Participants and Spectators Celebrate with RaceJoy!


This past weekend, RaceJoy was offered at two premier road races, the Madison Marathon in Wisconsin and the Charlotte Marathon in North Carolina. The races provided RaceJoy’s live phone tracking, progress alerts and cheer messages to participants and their supporting friends and families.


Another big weekend for RaceJoy, with 12,400 people using the app and more than 145,000 progress alerts issued, the Madison and Charlotte Marathon events contributed to more than half of the users and alerts over the weekend.


The Madison Marathon starts and finishes in beautiful Capitol Square, taking runners through some of the most iconic areas of Madison, WI, attracting 3,500 runners and walkers. Race organizers offered RaceJoy for the second year, and had an overwhelming response with more than 130% usage – that’s a total of 4,550 runners and their supporting family and friends using RaceJoy!


The Charlotte Marathon is a race for all runners, enabling them to experience the sights and sounds of the Southeast’s fastest growing city, including the Queen City’s signature tree lined streets, historic landmarks, major sporting venues and the most eclectic neighborhood parties. The race attracted 4,000 runners and walkers. In its first year offering RaceJoy, there was an awesome showing with more than 3,600 participants and their supporting family and friends using the app!


Both of the races did a great job of promoting RaceJoy, posting information on their websites and social media platforms. This had a significant impact on the usage at both events.

Madison Marathon Website


Charlotte Marathon Facebook

Between the two events, a staggering 13,000 cheers were sent to participants! That’s what we like to see!

A very dynamic race, dedicated to providing a unique race day experience, Charlotte also utilized the Geo Cheer Point feature, sending custom cheer messages to participants as they passed certain milestones along the course.


The race director set up the geo cheer markers through his race dashboard. One of the cheers included a message toward the end of the race encouraging the runners to the finish. It said, “One. More. Mile. To. Go. You’ve got this! Let’s crush it and enjoy that finish festival!” This text-to-audio message was combined with one of RaceJoy’s pre-recorded cheers, Celebration, and was sent to participants as they crossed the last mile marker before the finish.

Here’s what the cheer sounded like on race day:


Thank you race organizers for embracing the technology and including RaceJoy in your race day experience. And, congratulations finishers on a job well done – you did it!


RaceJoy Ready Your Event

If you’re interested in offering RaceJoy at your upcoming event, check out our website or your RunSignUp dashboard for more information. Please note: we require a minimum two-week lead time prior to the race date and an electronic version of your course map (KML/GPX format preferred). To request a demo or if you have questions, feel free to send an email to We’re happy to help!

Registration Web Referral Source

We released a major step forward with our Race Analytics engine today – showing web referral sources for Registrations and Transaction Dollars.

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 3.47.21 PM

This is all built on our big RunSignUp Analytics engine that is tracking each click that happens on your race website. Just like Google Analytics, we are tracking the  web referral source – so if a person saw a link to your race on Facebook and clicked on it, we know that click to your website came from Facebook and keep track of that as a pageview. We also keep track of when that person registers and keep track of that so there is a mapping.

For example, in the above race, 6 people came from the Facebook Mobile App generating $144, and 2 people came from regular Facebook in a web browser generating $70.

Other notes:

  • If you have a website for your race, that will likely be the top referrer since people are just coming to – and that is the case above
  • Direct means several things:
    • They typed in the direct RunSignUp URL –
    • They came to and searched for your race
    • They were imported
  • We will continue to build out functionality. In the next few weeks you will be able to:
    • See the split between Registration and Donation $Dollars
    • Create custom tracking codes for your own Campaigns. For example, create a unique code for each Facebook ad or for your own email system if you do not use RunSignUp

We are glad to be getting so much positive feedback on our new dashboards. Here is a snapshot of how they look now:

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 2.59.22 PM

What the Running Boom Pop Means for Races

In a recent New York Times article “The Running Boom Has Popped”, Jen Miller says

“Road races have hit the wall. The number of finishers in events in the United States has fallen from a peak of about 19 million in 2013 to just over 17 million in 2016.”

In the RunSignUp Trends Report analyzing trends from 2015-2016 of races, we found a flattening of registrations for races, with the number of registrations going up only 0.5%:

Screen Shot 2017-11-05 at 1.35.51 PM.png

Before getting too depressed, realize the RunningUSA numbers are based on finisher data that is incomplete, and an increasing number of events are less about the finish times and more about fun and community or charity activities. And there are still tens of millions of people participating in events across the country.

So What’s Race Director to Do?

In short, focus on what happens before and after registration – Promoting your race, and making Race Day a great experience.

RunSignUp knows that race directors have a tough job, and most are volunteers or part time. So we have been building more automated tools that help you promote your event and make race day special. Here are some of the best things you can do that will be quick and easy to set up, and bring more people to your race:

Automated Emails – Simply turn on the Automated Emails for Incomplete Registration and Price Increase. The system will take care of the rest for you – sending emails to people who did not complete registration, and to send custom emails to past participants before price increases.

Referral Rewards – Our recommendation is to set this up to give participants their registration fee back if they get 5 friends to sign up. Races doing this get over 10% of their registrations from the referral program and have an ROI of over 1,000%. And the RunSignUp system does everything else for you.

Facebook Page – Make sure you are integrated with your Facebook page and have set up good sharing options. This way your referrers will be even more powerful getting your race brand exposure. And for advanced Facebook advertisers, use our Facebook Custom Audience feature.

Race Day Notifications – Make sure your timer turns on automatic results notifications so participants get txt alerts of their results seconds after they cross the finish line.

