8 Top Marketing Strategies Every Retreat Center Should Use

Have you ever felt you’re doing some marketing but it just isn’t working like you’d want?

You might be putting effort into things which aren’t so effective.

Despite increased competitiveness in the retreat business, there is still a huge opportunity for those ready to take a few important steps.

We’ve got the top strategies that will:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Reduce marketing costs
  • Create better costumer engagement
  • Increase revenue

Sound good?

Let’s get to it…

1. Be a real person

Let your voice be heard.

People want to hear your voice. Not the voice you think they want to hear.

Be yourself. Let your personality infuse your business, your marketing, all your outreach.

It’s an easy way to stay authentic…just be yourself.

We all want to interact with humans. It takes way too much energy to try and be something else.

You’ll also want to personalize the experience for whomever you’re talking to. That means keeping track of what kinds of things they like, what they don’t like. If you have a customer relationship management tool, you’ll want to store all this info.

Show that you care about them by remembering the small details. Referencing past conversations. It goes a long way.

2. Put time into your descriptions

Say you come across a retreat and it just says:

3 days accommodation

3 meals/day

2x yoga/day

Not too inspiring right?

Compare that to:

3 days stay in the beautiful jungle home we like to call “Simba’s Lair”

3 delicious, fresh, and locally grown vegetarian meals every day

2 yoga sessions each day for rejuvenating the mind, body, and soul

Hopefully you can see the stark difference. And it really doesn’t take that much time to put in the extra effort.

You’ll want to put time and effort into the descriptions of your retreats and offerings. It’s one of the main things people look at when evaluating whether they are interested. People make such quick decisions, that if you’re slacking on your descriptions it won’t shine a great light on your offering.

Ideally you can even create a video walkthrough of your retreat center and specific retreat that’s running. This will allow people to get an immersive picture of what it would be like to be on your retreat.

Drawing them in. Allowing them to truly feel the experience before they arrive.


Maybe I should have made this one #1, #2, and #3 :)

Reviews are SO important. One of the most important factors people look at when evaluating you. Why?

Something called “social proof.”

Picture this…

You’ve been stuck in bumper to bumper traffic for the past 20 minutes and it finally starts to move again. Up ahead to your right you see something strange. A whole big group of people is gathered around something on the road.

You can’t tell what it is, but everyone seems to be interested in it so you strain to see.

This is the phenomenon of social proof.

We’re more interested in things that other people are interested in.

If 100 people are interested in something we’re way more likely to check it out than if 1 person is. We rely on others to help us make our decisions.

Reviews are a place where you can use social proof in your favor. How?

By getting great reviews of course!  That starts with delivering a great experience at a good value, but doesn’t end there. You have to actively ask for reviews. And place them in spots where people can easily see them.

Here at bookretreats.com we do that already for you. We even ask for reviews in a way that creates the perfect testimonial for you guys.

The perfect review says 3 things:

  1. The problem, issue, or life situation that caused them to seek out your offering
  2. The solution they saw in your offering
  3. The actual results they got from your offering

4. Get social

Something a lot of people forget about social media?

The “social” part.

Too many feel it’s just another broadcast platform where they get to yell at the top of their lungs about their awesome business.

Doesn’t work.

Just be social.

Sure, you want to provide great content to people and then go out and promote that. But don’t forget that everyone on these networks is an actual person. Not a number or only a “follower.” They are a person.

Go on Twitter and go talk to people. Help them out.

Go join a Facebook group and ask people what they struggle with in health, yoga, meditation, detox, etc.

Use Youtube and Instagram to post videos of the actual experience of the retreat. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Authentic is best.

We’ve all got smartphones now, so there is no real excuse not to have video.

5. Utilize the power of check ins

46% of travelers check in to their location using their mobile device, according to Stikky Media.

That means you should be taking advantage of something travelers are already doing.

Get on FourSquare and other check in sites that will promote your center from just the check ins.

Take advantage of this platform by posting tips, featuring your current retreat running, and adding anything else you want to highlight.

6. Give to receive

Most people think they need to save their best stuff and not give it out so freely.


There is way too much good stuff on the web right now for you to be holding back.

Put your best stuff out there. Your best content.

Put time and effort into creating valuable, free pieces of content for your potential customers.

The more value you provide up front to them, the more trust you build, which is a natural way of building up a good relationship. They see that you’re there to help them.

You can create things like packing lists, business guides for post yoga teacher trainings, tips on saving money on traveling, etc.

Use this free content to build your most valuable marketing resource…

…your email list.

7. Build up a YouTube channel


Want to get in on the marketing opportunity that has grown 118% from 2014 to 2015?

Build up a solid YouTube channel.

The people over at Think with Google found this huge increase in people watching travel-related videos in their research.

You can shoot videos on your smartphone of:

  1. The surrounding area
  2. People in the middle of yoga, lecture, or whatever activities you have on your retreat
  3. Your wonderful accomodation
  4. Testimonials
  5. Interviews with teachers to give people an insight into who they’ll be learning from

Or ideally you can get professional videos done. Try doing a work-exchange with someone who comes through that has video skills. It will pay off.

Put up videos of each of the retreats you run, and your various offerings. Link back to your website, or our conversion-optimized retreat listings to bring them on board.

8. Build an email list

If you had the choice between 10,000 Facebook likes, 10,000 Twitter followers, 10,000 instragram followers, or 10,000 emails gathered…what would you choose?



Because it’s the only reliable way to contact your audience and customers.

The reach of Facebook business pages went from above 50% to below 15% in just a matter of years. These companies aren’t looking out for your ability to contact your customers and fans. They’re looking out for themselves.

Focus a huge amount of effort on building up and email list. Then build a relationship with that list. Deliver them really valuable content and insights regularly. Talk with them. Ask them questions. Help them.

How to build a list?

Here is a short list of methods, because it’s a topic that needs it’s own entire post:

  1. Offer a free ebook, template, checklist, or other form of content on your site in exchange for their email
  2. Run a giveaway on social media
  3. Add email submission forms to your website and blog
  4. Gather emails of everyone who comes to your live events
  5. Create a valuable blog to attract visitors who will subscribe
  6. Guest post on other popular blogs and link back to your site (ideally you link back to a personalized landing page)
  7. Get interviewed on podcasts

Final words

The most important thing you can do after reading this post is…

…take action!

Go do something.

Choose one of these and go for it.

Start putting more effort into building your email list and nurturing a relationship with them.

Create videos.

Get on twitter or facebook and start interacting.

Go make it happen.

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