Category Archives: New Hunters

6 Things to Do with an Email Address

For most businesses, acquiring a new customer costs many times what it costs to keep an existing customer. For an agency or organization selling to your existing customers is a must. An email list is one of the cheapest and most efficient marketing tools at your disposal to keep your customers coming back. Here are 6 simple tactics you can use to keep your license or membership buyers coming back for years to come.

1. Remind buyers to purchase again before their license or membership expires. If you can, offer a small incentive to get them to renew before they lapse. The image above is of a great email I got from Florida reminding me my license has expired. Sadly, I won’t be back this year!

2. Contact the individual 10 days before their birthday with a reminder their friends or family can buy them a gift card for their birthday. My Stepdad always asks for Nebraska Game and Parks gift cards for Christmas, too.

3. Alert previous buyers of specific licenses or tags of season open dates and draw deadlines. We’ve all missed out on a hunting season because we missed the draw.

4. Cross-promote licenses without a draw to winners of tag drawings. My friends and I take a pheasant hunting trip to South Dakota every year. We all buy a waterfowl permit, too, as long as someone remembers the application period is in June. When my Dad and I went elk hunting last fall, the person who sold us our tag at Walmart asked us if we wanted bear tags as well. That little question sold Colorado $750 worth of additional licenses.

5. Hit up your out-of-state hunters with an invite back to your state. Consider appending the invite to the end of the survey you might be sending them. Remember to consider how far in advance a person must plan in order to account for tags, accommodations, and general logistics.

6. Remember, your license buyer or member is your customer. Their lifetime value to your agency or organization is likely many times what the individual spends per transaction. Tell them you appreciate them with a thank you letter. Remind them their license purchase funds the important work you do.

Does your agency or organization use another email tactic? Please share additional ideas in the comments.

The Question That Will Save Hunting

It’s been well documented hunting license buyers are declining as a percentage of the US population. Beginning around age 65, license sales begin to plummet drastically, as hunters begin to have physical, financial, geographic, or other limitations. While the overall decline in total licenses sold has been very slow, the largest cohort of hunters, the Baby Boomers, are nearing the proverbial license buying “cliff.” Alarmingly, the cohort of Millennials who must replace them appears to be significantly smaller. Analyzing the data in the video below can lead one to some grim conclusions for our North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.

Video and Data Credit: Dr. Loren Chase, Arizona Game and Fish

 

Hundreds of entities including businesses, organizations, and agencies, as well as individuals in positions of leadership in the hunting industry have turned their focus to this very real threat. But can their concerted efforts do enough, fast enough?  No one knows, but what we do know is our industry needs the help of the individual sportsman and woman.

The one sure way we can change is to engage people at the local level in affecting this trend in their own lives. No single program, no marketing campaign, no app, or website can do what the readers of this story can do by stepping up and getting involved. It’s up to us as individual sportsmen and women to do the work.

So, here’s the big question: Do more people hunt because of you, or do fewer people hunt because of you? If everyone you hunt with, and everyone they hunt with could answer “more,” we will secure our collective hunting heritage long into the future.

Let’s start asking.

8 Things Non-Hunters Are Missing Out On

If you’re at all familiar with our work here at Powderhook, you know we love hunting. But, we loved hunting long before there was a Powderhook, and will love it for decades to come. Most people have something they’re passionate about, but being passionate about hunting offers benefits far beyond what can be simply described. That’s why we believe one needs to hunt in order to understand hunting and hunters. For non-hunters, this simply means they can’t feel what we’ve felt, and it bums me out for them. Here’s what I think they’re missing.


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Watching the sun come up over the Bighorn Mountains while glassing for elk. Photo Credit: Martin Hogan

1: Witnessing the Forest Coming to Life

I really cannot explain it any better than movie star Chris Pratt did in this interview. “You walk out in the woods and the sun hasn’t come up yet, and you sit in a spot and your preparation has told you that this is the right spot. And the sun comes up and you are camouflaged, nothing knows you’re there, nothing can smell you, the wind is in your face. You’re a voyeur to the world waking up and the wilderness waking up around you in a way that no one gets to see it, when they drive their car down the road, because they’ve disturbed it. You’ve snuck in. If a tree fell in the woods and didn’t make a sound you’d be there to witness it, because nobody is there, you are not even there. And then the sun comes up and the last stars in the sky go away and the whole world comes to life.” Continue reading 8 Things Non-Hunters Are Missing Out On

5 Things Hunters Can Learn from the World Series

An all time classic. Game 7 ended about 8 hours ago. In a stroke of genius, or terrible parenting, I woke up my kids (ages 3 and 5) to tell them – on the off chance they’ll remember the night back in 2016 the Cubs won the World Series. I’ve been a Cubs fan since I was a little boy watching Ryno Sandberg on WGN in South Dakota.  They were always my second favorite team behind the Twins until my best buddy moved out to Chicago for college and we caught our first game at Wrigley.

