ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) today announced the results of its New Angler Retention Pilot Program, in partnership with the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division. This partnership utilized a series of email communications to keep first-time license buyers engaged in the sport of fishing.
“Every year, millions of new and returning participants go fishing (6.2 million in 2015),” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “However, roughly just as many leave the sport each year for various reasons. With minimal staff time as the only investment, Georgia was able to generate more than $92,000 in revenue while retaining new anglers who may have lapsed out of the sport otherwise, leading to more funds for critical conservation efforts. And when considering the lifetime value of an angler, the contribution becomes even greater.”
During the program, five groups, including a control group, received various combinations of email messages. All five groups received a thank you message following the purchase of their license and each treatment group received a series of license renewal reminders at the end of the license term. Treatment groups received combinations of newsletters and a follow-up survey and/or a discounted license renewal price promotion to continue the dialogue and encourage anglers to renew their license the following year.
Overall, the email communication to the four treatment groups generated a 4.7% increase in the license renewal rate compared to the control group. The program led to an additional 1,448 licenses being sold in Georgia, leading to more than $18,000 in added revenue. Furthermore, anglers in the treatment group renewed their licenses more quickly than those in the control group. On average, members of the control group took 30.5 days to renew their license while members of the treatment groups averaged just 18.8 days.
“Communications and marketing are an integral piece of the efforts to grow this sport,” said Georgia Wildlife Resources Division Director, Rusty Garrison. “The results of this study show how putting the right communications strategies into effect can keep people fishing and affect their license buying behavior in a positive way. Through this partnership with RBFF we will grow the sport of fishing so that generations to come will get to enjoy it.”
RBFF will be packaging the email templates and results into a retention toolkit for distribution to all state agencies later this fall.
The full report, including details on the discount promotion, newsletters and monthly results, can be found in the Take Me Fishing Resource Center.