New RunSignUp Email System

RunSignUp EMail

The new RunSignUp EMail is tightly integrated with the rest of the RunSignUp Platform. The goal, as always, is to make things easier and more powerful. There will be multiple incremental improvements, and you will see us integrate email capabilities into other areas of the system over the coming months.

EMail SettingIn the initial release, you will see a number of nice features:

Custom Email Settings
You will be able to set the “From” and “Reply To” address.

We automatically create the email template for you in simple text. This is nicer than the text based email that we had provided for you in iContact. In addition, we will automatically put your logo at the top right and your sponsor images at the bottom. And since this is all coming from the live RunSignUp database, if you add a sponsor or change a sponsor – you no longer need to worry about changing your emails.

Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 10.42.11 AMSelect from Active Participants Lists
You can create any number of lists directly in RunSignUp. The powerful thing about this is that they are always “live”. This means if you are sending an email to all current participants – it is the current participants at the time you send the email – Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 10.47.30 AMno uploading lists and taking snapshots.

You can select all participants, or simply the participants per event. In addition, you can now simply email Team Captains and all Teams members. This is also true for Corporate Teams.

And remember – anytime you send an email it is absolutely current – so if some team changed Captains, the new Captain will be included.

Custom ListsCustom Lists
You also have the power to upload your own lists soon. For example, if you have moved over to RunSignUp recently, you will want to upload last year’s participants so you can send them emails to encourage them to sign up again this year.

This is a video that shows how to export your old contact lists from iContact and import them into the new email system:

Save ListsSave Lists
You can also save your lists. This means you can mix and match all of your lists. Say you have a list of all of last year’s 8K runners and this year’s participants in the 8K.

Create Your Email
Once you have selected a list (or lists), then you can create your email. The new email creation is greatly simplified as seen below:

Create Email

There are several features that are worth noting:

  • Attach any image or document (PDF is the preferred method) to the Email.
  • Send Test – this does a quick send to yourself.
  • The Editor is meant for simple editing – meaning there are not advanced layout or image including capability.
  • HTML Embedding. This gives you the ability to enter full HTML, which would give you the ability to enter custom formatting and image links. We have tested out putting HTML from other email systems with a template like iContact and MailChimp and they seem to work – of course every email client that your customers receive email on will display it differently (one of the reasons we default to simple).

Here is an example from the development server of the Email with the race logo (a photo) and logos below (those will be formatted better in the final release) in gmail:

Race EMail

Custom Tags
This is where the real power of an integrated email system comes in. We are starting off simply, but over time we will introduce lots of special tags – like Bib #, or Finishing Time, or Event, etc.  Imagine being able to send and email to all participants 2 days before the race with their bib number embedded in the email.

Special Tags

For example, something like this:

Custom EMail

Remember, the email would include your race logo on the upper right and your sponsor logos at the bottom as well!

The Future
We have a lot of plans for the future of this system to help you automate communications with your runners. Here are a few things to look forward to:

  • Save Custom Participant Searches as Lists. For example create a search for all runners just in your town and save a a “dynamic” list.  It is dynamic because if you send an email 2 weeks later all runners from your town who have signed up will be on that email list since it pulls the information from the database when the email is sent.
  • Automated Email to people who have not yet signed up for your race 2 days before any price changes.
  • Variant of this email before price changes to people who have already signed up, encouraging them to tell their friends. This will be integrated with our referral system so you can.
  • Automated email with personal results sent to all participants, with an invitation to sign up for next year’s race.

All of the above will be able to be done with one simple option choice of a button when setting up your race. They will all be automatically scheduled and sent without any work on your part. This is the power of a truly integrated email system. Watch for updates over the coming months.

We will be discontinuing iContact at the end of March.  So please make sure that you export any lists that you have and copy any templates that you want to reuse. Let us know if there is a reason why you can not use the new system and we will try to address your concerns. However, we feel there are simply too many benefits not to move to the new RunSignUp Email system.

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