I know what you’re thinking… sweet story dude, but why the heck does this matter in a story about hunting? Continue reading 5 Things Hunters Can Learn from the World Series

Mark Zuckerberg On His Love For Hunting & Fishing

We have all heard the controversy surrounding Facebook and their censoring of conservative news and photos involving guns & harvested animals, but would you be surprised to hear that Mark Zuckerberg himself is into hunting and fishing? Take a look at the video below of Mark Zuckerberg taking live questions from viewers while smoking some meat on the patio.

5 Things You Can Do to Grow Digital Mentoring

Digital Mentoring is in its infancy. If you’re reading this article you’re one of about 400 people nationwide who have jumped on board early in the process. There’s much to be done, but our work is just, and we’re already making a real difference. Here are 5 things you can do right now to grow the impact of Digital Mentoring. Continue reading 5 Things You Can Do to Grow Digital Mentoring

An Open Letter to the Anti-Hunter

If you don’t approve of hunting, for whatever reason, I want you to know I appreciate you taking a minute to read this letter. My intention is to offer a couple facts about hunting you may not know. I don’t expect to change your mind altogether, but I do hope to provide some information that may create a more informed conversation.

You’re right. Our civilization has changed such that many people no longer need to directly participate in the food chain. Cities of us can go to grocery stores for the food we once grew or killed for ourselves. So, why then does hunting still matter?

You’re right. All living things have value. Animal lives matter, and that’s all animals, not just the one whose hair is stuck to your shirt right now. If that’s true, how can someone argue killing an animal is not only justified but important?

IMG_2479 (1) Continue reading An Open Letter to the Anti-Hunter

The Millennial Generation Outdoor Industry Insights and Opportunities

IMG_7563Millennials – the rumored “low-hanging fruit” and “target audience” for your next program or marketing effort. We all know we need to attract Millennials, but the tricky question is how can we do so successfully? This was the question posed to the presenters of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies’ (AFWA) Conservation Education Strategy webinar series. Eric Dinger, co-founder and CEO of Powderhook, and Samantha Pedder, Manager of Outreach and Diversity for the National Shooting Sports Foundation,  discussed some key insights into the Millennial generation and answered some questions from the audience. Post questions in the comments section below and Sam or Eric will answer. Here’s what you need to know:

Insights and background

  • Millennials are:
    • ~19-35 years old today (2016)
    • Most educated, biggest spending adult cohort
    • Digital native – connectedness via technology is like a second skin
    • Delaying coming of age: moving out later, getting married later
    • Seeking happiness, celebrating diversity, big fear of missing out
    • More politically independent, less religious, less patriotic
    • Experience driven, ahead of finances and security
    • More optimistic about their future than previous generations
  • Individualism is important, generalizations are too vague
    • A generation of two distinct parts, defined by post-secondary education
    • Used to being treated as if they’re unique
    • Obsessed with perception – run their lives like a unique brand
  • “SO-LO-MO” Social, Local, Mobile
    • Socially connected at all times (Facebook biggest, Instagram favorite, Snapchat fastest growing and most time used)
    • Real influence is specific to location or topic
    • Mobile first every time
  • Social decision makers
    • Family and friends, one-to-one still most important
    • Influenced by subject matter experts with reach (Instagram is huge here)
    • Tribes – easy to find and interact with people who think like me (downside – I only interact with people who think like me)
  • Recreational habits
    • Nature can be “trendy”
    • Shooting more than hunting at first
    • Non-consumptive use simpler to start with than hunting or fishing
    • Paddleboarding, kayak fishing, hiking – all increasing in participation
    • Urbanizing influence is overwhelming
  • Demand and dictate a frictionless customer/user experience
    • Is it simple? Is it easy? Is it rewarding? Is it fun?
    • Licensing, mapping, certification, education, regulations must be or they’re out
    • Make it ever easier to do business with you
  • Speed of adoption
    • Moore’s Law – speeds up tech, tech is omniscient, tech speeds up all change
    • 1 million users: Facebook 10 months, Instagram 2.5, YikYak faster yet
    • Attention spans shorter than ever
  • Impact on the workplace by Millennials
    • Offer a new perspective/take on things
    • Perceive opportunities to reinvent processes using influence of technology
    • Example of Citizen Science with Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation

