How To Use Images and HTML Templates in RunSignUp Emails

RunSignUp’s email system allows users to enter their own HTML into their emails. This allows users to copy and paste any pre-existing formatted email into the RunSignUp email system. It also allows users to show images in their emails, as long as those images are hosted on the web. In order to use these options, you’ll need to click on the “Source Code” button in the Email Editor as shown below…


This will open a window in which you can view the email HTML and insert your own HTML…


Which will then be reflected in the email editor after closing the window…


How To Add Images

In order to add an image to the email, you will need to know where the image is located on the web. This can usually be found by right-clicking the image on the web, and choosing the option to open the image in a new tab, as shown below…


Once the image has been opened in a New Tab, you can copy the URL of this page, which will allow you to use it in your emails…


Once you have the URL of the image you wish to insert into the email, you’ll create an <img> tag in the HTML editor of the email system pointing to the image’s location on the web, by setting the “src” value shown to the image’s location.


This will then grab the image from the web, and insert it into your emails, allowing you to use images from around the web in your RunSignUp emails.


How To Use Existing HTML Email Templates

If you already have an email template that you wish to use in the RunSignUp email system, you can copy the HTML of that email using a very similar process. First copy, the HTML of the email template you wish to use, and then copy it into the HTML editor, as shown below…


Adding the Email Template HTML as shown then generates the formatted email, which can be edited or updated as needed within the email editor…


If you are copying an HTML template from an external system, please make sure to remove any unsubscribe links, or other content that references that external system before sending. RunSignUp will automatically add Unsubscribe links to all emails, but leaving references to the other system in your email will cause confusion.

RunSignUp will soon be releasing new base email template options, allowing for easy insertion of a race’s banner or logo and will also include default formatting. Users will still be able to start with a blank template if they wish, and will continue to be able to use these options to use custom templates and images.

Referral Sharing Code in EMail Marketing

We’ve removed the tag %REGISTRATION_REFERRAL_CODE% from the Email Marketing system. Some customers were confused that this was a link that could be used by referrers – when it was actually just the code itself. Please use either:


Unsubscribed Emails

There is a now a list of unsubscribed emails for Email marketing. This is available in a  report as well as a downloadable CSV. This is helpful if you use other email marketing tools and want to make sure you honor all unsubscribed addresses across various email marketing platforms.

This report is available under EMail Marketing -> Unsubscribed participants.

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Email Marketing Updates

We released a series of updates to the Email Marketing system. These include:

Ability to exclude recipient lists: Instead of just selecting the lists to send to, you now have to option to select both recipients and exclusions. A few examples of when you may want to use exclusions:

  • You want to email all participants about giveaway sizes, except for a custom list of participants who elected not to get a giveaway.
  • You want to email all previous participants except those who are on one of your currently registered

Add Race Theme to outbound emails: You can keep your branding consistent with custom color and font selections. This theme defaults to match the theme selected for your website.

Add email template to preload on all emails: Save time by setting a standard signature, greeting, or format to auto-load on all your emails.

Race Theme and Email Templates can be set and saved from your Dashboard at Email Marketing >>>Manage Email Settings


There is also improved interface on list creation, send emails, and custom contact list management.

RunSignUp Quick Hits…Features Even Advanced Users May Missed

Over the next few days, we’ll be sharing a host of resources from our 3rd annual RunSignUp Symposium. First up: some blog links to features you may have missed. Even our most advanced users often have a hard time keeping up with all our updates (2,000+ in 2015); RunSignUp Sales Lead Bryan Jenkins picked a few to highlight:

email-imageSearch Box Bib/Email
Need to find a participant quickly? Instead of navigating to the participant report first,
there is a search bar at the top of each page of your Dashboard.

Automated Emails
We have a few (and soon will have more) automated emails for things like incomplete registrations & RaceJoy. Turn these on to cut down on manual notifications sent to runners.

Email Reporting
Track opens, bounces, clicks, spam reports, etc. on emails that you send out from the system.

Shared Reports
Share limited participant data with other users, securely.

Custom Reports
Pick and choose the information that you want to see on a participant report, and filter out all other data.

Financial Report
You probably know that financial reports exist, but do you understand what each field means, or that you can download a detailed participant report?

Giveaway Inventory
In addition to having the ability to track the inventory on your giveaways, we have a giveaway projection tool that will help you plan how many giveaways to order based on previous orders.

Loyalty Program
Reward runners from previous years, volunteers, or any other specific group by offering early registration…matched directly on personal info, so there’s no password to be shared around.

Reserved Entries
Allow runners to register for an event that is (technically) full, without manual processing of payment and data import.

google-analyticsGoogle Analytics
View demographic information on the visitors to your site…and monitor the effectiveness of your marketing with analytic web data on your dashboard.

Custom Content Display, Menu, and Pages
Our race websites have a lot of flexibility: you can pick what items are on the main menu, which ones are sub-menu items, and the order that it all shows up.

Giveaway Reports
View your Giveaway Report by males and females.

Repeat Participant Reports
See how many (and who) of your runners from previous years have registered again…and see who has not so you can target them directly.

Misc Settings
Looking for something that doesn’t seem to fit anywhere else on the dashboard? It’s probably in Misc Settings; for example, for events that are not actually races (like a Symposium!) you can customize the wording used throughout your site.

Quick Multi-Race Access/Editing
If you have multiple races, sometimes you want to switch between races on a single page. Perhaps you are adding coupon codes across multiple races and want to do that on all 4 of your races.

Bryan Jenkins

RunSignUp and Email Marketing (Part Three)

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:

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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.

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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:

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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!