Some campaigns don’t need many sign or any at all but there are also campaigns that benefit from what campaign yard signs do well:
- Increase candidate name recognition: Political scientist Mel Kahn has shown that yard signs do increase a voter’s ability to recognize the name of a political candidate. If the candidate grew up in the district, works in the district, and is active in the community, there will still be voters who don’t know who the candidate is but name ID is less of an issue than with some other candidates. The more well-known the candidate the fewer campaign yard signs that you will need to build it.
- Motivate supporters and volunteers: If there is one group of voters that loves yard signs it’s your supporters and volunteers. There are campaigns that don’t order a single yard sign. These campaigns have to tell their volunteers and supporters that request political lawn signs that they are sorry but they don’t have them. This works against candidates. A couple of dollars is a small price to pay to keep supporters happy and motivated.
- Build campaign visibility during GOTV and at polling places: Political campaigns sometimes hold “visibility” events. Usually, this means that volunteers will be waving signs at busy intersections in the lead up to the election and also outside polling places on Election Day. You can use volunteers with your yard signs or even just place them along the road or on private property as the election nears to bring attention to the campaign.
On the other hand, there are many campaigns that believe that they can order several hundred yard signs, go to a few parades, and coast to victory. This is simply not the case if your opponent is running a modern campaign. The candidate, staff, and volunteers must be connecting with voters directly. This means that you should be going door to door, phone banking, and executing well-planned direct mail campaigns to identify, persuade, and turn out voters.
Campaign lawn signs aren’t a substitute for a well-run political campaign but they are a part of one. It’s important to understand your yard sign needs so that you order just the number that you need. If you order too many you’ve wasted much needed campaign resources. If you order too few, you’ll run out before Election Day and be forced to order a small amount at high prices or go without.
The pages on this site and the blog will help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of certain types of candidates, how that affects your yard signs strategy, and the pros and cons of certain types of different sizes, shapes, and substrates of signs. We provide the information you need and recommend the signs that you need to get that part of your campaign right so that you can get back to canvasses and phone banks.