Category Archives: News

NWTF generates brand and product awareness with co-branded blind/chair giveaway

The National Wild Turkey Federation has ran several social media giveaways (Contests) over the last year, all with similar success. Their focus is to highlight co-branded product from their partners and generate awareness for NWTF and its sponsors. By running these contests throughout the year, they hope to engage with their audience as well as add potential members/customers to their email list and re-target the entrants for memberships and sales in the future.

The latest contest they ran was for a Thicket blind and Striker blind chair co-branded from ALPS Outdoorz. Total retail value for the package is around $250. The contest began on September 14 and ran until October 6.

Contest Analysis:

  • 436 organic entries from users
  • 1419 total entries
  • Extra entries from users following ALPS Outdoorz and NWTF on several social media channels
  • Total retail cost: $250
  • Cost per organic entry/email address: $0.57

To reach this number of users, the contest was shared through Powderhook’s weekly newsletter, Powderhook’s social media channels (including the Powderhook app), NWTF’s social media, as well as ALPS Outdoorz social media.

Cabelas Hits the Timing Just Right with a Giveaway of their Getaway 4-Person Dome Tent

Cabelas does a fantastic job in engaging their audience with a Powderhook PRO Contest campaign that runs usually once a month.  Consistency is key in building an email list for a newsletter or re-targeting campaign to drive future sales. For this contest, they hoped to time their audience’s desire to go camping with a giveaway of their Getaway 4-person Dome Tent, as well as add potential members/customers to their email list and re-target the entrants for sales in the future. This contest also helped to raise product awareness for their entire line of camping gear. Cabelas excels at directing new email entrants to specific landing pages designed to draw potential customers farther into their funnel. All entrants to contests like this will quickly receive special offers and email links to landing pages that may fit their interests.

The retail value for the Cabelas Getaway 4-Person Dome Tent package was $149.99. The contest began on June 15, 2017 and ran until July 19 2017, right in the heart of camping season, which really speaks to the success of this contest.Contest Analysis:

  • 600 organic entries from users
  • 1283 total entries
  • Extra entries from users following Cabelas on Twitter, Liking Cabelas on Facebook, and visiting Cabelas’ custom camping landing page
  • Total retail cost: $149.99
  • Cost per organic entry/email address: $0.25 (at retail dollars)

To reach this number of users, the contest was shared through Powderhook’s weekly newsletter, Powderhook’s social media channels (including the Powderhook app), and Cabelas social media and current customer base.

Tackling SHIFT

I was the new guy… the one in the orange hat. For the first time in awhile, I knew almost no one walking into a conference the size of SHIFT.

SHIFT is an annual gathering of conservation-minded leaders from around the country. They gather in Jackson, Wyoming each year to tackle tough issues. In ways I’ve never been part of before in the outdoor industry, they work to build bridges across political and ideological lines – though it helps that the topic of this year’s SHIFT was Preserving our Public Lands, an issue that unites nearly every conservationist.

There are around 350 people here, and on the surface, you could draw the conclusion that many are “anti-hunting” or at a minimum, “hunting agnostic.” But, time and time again we’ve had great conversations about the role hunting plays in conservation. We’ve discussed what it really means to be a hunter, we’ve spoken about the threats a declining hunting population poses to the source of many of their budgets. I’ve explained the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation at least a dozen times to people who make their living in conservation. Almost every conservation has been concluded with positive takeaways.

Representatives from Sitka, First Lite, Patagonia, and REI are pictured here on the same stage talking about conservation advocacy from a brand perspective. Despite being very different, the need to protect public lands unites these brands. SHIFT leadership seems to have gone out of their way all week to introduce hunting, talk about hunting, feature hunting, and show the hunting community they’re welcome.

There is very little camo here, and perhaps because of that, some really cool things happened. Here are some examples.

Upon my arrival, I sat with two women from Boulder, Colorado who described themselves as “not-anti-hunting, but definitely not hunters.” They asked questions. “Does the NRA represent all hunters? Do hunters realize the image they’re portraying to people like us when they brag about the size of the deer they shoot? I hear hunters care about conservation, but I totally don’t get how that can be true.”

Later on the first day, I was at a table discussion with a woman whom I think would consider herself “anti-hunting.” She voluntarily takes Hispanic families in the Pacific Northwest on outdoor adventures. And, she recently took a job with the Sierra Club. I came away thinking she was brilliant. She articulately shared her concerns, and we concluded that her perceptions of hunting and her concerns about hunting aren’t incorrect, but that perhaps they fall short of the whole story. Like nearly everyone I spoke with this week, I found her open-minded and willing to have a real conversation. I didn’t get the impression she’d ever personally become a hunter, but I absolutely believe she thinks of hunting differently than she did when she arrived in Jackson.

