How to Solicit Ads for a Souvenir Book

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A businesswoman is on the phone at work.
A businesswoman is on the phone at work. (Image: nyul/iStock/Getty Images)

Souvenir books are a good way for sports teams, youth groups, churches and other organizations to raise funds. By printing a book with ads from local businesses, you give them good publicity while raising funds at the same time. It takes some effort to sell the ads, but if you follow the right steps you can have a very successful souvenir book fundraiser.

Create an attractive design for the souvenir book, including samples. Think of the design as a major selling tool. It should be printed on good quality paper, and if you can use color it will be a plus. The printing should be crisp and readable.The ad layout should be balanced on each page. Businesses will be much more likely to purchase an ad if you can reassure them that the book will be professional in appearance and will give potential customers a good impression.

Identify businesses to target in your ad sales campaign. If you are raising funds for a local group, focus on local establishments because they are often eager to help out in the community. Larger companies and chain stores often have complicated policies for those wishing to solicit for fund-raisers. With local businesses, it's much easier because you can usually approach the owner directly.

Approach targeted businesses in person. Bring a packet that includes your sample book, an information sheet about the types of ads you are offering, and a price sheet. Visit each business and politely ask to see the manager. If he is not available, ask about the best time to return. Mark it down in a notebook, and be sure to follow up. You can leave your name and contact information, but in the case of solicitations the manager often will not bother to call. It will be up to you to pursue the contact.

Use a sales pitch that shows the store or business manager what sort of benefit she will receive by placing an ad in your souvenir book. Besides exposure and a potential increase in business, emphasize the goodwill that often comes from helping a local organization, charitable group or youth group.

Follow up on all "maybes." Often a business owner will ask for some time to think about your proposal. If he does, tell him the specific date on which you will follow up. Make a note of that date, and be sure to make a return visit or call when you say that you will. Often, all it takes is that second nudge to make a sale.

Try to turn a "no" into a positive. If the manager turns down your pitch, ask if she knows of any other stores or colleagues who might be interested. Even if she isn't interested in placing an ad herself, she might be able to point you towards someone else who will buy an ad.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your ad book is for a youth group, it can help to use youngsters as salespeople for the ads. Business owners are often more willing to support kids. However, it can be dangerous for unsupervised youngsters to go around making solicitations. Children should always be accompanied by an adult who stays nearby to monitor the situation.

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