How to Effectively Advertise Your Business on the Back of Your Car or Van

Advert on back of carIf you spend any time driving around in either a car or van then a great way to get free advertising for your small business is to add your details to the back of your vehicle.

Whenever you’re sat in traffic, you’ll have a captive audience in the occupants of the vehicle behind you.

A Sign Writer will only charge around £30 – £40 for adding a vinyl sign and if you imagine how many times a week you’re sat in traffic, there’s ample chance that a potential customer will see your message and if done correctly, contact you.

However, if you want this medium to be really effective then you need to get your advert right.

Advertising Phone Numbers is Pointless

I was sat in a traffic queue this morning and the van in front of me belonged to a Boiler Engineer.

On the back of the van, he had his business name and his mobile phone number – can you tell me that last time you tried to memorise a mobile phone number printed on the vehicle in front of you whilst you were sat in traffic? I’d wager you probably never have.

And as it’s illegal to use your mobile phone whilst in your vehicle, even when stationary so you can’t simply add the number to your phone contacts.

So what’s the point of advertising a telephone number on the back of your vehicle?

Getting The Message Right

As with any marketing, it’s all about delivering the right message to your target customers.

Obviously the message on the back of a vehicle needs to be concise so it can be read quickly and it also needs to contain these four core elements:

  • An Identifier
    this statement will quickly help the reader establish if your advert is relevant to them
  • A Qualifier
    the qualifier is a statement that reinforces the relevance of the message to the reader
  • A Motivator
    a motivator is simply a sound reason why the person should take action
  • A Call-to-action
    the call-to-action is a direct instruction for the reader to do something measurable

To see how these elements actually work in a real advert, I’ve mocked-up an example below that would be far more effective for the Boiler Engineer.

Vehicle Advert Example

in this example, the identifier is the question asking when the reader last had their boiler serviced? The qualifier is the question asking if it was more than 12 months ago. The motivator is the 10% discount and the call-to-action is to visit the website.

Note of Caution Regarding the Call-to-action

If you want a truly effective advert then it has to have a call-to-action (CTA). However, that CTA must be easy for somebody to remember as they are not likely to have a pen and notepad handy.

Therefore a CTA that involves the reader ringing a number probably won’t work unless it’s ridiculously easy to remember. The ideal CTA is to point the reader in the direction of your website IF your domain name is easy to remember.

If you’ve got a long website domain ( that isn’t easily remembered then it might be worth investing a few pounds in a new domain name that is easy to remember and then set it to forward all visitors to your main website.

Using our Bolier Engineer as an example again, his main website address might be …

So we register the following domain name…

And that gets simply forwards the visitor automatically to the main business website.

The domain is much easier to remember and in itself, is a call to action. You should also capitalise the first letter of each word in the domain so it’s easy to read.

And of course, this does assume that you have a website at all – if not, you absolutely need to get one today.

Like Some Free Marketing Advice For Your Small Business?

If you need more customers or want to take your small business to the next level then do something positive today! Book your free telephone consultation by clicking the button below. There is no obligation to use any of my services and no pushy sales-pitch so you’ve everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Keith A Pearson - Small Business Marketing Consultant