Retreat Marketing Projects
Blue Deer Center
When the nation’s only shamanic retreat center needs help bridging the visible world, you don’t turn them down.
The Blue Deer Center came to us with no brand , no identity, no marketing plan, and a very limited list of emails and addresses. Promoting a niche wisdom tradition with little recognition from popular culture compounded the challenge.
Serving as Blue Deer’s marketing and business consultants, we created an engaging, versatile website; developed effective strategies to grow their program attendance; and introduced a more sustainable business model. In our design overhaul we rebuilt the website in Drupal with a customized registration system and fundraising platform. Through email campaigns and social media, website traffic tripled, email signups mushroomed, and fundraising efforts were hugely successful. In 2012 we won a $120,000 Google Grant for on-line advertisement to help promote the center and upcoming programs.
Our designers brought consistency, organization, and effortless navigability to the previous chaos, achieving excellent results and a website that’s great to look at.
When a back country adventure in the Never Summer mountains came a knockin’, we recognized it as a higher calling.
Their brief was simple: develop a website that practically runs itself, letting the owners of Vagabond Ranch do what they do best—contemplate and recreate in the great outdoors. Vagabond Ranch, ideally situated in a basin nestled by wilderness, focuses on outdoor adventures (cross x skiing, biking, hiking) that naturally morph into mindfulness practice.
Our team created a streamlined site that could accommodate the complex demands of planning and booking a hut trip. A key part of our goal was to save the organization countless hours of administrative labor. Utilizing a WordPress platform— which allows the client to easily manage and update content—the site features a sophisticated reservations and membership system that books reservations, completes payments, and manages membership privileges. Our task was accomplished in spades, resulting in a flexible website that will adapt and grow with the ranch’s evolving requirements.
We also executed several social media campaigns for Vagabond Ranch which attracted new followers and led to a pronounced uptick in bookings.
Shambhala Mountain Center
Inviting the Dalai Lama over for a Stupa-blessing was par for the course.
Shambhala Mountain Center originally held a narrow focus on Shambhala Buddhism, a very specific tradition based on the the great Tibetan meditation master Chogyam Trungpa. The center wanted to expand to the mainstream. The brief for Shambhala Mountain Center was to give the center increased visibility, reach new audiences, and make the website more accessible.
Using traditional marketing rigor (analysis of trends, website usability, print media, direct mail), online affinity-building, and pay-per-click strategies, we were able to increase revenues from $1.5 to $3.2 million dollars. The new programming improved the site’s structure and information architecture, boosted natural and paid search results, and strengthened Shambhala’s SEO.
With the launch a popular blog, we drove a 75 percent uptick in online revenues. A revamped Facebook page drew 3,300 fans in six months. Our opt-in email list increased to 23,000 subscribers in three years, with open rates and clicks 30 percent above industry standards and tractable revenues of over $15,000 per email blast. Another goal of the center was to forge important networks and partnerships. Our team conceived and spearheaded projects with the University of California and Outward Bound that brought in over one million dollars in revenues and enhanced national visibility. As the final coup, we orchestrated extensive media coverage including USA Today (top retreat centers in the US), The Christian Science Monitor, Travel & Leisure, Forbes Traveler (Top 10 retreat Centers in the World), Los Angeles Times, Sunset Magazine, 5280, and the Denver Post.