Bodhi Surf + Yoga Finds Its Zen with ActiveCampaign


YoY Revenue Growth


Contact Growth


Average Email Open Rate

The Challenge

  • Manually tracking and following up with leads was time-consuming and inefficient
  • Limited automation capabilities didn’t allow for personalization and contact nurturing
  • One-to-one communication was difficult without proper tagging and segmentation

The Solution

  • Automations through ActiveCampaign for Marketing and Sales allow Bodhi Surf + Yoga to seamlessly nurture new leads 
  • Automation and centralized information from contact and deal records across marketing and CRM products allow for personalization before, during, and after guests visits
  • One-to-one communication thanks to robust tagging and segmentation keeps community members engaged and helps encourage lasting behavior change
“Some people think that automation can make things impersonal. The value of ActiveCampaign is that it makes communication very personal. We don't look at the guest as just a number. They become part of our family.” - Travis Bays, Co-Founder

Bodhi Surf + Yoga is a sustainable surf and yoga school located in Uvita, a small town on the southern...

Costa Rica
Company Size
1-100 employees
ActiveCampaign Marketing + Sales

Bodhi Surf + Yoga is a sustainable surf and yoga school located in Uvita, a small town on the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Founder Travis Bays started the retreat in 2010 with a mission to create meaningful connections with guests and the local community, providing a holistic experience that goes beyond just learning to surf or practicing yoga. 

When Travis started Bodhi Surf + Yoga, he wanted to create more than just a relaxing beach vacation destination, though he has certainly succeeded on that front. As an ocean lover, he aimed to build a community and inspire conservation-minded behavior in his guests that lasts well beyond their visit to Uvita. For Travis, building that kind of community requires three things:

  • personalized communication
  • consistent connection
  • providing meaningful experiences before, during, and after guests’ stays

Keeping up with all of this manually became more and more difficult as Bodhi Surf + Yoga grew. 

Riding waves of growth

Prior to ActiveCampaign, keeping in touch with guests was a challenge. “We dabbled in different CRMs and they weren’t making the impact that we wanted. A lot of times it was time-consuming because you would email somebody that made an inquiry and then if they didn’t respond in three days you’d have to go back into a spreadsheet and check on who needed follow-up. Then you fire off another email manually. It was just a mess.” 

Eventually, Travis brought in the digital marketing agency Octopus Creative to help. Using ActiveCampaign for Sales and Marketing, the team has since implemented automations across all aspects of the business. One important flow helps to nurture leads toward booking. After an initial inquiry, leads are dropped into a 5-email series that keeps people engaged focusing on the four main tools Bodhi Surf + Yoga uses to build transformative experiences – yoga, surfing, the lodge itself, and community engagement. Helping people understand Bodhi Surf + Yoga’s mission has driven an increase in bookings. Learning more about the mission of the retreat and feeling like they are part of the community from the onset is key to Bodhi Surf + Yoga’s mission of inspiring sustainability-minded behavior change. 

Building community from the onset

To truly immerse guests in the sustainability mindset that’s so important to Bodhi Surf + Yoga, community building begins long before they land in Costa Rica. Many travel experiences share logistics information with their guests, and Travis has this process automated to ensure visitors have the details they need to plan their trip. 

Bodhi Surf + Yoga goes beyond this by also sharing information that aligns with its mission. “We were able to cater some of our pre-trip emails specifically to achieve our pro-environmental behavior change mission. Guests would show up without a reusable water bottle. Other guests would show up with really bad chemical sunscreen not only for their skin but for our coral reefs that sit inside of our marine national park where we provide surf lessons. So as a values-based mission-driven business, we need to educate our guests before they even get here so we can help them make purchases that are more responsible.”

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Remembering to send all of these emails to every guest used to be a challenge for Bodhi Surf + Yoga’s small team, but booking dates on a guest’s deal record triggers all of these important emails automatically so they have everything they need when they arrive.  

Sustaining community with personalized messaging

To support truly sustainable behavior change, Travis is also passionate about post-visit engagement with his guests. On their last day at Bodhi Surf + Yoga, guests sign a personal pledge around a commitment to live more sustainably. When guests leave, they’re also sent a digital pledge to sign. 

Yet again, Bodhi Surf + Yoga goes above and beyond with guests even after they leave. Travis shares, “I think there’s a big opportunity with tourism businesses that are interested in enhancing the pre-trip and post-visit experience through ActiveCampaign. Most tourism businesses will send you a thank you email saying ‘Thanks for coming, leave us a review, and don’t forget to come back. Here’s 20% off,’ and that’s the end of their communications.” 

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Travis isn’t just trying to generate repeat business, he’s trying to help people change their behavior. “For us it’s really important that we stay in contact with them. How are we helping them on their journey to become a better steward for the environment?” By reminding guests of their pledge and staying in contact with sustainability and wellness content that makes them feel like they’re a part of a bigger mission-driven community, Bodhi Surf + Yoga is seeing success both in business and helping inspire change. 

A tidal wave of growth

All of the work Travis and his team have put into building a community has paid off. They’ve seen a, and it’s only continuing to grow. By the numbers, Bodhi Surf + Yoga has seen big impact with ActiveCampaign’s help, and it’s only continuing to grow:

  • 21% revenue increase year-over-year
  • 300% contact list growth
  • 40-60% average email open rates

In Costa Rica, they live by the mantra “Pura Vida.” This translates to “Pure Life,” and means living life to the fullest and staying present. ActiveCampaign helps Travis and the Bhodi Surf & Yoga team provide world-class guest experiences while still giving them time to live life while growing the business. For Travis, that means having time to surf, spending time with his family, and enjoying the beauty of Uvita.

If you’d like to learn more about how ActiveCampaign for Sales and Marketing can help you build your business while saving time and giving you more time to live your own “pura vida,” start a 14-day free trial today!

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