Top 10 Tips for Running a Yearbook Ad Campaign
Other than yearbook sales, the best income source for the yearbook budget is the sale of advertising. In addition to senior parent ads and student friendship ads, the business community tends to be a great supporter of student activities, including yearbook.
1. TARGET LIST
Brainstorm the potential target list, including previous years’ advertisers. Add from the local Chamber of Commerce membership list and yearbook staffers’ contacts and acquaintances.
2. PLAN YOUR SELL DATES
Select dates that might provide the greatest response from local businesses. Early in the school year is generally better than approaching businesses during their busy holiday seasons. In years to come, consider summer sales.
3. ASSIGN SELLERS
Divide and conquer once the master list of potential advertisers has been completed. Assign specific businesses to specific staffers. If a staffer has a personal connection to a business, then let that student make the sales call.
4. PROVIDE AD DESIGNS
Designing suggested ad formats is a great way to let businesses know that you are trying to help them have the best possible ad.
5. INCLUDE COMMUNITY AND SCHOOL GROUPS
Consider community groups as potential advertisers. Community service groups such as Kiwanis, Rotary and 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
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 of all the ad details and content.
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.
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.
Yes, you may think you have some great ideas for your yearbook, but, have you stopped to consider whether you have the legal right to include any of these works in your publication? Every yearbook staff should be familiar with the basics of copyright law.
It’s hard to guess exactly why the buy-rate at Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park, Kansas, is nearly twice the national average, but it’s not hard to understand how important culture and tradition are in the equation.
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