Original Report by Rene LeBreton and Missy Fox, Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries
Summary by Scott Ball, TBW Editor
License sales at the Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) have shown an increasing percentage of female hunters. We used this grant to tap into this trend and amplify female hunting license sales. Our objectives are to reduce female hunter churn, reactivate lapsed female hunters and recruit new female hunters through email and social media ad buys. Our ads and emails officially began the first week of September 2021.
We developed a website for our new female hunters to provide a series of Hunting 101 educational videos to help assist these new hunters with entry into the sport. Most of these videos featured female hosts to make the message more relatable.
Additionally, the team designed 10 social media ads featuring women and some popular reasons women enjoy hunting (as well as a 20-second video that uses the same theme as our static ads which will be used in our social ad buy). We identified 45 of the most popular shooting ranges around the state and geo-targeted women using these shooting ranges for our social media ads.
Our campaign ended Dec. 31, 2021.
- Reduce Female Hunter Churn by 3% over our 5-year average – Remind our current female license holders to renew their hunting license through an email
- Our 5-year average churn rate for female hunters is 44%. Through Dec. 31, 2021 our churn rate for female hunters is 56%. Because this only includes a partial year, and our last hunting season is in April, we will reassess this churn rate at the end of April 2022.
- 7% of the regular female hunters with an email address that we targeted during our campaign made a purchase. Only 9.2% of the regular female hunters without an email address (our control group) made a purchase during our campaign period.
- Spent: $7,703.13; Revenue: $141,371; ROI:3
- Reactivate 8% of Lapsed Female Hunters – Target our lapsed female hunters from the past 5 years with an email campaign in addition to digital and social ads using the same email
- 5% of the lapsed female hunters that were targeted reactivated. Though this is short of our intended goal, only 1.5% of our control group (lapsed, female hunters with no email) reactivated.
- Spent: $16,420.36; Revenue: $32,802; ROI: 0
- Recruit 1,000 Female Hunters – Target female audiences with outdoor-, shooting- and hunting-related interests and geo-target shooting ranges in Louisiana. This campaign clicked through to a “Hunting for Beginners” webpage. License purchase links were prominent on this landing page. This webpage includes several video resources for these beginners to help begin their hunting journey. As mentoring had become more complicated during the COVID-19 pandemic (among other reasons) we thought it would be helpful to see if we can prove success with online/virtual resources. We plan to continue to use this content for all new hunters, not just our new female
- During our campaign we generated 2,199 new female hunters, compared to 2,104 during the same period in 2019. We estimate that our campaign generated 396 new female
- Spent: $15,937.50; Revenue: $5,620; ROI: -2.9
- Retarget All Female Hunters Who Did Not Complete a Transaction – This campaign targeted all visitors to the purchasing website or new hunter website that did not complete the purchase
- We were able to reach 15,028 individuals, with 130,200 impressions and a CTR of 1.15%. We were only able to track 16 purchases through UTM codes to this
- Spent: $1,662.66; Revenue: NA (rolled into above results); ROI: NA (rolled into above results)
Campaign Totals – Spent: $41,723.65; Revenue: $179,793; ROI: 4.3
Call to Action
We had two calls to action:
- “Get your license today” – These ads were used for our regular and lapsed hunters. This link sent our audience directly to our license purchase site.
- “Browse Resources for New Hunters” – Our recruiting campaign, which targeted new hunters, linked to our new website that featured content for beginner hunters. The ads were identical to recruitment and retention ads but did not include the “Get your license today” language. The videos on this website used female hosts to begin our female audience on their hunting
Our team will continue to monitor our female hunter purchase patterns. With two months left in our hunting season (at the time this report was written), there still may be some residual sales from our email campaigns. We will run our metrics again after the hunting seasons ends.
We will be focusing our efforts on upgrading our email capabilities soon. We are consolidating our recreational licenses this year and will be moving to a 365-day license. This will require an automated “drip” email platform to stay on top of our expiring licenses.
Images and Graphic Treatment
We relied heavily on the female hunters from our agency for the development of our headlines and taglines (which we ended up removing). We were relatively limited on imagery that included females, so we couldn’t be as picky as we liked in that regard. Our friends at Pheasants Forever and our participants in our Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshops were excellent resources for some of the images we used.
We originally tested a few different taglines that included: Women Hunt!, Women Hunt Too, and Hunt Like a Girl. We quickly dismissed the latter, and our staff felt like “Women Hunt Too” sounded like whiny girls being offended.
“Women Hunt” was the favorite, but after many discussions we decided to leave the tagline off altogether. We felt like the images of female hunters would carry the “female” message instead.
We used recent research from many hunting and shooting groups (including our own) to help tighten the headlines for our campaigns. We knew that strong motivations to bring women to the sport of hunting include relaxation, building memories, being in nature and developing friendships. Internally, we tested:
- I Hunt for Relaxation (Nature, Friendship, Memories, Organic Food)
- Hunting is Relaxation (Nature, Friendship, Memories, Organic Food)
After some debate among the staff, “Hunting is…” won this battle. Some of our ads are available in the full report.