Our work with thousands of schools has proven that the 10 marketing tactics you see below will help you sell your yearbook and ads. Review this list of marketing tactics and pick at least six that you can do at your school.
We understand that all 10 may not work at your school. Example: Maybe your school does not have an all-call messaging system to reach parents so you will just pick the ones you can use.
If you choose all 10, that’s great! Then, stick to this list to guide you throughout the year.
Start by printing and filling out this Pick 6 Marketing Menu to use as a handy reference. Give a copy to your Walsworth sales rep as well, and use it to keep your sales and marketing on track throughout the year.
PEP is FREE. Here’s how it works:
- Parents receive emails with awesome student photography, a compelling yearbook message and a link directly to your school store at yearbookforever.com.
- Emails are sent to parents every three weeks when your online yearbook sales are turned on.
- Parents are removed from the list once a yearbook is purchased online for their child.
- Sign up today and take advantage of this powerful, free program! For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up at walsworthyearbooks.com/pep.
These are unconventional ways to get your sales message out. Brainstorm with your staff for fun ideas, but here are a few to get you started:
- Clock banners – Where do students look several times while in class? The clock! Hang a yearbook message next to the clock where it can’t be missed. Available in Color version and Black and White version.
- Yard signs – Perfect for spreading the word while parents pick students up at school or attend special events. Place in the most visible area with high car or foot traffic. It’s $16 for a set of two signs. To order a set of two yard signs, contact us at email@example.com or 800.369.2646, ext. 2013.
- Photo booths – Get more students in the book while raising money.
- Vending machine labels – Snacks and sodas can carry your yearbook sales message.
- Spirit week – Events of your school’s Spirit Week are a great opportunity to market and sell.
- Bathroom stall signs – Place your message in a place everyone will see with this template.
- Fake notes – Create fake notes with a yearbook message, fold up like it’s a note being passed between classes, drop in the hallway and watch them get attention. Handwritten notes are the most effective (because they look real), but you can also use these templates:
- Parking tickets – Place a “parking violation” ticket on car windshields during a major school event. Here’s a template. We also have a notepad version of the parking ticket available to order from the Kit Department.
- Sidewalk chalk – Write your yearbook message on the sidewalk using chalk in an area that can be easily cleaned. Get your principal’s permission first.
- Yearbook Angels – Help students who may not otherwise be able to purchase a yearbook.
- You’re in the yearbook flier – Don’t let students avoid ordering because they assume they aren’t in the yearbook. Tell them they are in the book with these easy-to-use fliers.
- Bookmarks – Hand out a helpful item with the yearbook message. It’s easy with this template.
- Cyber Monday – Monday after Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to promote your online yearbook and ad sales. These items can help:
Advertise where parents go most. Work with your school’s website administrator to place a banner on your school website that lets parents know that yearbooks and/or ads are on sale. If you are using online sales, this banner would link directly to your school store at yearbookforever.com.
Just get your code on the Marketing Central page of your Members Only page (you can do this!).
- Log in to your Members Only page on walsworthyearbooks.com.
- Click on Marketing Central in the middle of the page.
- Click Get it next to Website Banners.
- Choose your banner type and size.
- Copy the HTML and send that to your school website administrator. Ask your front office who that would be.
- Ask the website administrator to place the banner on the home page and on the highest traffic pages, such as the school calendar or online grading portals.
Use your school’s phone messaging system to tell parents when and how to purchase. Keep your message short – 20 seconds or less. This is a great way to reach parents who may not use email.
Start with these handy scripts:
- Parents trust that it’s coming from the school – a voice they recognize.
- You likely have a reliable phone number for each parent.
- Reach parents in a different way.
- Free to use (usually). Check with your front office.
- Easy to set up.
- Use it to announce online sales or sales at Back-to-School night, games, plays or other events.
- Consider a bilingual version. Look at your school’s population to determine if languages other than English are pre-dominant (20% or more).
Success story: Vasquez High School conducted an all-call on one night and sold 200 books the next day!
Get a jump-start on yearbook sales by allowing parents to order during registration. Make it impossible for parents to complete registration without knowing the book is for sale.