A man who works for the Wilderness Society went out of his way on a couple occasions to seek out a conversation with me. He was eager to tell me the Wilderness Society is absolutely inclusive of hunters. Though he doesn’t hunt, he wanted me to know that he feels his organization does important work that hunters don’t know about or give them credit for.

I heard an elk hunting story –  a real, not-everything-goes-as-planned, pull-no-punches hunting story from a woman leading a new woman’s hunting organization from the National Wildlife Federation, called Artemis. It brought me to tears because I could relate, and it made me so happy SHIFT included her story in their event. For some of the over 150+ people in the room, I imagined it to be one of the first authentic hunting stories they’d ever listened to. There was some uneasiness as Iooked around, but as the storyteller said, “to a fault, we hunters tend to hide the feeling in our stories.”

I learned that diversity in the outdoor industry is actually a thing. There were brown people here – hunters, campers, hikers, climbers, bikers, and leaders. It was so refreshing to hear their perspective and to enter thoughtful conversations on hard topics with them. A woman from Japan taught us a Japanese gesture of reverence before a meal. It’s pronounced, “Ita-daki-mas” and there are no direct English translations, though it loosely translates to “I’m taking, and I don’t take it for granted.” As she described the word in English she perfectly narrated the way many hunters feel after they shoot a big game animal.

My notes from the conference are as follows:

  • General
    • If we want to grow hunting, people participating in other forms of outdoor recreation are a great place to start. But, they often don’t think about it the way a traditional hunter might.
    • We need to invite people who think differently to attend our hunting industry conferences. There are hundreds of them here. REI has 16 million members… just saying.
    • Individuals inviting people is the only way we’ll create new hunters at scale.
    • A yoga instructor told me hunting was just like yoga for her – meditation and relaxation. Haven’t heard that before…
    • The Emerging Leaders program at SHIFT is something many other organizations and conferences need to think about replicating. They added a lot of energy, good ideas, and unique perspectives.
  • On appealing to urban residents
    • Make them aware they own 640 million acres of public land
    • You gotta invite the family unit
    • Treat urban access, likes parks and ponds like it’s part of nature
    • Hunting dogs are a tremendous tool for appealing to urban youth.
    • Inviting a young person from an urban family to do something once is a waste of money unless you invite their family or someone else who can help them go again
    • Local protein has near-universal appeal
    • You  can’t say you want people of color involved, you have to go to where they’re at with opportunities designed around their lives
    • All 4th-graders in the US Public School System got a free public lands and parks access pass – but I’ve never heard anyone talk about it – this is a great place to start a conversation with the family
    • Many Latino people love the outdoors, but they’re scared to death of the government. Making them enter their social security number to get a license all but prevents them from doing it – a cultural truth for Latino people. Begs the question, why do we need a social security number to get a fishing/hunting license?
    • Food sovereignty is a term I hadn’t heard before – and one that means a lot to lower-income urban residents. It’s the root of things like community gardens – and could be the basis for recruiting more hunters from urban areas
  • On bridging the gap between left and right-leaning conservation organizations
    • Avoid trigger words/phrases like global warming, herd management, long-range shooting, etc.
    • We need to invite people who don’t look and think like us to our conferences.
    • Focus on what makes us similar – love of public lands, clean air and water, wild animals, wild places and most certainly FOOD
    • Ask more questions than you make statements
    • Hunters need to know that what they put on social media informs the opinion of people who don’t hunt and/or don’t like hunting – be thoughtful about what and how you share
    • Many environmentalists I spoke with talked about their respect for how well hunters know the animals they pursue and the land on which they hunt – What do we hunters respect about environmentalists?
      • Many are really tuned into the political issues.
      • Many use emotion in their stories I seldom hear from hunters.
      • Many are intentional about inclusion and diversity.

It was good to see fellow hunting brands like Sitka, First Lite, and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers in attendance. It would be a good thing for that list to grow.

PS – Remember the name, Robbie Bond. He’s 10, and he’s gonna be the face of conservation in this country inside of a year. You heard it here first!

Photo: Courtesy – Jared Frasier – 2% for Conservation

Photo: Courtesy – SHIFT

Conservation Demands Innovation

Humans are an over-populated, invasive species.

That sounds harsh, but the evidence is overwhelming that man’s consumption is negatively affecting the biosystems of our planet. Our cities lurch into wildlife habitat. We plow up grasslands to plant crops, or we graze them bare to grow protein. Mines, forestry operations, farms, ranches, dams and more are changing the ecology of our planet at a pace plants and animals simply cannot adapt to fast enough.

As conservationists, it’s not good enough to dig our heels in and say we don’t like that this stuff is happening. There’s little to nothing we’re going to do to stop these trends… unless we innovate.

