July 20, 2009 / Marketing

Powerful yearbook selling strategies

Written by Idea File Staff

A well written and designed book that has good coverage of the entire school population will sell well. Probably no single factor does more to sell a book than the intrinsic value of the book, which can be improved with four features.

Coverage as inclusive as possible.
Seldom will a student or parent fail to buy the book at any price, once he or she sees the student’s picture in a candid shot. At one sale, one mother was overheard talking to another. The mother said, “I am buying the book on the first sale because I get so busy and forget. Two years ago my son was pictured in a gorgeous shot, but I didn’t know. When I learned of it, books were no longer for sale. I’d give anything to have it.” The adviser looked up and asked which year she had in mind. When the mother replied, the adviser asked for a reminder call to look for it. The mother called the next day, and gladly paid $70 for the book.

Accuracy as careful as possible.
One shift in the list of portraits can make every picture incorrectly identified for the rest of that grade level. Students do not like to see someone else’s name by their picture. Also, students like their names spelled as their mothers spell the names. Some Dianes use one “n”, some use two. Some Anns add an e; some do not. The difference matters to some people. One student demanded an unengraved book because one letter was wrong in his engraving.

Design as compelling as possible.
Some people say that no one reads the copy in the yearbook. In those cases, either the copy was not worth reading or the pages lacked effective design. Features such as placement of pictures, choice of font, leading of font, and placement of copy and headlines draw readers into the copy.

Copy as vibrant as possible.
Copy will be unique and detailed if students remember a few writing axioms

* Show, don’t tell.
* If you want to show war, show one man’s war.
* Create vignettes and credit the reader with enough intelligence to evaluate for himself.
* Outlaw such words as many, a lot and several.

Idea File Staff

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