Original Report by Jane Gustafson, Nebraska Game and Parks
Synopsis by Scott Ball, TBW Editor
Nebraska has excellent turkey hunting opportunities, a long spring turkey season, high rates of hunter satisfaction and easily available over‐the‐counter permits, so barriers to continue hunting are low. We wanted to explore cost‐effective ways to reach these 2020 hunters and retain them for the future.
In 2020, Nebraska’s resident spring turkey hunter numbers increased by 23%, and permit sales increased by 26%. We did a targeted campaign to retain 8,590 of our 2020 hunters who:
- Hunted for the first time (4,555 new recruits)
- Had not purchased a permit in two or more years (lapsed) and returned to spring turkey hunting (4,035 reactivated)
Email was one tactic we used, but we do not require email addresses to get a permit. We worked with our advertising/marketing agency partner (Swanson Russell) to find innovative ways to target customers without email addresses on file.
- Retain at least 70% of the 2020 season’s recruited and reactivated resident turkey hunters for the 2021 season.
- Lower our 42.4% churn rate over the previous six years, particularly among the subset of 2020 recruited and reactivated spring turkey hunters.
- Nebraska resident new hunters in 2020 (recruited)
- Nebraska resident reactivated hunters in 2020 (reactivated = those who have gone two or more years without purchasing a license)
Call to Action
All marketing treatments encouraged the recipient to click or visit our website to plan their turkey hunt.
- Emails – created custom each week
- A web landing page full of turkey hunting tips and information
- Trip Planners geared to regional areas in Nebraska
Paid Placements Included:
- Digital Ads, YouTube video for targeting and re‐targeting
- Social media ads (Facebook and Instagram)
- Google Search ads for targeting and retargeting
We looked at the performance of our media:
- Open rates and click rates for emails
- Open rates: 14‐16% for all emails in this series
- Click rate average: 2‐3% of all emails in this series
- Impressions served and the resulting click-to rate (CTR) and conversion rate; performance of reverse-search options
- There were 9M ad impressions served, resulting in 16.6K clicks to the site for a CTR of 0.34%. Of those, 1,301 resulted in a conversion driven for a conversion rate of 7.83%.
- The Facebook Video placements drove the most traffic to the site, with the New Resident audience driving slightly more traffic than the Reactivated The New Resident audience also drove more conversions.
- The Facebook Carousel placements drove the second‐highest volume of Both the New Resident and Reactivated Resident audience drove approximately the same number of clicks and conversions.
- The New Resident paid search campaign resulted in the highest CTR among all partners and drove the second‐highest number of
- The Reactivated Resident paid search campaign resulted in the highest number of conversions driven and the highest conversion rate among all
- We also looked at overall sales numbers in each category
- Of the 4,555 new hunters, we retained 3,986 (or 87.51%) in 2021
- Of the 4,035 reactivated hunters, we retained 3,355 (or 83.15%) in 2021
(Note: Our permit system resides on another system/website and is unable to capture purchase information off any marketing referrals that lead customers to the point of making a purchase. We can only look at ROI by comparing revenue to the overall cost of marketing efforts.)
Top performing piece: Google Search ad served to new hunters from 2020
Top performing keywords: turkey hunting seasons, spring turkey season, turkey spring season
Cost, Revenue, ROI
In all, we spent $81,000 on the campaign and generated $304,105 in revenue and an ROI of $223,105.
We will continue to look at our new and recruited resident hunters and reach out to them with strategic messages and resources to retain them as active hunters.