Increase Your Yearbook Sales With A Scavenger Hunt

As you work to build yearbook sales for the remainder of the school year, there are a lot of tried-and-true options you can employ. From setting up an information booth in the lunchroom to putting up posters all over the hallways of your campus, traditional yearbook marketing tools can help to build awareness and sell more books. But when you’re really looking to build momentum for your final publication, you want a school-wide promotion that can really get students engaged with what you’re creating. And that’s exactly when a scavenger hunt can come in handy! Ready to learn more? I’ll lay out exactly how you can use this fun idea to sell more copies of your own publication below.

Start With a Prize

Before you start thinking about how to run your scavenger hunt, you need to focus on how you’ll get students engaged enough to participate. This is most easily done with prizes! Since your goal is to build awareness and sales for your publication, make your big final prize a free yearbook or a special feature for the winners within the pages of your book. You should also offer a few runner-up prizes, which can be anything from a few dollars to spend at the school store to free tickets to a sporting event, depending on the age of your students. When you offer a variety of prizes, you increase the odds of including something that motivates every student to participate!

Finally, work with teachers to encourage their classes to participate in the scavenger hunt while it’s running. Give them some bullet points to describe why the hunt will be fun, as well as what students can win. This will help them to more effectively promote your cause. To get more teachers on board with your promotion, offer them the opportunity to include their classroom as a destination on the scavenger hunt or use something that they teach in class as a clue within the game. And don’t forget to write them a thank you note for participating! While your budget probably doesn’t allow for thank you gifts, a nice note can go a long way to show your appreciation for their help.

Map Out Your Scavenger Hunt

Next, work out what your scavenger hunt will consist of. There are two great ways to do this:

  • The one-day hunt: For younger grades, distribute the full list of clues or questions on a specific day that you coordinate with the school’s administration. Your questions should be focused on easy riddles they can solve about your school. For example, you could give them a riddle that leads them to the biggest slide on your playground, where they’ll find another riddle to solve. You could also have hidden objects placed at the different locations of your hunt that they have to gather, like miniature flags or pencils emblazoned with your school logo. There is no one right way to create a hunt like this, check out all of your options to find the right fit for your school size. Students can then spend an hour out of their day solving your scavenger hunt, either in small teams or as a class. It’s quick and easy, because the scavenger hunt is wrapped up the same day that you start it.
  • The week-long hunt: For older students, a more spread-out scavenger hunt can be a bit more intriguing. Instead of finding a variety of items like a traditional scavenger hunt requires, hide a ‘golden ticket’ somewhere on your campus. Every day, release another clue during your school announcements that leads students to the location of the golden ticket. Use clues based on the content that you’re including in your book. For example, perhaps you leave the golden ticket with your girl’s basketball coach, who also happens to be the 9th grade English teacher. One of your first clues could be, “This year’s yearbook features a fun spread on our state championship soccer team. If you know how many state trophies our team has total, you’re getting closer to the golden ticket!” This indicates that your golden ticket is somewhere in the athletics department. The following day, release a clue that narrows down the location a bit more, such as: “The girl’s basketball team practices dribbling and proper grammar, all at the same time!” Continue releasing clues that narrow down the golden ticket’s location until it’s found. The student who finds the ticket first is the winner! While this is more of an individual way to play the game, this style of scavenger hunt can spur some friendly competition that gets students engaged. And that can definitely help to boost awareness for your yearbook sales!

Boost Yearbook Sales: Keep Your Goal in Mind

While your scavenger hunt is meant to be fun, the ultimate goal is to increase yearbook sales. So remember, every step of your game should also focus on what’s so great about getting your hands on a copy of this year’s publication! To do this well, try to focus your scavenger hunt around your book’s theme. For example, if your theme is Dr. Seuss, hide a clue within a copy of Horton Hears a Who! in your school library, and write your questions in Seussical theme.

You can also use your social yearbook as a way to integrate extra clues or questions into your hunt, especially for elementary-aged students and up. This encourages students to interact with you and your committee online, while giving you the opportunity to share some photo teasers of what will wind up on the pages of your final publication. Wherever you’re promoting the contest, make sure you also include details on how students can buy their own copy of the book and learn more about creating their personalized pages within their copy! Remember, the more you highlight why the yearbook is so awesome, the more students will want their own. Which means that introducing a lot of fun features about your yearbook into this kind of promotion is the perfect way to use an exciting game to boost yearbook sales!

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