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Pioneering scheme aids angler retention in US, says Director

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Rusty Garrison, Director of the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division, worked with the RBFF on the pioneering scheme.

A pioneering scheme to retain new anglers has been released in the US. The First-Time Buyers Retention Campaign is designed for state agencies and includes already-proven email communication strategies and resources.

The campaign has emerged from the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and Georgia Wildlife Resources Division’s successful angler retention programme of 2015.

“If the majority of people who tried fishing stuck with it, we’d be well on our way to reaching our 60 in 60 goal,” said RBFF President and CEO, Frank Peterson, referring to the Foundation’s aim to build fishing participation to 60 million in 60 months.

“With angler retention programmes like this toolkit, we have proven that state agencies can retain anglers through email communications, gaining critical dollars for conservation efforts while investing in minimal staff time.”

The toolkit provides step-by-step directions for identifying first-time licence buyers, using and customising supplied templates and distributing the email communications.

In Georgia, the campaign generated a 4.7% increase in the license renewal rate, with an additional 1,448 licenses being sold and more than $18,000 in added revenue.

“Getting positive results is so exciting,” said Rusty Garrison, Director of the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division. “We knew email communications worked. We just needed a way to measure how effective they are with new anglers. This study did just that, proving this is an effective tool in recruiting and retaining anglers.”

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