Selling copies of the yearbook is the most important source of the program’s income, while selling ads is the next best source of revenue. Senior parent ads and even student friendship ads can help, but the business community often supports your school by purchasing ad space in the yearbook. It’s really a win-win relationship — their business gets exposure and your yearbook program gains necessary funds. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind before your yearbook staff sets out to sell to surrounding businesses.
1. TARGET LIST
Brainstorm the potential target list, including previous years’ advertisers. Add from the local Chamber of Commerce membership list, yearbook staffers’ contacts and acquaintances and any businesses you drive past that aren’t already on your list.
2. PLAN YOUR SELL DATES
Select dates that might provide the greatest response from local businesses. It’s not a bad idea to assign ad sales goals during the summer when school is out, and it’s an even greater feeling to go into the new school year having already sold ads and some established revenue.
3. ASSIGN SELLERS
Divide and conquer once you create a master list of potential advertisers. Assign specific businesses to specific staffers or if staffers have a personal connection to a business, or a preference to which businesses they approach, let your staff begin by calling “dibs” on those certain businesses.
4. SHOW THEM WHAT THEY’RE PAYING FOR
Bring in your product — your staff’s yearbook, of course! Bookmark great examples of all ad sizes you offer, ads that have been pre-designed, business card ads that have been scanned in and show your point person ads that your staff have created. Show them what you can do for them and their business. Find out how many books you sold last year and let them know how an ad in your yearbook will increase their business’s visibility.
5. INCLUDE COMMUNITY AND SCHOOL GROUPS
Consider community groups as potential advertisers. Community service groups, non-profits and military recruiters are all potential sources of ad revenue. More ads for school groups like band and student council are appearing in books from coast to coast. Some have expanded to include AP classes and other small groups that have purchased pages.
6. OFFER PATRON ADS
Patron ads are a way to make it possible for individuals to help support the yearbook. A one line, two line or three line listing can be an inexpensive way for individuals and small businesses to be included.
7. DON’T FORGET TO FOLLOW UP
Follow-up is the key to getting as many business ads as possible included in the yearbook. If the owner/manager is out when the initial sales call is made, be sure someone goes back to talk to the decision maker.
8. PROOF CAREFULLY
When the time comes, whether you’re working on ads over the summer or first thing when school starts, be sure to proof all business ads very carefully. It is best to stop by the business or send a PDF of the ad by email for approval before it is finalized.
9. COLLECT FUNDS BEFORE PRINTING
Collection of all ad revenue should be completed before ads are actually submitted to the plant. Make it clear in all communications with the advertisers that full payment needs to be made by a specified date. Leave no room for confusion — they’re busy and so are you.
10. CELEBRATE BEING AHEAD OF THE GAME
Submit the pages after careful proofing, knowing that you have a jump start on the deadline process by being able to submit income-generating pages early in the production season. Checking ads off your list and having necessary funds can pave the way for stress-free yearbook days!
For more great tips and useful guides check out https://yearbookdiscoveries.com/resources/.
Being a yerd for three years led me to what I do now — write. Aside from that, the things that make me happiest are: cooking (despite how the end product may turn out), sand, waves and sunshine, all things pineapple and every single moment spent with the ones who mean the most to me.
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