Ok. I will say it. This stinks!
All the uncertainty that is still surrounding us and surrounding school for our students and for our own kids is exhausting for all of us. Our thoughts have been with our advisers. As states and districts and buildings are making their decisions over the next few weeks, we will be hoping for the best for you and your safety.
But let's be honest, no matter what school make LOOK like this fall, we know that everyone will still be expecting a yearbook. This year may one of the most important years to chronicle and this year's book may be one of the most coveted books ever. You have a huge responsibility. No pressure.
The good news is, we are here to help! Due to the uniqueness of this year, selling yearbooks may be more challenging that usual. We wanted to encourage you to be thinking about your sales and marketing plan early this year as you may have to take extra steps than you have in the past.
Here are some tips and suggestions for you to consider when you are developing and kickstarting your plan.
Let's open up a balfour.com online store where parents can go and purchase yearbook packages and pay with debit or credit. We track the sales for you and you can download reports at any time. There is also a widget on your StudioBalfour home screen that shows how many books have been purchased. Let us know if you would like to do this, and we can help you through the process.
Sell early and often. We will collect your order from you in February so if a sales campaign (or three) haven't happened yet, that makes it really hard to guess how many books to order.
Have you considered what you will charge? Let us know if you would like for us to send you a budget worksheet for the 2021 school year that may help you decide what to sell books for this year.
Let's implement a tiered pricing program, meaning, for example, until November 1, yearbooks are one price. From November 2 through February 1, books are a bit more. And anytime after February, books are at the highest price of the year. This incentivizes your parents to order early and it also helps you have a better idea of how many books to order in February.
We have two free training events coming up soon that you should register for. They will have some great ideas on how to handle completing a yearbook in a COVID world as well as some other adviser training. Even if you know you can't attend, please register anyway. Registering will get you access to the resources and recordings at a later date. There won't be any other way to get those resources. Here is a link to the Balfour Adviser Training on July 28-30 (typically held in Dallas each summer): https://form.balfour.com/advisertraining (When you are registering, choose "Bill to Account" when it comes to the payment section. Here is a link to a wonderful training event on July 31st that some rep-friends of mine host in Texas. This event is free, and both teachers and students are invited to join! Register here for the July 31st event
Promoting yearbook sales is going to be super important this year. In order to make that easier, please talk to the powers that be and let them know that in these special circumstances, the fastest, easiest and most affordable way to promote yearbooks is digitally. You will want to request a student list that includes a column for first name, last name, grade and parent email address. The email addresses are needed so that you can take advantage of Balfour's free e-marketing campaigns that allow you to send targeted emails to groups of people (non-yearbook buyers, for example) in order to promote purchasing a yearbook through balfour.com. Here is a quick link with a bit of information about Balfour's eMarketing program: https://www.balfour.com/Blog/eMarketing-email-guide
Join the YBK ALL DAY Text Club for additional tips, tricks, ideas and reminders. SUPER important this year, since things will be a little different: Click this link from your phone to sign up!
If and when you return to school for in-person teaching, let's get some signage up advertising that yearbooks are for sale. This can be ordered from the Balfour Yearbook Supply Desk.
Watch your email in the next couple of weeks. Our annual back to school email will be coming soon and you know it is full of information and ideas!
Please let us know if you have any questions or need help with any of the items above! We would be glad to help! Enjoying the rest of your summer, and happy selling!