Did you know that businesses that proactively planned their marketing are 331% more successful than their peers? So, this statistic tells us that you need to proactively plan a marketing strategy for your wellness retreat.
It rings true that marketing is evidently important when it comes to filling up a wellness retreat. However, marketing a wellness retreat is easier said than done! You’d think that a wellness focused vacation abroad sounds like an easy sell, but it can still take some convincing to actually fill your trips!
So, what are the proper retreat marketing practices? Read on to discover our top marketing tips that will take your skills to the next level and get your retreats sold out!
Know your Customer
The first step to effective marketing for a wellness retreat is to know your customer!
If you ever took a Marketing 101 class, the first thing you would be taught is to understand everything about your specific target customer. By getting into the mind of those you want to market to, you can start by answering the following guided questions:
- Who is your target audience (demographic, hobbies, etc.)
- What are they looking for in a retreat experience?
- Where can you reach them?
- How can you connect with them? (social media marketing? Email marketing? In-studio marketing?)
Answering these questions will give you a base of understanding your clients and their wants and needs. This will provide you with more opportunities to tailor your itinerary to better fit what your followers are looking for when investing in a retreat. In addition, it will give you insights into where to reach them and the marketing materials needed to connect with them successfully.
Proactive vs. Reactive Marketing
Being proactive when marketing will do you wonders as opposed to being reactive. In that, we mean you need to start marketing your retreat and trying to fill it as soon as possible. By being proactive, you will secure your bookings 10X faster than a reactive approach… what a relief! That said, the best practice is to set the deposit due date six months before departure. This will ensure that you stay on top of your marketing and put in the effort to fill your retreat well before panic arises.
When you take a reactive approach to fill your retreat, you create enormous amounts of stress for yourself that is not necessary. So, once you know your dates, you need to fire up your marketing strategy and collect those deposits.
A proactive tactic you can take is to provide your past travelers with a VIP exclusive invite. In fact, booking rates increase 2X when leaders offer exclusive deals to past customers. Which makes sense because they have already traveled with you in the past so chances are that they would love to join you in your next retreat. Plus, offering early access to sign up will make them feel like they are getting an exclusive deal and give them a push to register!
Educate Your Customers
It is not enough to just state your retreats time and place in your marketing collateral. A big part of marketing a retreat is the educational piece. In other words, you need to proactively tell your followers and students everything they need to know about the retreat while convincing them it will be a trip of a lifetime. In addition, you'll need to educate them on your retreat value so they will be willing to invest in the program.
In your marketing, you should be highlighting the amazing places, excursions, and activities that they will experience on the retreat. Think about what you would want to see and hear that would draw you into attending! By not leaving any question unanswered and promoting the value, retreat bookings can boost up to 92%.
Reach Them Right
You know your travelers better than anyone else so, you know how to reach them better than anyone else. By this, we mean that you need to be thoughtful in the marketing channels and tactics you choose. To ensure you're making the right choices, ask yourself questions like “Where do i get the best engagement? or, What does my past data show?” Being strategic about how you reach out and get eyes on your retreat will go a long way when it comes to increasing your booking percentage.
If it makes sense for your business, try to use multiple marketing channels as part of your strategy. Over 85% of successful retreat leaders will utilize various marketing channels and strategies to lock in bookings. A few suggestions is Social Media (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn,etc), In-studio Marketing, Online Ads, Email Marketing, Flyers & Posters or Word-of-Mouth. Whichever you chose, just make sure it aligns with your audience.
Now you know how you are going to reach them, you have to figure out the messaging that will connect. As mentioned before, you know your audience best so you'll know what type of messaging and content will move them to want to joing. Think about what will inspire you, that's a pretty good indicator of what will inspire your clients.
However, if you're using email marketing, a good tip to keep in mind is to personalize the message as much as possible. Blanketed emails are 50% less likely to be opened than personalized emails. So keep it personal for a better chance to get more eyes on your outreach!
Sense of Urgency
Create a sense of urgency! It is crucial to position your retreat as something limited and exclusive. Marketing your retreat in a way that makes it known that there is limited availability is a foolproof way of filling up your retreat.
In addition, it is always a good idea to create a limited value-add offer. By this we mean that you can create an early bird offer that ties into your core business. For example, for new sign ups, you can offer an online course, complimentary classes, merchandise, etc. Anything that aligns with your bands and would be something that your students and followers could gain value from.
Credible, Eye-catching Content
No matter where you're promoting (email, social media, in-studio, etc.), you need content that catches attention and brings out emotions in the viewers. Provide visual value to your audience so they know exactly what they can experience on your wellness retreat and can picture themselves enjoying the experience.
However, you must ensure that the marketing materials you use are accurate and represent your product. In other words, you have to use photos from the spots you will visit, the accommodations you'll be staying at, the restaurants you'll eat at, etc. Try to paint the picture of your retreat in the most accurate way possible. Therefore, they will know the exact value that they are investing in!
Call Them To Action!
A CTA (aka Call-to-action) is a way for you to to tell your target market what you want them to do next. In the case of booking a wellness retreat, you need to place a CTA at the bottom of every marketing piece that directs them to your wellness retreat landing page. The landing page will be the end of the customer journey where they can learn more about the retreat and complete their booking. In a fact, using a CTA to redirect leads towards a landing page delivers a higher booking success rate by 75%. So, you better get calling!
There you have it! When you follow the tips above, you will undoubtedly see an improvement in your bookings. However, if you still feel overwhelmed with the marketing aspects of your retreat - Fit4Travel can help!
Fit4Travel offers a turnkey retreat planning solution with carefully curated itineraries in over 28 countries. Plus, we help you market your retreat by providing assistance and compelling marketing assets.
Looking for more information about how to make your retreat a sold-out event? Check out our guide to retreat planning for more tips and tricks that work.
Contact us to learn more about planning your next retreat!
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