Tips for creating better VMS messages

The most effective VMS messages are quickly and easily read and understood. As the majority of passing traffic will be driving, there’s no need for long drawn out message. Straight to the point is the key. While our team will help you create messages for our VMS boards, nobody knows your business and target audience as well as you do. So, here are some tips for better message content to increase your response rate.

Short and sweet

In most cases, you’ll have a short time to get your message across to passing traffic. Which is why the message needs to be as short and concise as possible. Furthermore, crafting a complete message on one screen will increase response rate. Here’s an example, we could have a message that says: “Our Biggest Sale Yet”. Seems enticing? But there are a few things to take into account.

Unless its clear the VMS board belongs to a certain store, the majority of passing vehicle traffic won’t know who’s having the sale. This is especially true on a higher speed road which doesn’t have any traffic lights as the vehicles may only see one message screen as they pass by. We would be better served to have a messages that says “*company name* Biggest Sale Yet”.

If the company name is long, we may need to make some adjustments to the text as well for a couple of reasons. First, we want the message to convey the meaning in as few words as possible and secondly, the more words, the smaller the text will be. This creates a double whammy of a message with more words and smaller text size as well. As such, the message may need to be modified to “*company name* Biggest Sale”.


Once we have our initial message of what we want to convey, we can add another message on the next screen when the sale ends to add a sense of urgency. If the sale is over a week long, we can add the date to the message “Sale Ends *date*”. Alternatively, we can schedule the message to countdown the days when nearing the end such as “Only 3 Days Left!”. We can add an additional information screen, but the likelihood of a third piece of information being viewed by a passerby is low, unless it’s foot traffic and they are very interested. This is because each message will be shown for a few seconds before switching to the next screen. In our case, it may be better to create two sets of rotating sales messages instead.

Splash of colour

Finally, while amber VMS board are effective, the reason five colour VMS boards are popular for advertising, events and promotions is that contrasting colours stand out. Having a different colour of text on each line can help create the contrast needed to stand out from the crowd. Of course just the nature of a VMS trailer with LED lights will already be much more noticeable than a static sign which simply blends into the background.

Feel free to discuss your message ideas with our staff during your hire.