Photo by: Kaitlin Saunders

September 15, 2020 / Marketing

8 Ways to Boost 2021 Yearbook Sales Despite COVID-19

Written by Sarah Scott

What a year it’s been already! We’re relearning how to do a yearbook together – including how to sell a yearbook and yearbook ads. Start early to make sure your yearbook sales start off well and keep it up over the year.

  1. Make sure your online sales are set up.

This one’s a no-brainer. Even if your school is meeting in person, do you really want to touch all that dirty money? Fortunately, setting up yearbook and ad sales through yearbookforever.com is simple.

  1. Use existing communication methods.

How is the school getting in touch with students and parents? Get the word out through all available channels. Some people may not know that yearbook sales are already open. Is there space in any regular correspondence, like school email newsletters, where you can add a few sentences to promote your yearbook? Don’t let students and parents forget about yearbook this year – it may be one of the only traditions they get to have.

  1. Social media!

If fliers and other physical, in-your-face marketing tools aren’t available right now, there are other ways to get your yearbook marketing in front of students and the people who might buy the yearbook for them. People spend tons of time on social media, so use it to your advantage!

Meet them where they’re at. Which platform is your audience on? Are there local parenting groups you can join? Is your student body on TikTok or Instagram? Put your promotions where people will actually see them and see if you can target your marketing to the audience.

Do you have the staff capacity to assign a social media editor? If you’ve been thinking about it, this would be the perfect year to create the position.

  1. Sign up for PEP.

Our Parent Email Program makes it simple for you to market directly to parents via email. Just upload your list of parent email addresses, and we’ll send out regular email reminders to parents who haven’t yet purchased a book. Talk to your rep if you’re not already enrolled.

  1. Phone home.

Can’t reach parents in person? Give them a call! Hosting a phone-a-thon helped First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, boost their senior ad sales! Even though you may not be able to gather your staff in one room for a the calling frenzy, you could still set up a video chat for moral support (just remind students to mute while they’re on the phone).

  1. Use the mail.

Did you know we offer customized marketing postcards? Walsworth customers can order their customized marketing materials on our website.

  1. Get people invested!

Your school community may feel more isolated than ever this year. Make them feel like they’re a part of the yearbook.

Crowdsourcing photos does double duty – your staff gets photos they need to create the yearbook, and students and parents get a boost knowing their photos might be used. Our Yearbook Snap app makes it simple to submit and collect those images.

Your coverage is going to look different from previous years anyway, so how can you get more student input? Consider the various ways you can collect coverage ideas, like using Google Forms.

You may have kept your coverage a secret in the past, but this would be a good year to reconsider. Giving previews of the coverage you’re doing will help drum up interest. You can even let students know when they’re featured in the book – they’re more likely to buy if they know they’re included.

Remind students and parents how important last year’s book was. It was one of the few normal pieces of a disrupted spring. Remind them of the crucial part it played in their memories of an extraordinary year.

  1. Start a Yearbook Angel program.

The pandemic has impacted many families financially. Some students may want a yearbook but can’t afford it this year. Adviser Kathy Beers started the Yearbook Angels program at Timber Creek High School in Fort Worth, Texas, several years ago. It allows community members to donate money that will help buy books for students who can’t purchase their own. Saugus Belmonte Middle School in Saugus, Massachusetts, found a new way to use funds freed up do to travel restrictions. The school used money from a canceled eighth grade field trip to Washington, D.Cand used it to buy a yearbooks for every eighth grader.

We created graphics schools can download and use to promote their own donation program, including graphics specific to donations for seniors and eighth graders.

We know this year is weird

But yearbook is more important than ever. You’ll get it figured out, and people will want their own copy of your yearbook. Be sure to check out our Back to School page for ideas about coverage, staff bonding and more in this unusual year. And, more than anything, stay safe.

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Sarah Scott
Sarah Scott

Sarah Scott is the Digital Marketing Manager for Walsworth. She enjoys working in a variety of mediums, from print to broadcast to social media. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri.