Click Click Run Marketing Services

Click Click RunWe are seeing more and more races use marketing to drive their registration numbers. Getting in front of runners and making them aware of your race and encouraging them to sign up for your race is increasingly important as more races emerge and new types of races like Blacklight Run, Night Nation and Bubble Run burst on the scene and commit large marketing budgets to advertising and sophisticated websites and email marketing.

One of our new partners, Click Click Run, offers marketing services for races. Located in Pennsylvania, they have helped a number of companies with services like Websites, Logos and Graphics, promotional materials, advertising advice and campaigns, email campaigns and more.

Click Click Run now is part of our Tech Partner Program, and you can link directly to them via the Tech Partner list right in your RunSignUp Dashboard. They have worked with a number of other RunSignUp races and know our system well. So they can help set up a website using our widgets, configure your Facebook settings and ad tracking, use our integrated email marketing and more.

Here is an example of what they can do from their website:

Click Click Run Services

Personality Perceptions By Event Type – Guest Blog

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 5.38.15 PMGuest Blog by Victoria Waldman and Theresa Lewis of Fueled Insights.

Highlighted in Fueled Insights’ previous article “The Fight for Runners’ Recreational Dollar,” household income is flat, entry fees are on the rise and there is an abundance of fitness activities.  Runners’ disposable income and time are being squeezed.  Therefore, it’s important to understand the reason(s) participants choose your event and to optimize your event’s positioning by highlighting its key differentiators in a way that is relevant to your target audience. 

Fueld Insights SurveyThe following Personality Perceptions By Event Type is just an excerpt of a larger study conducted by Fueled Insights which offers a glimpse into the perceptions of participants of various event types among runners.  The nuanced differences affect how you message your event.  For example, while “color” run and obstacle/mud run participants are perceived as equally fun and extroverted, the latter are perceived as significantly more driven, competitive and successful.  If your obstacle/mud run event is going head-to-head against a “color” run, emphasize the challenge of your event in your marketing in order to peak the curiosity and interest of this ambitious group.  Another hypothesis that can be inferred from the data is that themed runs are bringing newbies onto the scene because they are perceived as attracting less serious people than road races. 

Gobble Gobble Four Miler Case Study

We have a series Customer Case Studies, in which we take your stories and share your challenges and successes as a learning tool for other RunSignUp users.  This Gobble Gobble Four Miler Case Study focuses on creating techniques for fundraising and engaging Sponsors. 

View the PDF Version of the Gobble Gobble Four Miler Case Study

Case Study Header for WordPress

Picture1Overview: The Gobble Gobble Four Miler uses RunSignUp for creative fundraising efforts for their St. Matthew’s House charity, and creates strong incentives for local Sponsors.

About the Gobble Gobble Four Miler:

The Gobble Gobble Four Miler is a Thanksgiving Day Race in Naples Florida directed by Matthew Sonneborn and timed by Endurance Sports Timing.  The long-time race has benefited St. Matthew’s House for much of its tenure, and in 2015, Matt’s 13th year with the race, they used some unique Sponsor relationships and fundraising tactics to maximize their impact.

The Building Blocks:

Why Four Miles? The stretch of road that the Gobble Gobble race wanted to use naturally lent itself to a 4-miler.  Additionally, there are not a lot of 4 mile races, which allows the distance to be something of a differentiator. 

Separating Categories of Participants:
The race offers 4 Event options:Picture2

  • ‘Lil Gobbler’s Dash: A short race for those 6 & under
  • 1 Mile Run/Walk: A family-friendly fitness walk
  • 4 Mile Run/Walk: An untimed, non-intimidating 4-mile run/walk for runners who don’t care abut timing, slow joggers, walkers, strollers, etc.
  • 4 Mile Competitive Run: A timed 4-mile race

The separation of categories serves a few purposes:

  • The timed 4-miler is a few dollars more expensive; this covers the additional cost of timing, an encourages only those who care about being time to sign up for that division.
  • There is concern about how many people are on the road at the time, and dividing the divisions (with slightly different start times) spreads out the traffic, and creates natural “waves” that help ensure people are lining up more-or-less according to their intended speed.

    A Sustainable, Green Race

Gobble Gobble Four Miler uses a few green strategies for their race:

  • Parking: The limited available parking (just 200 onsite spots) makes green options not just responsible, but necessary.  To get around this, they offer VIP Carpooling, shuttles, and a free bike valet.
  • The event is Cup-Free: there are no cups on the course.  Instead, runners who want water on-course should bring a drinking device (hydrapouch, fuel belt, or water bottle), and will have water dispensed through a high speed valve (hydrapour system).

    Supporting a Charity through Donations & Fundraising

After many years of working with them, Matt has a great relationship with the chief Picture3Charity, St. Matthew’s House, and considers the fundraising they can do for them, and the second charity (95210 Kids on the GO!) the “why” of the having the race.  To encourage and increase fundraising, he tests out a range of unique fundraising options.

All registrants are prompted to make a donation during registration.  They use a series of Thanksgiving-themed Donation Levels to encourage more donations.

In previous year, Matt had an option to donate $100 and get into the race for free.  While this was not the case this year, he still saw a relatively high number of $100 donors (17 participants), and attributes this to an established tradition of giving.

“I don’t know many races where that aspect – the donation – has become a tradition.  The idea is basically that I’m going to sell you a $25 entry for $100…but people love it.  And the Charity wins, because all the money goes to the charity at my race” – Matt Sonneborn

Enabling Fundraisers on RunSignUp

Waiving the Entry Fee with a Fundraising MinimumPicture4
The ability for a runner to create a fundraiser was enabled and runners were able to waive their registration fee for a minimum of $250 in fundraising.

Picture5A Fundraising Challenge: The race provided an additional incentive for creating and promoting a fundraiser.  Matt implemented a Fundraising Challenge in which the top fundraiser (over $1,000) would win a meal, to be prepared in their home by two high profile local chefs.  In the end, instead of a home, the chefs will go to the St. Matthew’s homeless shelter to help the catering team there to make a meal and tour the charity they helped.

 Final Result of the Fundraising Effort:

$7,147.14 to St. Matthew’s House
$1,578.25 to 95210 Kids on the GO!
$8,725.39 collected from donations & fundraising by 1,555 Race Participants

Thinking Outside the Box: Getting Sponsors Involved

Partnering with a Running Store for Packet Pickup:

In 2015, the race packet pickup was hosted by a relatively new, local running store,Picture7 Fit2Run.  Offering on-site packet pickup to a Running Store sponsor was  great way to add value to a sponsorship, while encouraging runners to get their packets prior to race morning.

Fit2Run was thrilled by the outcome of the sponsorship, seeing their best day in sales (to date) during the packet pickup.

Packet Pickup: A selling point for all types of sponsors:

Picture8While Fit2Run was a fitting sponsor for Packet Pickup in 2014, Matt has worked with, and will in the future, less traditional sponsors for Packet Pickup as well.  In 2013, Packet Pickup was hosted by their partner bike shop.  The 1,000 people of foot traffic to their store – checking out bike products and learning about the race morning bike valet – was a tangible value to them.

Beyond a Packet Pickup: Providing Sponsor Value:

Matt is always looking for new ways to tie in sponsors, and make sponsorship a mutually Picture9beneficial partnership.  For example, he offered a car dealership a number of free entries for their sponsorship; in exchange, people who came into the dealership for a test drive got a free entry

“I love finding out how I can help Sponsors.  With Sponsors, if you can provide people viewing their product, you give them an incentive.  You just have to think outside the box!” – Matt Sonneborn


“Bryan’s counsel is priceless – he’s someone I trust for his understanding of the industry” – Matt, on his RunSignUp Sales Rep Bryan Jenkins

If you have a success story about your race, store or club, big or small,  email us…we’d love to explore a Case Study on your topic!

New RunSignUp Email System

RunSignUp EMail

The new RunSignUp EMail is tightly integrated with the rest of the RunSignUp Platform. The goal, as always, is to make things easier and more powerful. There will be multiple incremental improvements, and you will see us integrate email capabilities into other areas of the system over the coming months.

EMail SettingIn the initial release, you will see a number of nice features:

Custom Email Settings
You will be able to set the “From” and “Reply To” address.

We automatically create the email template for you in simple text. This is nicer than the text based email that we had provided for you in iContact. In addition, we will automatically put your logo at the top right and your sponsor images at the bottom. And since this is all coming from the live RunSignUp database, if you add a sponsor or change a sponsor – you no longer need to worry about changing your emails.

Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 10.42.11 AMSelect from Active Participants Lists
You can create any number of lists directly in RunSignUp. The powerful thing about this is that they are always “live”. This means if you are sending an email to all current participants – it is the current participants at the time you send the email – Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 10.47.30 AMno uploading lists and taking snapshots.

You can select all participants, or simply the participants per event. In addition, you can now simply email Team Captains and all Teams members. This is also true for Corporate Teams.

And remember – anytime you send an email it is absolutely current – so if some team changed Captains, the new Captain will be included.

Custom ListsCustom Lists
You also have the power to upload your own lists soon. For example, if you have moved over to RunSignUp recently, you will want to upload last year’s participants so you can send them emails to encourage them to sign up again this year.

This is a video that shows how to export your old contact lists from iContact and import them into the new email system:

Save ListsSave Lists
You can also save your lists. This means you can mix and match all of your lists. Say you have a list of all of last year’s 8K runners and this year’s participants in the 8K.

Create Your Email
Once you have selected a list (or lists), then you can create your email. The new email creation is greatly simplified as seen below:

Create Email

There are several features that are worth noting:

  • Attach any image or document (PDF is the preferred method) to the Email.
  • Send Test – this does a quick send to yourself.
  • The Editor is meant for simple editing – meaning there are not advanced layout or image including capability.
  • HTML Embedding. This gives you the ability to enter full HTML, which would give you the ability to enter custom formatting and image links. We have tested out putting HTML from other email systems with a template like iContact and MailChimp and they seem to work – of course every email client that your customers receive email on will display it differently (one of the reasons we default to simple).

Here is an example from the development server of the Email with the race logo (a photo) and logos below (those will be formatted better in the final release) in gmail:

Race EMail

Custom Tags
This is where the real power of an integrated email system comes in. We are starting off simply, but over time we will introduce lots of special tags – like Bib #, or Finishing Time, or Event, etc.  Imagine being able to send and email to all participants 2 days before the race with their bib number embedded in the email.

Special Tags

For example, something like this:

Custom EMail

Remember, the email would include your race logo on the upper right and your sponsor logos at the bottom as well!

The Future
We have a lot of plans for the future of this system to help you automate communications with your runners. Here are a few things to look forward to:

  • Save Custom Participant Searches as Lists. For example create a search for all runners just in your town and save a a “dynamic” list.  It is dynamic because if you send an email 2 weeks later all runners from your town who have signed up will be on that email list since it pulls the information from the database when the email is sent.
  • Automated Email to people who have not yet signed up for your race 2 days before any price changes.
  • Variant of this email before price changes to people who have already signed up, encouraging them to tell their friends. This will be integrated with our referral system so you can.
  • Automated email with personal results sent to all participants, with an invitation to sign up for next year’s race.

All of the above will be able to be done with one simple option choice of a button when setting up your race. They will all be automatically scheduled and sent without any work on your part. This is the power of a truly integrated email system. Watch for updates over the coming months.

We will be discontinuing iContact at the end of March.  So please make sure that you export any lists that you have and copy any templates that you want to reuse. Let us know if there is a reason why you can not use the new system and we will try to address your concerns. However, we feel there are simply too many benefits not to move to the new RunSignUp Email system.

Race Director/Timer Symposium Videos

As a part of our RunSignUp Customer Video Page, we have the official release of the Presentations from the first RunSignUp Race Director/Timer Symposium in July.  We had some really dynamic, innovative Presenters, and we are thrilled to be able to share their knowledge with all our Customers.

Presentation Videos include:New Symposium Logo Green more square

Growing a Small Race
By Kelly Stewart of the NC Troopers Footchase 5k

Marketing like a Marketer
By Cornelia Stumpf of the Critz Tybee RunFest

Corporate Teams
By Michele Langevin of Jeff Galloway

Race Director Logistics
By Terry Lewis of RS Racing Systems 

What Your Timer Does
By Todd Henderlong of T&H Timing

Managing Your Runners
By James & Michelle Bettis of 3W Races

RunSignUp Go
By Aaron Ford of Ford Timing

00runnerBWant a Challenge?  See if you can find Ron (our Running Man) hanging out, dancing, and enjoying himself in each of the Presentation videos!

Stay Tuned: We’ll be announcing the dates for the 2015 Race Director/Timer Symposium soon!