For this reason, I believe conservation-minded people of all types need to take innovations like algae farming seriously. Take a look at this video. Try and set aside any political leanings you might have and listen with a conservationist’s ears.

Progressives and conservatives alike should hear some things that could make sense in a project like that. “One acre of algae farm can produce what 40 acres of traditional agriculture can produce.” I know so scarcely little about algae farming that I’m certainly not in a position to advocate for this specific solution. But, it sounds to me like an innovative way to keep 39 more acres of wildlife habitat.

Sure, we can scoff and say this is a government-backed, global warming, liberal long-shot. But, wild things and wild places don’t care much for human politics. They need conservationists to conserve. To conserve we must innovate. That’s not progressivism, that’s not conservativism, that’s a fact.

Photo: Kaleb White

Nerds and Retailers

CABELA’S PARTNERS WITH POWDERHOOK ON INNOVATIVE RETAIL EXPERIENCE

When nerds and retailers come together, customers win.

Two Nebraska-based outdoor companies have come together on an innovative in-store experience coined “Digital Trailheads,” a new tool designed to help customers find local resources and experience the outdoors like never before. Digital Trailheads feature intense 360-degree “virtual reality” content showcasing Cabela’s Ambassadors pushing products to their limit, along with maps and local resources designed to help customers find places to go. The project will be unveiled at the grand opening of Cabela’s El Paso, TX, and Albuquerque, NM store locations in mid-September.

Continue reading Nerds and Retailers

POLITICAL ACTION ALERT: PR Modernization

Occasionally there comes along federal legislation we feel it’s important for sportsmen to know about. The Pittman-Robertson Modernization Act, now in committee in both the House and Senate, represents one of those times. Please take a moment to write your elected officials in support. You are welcome to use this letter as a template, or just as a helpful starting point for your own letter.

Remember to change the words in bold and parenthesis – (BOLD). 

—-
I’m writing today to ask for some help with a bill I think is very important to the people of (YOUR STATE).

Census data will be released in the next few weeks that indicates hunting license sales are down by over 16% nationally since the same survey was taken only five years ago.

In my opinion, hunting and other outdoor recreational pursuits are the lifeblood of tourism in (YOUR STATE). As you know, many small towns rely on the influx of hunters and the money they bring with them each year. Our business is one of hundreds based in the state that benefit when hunter numbers to grow, and suffer when they shrink.

There is a bill, S. 1613 , in the Environment and Public Works Committee, that would change what can be done with funds earned by Fish and Wildlife Agencies through what’s called The Pittman-Robertson Act. The funds are earned through an 11% excise tax placed on hunting-related gear, and they’re distributed back to the states to fund the activities of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and related NGOs. Pittman-Robertson money cannot be used to promote hunting, and we need to change that.

I would like to ask Senator (YOUR SENATOR’s NAME) to consider sponsoring this legislation. You are welcome to use this letter as that ask, or I’d be happy to meet with in (YOUR STATE), or at a time that makes sense in DC, to discuss it.

Here’s what I like about this bill: No congressional mandate. No new money. Fish and Wildlife Agencies still control the money. And, it aligns Pittman-Robertson funding with its sister legislation The Dingell-Johnson Act, which taxes fishing-related gear. (YOUR STATE FISH AND WILDLIFE AGENCY), and all other recipients need to “play offense” to grow hunting, and this bill is a step toward helping them do that.

Here’s what I don’t like as much about this bill: Besides Fish and Wildlife Agencies or NGOs, no entity can do the work of conserving wild places for wild animals. Hunters need wild places, and non-hunters need wild places, so it’s important the money intended for wild places is used to sustain what we have and create more. However, the hunter funds this model, and without more hunters, the “habitat” money will dry up – ultimately leading me to write this letter.

Thank you for considering, and please let me know if it makes sense to meet.

Powderhook Events API Now Available

 

Powderhook PRO users can now implement the Powderhook Event API, a first of its kind, nationwide, outdoor event dataset.

R3 (recruitment, retention, and reactivation) has become a hot topic in the outdoor industry. And while events play a significant role in the adoption sequence, it’s not often that outdoor events are visible in places new people think to look. According to Powderhook CEO, Eric Dinger, the Events API is a step toward solving this problem. “Fundraising banquets, family fishing nights, and countless other types of events are great ways to recruit, retain, and reactivate hunters, anglers, and recreational shooters. But in order for events to reach their potential as an R3 tool, we have to get outdoor events into the mix of other things people can do with their time. Through this API the outdoor industry is now able to list their events alongside things like concerts, plays, sports tournaments, and other options. And, because of its open architecture, any brand, fish and wildlife agency, or organization can begin promoting all the events in their area, rather than just their own.”

