Email Marketing How To

We have a new How To on the Email Marketing system that is integrated into your Dashboard.  This How To covers:

– Setting Up Your SendGrid Account
– Managing Your Email Settings
– Sending Emails
– Managing Emails
– Managing Email Lists

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Clean API’s and No Meetings

You often hear the recommendation of “Let’s have a meeting” and “Let’s communicate more”. At RunSignUp we think meetings and communicating are a waste of time.

Mark Nigro, the CTO at Bluestone Software and a very bright man, introduced me to the concept that communicating and having meetings was a waste of time. His concept was built around simplicity. Have a clear vision, have a clear set of tasks and define simple, common methods for communicating. APIThis was built on his computer science foundational concept of building everything as a component with a clean API that others could could use if they needed to.

We obviously follow this from how we have built RunSignUp and the Open API we have built so it is easy to interoperate with our system as well as inside our system.

In fact, the fact that we have designed our system from the beginning to be self-service is an important part of our strategy. It means that a customer can do anything they want and not have to reply on talking with someone at RunSignUp. This gives our customers more power in their hands, and lowers our overall cost of doing business. Just like avoiding an unnecessary meeting :-)

We have also designed the company in a similar fashion. People have pretty clear sets of functions and goals. We have a clear vision of being here to serve our customers. So the need for internal communication is fairly limited.

We have defined a set of communication mechanisms that are used internally and externally. This blog is one of them – it is how we communicate new features to our entire team as well as our customers in one, clean interface that can be searched. The same for all of our How To Videos as well as our Customer Case Studies and Customer Videos.

Anyway, I wanted to share this (with our company and our customers and partners!) since it had come to mind over the past day as we released a number of advances. This approach is one of the reasons we can move so quickly and will continue to move forward fast.

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Twitter Ad Conversion Tracking

twitterYou can now track Twitter ad conversions like we have had for Google, Facebook and other ad conversion tracking. Conversion tracking allows you to match clicks from Twitter to actual sales that happen.

Twitter Ads can be interesting as a low cost way of getting visibility for your race.

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 1.42.30 PMTo turn on conversion tracking, go to your Twitter ad management dashboard and click on the conversion tracking area to get the correct information. The screen shot on the right shows you the dialog that pops up. Then take the tracking id (it is in the 4th line of the screen shot to the right – “l5jw2″ for this particular ad account. This is for your overall Twitter account and can be applied to any race you want to advertise with.

Now go into the RunSignUp Dashboard and enter that tracking ID on the Promotion -> Conversion -> Twitter as show below:

Twitter Conversion Tracking

Once that is installed, any registrations that happen will send the checkout data to twitter so you will know how many people actually paid as a result of your ads.

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Search Fundraisers

We have added a nice fast search capability for races with lots of fundraisers like the Semper Fi Marine Corps Marathon. Here is a screen shot – the list of people comes up similarly to Google searches and our Results searches (pretty cool):

Fundraiser Search

And here is what the fundraising page looks like for a fundraiser (customized by each fundraiser for what they want their goal to be, what the picture is, their message as well as a scrolling list of donors (he did not include that one):

Fundraiser Page

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Manual Donations for Multiple Charities

You can now add manual entries for cash and checks received for multiple charities. This makes reporting easier when your race is supporting multiple charities.

Manual Donations

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Fast Check-In Improvements

We have been getting good feedback from customers that are checking in thousands of participants for their races. We added the nice custom EMail option with the barcode for each participant.

Today we have made it super fast to scan and go by adding this new option to the Check-In Configuration page on RD Go. When it is checked, after you check someone in, the screen clears and the cursor goes right back to the Registration ID field so you can quickly scan the next person. Scan-Click-Scan-Click-Scan-Click.

Fast Check-In

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RaceJoy Partner Strategy

RaceJoyRaceJoy is an open mobile platform. This follows the open approach RunSignUp has taken from the beginning. Our goal is to give runners and races plenty of choice when using RaceJoy for their race. This is probably best explained by the type of partners we will be looking to work with over the coming year. We encourage you to reach out to us and have a conversation about how we can collaborate.

Registration Providers
Race ListWe want RaceJoy to be available to every race, and that means working with lots of registration providers. We expect all of these to be free services we provide to registration providers that expand their capabilities and broaden the use of RaceJoy. There are several specific integration points we will be bringing out before the summer of 2015:

  • RaceJoy Race List. An upcoming release of RaceJoy will have a list of races that we will aggregate from multiple registration sources. If your registration system has a clean API, especially one that mimics the RunSignUp API, we can pull races and present them.
  • RaceJoy Race Registration. If your registration system has a responsive design, then we can link the race listing right to your registration page.
  • RaceJoy Enable Races. For RaceJoy to work really well for your races, a map needs to be loaded into the system. We accept images as well as GPX and KML formatted digital maps from systems like MapMyRun and Google Pedometer. We will also be releasing an iframe based tool that you can bundle to allow race directors to define their maps and timing points. We are looking for partners who will make it easy and free for races to “RaceJoy Enable” their races.

Race Specific Apps, App Content Management System Builders
Over time, we intend to build a couple of mechanisms that allow other mobile apps to include the key RaceJoy functionality of GPS Race Tracking and GPS Timing Points. This is very difficult technology to build correctly and to scale, so it will be our specialty. We will not go into the market of building race specific apps. We feel there are a growing number of app builders on the market that will handle most of those needs and the combination of embedding responsive designed web apps is very appropriate and relatively low cost solution for races and race series that want their own app.

The timing on exact packaging of this is still to be determined at this point. We are likely to introduce capabilities by the Fall of 2015. The likely approach will be providing a library that can be packaged with your mobile app, and can be an embedded part of content building tools (hopefully tools like Crowdtorch for example). We may also offer lighter weight models that make it simple to call our app from your app.

From a pricing and packaging perspective, this is still under discussion. Our preference is to keep our In App purchase mechanism and pricing of 99 cents coming to us with no cost to your app. This may shift as we learn more and run into limitations on the Apple and Google store models.

Results & Notification Systems
The GPS Timing Points is a powerful new capability that fits in perfectly with standard gun and chip time results systems. RunSignUp’s RD Go will be offering integrated GPS timing point splits, as well RunScore Results.

We want to make this data available via an Open API to other result and notification systems as well. This is currently not available, but plans are to put it in place in 2015.

Summary
We are looking for feedback on these and other interesting partnership opportunities with this unique and powerful technology.

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