How Many Registrations come from Mobile Facebook?

MattMo just sent me this email:

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We are working on the next steps of the RunSignUp Analytics platform. That is our new platform that is showing those cool graphs about pageviews and email registrations. We should be releasing Transaction $’s tomorrow.

The really, really cool thing that is now working under the covers is tracking sources. We will soon be able to do more than email tracking for registrations – keeping track of the source of each registration and the total Transaction $, the Registration $ and the Donation $. So by the end of November, your race will know how many people registered via a mobile Facebook post or a Google search. Right on your dashboard – we’ll provide you real insight into your race promotion.

New Registration User Experience

IMG_5403We have released a MAJOR upgrade to the core registration process participants follow to signup for your events as part of our User Experience Manifesto.

It is designed for mobile first, with a cleaner look and feel, better flow, improved visibility for groups and teams, a great looking checkout page, and some cool UX tricks like flipping credit cards!

For the next week or so, while we gather feedback, this is optional. You can select the new registration process under the Race Theme page in your dashboard. After that, we will default all races to this mode – so provide feedback if you have some.

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Mobile First

Phone view of some major pages:

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Full Screen

One of the key new designs is the full screen approach – we used to keep registration inside the frame of the race website. It now takes over the whole screen. This creates a cleaner user experience, and we expect fewer distractions and more complete registrations. The form elements are also newly designed, as is the header.

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We have also spent a lot of time to work on color matches and readability even when our customers make “questionable” color choices:-) And you will notice we are picking up our new ombré color transition on headers (fades from dark to light from left to right):

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We have made joining groups and teams much clearer on the right along with cleaner demarcation between events with the drop shadow borders:

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And the pop-up is cleaner:

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Store and Add-On Items

This page also has been cleaned up with a better looking selection box:

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The checkout page is also segmented into logical areas with nice frames to set out the important information like Registration Cart on the right:

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Credit Card

And we have a new cool design for credit cards. The actual card changes color and logo depending on the type (AMEX, VISA, MasterCard and Discover) as you start to type:

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And when you enter the CCV, the card actually flips (or stays on the front side for AMEX)!

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Optional Processing Fee Payment

If your race has the option for the participant to pay the fee (this is common for donation and fundraising events), the new look is designed to increase participation:


Confirmation Page

And we’ve added a little celebration on the confirmation page, along with an easier to read and understand layout:

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We are pleased to be putting out substantial improvement to our User Experience – because it really becomes your race’s User Experience for your participants. And we are here to make you look good!

Next on the plate for participants is a new look for your race website – wait until you see what we have planned…

Random Question Response

We recently had a race that wanted an option to pick a random response to the question of which officer they were running in honor of since there were 900 officers that could have been chosen. This can be setup in the Question setup page:


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This shows as a button during registration:

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Note also, that if a large number of options are available, a Search button will appear:


How to Create a Facebook Ad with Custom Audiences

We recently released support for Facebook Custom Audiences, along with a walkthrough of How to Create a Facebook Custom Audience using these new reports. This walkthrough will show how to take the custom and lookalike audiences created in these previous posts and create Facebook ads targeting these new audiences. To get started, you will need to navigate to your Facebook Ads Manager and click on the Create an Ad button.

The first step in creating a Facebook advertisement is to determine what the ad’s marketing objective is. For most races and events, the primary objective of the campaign will be to drive registrations or Conversions, so for our example, we will show an ad setup with the goal of driving conversions.

Once you have selected the conversations objective, you will be asked if you want to create a split test, and you will be prompted to create a name for the campaign. Split tests are an advanced technique used to compare different advertisements and strategies to determine which are the most effective advertisements. In this example, we will be setting up a simple advertisement without using a split test, but stay tuned for a split-test walkthrough in the future!

The next step in your setup will be to create a name for a new Ad Set. An Ad Set allows you to define a target audience and spending rules. You can then create advertisements within that Ad Set, which will follow all of the targeting and spending rules defined by the Ad Set. This allows you to easily define the targeting and spending, but to create different ad copy for separate advertisements.

