Slow Yearbook Sales' Problem: Causes and Solutions

Hidden yearbook costs, wasted left over yearbooks, old school yearbook companies and publishers are killing the yearbook sales. It’s been proven over and over if you don’t innovate to keep up with today’s generation, you will perish. The cost of doing nothing, and not making a change for your school’s yearbook program will lead to a decline in sales, or worst yet–the end of the yearbook program all together.

The list of reasons to buy a yearbook is nearly endless. They are a look into the past and a peek into the future. They are packed with some of the best years of people’s lives. They offer cherished memories, iconic photos, laughs, personalization, and much more. However, even with all of these pluses, schools still sometimes have difficulty selling yearbooks, which often leaves the yearbook committee scratching their heads. If this applies to your school, this is the list for you.

Why isn’t your yearbook selling like you’d hoped? Here you’ll find many possible reasons and some possible solutions to the problem. After all, what good is a yearbook if nobody takes it home?

Keep costs low to increase sales. Students want to make sure purchasing a yearbook is worth it!


SOLUTION: This is one problem you can nip in the bud before it becomes an issue. Consider the overall cost of the yearbook and keep everything in check to ensure you produce a great book, but at a reasonable cost. Treering keeps costs low, so students will have an easier time affording a yearbook, even if they can’t depend on a parent for financial help, or if parents have several kids, and therefore several different yearbooks for which they need to budget.


SOLUTION: Start the marketing campaign early! You’re dedicated to staying organized and on track to create the yearbook, so why not take the same approach to selling? Start your sales plan the year prior to the creation of the yearbook. That way, you will be able to send mailings home over the summer, keeping yearbooks on the minds of students and parents alike. And by outlining the cool perks Treering offers, when fall rolls around, some may even come with money in hand on the first day! Being ahead of the game will give you ample time to promote and encourage people to buy early.


SOLUTION: Market the yearbook as often as possible. Don’t make selling the yearbook a month-long event in the spring. Keep yearbook in the minds of students weekly, if not daily. Encourage the committee to attend sports and other school events to sell the yearbook. Having a booth at these events will grab the attention of not only students and parents, but also community members who may be interested in purchasing. And if you turn to Treering, students won’t be able to forget about the yearbook because with Treering, all books are preordered – with students creating them every step of the way!


SOLUTION: Piggyback this with your consistent marketing. If yearbook photographers are present at different school events, students know that they’re more likely than not to show up in yearbook pictures. Not to mention, with Treering’s social approach, no student will be left behind! They will be able to creatively customize their own pages with dozens of their own photos, funky layouts, and whatever else they please! Do your due diligence – let people know about all of the ways they can customize the book, and if you see pictures of students who appear in the yearbook, but have not purchased yet – let them know!  You can send mailings home advertising that they are in the book, and include a sales slip.

Holding a booth at school events will help with exposure, and it gives the committee an opportunity to talk about Treering’s customizable pages.


SOLUTION: After so many years of looking at posters in the hallway and listening to announcements on the loudspeaker, students tend to tune them out, so it’s important to consistently change up the marketing tactics. Use social media to keep reminding the students that the yearbook is out there, for sale, and is going to be awesome! Don’t forget to check out Treering’s yearbook marketing guide for some additional, easy-to-use tips.


SOLUTION: While you would think the memories in the yearbook itself would be enough of a selling point, this is not always the case. So don’t forget to sell students on the little extras Treering offers – not just customization, but their tree planting initiative and commitment to the environment. Students are so caught up in the day-to-day grind and drama that sometimes they forget to stop and smell the roses (or the trees). If you really want to up the incentive, offer a swag bag in conjunction with purchasing the yearbook. Include items that people actually want – like discounts at local hot spots, reusable water bottles, cell phone chargers, umbrellas, and candy (everyone loves candy!). You could even get local businesses to donate these goods in exchange for advertising space.

The solutions don’t stop here. With Treering’s reasonable prices, incentives for selling (planting trees!), and ability to customize pages, many of these problems are already solved!

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