Sub Questions

Question LogicWe have added the ability to have question logic. This means that you can show a sub question only if the answer to a previous question is given in a certain way.

The example on the right is a simple one – where you only want a runner entering their expected time based on if they want to be in the Elite Heat of the race.Sub Questions

This can be used for any multiple choice or Yes/No question.

To use this, first enter all of your questions – both the main questions and the sub-questions. A Subquestion can be created for any previous question, and show for any of the selections of the previous question.

After the questions are entered and saved, then there is a button at the top of the Questions setup page for “Question Logic”. See the examples below:

Question Logic

 

 

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Software Developer Opening

Help WantedWe are looking to hire a full time software developer to help RunSignUp continue to provide great web services and cutting edge technology to the running community. This is an opportunity to do great development, work with some very bright people, as well as to learn and broaden your knowledge base. You will be joining a very fast growing and successful company.

We have an advanced technology stack running on Amazon that produced 99.998% up time in 2013 and allowed us to serve customers with speed in the top 10% of all websites. Our infrastructure is built on PHP and MySQL. We were the first race registration website to offer a mobile interface to runners, and over 40% of our registrations occur on mobile now. We use Bootstrap and a responsive design as well as extensive AJAX and Javascript on the front end. We believe in Continuous Integration and Deployment, with over 200 significant releases in 2013 alone. We also believe in re-writing software every 2-3 years to improve our system based on what we have learned from customers.

We are looking for someone to work on the core product offering. This means someone who will do web development in PHP, MYSQL and Javascript. Mostly, we are looking for technical excellence and superior development skills. Number of years of experience is not important, as we realize everyone (including us!) has things to learn.

We are looking for someone who fits our culture.  Our guiding principles are to have equal parts of Work, Learn, Fun, and Team.  We believe that customers, employees and owners all share equally in the responsibility and success of the company.  This is covered in more detail in our Company Strategy video link below.  Please review our material to make sure this is the right type of place for you, such as:

Some of the key attributes we are looking for (we will look for the best mix):

  • PHP, MySQL, Javascript experience
  • Linux experience
  • AWS Cloud Services like SQS, SES, SNS, EC2, RDS
  • Open Source, Stackoverflow or other public contributions
  • Example websites that you have built
  • Based in Philadelphia or South Jersey
  • Deep running roots and enthusiasm for the sport
  • High energy, hands-on
  • Gets stuff done rather than just talk about stuff
  • Attention to detail and ability to complete tasks in a high volume environment
  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Thirst for learning
  • Team player

Competitive base salary based on expertise and experience. The company offers a generous profit sharing plan.  In addition, the company has a profit sharing plan that all employees participate in.  Health insurance is company paid, plus a $2,000 HSA contribution by the company.  The company also has a Simple IRA and pays up to 3% of an employees salary as a matching contribution.

If you think you can help our customers, please send a resume, pointers to example websites you have built, and sample code you have written to bob.bickel at runsignup.com.

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New Office!

RunSignUp Office on Mill StWe have a new office (300 Mill St., Suite 200, Moorestown, NJ 08057)!  Well, actually it is in a 150 year old lumber yard/hardware store building.  We are on the second floor.  You can rest assured we are not living lavishly on your processing fees :-)

We are in the process of decorating our office with pictures from customer’s races. We are uploading photos and getting them made into Canvas Prints.  Here is a sampling of what we are putting up.  If you have a photo from your race (very high resolution!), send it along so we can get our walls covered with glorious running photos!

Flags

MercedesBenz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big House Jordan
mike-hike-5k

critz-tybee-run-fest1

 

Spring Lake Start

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Faster Mobile Response Times

RunSignUp SpeedWe have implemented a new set of compression technology to reduce the size of pages sent to the browser. This is especially important for mobile browsers since the connect speed is slow and anything we can do to reduce the size of downloaded pages is a win.

For example, some of the file size reductions have been:

  • 35 KiloBytes (KB) to 7 KB
  • 19 KB to 4.5 KB
  • 88 KB to 16 KB

This improves the average response times for mobile users by about 10%.

For the very technical people in the audience, we are using gzip to compress static files like CSS and Javascript files. The cool trick we pulled off is that we had to do some work to get Amazon CloudFront to support this in a scalable manner.  CloudFront is the content distribution network that we use and places files as close to the user as possible. With over 20 locations int he US, this also means fast response time.

