By a longshot, the most challenging aspect of organizing a yoga retreat is getting yogi’s on those mats and securing your return on investment. You’ve booked the perfect locale, manifested a delicious menu, and sought out every extracurricular activity from massage to mountain climbing. Now it’s time to let the world know about your yoga retreat. There are many ways to go about advertising a yoga retreat. Some work much better than others. We’ll go over your advertising options and give our advice on the most effective ways to fill your yoga retreat.
Begin with your Base
Start by putting the word out to your current students. One of the top reasons that people choose a yoga retreat is the teacher, along with location, duration, and date. Your current following is the perfect place to start. This is where having an email list becomes invaluable. An email list provides a line of direct communication to qualified prospects, namely your own students. Draft a professional email with lots of images. Be sure to include the dates, location, and perks of the amazing experience you plan to offer at the retreat. Very important: offer a referral discount. Word-of-mouth is the best testimonial you can ask for. Offer your students a discount for their friends and family they refer to the retreat.
To reach local yogi’s beyond your student base, have some nice 3.5″ x 4.25″ printed up and leave these at the yoga studios you teach at. Flyer printing is quite affordable and printing houses often offer in-house graphic designers that can help with logos and layout.
Word of Mouth
Have your fellow yoga teacher friends mention your yoga retreat to their students. Encourage your friends and family to link to your Facebook event page.
Given the affordability and the wide reach that the internet can harness, advertising a yoga retreat on the web is the most effective option. First things first, create a webpage. Your event webpage can be very simple or elaborate and sexy. The important thing is to have a reference webpage on the internet where seekers can learn everything there is to know about the retreat and, most importantly, how to contact you for booking. If you plan to organize many yoga retreats in the future, it may be of benefit to setup an ecommerce interface where students can register and pay through your website.
Once your website is created, it’s time to put the word out. Get your yoga retreat listed in a Yoga Retreat Directory where people converge to find upcoming yoga retreats in one web location. Banner advertising and premium advertising options are also available and have proven to be extremely effective in getting your retreat to stand out amongst others.
Find yoga-related message boards in both your local area and the area of the retreat. Post information on your retreat and link to your webpage. As mentioned earlier, create a Facebook page for your retreat and often link to it in your posts. Encourage your friends, family, and students to “like” your page.
There are a couple of internet advertising options that we are cautious to recommend. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising doesn’t always yield a return on investment. With PPC, advertisers bid on ad placement in web searches. For example, if someone searches for the words “yoga retreat bali”, you would bid to have your ad placed on the “sponsored links” list in the search results. When someone clicks on your ad, then you’re charged, typically $1-$2. Depending on the rate at which you can convert clickers to buyers, this may or may not be an effective option.
We recommend straying away from purchasing access to email lists. The ‘collected’ emails on these lists consist of largely unqualified people, whom like yourself, dislike spam messages. They’re likely to remember that they didn’t sign up for your retreat’s email list and you’ll be lucky if they open the email at all. Stick to the recommendations. Save on costs and put your efforts where they are proven to be effective.
Getting Repeat Customers
With any luck, your marketing efforts will have paid off and you’ll end up with a full row of smiling faces sitting in sukasana in your tropical paradise yoga retreat. Take care of these precious people and make them happy. Like samahdi-bliss happy. Repeat customers can make up 10-20% of clientele and word of mouth is the most effective advertising. Be sure to collect some testimonials to put up on your website for your next amazing retreat.