Outdoor Access launched in late 2016 to match private landowners with outdoor enthusiasts seeking places to enjoy excursions like fishing, hunting and camping. Similar to the Airbnb model, landowners use the Outdoor Access platform to list their land and amenities for members to search and plan their adventures.

To enjoy a successful launch in Virginia – and ultimately expand to other states – Outdoor Access needed to build its supply of land and property for outdoor enthusiasts. The startup took advantage of several marketing tactics to raise awareness of its services – including digital, social, radio and newspaper advertising. While those channels were helpful in creating awareness and driving membership among individuals, Outdoor Access needed to connect with more landowners to grow the supply side of the business.

Outdoor Access tried targeted digital ads and broadcast radio advertising to the landowners. According to co-founder Buck Robinson, it quickly found that the landowners, by and large, are older and don’t trust the internet. Direct mail made sense because it could be targeted to reach landowners in Virginia who owned less than 250 acres to offer its members for their outdoor pursuits. “Instead of using a shotgun approach and hoping for results, direct mail enables us to shoot arrows and communicate directly with Mrs. Jones, who owns 200 acres.”

The direct mail campaign included a simple call to action – pick up the phone and call us. This strategy helped Outdoor Access sign up more landowners which it hopes will lead to multi-year partnerships on the supply side.

“When you are dealing with landowners and property, it’s always a tough sell. The fact that we are having success really underscores the effectiveness of direct mail.”

Buck Robinson
Co-Founder, Outdoor Access, Inc.


Outdoor Access enlisted Taradel® as a partner on its direct mail efforts, starting its campaign with 2,500 mail pieces and quickly increasing its total mailing to more than 20,000 pieces.


The fast-growing startup is very pleased with the results, averaging response rates between one and two percent, particularly because its conversion rate among respondents has been very strong.


Co-founder Buck Robinson points out that the response rate is impressive when you consider the startup’s proposition: landowners allowing strangers to have access to their land. So-called “big ticket” categories such as real estate, property, automotive and luxury items historically have; lower response rates than everyday consumer goods. To achieve such high response rates when dealing with landowners and property usage is significant.


Further, Outdoor Access often sees an immediate return on its direct mail investment within 30 days, but up to a quarter of each campaign’s success comes one to six months later.


Robinson and his team anticipated a higher cost per acquisition with direct mail – something they were willing to absorb to attract lifetime clients – but based on the strong response and conversion rates, actual landowner acquisition costs are half as much as expected.

“We come up with a lot of the ideas, and Taradel® does a very good job of taking those ideas and designing print advertisements that drive results.” Buck Robinson Co-Founder, Outdoor Access, Inc.

Virginia Business Spotlight:

Governor Terry McAuliffe | 72nd Governor of Virginia

Recently, Gov. Terry McAuliffe recognized Outdoor Access as one of Richmond’s up-and-coming tech startups. “This is the future,” McAuliffe said. “Go Outdoor Access, and congratulations to Buck Robinson.”