Our first installment of RunSignUp and Email Marketing covered the main features of the RunSignUp email marketing system, including: creating and scheduling emails, setting up automated emails, creating custom email lists, and managing the “from” and “reply-to” settings on your emails. This installment will cover some of the more advanced features, focusing on Tag Replacement and Email Reporting.
For those of you who already do some advance email marketing, you can think of tag replacement as easy-to-use mail merges. If you are not familiar with Tag Replacement or mail merges, this might be a little confusing at first, so let’s start out by taking a look at an easy example. An email that isn’t using tag replacement will have an opening like this…
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to have each runner get an email addressed to him or her specifically, using names like this:
“Dear Ron Synup,”
Instead of feeling like he is just one of the masses, Ron now feels great that the race is addressing him by name. Because of this, he is much more likely to read the content of the email rather than skimming or junking int. Obviously, taking the time to send a personalized email to each race participant isn’t feasible unless you want to spend all of your days emailing each participant…luckily, this is where RunSignUp tag replacement comes in. How? Easy! Instead of putting “Runner” or “Ron Synup” you use replacement tags like this:
“Dear %First_Name% %Last_Name%,”
When RunSignUp then goes to send your email to your selected participants, it will pull the participant’s first name and last name from the registration database and automatically insert them in place of the above tags. This gives all your participants a personalized opening just like the one you gave Ron!
Since RunSignUp already houses the participant’s information from their registration, no additional configuration is needed. If you’ve uploaded a custom list to RunSignUp, you can still use replacement tags for recipients that haven’t yet registered for the race as long as you supply the information for those tags with your custom list.
Being able to address all participants by name is pretty cool, but it’s just scratching the surface of the power of RunSignUp replacement tags. Since RunSignUp is connected to all of the participant’s registration data, you can use tag replacement for all kinds of different information (and we’re continuously expanding tag replacement to give you new options). Here is a quick glimpse of some of the current replacement tags…
The RunSignUp system currently contains over 40 different available replacement tags, and more are being added regularly. So chances are, if there is personalized information you want to send to a participant, there is a replacement tag available for it. If not, you just need to let us know and we’ll work on getting that tag added.
Some of the really cool replacement tags already available include:
%EDIT_REGISTRATION_LINK%: This tag will be replaced with a direct link to the participant’s individual registration. If you’re using any of RunSignUp’s comprehensive participant management options this make it easy for users to just follow the link in their email to view their registration and make changes.
%REGISTRATION_QR_CODE%: Using RunSignUp’s Check-In App or RunSignUp’s bib assignment and check-in system? You can send an email to all participants that will contain an individual QR code, allowing your volunteers to use a QR code scanner to quickly check-in participants and eliminate fat-finger errors.
%RACE_WAIVER_LINK%: What if you are using some of RunSignUp’s Advanced Waiver Options and you have some participants that still need to sign waivers? You can email just the participants that need to sign waivers their individual link, and make it easy for those participants to finish signing their waivers.
The full list of replacement tags can be found on the Email Marketing tab of the Race Dashboard, on the Send Emails page (listed under the Write Your Email section). Just click the orange Show button to make the full list visible and see all of the available replacement tags.
RunSignUp gives you direct access to the statistics around your emails. We automatically track delivery statistics, as well as email open and click rates. This information can help you determine how effective your email marketing campaigns are, and can help you maintain the quality of your custom email lists by informing you of bad email addresses, recipients who have marked your emails as spam, and people who have unsubscribed from your emails. This allows you to avoid sending emails to them in the future, and can drastically improve the quality of your email list.
We can also help if you have a participant accidentally unsubscribe from one of your emails and want to start receiving them again, or have someone email you to request to be unsubscribed (instead of clicking the unsubscribe button). RunSignUp also provides easy subscription management allowing you to either resubscribe someone to your emails or manually add someone to the unsubscribe list.
Interested in learning how to improve your delivery, open, and click rates? Stay tuned for Part 4 of the Email Marketing series, which will cover best practices for list management and designing email content to prevent your recipient’s email systems from flagging them as spam.
Part 3 of the RunSignUp Email Marketing series is a set of case studies and best practices showcasing ways that current users have made use of the email marketing system to do some really cool stuff….including sending customized coupon codes to returning participants, contacting pat participants who haven’t registered yet, prompting participants to confirm their information, and more!