We continue to work hard to make the user experience as fast and efficient as possible, and are proud to rank in the top 10% of all sites monitored by New Relic.

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More Finisher Certificate Templates

We created some new alternatives for the Finisher’s Certificate. Remember that you can upload your own template as well!

Finisher Certificates

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Facebook Ads for Races

Facebook Ad OptionsIf you have not experimented with Facebook Ads for your race, you are probably missing an opportunity to expand your race. As you can see on the right, Facebook is offering a variety of options for advertising, which can be confusing. Facebook is also making moves that limit the reach of normal posts to as low as 1% (meaning as few as 100 people would see a post from a page with 10,000 Likes).

Last week we reviewed Facebook Offers for Races as a very effective way to encourage people to sign up for your race. With Facebook offers, you create a limited time coupon in RunSignUp and then put that coupon in a Facebook Offer. This appears in the Facebook Feed of people who “Like” your page and their friends. The results were impressive for our 1,200 person race with 38 registrations over a day and a half.

Facebook Race AdWith Facebook Ads, you can target an audience (for example Facebook users who have been classified as having an interest in running who also live in the 10 zipcodes around your race) beyond the network of people who “Like” your Facebook race page. Ads look something like the experimental one we did on the right. The downside is that there is not a strong “call to action” like the Facebook Offer (although we did opt for the “Sign Up” option).

RunSignUp allows you to tightly integrate and track your Facebook ads and their conversion. The screen shot below shows the results of our Facebook Ad experiment on our 1,200 person race. Note the 3 conversions were reported because of the integration with RunSignUp (we include a Facebook “tracking pixel” on the confirmation page so Facebook knows that someone actually registered and paid).

Facebook Ad ROI SummaryIn this example, we ran the ad for 4 days and spent $10 per day for a total of $40. 6,800 people saw the ad and we got 3 registrations.  We had 106 clicks on the ad to the race webpage, and we increased our Page Likes by 13.

Facebook Ad TypeHow to Set up a Facebook Ad for your Race
Here are the steps to take for setting up your ad, although you can get some excellent instructions on the Facebook Ads page as well.

First, go to Create an Ad and you will see the screen on the right. Since we are looking to get people to our race website (not just to our Facebook Page), we select the option for “Website Conversions” and then the specific type of “Registrations”.

Facebook ConversionsNext, Facebook will offer you a way to track the conversions. This screen contains the critical information that you will enter into RunSignUp to track the conversions. In RunSignUp, you will go to the Conversion page to set this up as shown below:

 

RunSignUp Conversion Code Setup
 

 

 

The key parameters are the fb_param.pixel_id, the fb_param.value, and the fb_param.currency.  Don’t let the computer code scare you – all you need to do is cut and paste a couple of numbers from Facebook into RunSignUp (the red circles in the diagram above). Once you click Save in RunSignUp, anyone registering in RunSignUp who originated from the Facebook Ad will result in a “conversion” being recorded in Facebook.

Creating your Facebook Race AdOnce you have set this up, you will verify the tracking code. Then you will be presented with a page to set up your Facebook Ad. We created two versions, and the second one got much better traction due to the colors and larger photo.

Make sure you select the “Sign Up” call to action (it really fits in well with the RunSignUp name!).

Target RunnersTarget Runners
The next thing you will do is select a target market. In addition to selecting a town or multiple tows around where your race is, you can select interests. There are a couple of potentials that you will find in the options. For example you will see Marathons and Running.  To get to Running, follow the drop downs shown in the example on the right.

Select PaymentPricing
Now you can select the bidding and pricing method. Facebook is not as specific as Google Adwords in their pricing and bidding tools, so it is a bit of a leap of faith. We think bidding for conversions is probably the best, but you should experiment by creating an ad campaign, running it for a few days and Automated Biddingthen change some of the settings to see what works best for your race.

Your ad is now all set to go!

Summary
Facebook is certainly one of the ways to grow your race, although it is only one piece. Facebook is the referring source for about 11% of all registrations that occur on RunSignUp. Natural sharing by runners who sign up for your race will certainly drive some traffic, but Facebook Advertising can be a nice boost and is worth experimenting with at least!

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SSL Security Issues Fixed

heartbleedIf you are a major geek, you know that the Heartbleed Bug was recently found and started to be exploited.  I am happy to report that we have implemented the fix as shown in this test.

Please let website owners that you use know about this.  The test can determine if their systems are vulnerable or not.

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