Web address on van signage better than a phone number for exposure, study finds

Dirty vans and spelling mistakes on signage can halve potential customers

Business owners with vans should have a web address rather than a phone number on their signage, as it will lead to greater exposure among consumers, a study claims.

A wide-ranging poll of consumers and van owners conducted by business insurer AXA found that whilst both a phone number and a website on van signage can be significant for new business, consumers prefer to see a website.

The study also found that despite the fact that more than half of UK consumers use advertisements on vans when looking for particular services, just six in 10 business vans display a company phone number and less than half carry a website.

Those that fail to display contact details may be missing out, as van owners that carried signage estimated that 30 per cent of their business, on average, was driven by their sign advertising.

The AXA poll found consumers were particularly drawn by witty or ‘jokey’ advertising on vans, with pictures and colours also popular.

In contrast, more than half of consumers admitted they would be put off by a company that had a spelling mistake on its signage, whilst a similar number would avoid a company if its van was driven badly or was dirty.

Blacked-out van windows and drivers smoking were also found to be major deterrents to potential consumers.

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Darrell Sansom, managing director of AXA Business Insurance, said: “Getting the signage right on your van is a cheap and effective way to market yourself – done properly it has to be one of the best forms of advertising there is. But getting it wrong can be at best, a waste of money, and at worst, damaging to your business.

“A little time and effort to get it right is worth the investment.  But do remember once you’ve got that right, drive badly and you’ll undo all the good.”

Along with the results of the study, AXA released a number of tips for van owners looking to maximise the potential of their signage. These included:

  • Use as few colours as possible and stick to a sign that will contrast with the colour of the van
  • Use a suitable material for signage such as vehicle wrap vinyl
  • Keep signs simple and obvious
  • Put essential contact details at drivers’ eye level
  • Simple illustrations are better than photographs
  • Sans serif fonts should be preferred
  • Put signage within the panels of the van and avoid going over door joins or around corners
  • Get several people to proof-read your sign as a spelling mistake can be disastrous for business


(will not be published)