A Guide to Sticker Marketing for Small Businesses

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Now, imagine that image in sticker form – it can be applied on a thousand surfaces, travel to a thousand places, and get noticed by a thousand people. And the best part? Sticker printing will not even cost you an arm and a leg. If you are a small business owner looking for ways to spice up your promotions, read on.

The Secret Behind the Indisputable Effectiveness of Stickers

Several studies have analyzed the effectiveness of sticker campaigns and they all point out the same result: these print products successfully got the message across, whether it’s to encourage households to recycle their food waste, remind drivers that it’s dangerous to text behind the wheel, or reduce immunization dropout rates.

Sticker marketing has a sui generis appeal to its approach of promoting your business. Whereas conventional print products are intended to be kept, stickers need to be spread.

Three Ways to Promote Your Business Using Custom Stickers

When business owners think of incorporating stickers into their marketing campaigns, the first thing that comes to mind is giving these away to customers as freebies. Although that’s undoubtedly effective, there are other ways to promote your brand using stickers.

Stick these in places with high foot traffic, i.e., where lots of people pass by.

Increase the chances of catching the unsuspecting eye of a potential client for your business. On the downside, placing stickers in such places can prove counter-effective when none of the passersby belong to your target market. With that said, be smart in conducting your sticker marketing in places where there are lots of potential buyers of your products and services. For instance, if you run a bike shop, apply your stickers promoting your business at parks where lots of bikers hang out.

stickers on laptop

Apply stickers on movable objects.

These aren’t just limited to placing bumper stickers on your automobiles. Garner more attention to your business by placing stickers on your belongings that you constantly bring with you like your laptop or notebook and show them off to people.

Sell stickers for personal use.

Increase your reach by adding custom stickers to your product list. Come up with designs that would complement your customers’ personal belongings such as laptops, tumblers, and phone cases. Applied on these everyday items, the stickers can be easily seen by friends and colleagues who may become compelled to find out more about your products and services. It’s better than free advertising since you actually get paid for the feature.

How to Design Custom Stickers People Will Proudly Stick Everywhere

Here are some expert design tips to maximize your custom stickers’ effectiveness in promoting your business.

Be specific.

A quick glance at our sticker printing product list will prove that stickers are not one-size-fits-all. Unlike brochures, posters, and flyers, stickers are highly versatile. They can come in any shape, size, and texture you can think of. Even the format is up for customization – if you own a label dispenser, get your stickers in rolls. If you prefer cutting them manually, choose sheets. Some businesses give away stickers so customers can use them to decorate their car bumpers, water bottles, and gadget cases, while others offer them as a separate product.

Since there are different materials to choose from and there is no limit to the number of stickers that printing companies can print in one go, deciding early on what kind of stickers you will use to promote your business will also give you more time to prepare and adjust your budget. For instance, waterproof materials such as BOPP and vinyl look and feel more premium than sticker paper, but they also cost more.

sticker sheet with baby designs

Pay attention to the design.

Once you’ve decided on the kind of sticker you want to create, the next step is to unleash your creativity, empathy, and in some cases, wit. Unless the person receiving the sticker is a sponsored athlete, a loyal fan, or an influencer, they will not stick your glossy 4” x 4” logo or business name on their windshields or bicycle helmets.

Observe what kind of stickers are regularly shown off by people. For millennial and Gen Z customers, the designs usually feature fun icons, original art, mantras, and catchphrases. Regardless of the age, gender, and personality of your target customer, the same advice applies: come up with custom sticker designs that would resonate.

If you plan on incorporating text in your stickers, come up with copy that can tug the heartstrings, make people think, and elicit profound reactions. Overall, your sticker design must strike a chord with your products or services and what these represent.

Brand the sticker backing.

After reading the previous tip, you must have asked, “if I can’t add my logo to the sticker, wouldn’t it defeat the purpose of being a promotional tool for my emerging business?” That’s where the sticker backing comes in. This prime estate for advertising has so much untapped potential. Here, you can add your logo, business name, and even your contact information. Better yet, insert a QR code that would lead the customer to your social media channels!

Examples of Successful Sticker Campaigns

Be inspired by these brands that used stickers to carry out different goals – deepen customer relationships, grow revenue, and pique the public’s interest.



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A post shared by Glossier (@glossier)

Although Glossier is quite young in the industry, the beauty brand was able to build a strong clientele base fast thanks to their direct and intimate approach. Content from customers were constantly shared through the brand’s social media channels, and since every purchase comes with a sticker sheet filled with Glossier iconography, customers would also post non-Glossier products with Glossier stickers on them. The brand also used scratch-and-sniff stickers to promote their first fragrance.

Cillit Bang

Supermarkets usually have several aisles dedicated to cleaning products alone. To stand out, Cillit Bang came up with a low-budget sticker campaign involving loose change. Cashiers were asked to give out loose change branded with a little sticker showing the brand’s cleaning prowess. It was simple yet very effective, resulting in a 330% increase in sales. This sticker campaign is a perfect example of guerilla marketing, an advertisement strategy that uses unconventional methods to promote a product or a service.

Folgers Coffee

Folgers Manhole Cover Advertising

Here’s another example of guerilla marketing involving stickers. In 2006, pedestrians were surprised to see gigantic steaming cups of coffee along the sidewalks of New York. The coffee brand stuck vinyl stickers on manhole covers with holes cut out to let steam rise through. They also went a step further by adding a call-to-action: “Hey, City That Never Sleeps. Wake up.”


Stickers are a low-cost investment with an extremely fulfilling payoff. With proper planning and execution, this print product will surely be able to help you achieve your goals for your small business. Here at PrintRunner, we work closely with small to medium-sized businesses by providing a wide array of high-quality online printing services. Talk to us so we can help you jumpstart your sticker marketing campaign.

About the Author

Denise Colleen Cabili
Colleen has extensive experience helping brands align with their ideal clients through stories that resonate. She spends her free time reading speculative fiction and watching animated shows.

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