

It's never to early to start advertising your haunt. *The more people you spread the word to the better.

I sent you a DM and email with more info on banners.

icandrawem2
07-24-2011, 04:25 PM
Hi there Matt, Blacksburg huh? You are right off one of the busiest interstate highways in the Carolinas, why cant you advertise on billboards or is it a budget thing?
I used to have a haunt in Rock Hill for 8 seasons and we also were in a rural area and relied on coroplast signs and vinyl banners. The best advice I can give you is to check with local city or county gov to see what their policies on signage is before you go sticking things on public R/W. If you can work a deal with a property owner, thats your best bet...As far as bartering, just talk to them and see what they ask or just make an offer. All they can do is say no. But even then, vandalism could still be a problem, we encountered it very often. Good luck with it, Id like to come out and see your haunt this fall!

Nate Mitchell
creative consultant
n8 creative studios

Oh and to reiterate on what Joshua said, its never too early to advertise! You are about 40 min from Charlotte which isnt that far considering lengths people will drive to see a haunt, esp when there arent that many in the Charlotte market. We often had folks travel from several hours away.

Badger
07-24-2011, 05:36 PM
There is a haunt in my area (near you in fact) that puts up dozens if not hundreds of real-estate signs with nothing more than the website on it. They start appearing in late August. I have seen them up to 50 miles away from the actual haunt and mostly at intersections and along rural routes. It is the only advertising I see them do and it seems to be rather effective...

Haunted Prints (EOM)
07-24-2011, 06:46 PM
Do alot of haunts use real estate signs for marketing? We don't see that around here and it's something I have never heard of. I do like the idea, it's effective.

SCfearfarm
07-24-2011, 06:53 PM
Thanks so far for the input, we are about 8 miles from the interstate and would love to put a billboard or so out, however we do have a limited budget this year and you can put out a heck of a lot of signs around the area for the cost of one billboard. I know some people who swear by billboards and some people who hate them, but it seems to me that even though 10,000 people ride by it most of them are truckers/people who are not in my target audience, but I may try one or two next year. What haunt did you have in Rock Hill icandraw? My wife graduated from Winthrop so I made plenty of trips up Hwy 5 to Rock Hill. Let me know if you come down and I will make sure you get a free ticket. We have been in the amusement business with inflatables, carnival rides, and a family entertainment center for 20 years so I'm not a total stranger to promotions and show business, but this will be our first year doing this haunted house (although we have been collecting/piddling for about 8 years on it). Also, since we live in such a internet age do you guys have any luck being "featured" on any of these sights like hauntworld etc. Since you guys are in my area and understand the rural area that I'm in, what is your take on paying for these type sites? Thanks so much for your advice everyone and thanks for the PM Haunted Prints.....real estate signs are the single most effective form of advertising in our area believe it or not.....not just for haunts....new businesses opening, carnival coming to town, church events, etc. and the best thing about it that are fairly cheap! The haunts I have talked to in my area say that the yard signs are their best tools as well!

Haunted Prints (EOM)
07-24-2011, 07:01 PM
Check out the two sites listed below. I think they will list your haunt for free unlike some pay sites.

http://www.schaunts.com/
http://www.nchaunts.com/

SCfearfarm
07-24-2011, 07:13 PM
Oh yeah....I'm in the process of doing all of the "linkback" sites that list it free and all you have to do is put their link on your site. I'm just waiting to get them all together and add them all at one time on my site. I just want to know if anybody has good luck/return on investment with being "featured" on any of the other sites.

Jim Warfield
07-24-2011, 11:43 PM
Is always amusing. Hearing what some will interput from simple, common language. You will always need and want that "white space" around those sign words to make it as readable as possible. I think leaving off the actual town's name is no loss at all because most will be seeking your on-line presents and will not mind doing the GPS if needed to find your place.
I discovered last October that sometimes the GPS will turn people south four blocks after it brought then to within a few feet of my house.
The very unusual thing about these incorrect directions is that the customers then arrive right at the 1940 Family murder location. The Wife who was killed was a daughter of the owners of what is now my haunted house and in 1940 they still owned it and lived here, as did the murdered woman when she was younger.
I ask my customers ,"If a camera or a tape recorder can pick up ghosts, ghost's voices, then maybe a GPS can take you right to the murder scene. We don't have many whole-family murders in this little town and the connection this house has to the family is interesting to say the least.
So far five to six people have been so mis-directed when coming to see Ravens Grin. I first discovered this last Oct. when the front room was full of customers and a young woman burst out with a loud gasp, she realising what had happened to her trying to find my house!