Part of running a successful yoga retreat is selling places. And it’s well known in the marketing world that selling to repeat customers is much easier than new ones, because they’ve bought from you once before, so why wouldn’t they again? Customer retention is a common topic in advertising, and there are many techniques that you can borrow to help improve the success of your retreat sales too.
When you’re marketing your next yoga retreat it’s much easier to target customers who already know you. Why do the same students keep coming back to your classes? Because they like you, they know what to expect and they can trust it. So why not try to attract the same retreat attendees?
The value of having repeat retreat attendees can’t be overestimated. There are plenty of retreats on offer out there, and they will be targeting the attendees that you’ve already had. But if you can offer them an experience they know and love, and get them to tell their friends about it, then you can sell even more places.
Here are five customer retention techniques to try when you’re marketing your next retreat.
Provide an amazing experience
First and foremost, you need to provide your retreat attendees with an awesome experience that they’ll want to repeat. Without this, there’s no way they’ll come back again! Of course, there are many factors like where the retreat is and what the customer is looking for, but in general, if you can provide a top experience then you should be able to entice them back.
Also, remember that word of mouth is powerful, so as well as providing a great retreat experience, you want your customers to tell people about it and ideally bring in more customers. This is like having the marketing work done for you!
If by some unfortunate circumstance, something on your retreat doesn’t go to plan or quite right then it’s about how you deal with it and resolve the issue. That’s what attendees will remember and what will allow them to feel confident in booking a retreat with you again!
A loyalty or discount program
This might sound strange when you’re talking about a yoga retreat, but having some sort of loyalty program can help you to attract the same retreat attendees back again. As consumers, we have a thing about loyalty. If we enjoyed something then we want to do it again, and if there’s a discount involved, then all the better!
You should reward people for their repeat custom. When it comes to yoga retreats, this could be in the form of discount codes for early bookings, bringing a friend, or just general discount codes for repeat customers. Ideally, communicate the available discount or loyalty program to your retreat attendees before they leave so that they’re aware and can keep an eye out for your future retreats!
Just because the retreat ends doesn’t mean you should cease contact with your attendees. In advertising terms, you want to have “brand recall” where customers automatically recognize and associate things with your brand when they see your messaging. When it comes to retreats, essentially you want to have ongoing communication so that they are used to seeing messages from you, and can recognize your yoga business. You can build a community and then you announce your next yoga retreat!
Another option is to get your customers to opt into a mailing list before they leave and let them know you’ll keep them informed about future retreats. You should also push your social media channels and get them to follow you for real-time info on what’s coming up, and continued tips to help them along their yoga journey.
Offer exclusive content
A common customer retention technique is to offer exclusive content. When it comes to yoga retreats, this might mean sending exclusive motivation sheets, extra tips or information to previous retreat attendees in newsletters. This kind of content is also a great way to get people to opt into receiving a newsletter from you.
If you want to extend your yoga business further then you could branch out into online workshops or support, even just simply in a Facebook Group that is exclusive to your previous retreat attendees. You’ll then have a space where you can keep up the communication with your retreat attendees and let them know about upcoming retreats.
Part of running a successful retreat is about standing out from the crowd. Why should customers return to your retreat over another? Think about a theme, or offering something special that attendees can’t get elsewhere. If you run a particular type of activity or workshop that is really successful and beneficial to your attendees then you could offer that experience again on another retreat in a way that helps new attendees but also builds on the previous experience of attendees.
Make your retreat stand out from the crowd and you’ll attract new customers, as well as be able to give your previous attendees a reason to come back.
Running a successful yoga retreat isn’t just about creating a great retreat program, finding the perfect location and offering exciting optional activities, it’s also about selling places, and when you’ve done it once, getting those customers to come back again!
Check out our retreat leader resources for more retreat planning tips!