Opportunities for Interaction

  • Authenticity is key
    • Identify target segments within this generation to engage with
    • Pick the low fruit, not all the fruit
    • Focus your efforts on what you can do well in terms of content, marketing, etc.
  • Things change, but the fundamental concepts won’t
    • Relevant content
    • Two-way conversations
    • Social, local, mobile
  • Meet them where they are, not where you want them
    • Your website is a utility, not their only source of information
    • Start everything mobile first
    • If it is important, they believe it is going to find them
  • Think multi-channel (but do only what you can do well)
    • Is your content portable? Sharable across multiple platforms without people?
    • Videos on YouTube, Facebook and Vine
    • Posts on Twitter, Instagram and YikYak
  • Participate with them
    • Reward millennials with your engagement
    • Play with the new network-of-the-hour – repurpose your content
    • Focus on quality over quantity
  • Mine their habits of thought
    • Don’t cut corners when highlighting novelty and excitement of experiences
    • Empower them to build their own brand (Desire to have influence)
    • Deliver things that makes them feel like they’d be missing out if they missed it
  • Enable others to help you
    • G.U.E.S.T. – Groups, Users, Events, Spots, Trips – aggregated in an open format
      • Groups – what can I be a part (i.e. NWTF Chapter)
      • Users – who can help me (mentors, coaches, instructors)
      • Events – target shooting, hunter ed, etc.
      • Spots – places to go (public land, places to shoot, fish, etc.)
      • Trips – who can take me
    • Open architecture isn’t shared data, it’s shared standards – data.gov
    • You’re the manufacturer, they’re the distributor
  • Embrace diversity
    • Add a millennial as an advisor
    • Actively invite decisions from people who don’t look like you
    • Celebrate differences, they do

Resources

Prepared May 2016 by:

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 1.46.04 PM.png

Samantha Pedder

www.nssf.org

spedder@nssf.org

203-426-1320 ext. 286

PH-LOGO-Black.png

Eric Dinger

www.powderhook.com

eric@powderhook.com

402-560-1678

 

AMERICA NEEDS MORE BOY SCOUTS

My wife, Stephanie, and I just spent the weekend Christmas shopping in Chicago. Our annual trip through the aisles of Michigan Avenue and State Street is a fun change of pace from the streak of hunting and fishing trips that usually dot my calendar throughout the year. While in many ways I would consider Chicago a great American city, my perception of our third largest city took a few body punches on this trip. In my opinion, Chicago is suffering.

We saw marches, boisterous demonstrations from disenfranchised youth, leagues of tired, stressed-out workers, and in general observed a city of people with their bolts over-tightened. Hundreds and hundreds of police officers, visible in the photo above, lined the streets in an effort to maintain civility. Life is complicated everywhere, but have we stooped so low that we’re willing to accept this as “normal” in one of our greatest cities?

Our work at Powderhook is about getting people into the outdoors. Fundamentally, we believe a connection to the natural world helps people gain a sense of place and perspective, and helps them learn to value the world around them. Certainly the outdoors can be one vehicle for exposing people to a value system, but in a place like Chicago it is flat difficult to access those experiences. The war on traditional values is alive and well.

According to Census Data, nearly 2/5 children in America is growing up in a single-parent household. Of the remaining 3/5 of American kids, two-thirds are members of dual-income families, leaving Moms and Dads of any household less and less time to lead a family. Only 17% of Americans attend religious services each week, the lowest number ever recorded, eroding the value systems taught by our faith-based institutions. As our melting pot urbanizes, gains weight and hustles to make a living, must we accept that our values are changing? Or, is there something we can do to preserve the important things as the superfluous tides roll in and out?

Chicago, and all of America, needs more Boy Scouts. Along with groups like Girl Scouts, 4-H, FFA, FCCLA, and others, these organizations exist to teach fundamental values that can be tough to find in other places. They seemed really tough to find last weekend in Chicago.

Read this excerpt from the Boy Scouts website. To me, this sounds the America we once knew and wish to see once again:

The Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation’s largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations. The BSA provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness.

For over a century, the BSA has helped build the future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun. The Boy Scouts of America believes — and, through over a century of experience, knows — that helping youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. We need not wait to see what others do.” I think he’s right. Time to go get my kids signed-up.

About the author:
Eric Dinger is the co-founder and CEO of Powderhook.com, an app built to help people hunt and fish more often. He can be reached at eric@powderhook.com.