Successful Business Highlight – Sportsmen of North America and Magnum Hunt Club

2 August 2009 1,886 views 7 Comments

The Giveaway Model and the Online Hunting Industry

Online Giveaway Business Model

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image credit: Jule_Berlin

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I’ve always been a fan of innovative business models both on and off the Web.

The other day on 10 Things Every Hunting Website Needs (Plus a Few Extra Ideas)

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, KRAY1, left a good comment and he asked if I could write a little bit about the giveaway business model:

With an MBA I have been intrigued by the revenue generating ability for someone to have fun hunting all over the world and others pay for their working-vacations! I saw sites like Sportsmen Of North America who give away a hunting trip a week to their members, to some of the ones you mention here. Also Magnum hunt club is another. You didn’t mention contests or give aways, but there is a huge draw there for folks who don’t have $5k-$15k to blow on a hunting trip, but for free, or $5-$10 a month are willing to join. There is so much valuable info free on the net, I can’t see paying for it, without a chance to win something. Maybe I’m just spoiled. What is your take on those sites?

I think it’s an interesting business model and it appears that the two companies KRAY1 mentions, Sportsmen of North America and Magnum Hunt Club have great Websites that serve hunters on the Web well while offering some great incentives to join their membership programs.

Let’s take a closer look…

Sportsmen of North America

Sportsmen of North America Website

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Sportsmen of North America

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is a membership site that offers weekly giveaways plus a tiered membership approach with various benefits for members including:

- Store Discounts
- TV Show Access (free access)
- Weekly prize giveaways
- DVD Club
- Taxidermy Service Plan
- 5% Discount on all Sportsmen of North America Outfitted hunts
- Etc.

There are a lot of benefits to becoming a member of SNA and while I’m not a member I do see value in joining the service. The chance to win a hunt, as KRAY pointed out, is great for hunters who likely can’t afford to go on the hunt of a lifetime. And since SNA gives out prizes weekly the odds are about as good as you’ll find anywhere.

There is a lot of great content on SNA available for free to the public as well. The TV shows are amazing. I’ve always been a big fan of hunting shows so the emergence of video on the Web has been awesome for feeding my need for great hunting footage. SNA has lots of great shows available and I’m sure they have even more available for members.

The Model

The giveaway model is very interesting especially with the competitiveness of most business industries on the Web.

All companies on the Web are competing for attention and it seems that a business offering anything (especially guided hunts) will have a great chance to stand out from the rest of the competition.

Today when I went to the SNA Website I was greeted with an overlay offering the Grand Prize Giveaway – Polaris Ranger.

It’s a big time eye catcher for new visitors or previous visitors like me. It’s a substantial offer with lots of relevant value for potential members of the site.

There is so much that SNA offers for its members that it’s difficult not to believe that they have a ton of happy clients.

It’s also interesting that they show the monthly price (ex: $5/month), but say that it’s billed annually. This is interesting. I’m not sure what would work better, but I’m sure they’ve tested. I’ve always been curious as to what billing process works best for clients and also keeps a high retention rate. Annual, one-time billing? Monthly billing? Auto-renew billing each month?

I’m curious if anyone has any thoughts on it.

Anyway, I think Sportsmen of North America has a lot to offer to a variety of hunters on the Web.

Whether you’re looking for free content like a great blog post or quality hunting video that you can view for free or if you’re looking for a chance to win a guided hunt for a small membership fee, SNA has it.

The model seems to work in the competitive online atmosphere.

Most important is the fact that the business model offers a tiered approach that lends itself to a variety of customers making it very customer-friendly.

I hope SNA continues having success with their business model on the Web. It’s a model I think would work for a variety of hunting businesses.

Magnum Hunt Club

Magnum Hunt Club Website

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Magnum Hunt Club

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is another membership site on the Web that offers a variety of benefits to hunters.

Here are a few of the things members receive:

- Hunting Videos
- Discount hunt list
- Hunt catalog
- Six free entries into the hunt giveaways
- Contests with other prizes
- Etc.

Magnum Hunt Club, like Sportsmen of North America, offers some great content, features, and benefits for both non-members and members. There is a forum for members which I’m sure has some great interaction for members regarding many topics probably relating to guided hunts, how to hunt articles, and more.

The Model

The business model for Magnum Hunt Club is nearly identical to that of SNA and I like it just as I like the SNA model.

Giveaways are great for attracting attention and finding a relevant audience on the Web. If your business has the budget to offer things of value for your audience you have a chance to stand out from your competition.

Giveaways are also great for bloggers looking to build their subscriber numbers.

Magnum has a good looking Website and it seems they also have a great business model for succeeding on the Web.

Giveaway Business Model in General

As I mentioned earlier, one of the most difficult things for businesses on the Web is finding a way to gain the attention of the hunting audience.

There is a lot of competition for attention and companies are always coming up with innovative ways to connect with hunters.

It always comes down to the company and the individuals who provide the most value whether it’s with features on a site, resources such as experts or anything else hunters find valuable.

The giveaway business model that Sportsmen of North America and Magnum Hunt Club use is very unique and I think it serves hunters on the Web very well. It’s a model that stands out and provides lots of value for members.

There are lots of things hunting businesses can take away from the giveaway model.

I already mentioned that you can giveaway prizes and things as a way to gain more email subscribers. You can do giveaways to build your RSS subscribers, Twitter followers, etc.

