Tips on Selling Yearbook Ads

Selling-Yearbook-AdsSelling yearbook ads is an efficient way to reduce the yearbook price and raise money for other areas of the yearbook committee. Selling ads is something that many yearbook advisers and students dread because it can be uncomfortable to ask for money. However, it is important to remember that you are not simply asking for a donation; you are providing businesses a unique opportunity to advertise to several students and parents, and you are allowing parents to recognize their child in a memorable way! Here are some tips we have gathered to help your yearbook committee succeed in yearbook ad sales.

Types of ads

Business ads – Advertisement space for local businesses. You can find the Business Ad Contract here.

Parent ads (recognition ads) – Advertisement space where families of students can recognize the student and give them a shout-out. You can find the Parent Ad Order Form in the Tools section.

Page sponsorships – Businesses can pay to have a line at the bottom of the page that says, “This page is sponsored by <BUSINESS NAME>.”

Who to sell to

Businesses who have purchased an ad previously – Contact all of the businesses that have advertised in your yearbook in previous years. If they have purchased an ad for a repeat amount of years, offer them a larger advertising space or a discount to show your appreciation.

Businesses that want to sell to students – If your school is a high school, the yearbook is an ideal advertising space for photographers who take senior photos. Businesses that have products and services aimed at prom goers are also good prospects for high school yearbooks.

Family – Recognition ads, or parent ads, are a creative way for relatives to tell students they love them and are proud. It may be a good selling point to offer discounts to families who also own businesses for purchasing multiple ads (one recognition ad and one business ad).

Alumni – If you live in a town where there are multiple schools’ yearbook committees reaching out to businesses, locating alumni who own businesses might help make a yearbook ad sale.

How to sell

In person – For business ads, we recommend students sell in person. This could be a task for the whole committee as a group, or students could go in pairs. Students may want to bring a signed letter from the yearbook advisor or principal with the details. Have students ask to speak to the owner or a manager when they arrive at the business; try to pick a time of day when the business is slower (e.g., don’t visit a restaurant during lunch rush). Bring sample ads to show the business owner exactly what you are providing with your ads. Start by offering the largest ad size and then working down to smaller, less expensive ads.

With loyal business advertisers from the past, students will want to thank the business owner for their continued support and ask if they would like to purchase another ad this year, possibly offering a larger spot or discount for their continued support. It will help students if they practice what they are going to say beforehand with teachers at the school.

Through email – For selling parent ads, email is a good option because it keeps the ad covert, pleasantly surprising students when they receive their yearbooks. Include an image of a sample ad to show what is being offered.

Email is also an option for selling business ads. Some business owners prefer the efficiency of an email rather than talking in person. If students go to a business and get turned down, or the business owner does not have time to talk, we recommend asking for an email and asking if it’s okay to send an email outlining the business ad options available.

Over the phone Phone is another option for parent ads in order to keep the purchase a secret. Using the phone for business ads is our last resort suggestion as it is easy to turn someone down on the phone, but it wouldn’t hurt to try!

What to do after a sale is made

Send a thank you letter – Sending a handwritten letter of appreciation or a handmade poster thanking the business will show that your yearbook committee is taking the time to appreciate the business. Showing your gratitude will make it easier to ask for help again the next year.

We hope these tips help your yearbook ad sales be easy as pie!


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