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RBFF touts results of recent recruitment effort

The RBFF said the program, now in its fifth year, generated a high response rate and lift.

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation said Thursday that its 2016 Boat Registration Marketing Program brought more than 50,000 lapsed boaters back to the water.

The RBFF said the program, now in its fifth year, generated a high response rate and lift.

The 2016 program delivered direct marketing pieces to nearly 460,000 households in 18 states with lapsed boater registrations. That resulted in 51,376 registrations, a 10.97 percent response rate and a 7.57 percent lift, the RBFF said.

The RBFF said the effort also resulted in $1.92 million in gross revenue going directly to state agencies and more than $152,000 estimated in Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund dollars contributed via the program.

"A stable and engaged base of boaters is essential to the future of our industry," RBFF president and CEO Frank Peterson said in a statement. "Fishing is the No. 1 activity done from a boat, so the successes of this program have a lasting impact on our industry and leads to valuable conservation dollars for programs throughout the United States."

As in years past, the direct marketing pieces encouraged owners of lapsed boats to re-register their vessels and included resources, such as when and where to fish in their state.

To date, the RBFF said, its Boat Registration Marketing Program has reeled in $8.02 million by bringing more than 221,343 lapsed boaters back to the sport.

The RBFF said it fully funds the program and it requires only minimal staff time from state agencies to participate.

The RBFF said a very positive sign was that the 10.97 percent response rate of the 2016 program was significantly greater than the national average of 3.7 percent, according to the Direct Marketing Association's 2015 Response Rate Report.

In its last fiscal year, TakeMeFishing.org directed nearly a million people to state boat registration and fishing license pages, and to DiscoverBoating.com for additional boating resources, the RBFF said.

So far this fiscal year, the RBFF said, referrals to boat registration pages are up nearly 25 percent.

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