There are lots of ways to be innovative with giveaways.

The most important thing to remember is that people on the Web always look for value.

Good giveaways also have the potential to spread around the Web and create lots of traffic for sites. I’ve seen bloggers get a hold of a great giveaway and spread the word on their blog, on blog comments, forums, and Twitter.

And while I’m a fan of the giveaway model I’m a fan of value first and I believe that when a site or business provides value they’ll be successful no matter what their business model is.

The giveaway model is great for the Web and I think it really helps hunting businesses capture the valuable attention of hunters.

I like the giveaway model and I’m interested in hearing if you have had success with giveaways?

Or have you noticed any other bloggers or hunting businesses who have utilized the unique giveaway model to provide value for customers?

Bonus

It’s always fun to look at the stats…

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7 Comments »
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  • T. Michael Riddle
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    said:

    I dunno’ Dayne!
    Although I can see some value to giveaways, ie: The residual traffic which it sometimes attracts might be able to pull a solid paying client or two that may be interested in other areas of what else you have to offer.
    No matter which way you slice, dice or try and spin it, it still comes up as a simple lottery game.

    I was attracted to the same type of hype about 20 years ago when I joined the North American Hunting Club.
    I liked the monthly magazine, placed my name in all of the drawings, payed my dues regularly, kept the membership up for about a decade and didn’t win nor receive anything but the occasional brass medallion in the mail along with an urgent letter compelling me to pay more money!

    That being in the form of: Helping to protect my Hunting Heritage, Gun Rights etc. etc.
    And one time in particular which stands out the most, they send me this nice hard cover book, “All About Elk Hunting” which I did not ask for, and the letter accompanying the book was asking for a small donation which would go for all of the above.
    This donation? started at $30.00 and went up from there and you get to keep the book.
    I did the research and found that the actual book could be purchased through the mail at about $8.00 and included in that price were S&H fees as well.

    Too “Scamie” and “Pyramidish” for my tastes, I would prefer to just start an interest earning saving’s account specifically targeted for my annual hunting trips.
    That gives me a year to research the outfitter’s thoroughly before committing and also keeps my money in “my” hands where I make the final determination where it will go.

    We do occasional giveaways and advertise them on the site as well as in hard copy print.
    But monetary losses associated with these “Free Hunts” are included in our advertisement costs and are just what they are, put out there for attracting new customers.

    No Bull, No Hype, No Pyramid Schemes, No Lottery’s, No Buzz Phrases Like: “Hunt Club” which gives the impression that you are joining an elite organization (along with 75,000 other members).

    Just plain honest giveaway’s and I believe “That” is what the public really want’s!

    Just my two coppers worth, take it or leave it ;-)

  • Dayne Shuda
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    (author)
    said:

    @Michael – Great comment.

    It sounds like your experience was not particularly pleasant as a customer with the giveaway model. I like your view on not doing anything scammie or pyramid-ish.

    It always comes back to honesty and value adding offerings.

    Thanks for your thoughts as always. You always have great insight and wonderful examples.

  • Albert A Rasch
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    said:

    Fellows,

    It all falls back to value and credibility. If there is value in your “stuff” then the giveaways are just icing on the cake. The giveaways are not in of themselves, “valueable” enough to offset poor content or “stuff.” As a matter of fact, the more the give away is marketed, the more likely it is to appear as the content. So when you don’t get any content, you think that the credibility factor is abysmal.

    I joined NAHC thirty years ago, and I found that much to my disappointment, there was nothing of permanent “value” to me. I remember the series of books that started arriving, that I didn’t request, and the ordeal of sending them back, only to have more show up. Then a couple got misplaced in my hovel, and the collections letters started showing up…

    Talk about a bad taste in my mouth… I still remember to this day.

    Credability, credability, credability!

    Albert
    Fallow Deer: Hints and Tips

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  • Dayne Shuda
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    (author)
    said:

    Well put Albert.

  • Successful Business Highlight – Sportsmen of North America and Magnum Hunt Club : Team Wild Outdoors
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  • Gene Ross said:

    Dear Sir,

    I am a hog hunter in Normangee, Tx. I have a very unique style of hunting these Wild Hogs. What sets me apart form all other hunters and guides is that I do not use dogs, feeders, highfences, trail cameras, etc. I have nothing to aid me in my hunts, except for my expertise in these animals, and we are over run with them. I do some guideing on the side form my normal profession of welding. I always have a video camera in my hand on all of my hunts both for pleasure and while guiding. Recently I picked up a sponcer Broadheadbarn.com. The owner of this company told me about his bestfriend Jake who recently did all of the video footage for the Discovery Channel show called Hogs Gone Wild. I was able to speak to Jake via confrence call with sponcer and Jake. Jake has agreed to come to Normangee for 2 days and video my wife and I hunting as a team.
    With all of this happening and more, I am in desperate need of an agent. If you or anyone you know would be willing to help me with this exciting opportunity and problem that I have please feel free to call me at
    936-245-9470
    My sponcer threw together a short demo of my wife and I and posted it on VIMEO.COM-search-HOG KILLERS. The vidoe I gave him did not have much of my wife in it but she can and has done everything that I can do. She has more tallent than most of all the people I have guided in the past. I also have some raw videos on YOU TUBE-search GEEROCAN.
    Thanks for your time
    Gene and Natisha Ross