Next, you will have to define what a conversion is for this advertisement. You can either use the standard Purchase event, which RunSignUp will trigger when a registration is completed, or you can create a Custom Conversion.

Our next step will be to determine the target audience for our advertisement. The first section of this form prompts the users to select a custom or lookalike as the baseline targeting.

If you are using a custom audience, all the targeting you need to do is to select that audience from the dropdown! Facebook will create a target audience that only references the Facebook users on the list that you specifically uploaded. You can add additional targeting information such as zip code radius, age, and gender, but this will narrow your target list. Since the custom lists generated through RunSignUp will have participated in your event in some way, typically you won’t want to further refine this target audience.

However, if you are creating an advertisement from a lookalike audience rather than a custom audience, additional refinement is a vital step. Unlike a custom audience that is targeting a specific list, a lookalike audience takes the participants on your custom list and attempts to find Facebook users that are close matches and are therefore good targets for your campaign. The caveat, however, is when creating a lookalike audience you can only setup geographic targets by continent or country. This means by default your lookalike audience will target the entire United States.

Obviously, targeting the entire country for a race is rarely the way to achieve the highest return on investment. To address this problem, click on the “Edit Locations” button and enter the name of any locations you wish to target. Facebook will then update a map displaying the different areas targeted by the advertisement. This will then take the nationwide lookalike audience and refine its targeting to only include lookalike participants within the geographical targeting.

The next steps allow you to refine additional targeting, including or excluding participants based on specific interests or connections. Since we are using either custom audiences or lookalike audiences, we do not necessarily need to add additional targeting based on interests, but the options are available.

While you are building your advertisement, Facebook will give you a running total of the approximate size of your audience, an estimated daily reach, and conversions based on your spending. Keep an eye on these metrics as you refine your targeting to make sure you don’t accidentally make your advertisement too inclusive or exclusive.

When you are satisfied with your audience, click on the Save This Audience button at the bottom of the Audience setup. Facebook will then generate a popup with a summary of the information in this target audience, as well as prompt you for a name of the audience. Be sure to name the audience with a descriptive name so it is easy to understand and re-use for any additional advertisements.

After defining your audience, you will be prompted on how you would like Facebook to determine where the ads should be placed. It is recommended that you use the default setting of Automatic Placements, which allows Facebook to determine the best locations to place your advertisements. You can select the option not to place your advertisements in certain locations, but this is only recommended if you have very specific reasons for refining your ad’s placement.

The final step in creating your Ad Set is to determine your Budget & Schedules. Budgets can be set on a daily amount or a lifetime spending. If you select a daily budget, you’ll be given the option to run the advertisement continually or select a specific date range. If you select a lifetime budget, you will have to define the dates you wish the advertisement to run. These scheduling capabilities allow races to create and run advertisements closely linked to specific events, such as holiday discounts or price increase promotions.

The remaining advanced options can further refine your schedule and conversion windows, but can easily be left on the Facebook defaults unless you have a specific reason to refine these parameters.

Once you’ve defined your Ad Set’s target audience and budget, you can create the specific copy of the advertisement you are running. If you have access to a Facebook Page associated with your advertising target, you can link your business’s page to the targeted ad.

Next, you will determine the format and the advertisement. Facebook provides a number of different advertisement options ranging from a single image ad to a slideshow or video advertisement.

Facebook will then prompt you to enter the content of the advertisement based on the type of ad being placed. You can either upload images or select a free stock image provided by Facebook.

The final step to place your advertisement will be to set the destination URL of where to send users who click on the link, the headline of the ad, the text of the ad, and a call to action as shown below:

Facebook will automatically generate the advertisement preview shown on the right. You can select different types of ad previews by using the drop-down menu under the Ad Preview setup, to see how the advertisement will appear in different mediums – both a mobile view and a desktop view.

Once you are satisfied with your ad’s content, click the green Confirm button at the bottom right-hand side of the page. Facebook will review your advertisements to make sure it meets its guidelines, and will begin serving your ads to your target audiences!




