Press Releases

Direct Mail Marketing Increases Boat Registrations in Ohio
RBFF Pilot Program Results in 750 Boat Registrations & $14,000 in Net Revenue

ALEXANDRIA, VA (October 12, 2011) – The results are in for the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s (RBFF) Lapsed Boat Registration Pilot Program with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Watercraft. As a result of the direct mail effort, more than 750 boats were registered and nearly $14,000 was generated in net revenue. The new registrations also generated an estimated $2,300 in additional revenue to the state of Ohio from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund allocations.

“These findings demonstrate the power of continuous communication with your customers, and help support critical boating safety programs and boating infrastructure efforts in Ohio,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “We’re pleased with the results of this and other pilot programs, and are working to develop a nationwide outreach effort next year.”

In April 2011, more than 23,000 Ohio boat owners with lapsed registrations were sent direct mail pieces reminding them about the relaxation and excitement associated with boating and fishing, and the importance of renewing their registrations. Boat owners received one of three remittance forms, which targeted both angler and non-angler households. A separate group of lapsed boat registrations was set aside as a control group for comparison, and their owners did not receive a remittance form.

Based on a comparison of boat owners who received the mailing and those who did not, the program resulted in:

  • 751 lapsed boats registered during the 42-day evaluation period.
  • A higher response rate among the treatment groups (nearly two times greater) than the response in the control groups, resulting in a lift of 3.3 percentage points.
  • $13,919 of new net revenue from lapsed boat registrations over and above the cost of the direct mail program.
  • $2,336 estimated additional revenue from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund allocations.

“Reminding inactive boaters through our partnership with RBFF about the benefits and enjoyment of recreational boating has produced a positive outcome for those boaters, as well as 
added support for Ohio’s boating programs,” said Rodger Norcross, chief of the ODNR Division of Watercraft.

The Lapsed Boat Registration Pilot Program was developed by RBFF in 2009 in partnership with the Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB) and the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, and is an extension of RBFF’s ongoing direct mail efforts with state fish and wildlife agencies. Similar pilot programs are currently being implemented in Florida and Tennessee. RBFF plans to expand the program with up to 15 more states in 2012.

To view the full evaluation report, visit

About RBFF
RBFF is a nonprofit organization established in 1998 to increase public awareness and appreciation of the need to protect, conserve and restore the nation’s aquatic natural resources. RBFF helps to increase participation in recreational angling and boating through national outreach programs including the Take Me Fishing™ campaign and Anglers’ Legacy™.