“Sign up by May 20th to receive $100 off your retreat package.”
Having an early bird price and other similar discounts is a common thing for most yoga retreats. And offering discounts on your retreat can be great to encourage your students to sign up for your retreat.
The problem is that many teachers don’t know how to properly use early bird pricing or other discounts as part of an effective marketing strategy.
The intention behind an early bird price is not only to offer your students a generous discount. It's also meant to create and incentive + sense of urgency for them to sign up sooner than later. This in turn helps you pay-off some immediate retreat expenses and deposits so that you can avoid having to pay that out of pocket yourself.
It also helps you figure out what other marketing strategies might work well for you and what promotions you should implement going forward in your retreat marketing phase.
If you use your retreat pricing options and discounts strategically, it can actually help you fill your retreat much faster + eliminate the stress of trying to sell out your retreat last minute.
We always create a unique making plan for each of our retreats (and we encourage our students to do so as well), but these 5 strategies are always our go-to marketing strategies. They should be used in conjunction with each other as they overlap and complement each other well.
1. Sense of Urgency
3. Rewarding Loyal Students
4. Referral Incentives
3. Adding Value To your retreat
We'll go over #1 "Sense of Urgency" here in the blog. If you want to learn more about the other 4 strategies, we have a free Retreat Marketing Strategy Guide you can download here.
In this free guide we outline all 5 strategies, how they work + examples of how you can use them to fill-up your retreat faster.
1. Create a Sense of Urgency
If you offer any special discount for your retreat, you want to first think about the intention behind this discount.
How will this discount benefit both you and your students?
We’ve made the mistake in the past of offering a special discount without a limited time frame. Or we offered an early bird discount that was valid for way too long (like until just weeks before the retreat). We thought that just having a discount (like an early bird promo code) would incentive enough for students to sign up right away.
But we were obviously wrong.
Without a limited time frame there is no sense of urgency to get students to register.
And honestly, most people tend to wait until the last minute. Most of us are procrastinators by nature, especially when it comes to something that is higher in price.
Therefore, having a time limit on your discount will encourage your students to take advantage of the price ASAP if they don’t want to lose out on it.
Another reason why students don’t register for your retreat right away is that they get busy and simply forget.
Students might see your retreat promotion and think “That looks awesome! I’d like to go.” But if they know they can wait to sign up, the retreat doesn’t stay top of mind.
The longer they procrastinate about signing up, especially if you aren’t keeping up with consistent marketing, the less likely they are to become your retreat students.
This can actually be a disservice to your student’s, especially if you know they'd really benefit from the experience.
You can see how time is of essence and how important it is to make sure you are using sense of urgency.
A limited timeframe for your early bird price and other special discounts does 4 helpful things:
- Helps your students save money
- Encourages your students to make a commitment to their self care
- Helps you fill your retreat faster with less worry and stress
- It helps you pay for some of the upfront retreat expenses, like deposits and travel
Before you implement any one of these strategies, remember to create an overall marketing plan from the beginning. This will help you avoid feeling scattered and making things up as you go.