Our first installment of RunSignUp and Email Marketing covered the basic functions of scheduled and automated emails. The second installment covered various email reporting options, and how tag replacement works. The combination of being able to schedule emails in advance, and personalize those emails with information specific to runners has allowed RunSignUp users to employ some fantastic marketing tactics to both increase their participation, and create a smoother race day experience for runners. Below are just a couple of examples…
Email all previous participants who have not yet registered
Targeting participants who have already participated in your event in the past is a great way to start a marketing campaign. RunSignUp provides a report that compares your previously registered participants with the participants that have already registered for your race in the current year. This report can be found from your race dashboard by going to Reports -> Marketing Reports -> Repeat Participants. By default this report shows you all of the runners who have participated in your event before, but if you hit the checkbox Show Previously registered participants not registered for this year and refresh, you’ll get an updated list of previous participants not currently registered.
There is also a convenient option to download the list as a CSV. Once you get the information in CSV format, you’re ready to setup a custom recipient list (as shown in the first installment). When uploading the list of runners who haven’t yet registered for this year’s event, you may get an error warning for past participants who did not have an email address. Don’t worry: the system will automatically skip those participants, allowing you to easily upload the remaining list.
Now that you have an email list that contains all participants that haven’t registered for this year, you can go to Send Emails and write up an email specifically targeted at them. A popular option when creating this email is to include a Loyalty coupon code, giving repeat participants a discount for participating in your event again. The report of participants who haven’t signed up for this year yet also includes the number of years the participant had run previously, so it’s a cinch to create multiple loyalty emails with different coupons based on the number of years someone participated.
Race Day Preparation Emails
Often, runners will sign up for a race well in advance of the event (especially longer events that require a lot of training). RunSignUp always sends participants a confirmation email, but frequently runners will either misplace their confirmation email or will not read it carefully enough to notice any potential user-error mistakes that they made during the registration process. A great way to have everyone review their registration information and check for any last minute errors is to send an email about a week or two before the race with their registration information.
The tag replacement in the RunSignUp email system allows you to send personalized emails containing each participant’s information for them to review. You can also include a link that points directly to their registration, allowing users to easily correct information or make changes to their registration without having to contact the race. To do this, you’d write an email like the example shown below:
There are a number of other reasons that a pre-race email might be useful to send out before a race, besides just confirming registration information. If any information about the race has changed since the race opening, a pre-race email is a great way to make sure runners have the most up-to-date information. Even if information hasn’t changed, including information that participants will want to reference the week before or on race day (packet pickup, parking info, etc) in a pre-race email can make this information much easier for participants to find, improving their experience with your event.
Additionally, if you are using barcode or QR code scanners to check in participants, you can use a replacement tag to send barcodes and QR codes in each email. This allows users to print the pre-race email (or pull it up on their smartphone) and use a quick scan from a barcode or QR code reader to accurately and efficiently check-in participants. Sending this to participants just prior to the race makes it easy for them to find, and can really streamline your packet pickup and race day check-in process.
Marketing New Races to Previous Participants
Are you a RunSignUp partner with multiple races? If so, you can easily setup an email to go out to all runners who have participated in any of your events, or create a custom list that contacts a sub-set of your participants. From your partner dashboard go to Email Marketing -> Manage List. This is just like the steps you take on your Race Dashboard, but you will have a different set of options when creating a new custom list:
These custom list options will allow you to select any and all races currently under your partnership. This will then include any of the participants in those races in your email. You can even select specific events within those races when creating the custom lists. So, if your partnership is launching a new marathon event, you could create a list of all participants who have run in any races under your partnership, and craft an email specifically for them.
If you want to create a more targeted email (rather than emailing all previous participants at once), you can create multiple lists of participants based on the events they participated in previously. With the ability to easily create email marketing lists that target different participants in your community, you can design improved email campaigns that not only improve communication with runners (and their race day experience), but also drive new registrations to help grow your races.
Have you used RunSignUp email marketing in other ways that have been especially effective for your events? Do you have an idea on a new type of email you’d like to send, but you need an option we don’t support (yet)? Let us know so we can include it in our future Email Marketing updates!