If you run or plan to run a retreat in the future, here are some important things to know. It’s not as easy as it used to be. This blog was inspired by various conversations with students and clients.

Word of mouth marketing does not work anymore

It used to be relatively easy to fill a yoga or wellness retreat prior to the pandemic with word of mouth marketing and referrals being the main source of bookings. So much so, that retreat hosts were pretty relaxed about marketing, relishing the fact that their retreats sold so easily!

But there has been a shift…more and more retreat hosts are contacting me and their story is similar.

Confusion and an underlying panic is creeping in. 

“Why are my retreats not filling up? I’m doing nothing different compared to previous years!  Why??”

To add salt to a wound, even successful retreat businesses with 9000+ Instagram followers are noticing their posts are getting a mere 0.2% engagement! How is that even possible?

Every day yoga teachers, coaches, wellness professionals and retreat centres are joining the market seeing the growth of the wellness tourism industry.

I know it sounds all like doom and gloom but hear me out…this is a BIG opportunity to build a truly sustainable retreat business.  A successful business adapts to changing market conditions and the ones that don’t close up shop.

The wellness travel industry is exploding so there is still a huge opportunity and a business that is smart will make you ride this new wave and move with the times.  You just have to make the choice to think differently and invest the time to set the foundations right and embrace various online marketing strategies that work for retreats.

Now more than ever you need to embrace high impact and time saving retreat marketing strategies so you can remain competitive in this market.

So how do you do this?

Your list is your greatest asset

Building an engaged email list is the first step in any marketing strategy.

If all of your followers are on social media and with organic reach so low your pool of interested parties drops substantially. You should be funnelling those followers into your email list.

Chances are that you have a list of some kind.

If not, get one now! Having a list allows you to communicate directly with your customers and followers without having to go through social media networks or other third parties.

It’s simple really:

  • The more people on your list, the more people you can reach out to when new content is published.
  • The more people on your list, the more people you can sell to.
  • The more people on your list, the more likely they are to trust you and buy from you.

When building upon your list, there are three things that come to mind:

  • High value content is the most important piece of the puzzle. 
  • The more content you have, the more followers you will gain and stay to consume your content 
  • Driving traffic to your list sign up page (preferably using a lead magnet) will help spread the word about you and your business.

A big part of what I do is helping retreat hosts build high impact and smart online marketing foundations and processes.  Part of this process is to help them build their lists. The reason for this is because when you have a list, you can send them content that will help them learn more about what they need to do next.  With an open rate of 40% that is a much higher level of engagement than social media.

The only way to get people to buy from you (or join your retreats and programmes) is by giving them more value than anyone else does.

And the only way to do that is by having a list of people who want more from you!

Focus on creating high value content and embracing an efficient and repeatable process so you can stay on top of it.


Some people think email is dead. They’re wrong. Email offers you a direct way to engage with your clients without having to rely on someone else’s platform. An email list is not just an asset to help manage customer communication and data, but it also gives you a way to create an intimate relationship with your customers that no other marketing method can offer.