The Hartford Marathon Brings the Joy to its Race Day Experience with RaceJoy’s Advanced Tracking!


One of the most known and largest races in Connecticut, the 2017 Hartford Marathon was all about determination, passion and community. The course showcases the revitalized riverfronts of Hartford and East Hartford with breathtaking views of the Connecticut River and classic New England charm of Old Main Street.


And, to add to the scenic course as part of the race day experience, race organizers offered RaceJoy to participants and spectators for live tracking, progress updates at every mile, and fun and motivational audio cheer messages.


Thousands of individual runners and relay teams used RaceJoy on race day. Participants and teams took advantage of RaceJoy’s live GPS tracking so that others knew their exact position on the course.

We received very positive feedback from participants. One half marathon participant said:

This was only my second half marathon and at mile 12 I was struggling with leg cramps! All of a sudden, I received a cheer from my daughter through RaceJoy saying “if Janet Jackson can have a baby at 52, you can do this”! Ironically, I was listening to Janet Jackson tunes at the same time! It cracked me up and surely helped motivate me! This app is great from both a motivational perspective and safety too! My cheering squad knew exactly where I was and how I was doing!  Love this idea!!! Keep up the good work 😀

– Lise A. Hartford, Half Marathon Participant

Another participant shared:

Using RaceJoy was a blast! My family tracked me and sent a “Woohoo!” cheer at every mile.

– Kayla G. Hartford, Half Marathon Participant


A top-notch marathon experience with high-energy crowds is a keystone feature of the Hartford Marathon. More than 5,000 cheers were sent over the course of the weekend, and we even had a few supporting fans reach RaceJoy’s 50 cheer limit to a given participant on race day. Now, that is some serious support!

Special congratulations to Melissa on attainting her PR at Hartford, but more importantly on her new baby. Hubby gets a gold star, too! 😉

I am a new mom, just ran the Hartford Half with my PR! I fit training in with runs with the stroller, making a race with no stroller feel easier! I’m lucky to have a wonderful supportive husband. For the race, my husband and 7-month baby could follow me on RaceJoy. Thank you!

– Melissa G. Hartford, Half Marathon Participant

Those who used RaceJoy were also able to receive progress updates at every mile, which included information like pace, estimated finish and elapsed time. Relay teams made full use of this feature and received alerts for the active leg and over all team time. RaceJoy issued an impressive 43,000 alerts on race day!


At the end of the race the post-race party offered all the pomp and circumstance with a festive celebration in Bushnell Park with beer, live music and food. And, of course, the participants got to show off their special swag after earning their bragging rights for finishing the race.

Photo sent from Kendra C.      RaceJoy User and 5K Participant

Race organizers also used RaceJoy to track key race operations like the lead and tail female and male runners so that they, at any given time, knew the exact location of the top finisher and final person on the course. Thank you to the race organizers for including us at the 2017 Hartford Marathon and congratulations finishers on a great race day!


If you’d like to offer RaceJoy at your event, check out our website or your RunSignUp dashboard for more information. Please note that we require a minimum two-week load time and an electronic version of your course map (KML/GPX format preferred).


RunSignUp CRM – Your Participant Hub

RunSignUp is the hub of information about your participants since your race can use us for your entire race lifecycle – Promotion – Registration – Fundraising – Race Day. We now give you better visibility to your participants across all of their races with you across history with our new CRM View:

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This view is reached when you are searching for participants in your race, and click on “Manage”. Some of the key features:

  • See all the races they have done with you, as well as Referrals,  Fundraisers, and Donations. This let’s you make sure you  know who your important customers are.
  • Quick view if they are part of Teams or Corporate Teams.
  • Most recent races.
  • Information about their current registration
  • Quick access to our Participant Management features

You can see how the old User Experience has been updated:

1. Resend Confirmation Email for this participant
2. All the race-specific registration information
3. Find your action buttons here on the right hand side!

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We will be releasing more features to expose your customer data, as well as provide you with powerful actions as part of our focus on providing the most powerful CRM for races available.