- No cost, low effort, big results!
- Parents expect to spend money at these events.
- If possible, get the yearbook added to the fee sheet.
- Invite the school mascot to help work your table!
Parents and students visit these sites every day. Use them to promote your yearbook message!
- Reach parents and students where they already are online
- Generate excitement over yearbook
- Great place to announce specials, price increases, get feedback
- Link directly to your yearbookforever.com sales page if you are selling your books online
- Create conversations about yearbook – word of mouth is a powerful sales tool
- Perfect place for videos
- Create and share memes on your social media accounts. They generate awareness and everyone loves a good laugh!
- Get more likes and followers! Use these templates for Facebook and Twitter.
Set a sales table up in the cafeteria for a week. Also, identify the school events most highly attended by parents and set up a sales table to sell and promote the yearbook. Make yearbook visible!
- Tables are the original place to sell yearbooks.
- Reach parents and students at school where they expect it.
- Piggy back off events that are already happening – lunch, football games, talent shows, parent/teacher night.
- This works better when other tactics are used to tell people about the sales table.
- Have a flier or card to hand out.
- Have a sample of the previous year’s book to show.
- Can be done without Internet connection. But if you are selling your books online, a computer or tablet can help you sell more books.
- Charge the same amount as what’s being charged on yearbookforever.com.
- Treat these purchases like in-school sales – add them to Sales Central in your Members Only for combined distribution list.
Mailings Home/Customized Marketing
Mail postcards and fliers that have actual photos from your school, school colors and the school mascot. Parents react to photos of students and scenes they recognize. Walsworth can help by creating the items for you.
- You don’t have to put in a lot of work to get professional-looking marketing items.
- It’s a good way to reach parents who did not give an accurate email address.
- Piggy-back off mailings the school is already doing to save on postage costs.
- This tactic gives you another way to reach parents directly without relying on the kids.
- See the catalog of items available.
- See the price list.
- To order Customized Marketing items, visit our Customized Marketing page.
Have your staff create a funny video about the yearbook and watch the yearbook message spread. Don’t worry about making the video perfect – the funny ones are more likely to get shared.
- Videos generate excitement over yearbook.
- Videos start conversations, and sharing videos keeps conversation going.
- No special equipment is needed – they are easy to create with phones and apps
- Fun or emotional – videos play upon people’s emotions.
- Reach people in a way they prefer to be communicated with.
- Add captions so the message comes across without having to click play.
Speak directly to your bilingual parents with a yearbook message that explains what a yearbook is and how it celebrates their child’s accomplishments. If your school has a 20%+ non-English-speaking enrollment, you should be spreading the yearbook sales information in English and that language to reach more parents. Walsworth can help with customized fliers, postcards and banners in Spanish and English.
- Identify what is important to different cultures. Examples: Quinceañera/Debuts/Cotillion
- Explain the cultural significance and importance of these types of moments in school.
- Make sure all marketing includes pictures of previous yearbooks – don’t assume the family knows what is in the yearbook.
- Include their child’s picture on a spread featuring that culture (alternative coverage).
- Make sure they see it! Email/mail the final spread home so the parents can see it.
- Walsworth’s Spanish/English Customized Marketing pieces help Latino parents learn about the yearbook tradition and understand the value of the yearbook.
- If your school’s culture features a language other than Spanish, have a student/parent translate the copy and send to Walsworth to place on Customized Marketing materials.
How do we find the time?
Establish a Student Marketing Manager. Advisers don’t have time to do it all. Student marketing managers plan, run and measure marketing campaigns.
- Two valuable resources are available:
- The “Engage Your Audience and Sell More Yearbooks with Strategic Marketing” unit from our Yearbook Suite curriculum brings marketing to life by helping students understand all aspects of marketing and set up their plans for the year.
- The My Marketing Plan workbook is a condensed version for students to quickly review and use.
- The Marketing Manager role looks great on college applications.
- Students can get a letter of recommendation from Don Walsworth.
- Look beyond the yearbook staff – identify the student(s) in the school who have no problem getting in front of other students and spreading the yearbook message.
Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.