September 28, 2011 / Fall 2011 / Marketing

Keeping tabs on students for yearbook

Written by Idea File Staff

Would you buy a book if you were in it?

Most likely.

So, it probably would be easier to sell yearbooks to every student if every one of them were in it. You may have heard the recommendation to include all of the students in your school at least twice to improve your coverage and increase your yearbook sales. That task seems daunting if your school has more than 1,000 students in it.

“I never achieved it, but I had a better book because of it,” Jen Weiss, former yearbook adviser at Chatfield Senior High School in Littleton, Colo., said of always trying to get every student in the yearbook, two to three times.

To attempt to include every student and sell to every student, you need accurate student lists. You can get the student body list from the office, but remember to ask for an updated one every eight to 12 weeks, as students move in and out.

Use a reliable method for marking and updating how many times students are in the book and who has purchased a book. These lists can be taped to the wall or kept electronically. For coverage, have a rule that when a student is in two or three times, they cannot be used again.

Next, consider ways to include more students. In today’s short, snappy, magazine style of coverage, inclusion is easier with different sidebar possibilities.

  • Make captions into mini stories.
  • Create boxes for quotes or Q&As.
  • Quote students on results of surveys or lists.
  • Add short personality profiles.
  • Make lists of students with similar interests that are important to today’s teens.
  • Use student photos in your folio, index or along the bottom of each spread, with their comments on the spread’s topic.

For sales, you need a list of who has purchased a yearbook and a list of who has not. Look to see if and where the non-buyers are in the yearbook. If they are not in the yearbook, figure out how to include them.

For students who are in but have not bought a book, begin a marketing effort to their parents. Use email or the school’s automated phone messaging system, which are free. Or consider mailing a postcard or flier home. However you make contact, explain that their child is in the book more than once, and, tell them what pages.

As you and your staff determine your goals for 2012, consider adding two to your list: creating more inclusive coverage and increasing yearbook sales.

Idea File Staff

Idea File Staff reports are posts compiled by the Walsworth Yearbooks Marketing Department, covering a wide range of yearbook topics.