RaceDay Photos – Get a photographer (or ask your timer to provide one!) and get your photos uploaded fast after the race. We automatically tag bib numbers so participants and spectators can enjoy their own pictures – and turn on the ability for them to add their own tags. This can be done very cheaply, and people love photos – at one race of 800 people there were over 34,000 photo views in the 2 days after the race.

RaceJoy – Here is a quote from a recent participant: “Racejoy was amazing. My brother out in Florida watched the “blue spot” go around the screen and listened to a cow bell the entire way and it was so special for him and me. I love it and I will always use RaceJoy! And by the way I’m 71 years old, and I figured it out myself, and that’s saying something. Which means the technology was not complicated and very user-friendly.”

Need more ideas? Feel free to talk with our team to discuss your particular race and what might work for your situation. We have hundreds of features that you have at your fingertips in your RunSignUp bag of tricks – make use of them so your race is not only a survivor in the bubble pop, but a true success.

Transaction Amounts in Dashboard

As promised last week, transaction dollars are now showing in the dashboard:

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 11.56.56 AM

And, there is attribution for where the registration came from for Emails. As the note says, web referrals (the website source like Facebook, Google or will be coming soon!

In the above example, we know that $1,315 was processed on 84 registrations in the past 7 days, and $660 and 40 of those came from the EMail that was done (on 11/1 because you can see the spike in registrations).

UX Update: Registration Enhancements

We’ve been working hard on big enhancements to the usability and design of the registration process. Here is a breakdown of the changes!

1. Full-screen layout
Why full-screen? It declutters the interface and focuses the user on registration…which is what we want, right?

Full-screen gives us more white space, which increases the clarity of the page elements and improves the mobile experience.

An easy to use form = more conversions!

2. Integration of consistent design elements

As we create new and improved designs for our platform, it is important to reuse designs in appropriate places. The result? The platform will become familiar and recognizable through consistent design choices. Here are a few examples:

Ombre (gradient): In our new design, you will find our Ombre in the header, event boxes, and cart.

Profile: The profile has been updated throughout the new registration to better reflect our new profile design, as seen in the new profile section and the new CRM.

Fonts: Roboto. It just looks better!

3. Previous participant is now…Quick Fill!

You may remember the previous participant button at the top of the registration. This is a great way to speed up registration by using your sub-accounts, but its wording was confusing.

To help clarify this function, we have created Quick Fill. It functions the same way, but is easier to understand.

4. Cleaning up the form for ease of use

All of the form elements have been redesigned to be easier to read and more modern. We replaced the bright colors on the fields with gray (if you like colors, just select a field) and rounded the edges.

To help condense the page, we moved the Additional Information up under the Basic Info, and the password section is now located right under the email fields.

So what does this do for all your participants? It provides a clean, focused interface for registration and will produce increased registration conversions. Yay!

5. Introducing the Event Tiles

The event box has been updated to incorporate our new branding. You will notice an ombre based on your theme at the top and a drop shadow. These visual updates aid in creating a friendly design that is easy to read and comprehend for participants.

Races with a large number of events will appreciate the new look because it is easier to scan through multiple event tiles


In addition, the Group/Team feature has been updated with clear wording (Join) and a fun icon! The Group/Team pop-up had some minor updates: an ombre was added to the create/join buttons and the layout and flow of the team creation were improved.

6. New checkout page

The checkout page has been redesigned with a fun and easy to read design.

– Cleaner layout
– Fun and usable credit card entry

The cart is higher on the page with improved visibility, registration information has a new modern look, and registrants look more like the profile with fun icons.

We’ve added a new dynamic credit card to our checkout page that shows your name, credit card number, expiration date, and even the CVV number as you enter them. This design not only makes it fun to enter your credit card – it also serves as confirmation that you are entering the right information. So have fun registering!

7. Improved error messaging

We’ve cleaned up our error messaging to be consistent and more informative.

8. And some small improvements…

  • Theme & Colors: You may notice that with your custom color theme applied, all the colors on the text, buttons, and gradients just seem to work well. That is because our developers have developed a creative way to make sure that text is white on a dark background and vice versa. Very cool!

  • Improved and fun congratulations message on the confirmation page.

  • Updated refund page. We added a “back to website” button for a clear path after cancellation.

This is just the beginning…stay tuned for more updates!

Geek Corner – Integrating Transaction Data into RunSignUp Analytics

You may have seen a new piece of data on your Dashboard Overview page – Transactions! As of Nov. 2, the data still shows $0:


While it will be cool to see the real data in another day or so, for geeks, the interesting part is how we are going to show the data!

If you have been following along, we have built our own equivalent of Google Analytics for races. It tracks each click on your website and matches that up against things like Registrations and $ Transactions. It is a separate system built on the latest technology using a web service API Gateway, Lambdas to process, and a replicated, scalable AWS Aurora database.

We are adding features incrementally, and we are now adding Transaction data. To do this, we have a PHP script running in the background on the main RunSignUp servers to capture the transaction data from each and every transaction back to the spring of 2010. Yes, millions and millions of transactions are being analyzed and the data exported to the Analytics database via the API Gateway and Lambdas and stored in the Aurora database. This process has been running since Oct. 25 – yes, over 7 days to capture all of the data.

Once the data is over in the Analytics database, we will clear the caches, and transaction data will magically appear!

The next step is to align source information (email, Facebook Mobile, etc.) with the registration and transaction data. Once we have that working, we will do a similar data export of all the Registration $ and Donation $ so you will be able to see which channels are producing the most donations and which are producing the most registration dollars.

And this is happening many times per second.  Geeky cool…