In total, over 9,000 hunting, shooting, fishing, and conservation events are accessible via the API. Event hosts include major NGOs, such as Ducks Unlimited and National Wild Turkey Federation, state agencies, and businesses. New events are added every day via integrations with our partners, scrapers, and APIs. Once the API is implemented, no additional development time or support resources are required to keep it up-to-date.

There are many uses for the Powderhook API:

Web developers can implement a calendar containing events from hundreds of sources.

State agencies can map all the events happening in their state as part of their R3 effort.

Businesses can create a calendar of events happening near their location(s).

Non-government organizations can aid their members in finding other things to do in their local area.

More information is available here: https://powderhook.com/events-landing

To view the events on our map simply navigate to: https://www.powderhook.com/map

Next up we’ll announce a fully self-contained calendar widget, giving our partners the ease of configuring/copying/pasting our events calendar into their website.

Please email us with questions.

How Powderhook Makes Money

We’re betting the company on a completely unique way of making money. If it works, everyone wins.

A Letter from our founder, Eric Dinger

Eric and his daughter, Reagan.

If you’ve been a part of Powderhook for awhile, you know we’ve set out to build something transformative in the name of our mission, “Access for All.” Figuring out how to do that in a way that’s good for everyone, and pays the bills, has been the challenge of a lifetime. Today I want to share with you the vision we believe gets to the heart of solving the outdoor industry’s most significant problem.

What’s the right lure to use to catch walleyes at Oak Lake this afternoon? I want my son to catch his first fish, where around town should we go to have the best chance tomorrow? Who’s the best person to talk to in the Cabela’s archery department? Are the turkeys responding to calls today? Anyone know when the next field day is happening for hunter safety?

No matter your experience level, these are the questions that stand between you and a better day afield. Discipline-specific, local, and current information – that’s the stuff that can help you have a better day as a hunter, angler or shooter. It’s why we stop at the tackle shop when go fishing, and it’s the reason hunters scour local message boards for a tidbit before a hunt. Having better days afield is the best predictor of more days afield – if it’s fun you’ll do it more. And, more days afield solves the 887 billion-dollar outdoor industry’s biggest problem; a shrinking percentage of the US population hunt or fish, and those that do go less often than they once did.

It sucks to be new to the outdoors. 

And, no matter your experience level, it’s hard to know where to go in a new area. It’s annoying to get access when you can’t pay; it’s tough to figure out licensing; it’s difficult to time that day off of work; and it can be intimidating to kill, process, and cook an animal you’re not familiar with. Each step in the process adds friction, and there’s less hassle in just about any other activity someone could choose to do with their time.

The future of conservation as we know it depends on tapping the goodwill of the individual sportsmen. No other approach can yield the kind of numbers we need.

For years we’ve heard hunters, anglers and shooters won’t help each other. You may have even said it yourself.  But, we’ve found that to be fundamentally false. Sure, some won’t, but Powderhook brims with thousands of examples of people who don’t know each other who are sharing tips, spots, directions, and advice. So much so, we’ve come to believe there’s a big difference between a hunter/angler/shooter and a sportsman. Fundamentally, the sportsman understands their pursuit isn’t about them, but rather the animal, the habitat, and their legacy as a contributor to the lives of the people around them. Unlocking the goodwill of the individual sportsman holds the keys to the future we desire.

So, how can we do that and make money?

Thousands of sportsmen have built their livelihood in the outdoor industry, and almost every job ties to our collective ability to get more people out more often. Powderhook taps the local knowledge held by individuals who work for outdoor industry brands, businesses, agencies, and organizations through a business model we’ve never seen anywhere else. We believe our model aligns the incentive of the industry expert with the needs of the person seeking information. Think of Powderhook like a local message board, filled with a community of people incentivized to help each other out.

You may have noticed a few ads popping up here and there on Powderhook. Those ads signify you’re getting an opinion from someone affiliated with an outdoor brand. These members of the Powderhook community represent businesses, agencies, and organizations who pay us a flat fee for access to Powderhook PRO, the platform we purpose-built to incentivize them to help you. With Powderhook PRO, our industry partners earn an ad each time one of their employees, pro staff, or ambassadors offer their discipline-specific, local, and timely expertise by posting on Powderhook.

With Powderhook PRO, brands are creating meaningful relationships with customers by helping, rather than strictly advertising to them. The more people they help, the more their ads show up. We call our model “Earned Native Advertising.” Today, the average post by a Powderhook PRO earns 202 impressions and a .8% click-through rate. Each impression and click are counted and attributed to the individual who earned the ad, making Powderhook PRO a uniquely high-touch, measurable approach to local marketing.

We’re betting Powderhook’s future on the idea you’ll appreciate brands whose representatives help you have better days outdoors.

Fresh air awaits,

Eric

PS – Interested in your brand going PRO? Here’s a link.