Background and Benchmarks
It’s important to start with available data so that you know what trends exist and to identify who your audience is as well as setting benchmarks and goals. If state fish and wildlife agencies are not part of the regional/national data dashboard effort, they should join as it is the easiest tool out there to compare your state to regional and national trends.
Keeping a previously acquired customer has been shown to not only typically cost less in terms of marketing, but has also been shown to result in higher-value purchases. According to Invespcro, increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%. In addition, the average repeat buyer spends 33% more than a new customer. When combined with lowering the cost of marketing efforts, the higher spending of return customers can result in a greater ROI for a company in the long term.
Retained customers are also shown to gain value over time, as Annexcloud reports that the typical return customer will spend 67% more by their third year of buying from a business than in their first six months. This means that long-term customer retention, not simply enticing a second purchase, will yield results that increase in profitability over time.
As discussed by Optimove, the specific value of a retained customer can be determined by collecting data regarding total purchases, retention marketing expenses, customer acquisition costs and the general overhead of the efforts made to retain customers. Determining the price of your business’ customer retention efforts can help you optimize your retention marketing and balance your budget regarding both acquisition and retention efforts.
It costs 5 times the money to recruit a customer than to retain a customer in business.
The probability of selling to an existing customer is upwards of 50% while a new prospect is as low as 5% and a similar target audience prospect ~20%
New Customers – Ideally you need to replace at least those people who are aging out of the sport which happens at a different age for hunting/fishing/shooting. To identify some goals for new customers look at churn, new customers each of the past 3 or more years, and people who are aging out to get a good idea of a goal that would keep you moving in a positive trend.
Lapsed customers – People that used to have a license are lapsed customers. This is a group that you should be engaging with often. They are ripe for moving back into retained customers.
Overall fishing participation is relatively stable from year to year, annually hovering around 33 million people over the age of 16, easily giving the impression that anglers are consistently taking part in the sport. Looking below the surface, however, the pool of individual anglers actually fluctuates greatly—about the same number of people join and leave the angling population each year. Not surprisingly, the study showed those most likely to come and go are female anglers, those between the ages of 18 and 24 years, and residents of urban communities.
Other highlights include:
- Die-hard anglers are a small group: Out of the pool of roughly 33 million people who fish each year, only four percent of the licensed anglers purchase a fishing license every year (10 out of 10 years). The largest proportion of anglers—49 percent—purchases a license only one out of 10 years. Almost as many—47 percent—purchase a license in more than one year but lapse in between purchases.
- Participation fluctuates greatly year-to-year: Close to half of all licensed anglers (46%) do not renew their licenses in any given year. The typical angler buys a license about three out of every 10 years throughout their fishing lifetime. For resident license holders, 41 percent do not renew, while 63 percent of non-residents do not renew.
- “R3” numbers: Retained anglers, those who purchased a license in a given year and the previous one, are about 52 percent of the angling population. Recruited anglers, those who bought a license in a given year but not in at least five of the preceding years, are about 28 percent. The number of reactivated anglers is about 18 percent, with two percent of records unidentifiable. These are anglers who bought a license in a given year and at least one of the previous five years, but not the immediately preceding year.
- Female anglers lapse more: In recent years, the growing number of female anglers has received a great deal of attention, but the churn rate for women is still about 13 percent higher than the rate for men.
- Younger anglers lapse more: Annual churn rates are lowest, about 39 percent, among the 55-64 age group and are highest, about 55 percent, among anglers 18-24 years of age.
- Urban residents lapse more: The churn rate among residents of urban communities, who make up about 10 percent of the angling population, is about 13 percent higher than those anglers living in rural communities and about seven percent higher than those living in suburban communities.
- Hunters, regardless of generation, are primarily male. Millennials can claim a higher percentage of women hunters than the other generational groups—but those female hunters discontinue hunting at a higher rate than Millennial male hunters.
- Education attainment is similar among Millennials, Gen X (35- to-50-year olds), Baby Boomers and the Silent generation (70 and older). With similar education levels, Millennials will have the same, if not greater, buying power than the generations they will be replacing.
- Hunting members of the Millennial generation are slightly more ethnically diverse than the other generations. With the gradually changing face of America, it is critical for the hunting and shooting sports to diversify their messages and products if they are to accommodate new participants.
- The Baby Boomer generation, age 51 to 69, has provided the highest level of participation among hunters over the last 25 years, but these hunters are aging and, more and more, facing obstacles that prevent them from going afield.
- Though similarities between Millennials and older generations are many, it is the differences, perhaps, that provide the keys to increased recruitment of 18- to 34-year olds.