Over 30 Years
Of Producing Smiles

Planning and Tracking Sales

Stay organized and on track by following these proven steps for establishing a selling price, and selling and tracking ads. Some sections may not apply to your school, or they may serve as idea generators for this or coming years.

The Sales Plan

The sales plan is the key to successfully selling yearbooks. We have provided a checklist to follow when organizing your school’s plan and details of each step below.

  • Establish a Budget
  • Determine the Selling Price of Your Yearbooks
  • Produce Revenue for Your Yearbooks
  • Train Your Sales Staff
  • Track Revenue, Expenses and Student Enhancements

1. Establishing a Budget:

Just like your personal budget, the yearbook budget is needed to establish expenses and determine yearbook income. Some estimation may be required.

Start with expenses:
  • Quote from Memory Book Company
  • Photographer Expense
  • Yearbook staff expenses
  • Computer expenses
  • Promotional expenses such as posters, booth space or incentives
  • Miscellaneous expenses such as postage and office supplies
Next determine available revenue sources:
  • Sale of Yearbooks (Can be seen in Step Two)
  • Fundraising Opportunities
  • Advertisement Sales
  • Donations PTA, PTO, School Budget, Friends of the School, Parent Sponsors)

2. Determining the Selling Price of Your Yearbooks:

Traditionally, the sale of yearbooks provides most of the revenue for the project. It is important to establish a selling price that covers expenses but is not detrimental to the overall selling of the book. To determine a selling price, consult the budget from above.

Subtract the estimated revenue from the estimated total expenses and divide that number by the minimum number of books you expect to sell. Check with your representative for price breaks for full enrollment. It’s great when every student can get a yearbook.

Example:
Estimated total expenses $6,000
Other revenue $2,250
Min. money from sale of books $3,750
   
Min. number of books 250
Sell price of each book $15.00* each
*You need to sell each yearbook for the base price of $15.00. This price should be adjusted for changes in the anticipated sales of ads, fund raising, or budget. You may want to adjust this for various incentives or promotions that will increase sales over the expected number of books sold.

To create an early interest in the purchase of yearbooks, use a time-based, stair-step pricing strategy. The earlier books are purchased the less expensive they are.

Example:
Purchase early $10.00 per book
Purchase late (follow up sales) $15.00 per book
Purchase at delivery $20.00 per book
   
These numbers reflect the $15.00 sell price from the previous page’s example.

3. Producing Revenue From The Sale of Yearbooks:

The sales plan should include a strategy for selling yearbooks. This, coupled with marketing ideas to promote sales, will determine the success of the yearbook sales plan. See the Marketing, Selling and Fundraising page for greater detail.

4. Sales Training:

The sales staff must understand the basics, features and selling points of the yearbook.

Basics/Features:
  • Number of pages
  • Black & White or color printing
  • Content such as class sections, faculty & staff, activities and extracurricular activities
  • Additional enhancements available
  • Selling price
  • Delivery schedule and activities associated with distribution
  • Paperwork and money collection process
Selling Points:
  • Yearbooks are a collection of the student’s memories for that year.
  • Yearbooks allow students to personalize each major school function with their classmates.
  • Hint - Make sure every student is represented at least 3 times in the yearbook and use this as an additional selling point.
  • The yearbook distribution and signing establishes a tradition for the school that students can participate in. This also helps sell yearbooks in the future. Click Here for 10 Reasons Why Everyone Deserves a Yearbook

Establishing incentives for sales staff will give them a goal to strive for, can serve as a contest to make selling fun and will result in increased sales. Goals can be established as individual or team oriented or a combination of both.

Here are some examples:
  • Reduced cost or no charge yearbooks for meeting goals
  • Sales team party for meeting goals
  • Free or reduced cost for personalization on the book cover
  • Give away items like movie passes or fast food certificates
  • Raffle or drawings for merchandise

5. Tracking Revenue, Expenses and Student Book Enhancements:

It is very important for you and your sales team to maintain accurate sales records. We suggest a computerized spreadsheet. This will allow the important data to be captured. In addition, it can be sorted by various fields to supply sales data in just about every category. The following is an example of what your spreadsheet might look like. The same type of spreadsheet should be established if ads or fundraising activities are planned.

Examples:
Jefferson Middle School Yearbook Sales
Student Grade Teacher Book Qty. Amt. Due Amt. Paid
John Student 8 Morris 1 15.00 15.00
Sally Learner 7 Jones 2 30.00 15.00
Susan Scholar 7 Smith 1 18.00 18.00
Totals     4 63.00 48.00

Student Name in Foil @ 2.00 Icons @ 50¢ each Foiled Year @ 50¢ Total
Susan Scholar 2.00 Music Note and Volleyball—1.00 na 3.00

Online Parent Pay is now available, so call your representative to get set up and start tracking. You, the advisor, will have access to reports to show exactly who has purchased.

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