Georgia, RBFF Successful in Retaining First-Time License Buyers

Georgia, RBFF Successful in Retaining First-Time License Buyers
Source: RBFF Newswaves

While millions of individuals take up fishing each year (6.2 million in 2015), roughly just as many leave the sport for various reasons. To combat this trend and retain first-time fishing license purchasers, the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and Georgia Wildlife Resources Division partnered on a New Angler Retention Pilot Program. Through the year-long program, the organizations were able to measure the impact of email communication on a new angler's purchase of a license the following year.

Five groups received various combinations of email messages during the program. 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
  • An additional 1,448 licenses sold
  • More than $18,000 in added revenue
  • Anglers in the treatment group renewed their licenses more quickly than the control group, by almost 12 days
  • The treatment groups overall generated more than $92,000 in revenue for the agency. The program cost nothing to implement, just the investment in staff time to distribute the emails.

    “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.