Race Calendar Listing Notifications

We have updated the automatic notifications we send out when simple race listings are created. This is for customers using our Race Calendar widget – for example running stores or running clubs. When race directors want to just put up a simple listing (rather than use RunSignUp for registration), that now triggers a notification to the Partner. You can control this under Promotion – Email Notifications page:

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You can also customize these settings by clicking :
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Partner Setting to Turn Off Confirmation Calendar Notifications

In our new Confirmation Email Customization, we added the automatic generation of a calendar event to be attached to the email. This makes it simple for the participant to add your race to their calendar on their phone or computer with one click.

Some races and partners do not like this. We give each race the ability to disable it, but we now have an option for Partners to disable it across all of their associated races. It is in the Race -> Settings menu item:

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Confirmation Email Customization

We have made major improvements to the Confirmation Email, and created a number of mechanisms for you to customize it to your needs.

First, we redesigned the layout to be easier to read. Then we included the following features:

  • Automatically include your Race Logo.
  • Customizable sections at the top, including and Event specific section.
  • Participant information collected during registration clearly laid out.
  • Bar code and QR Code for easy reading with the RunSignUp Check-In App.
  • The ability to add any or all the Custom Content Sections in any order.
  • Ability to add Sponsor logos.
  • An automated Calendar Link that will list the race in the participant’s phone or desktop calendar automatically.

Set this up in the Notifications Setup area of the Race Director Dashboard.

Here is the top customize section:

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We include all of the information collected during registration, as well as a bar code and QR Code:

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You can also set which Custom Content Sections appear and their order by dragging and dropping:

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And the ability to not include the automated Calendar Event:

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Fast Registration – TXT and Email Notifications

In our pursuit of having the fastest registration platform, we now give users the ability to save their preferred TXT and EMail notifications in their profile. This means when the next race wants the same information, it automatically populates.

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Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 7.26.22 PMThese are saved automatically when a participant signs up for them either in the Results notifications, or with the standard TXT Notification question that Race Directors have the option of asking.

Users can set this up themselves as well by editing their Profile:

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Text Messaging Now Available for Races

Txt MessagingWe have added the capability for races to do text messaging with their participants. This can be useful for emergency situations such as delaying the race due to lightning. This feature is not meant to be used for marketing purposes!

This option is available under the Notifications section, and must be authorized by RunSignUp. One of the reasons this is important and we do not want to have this used for marketing is all races will be using the RunSignUp Short Code mechanism. And if a person decides to unsubscribe, then they are unsubscribing from all races who may wish to communicate results and important messages.

STEP 1: Collect Cell Phone Numbers. To support text messaging, you will of course need to collect cell phone numbers. We have added Cell Number as a Standard Question that you will need to set up. All you need to do is click the button circled in red on the screen shot below and you will see the question automatically appear as shown. You MUST use the Standard Question so we know what cell phone number to use from the database – DO NOT set up your own custom question for this.

Cell Phone Standard Question

STEP 2: Purchase Message Credits. You receive one free TXT message credit that can be used for this and for results notifications per registrant on a race. You can also purchase additional TXT message credits by clicking on the links from the TXT Message page. You can buy them in bulk:

FREE – 1 message per registration
$125 – 500 Messages
$250 – 1,000 Messages
$500 – 2,500 Messages
$750 – 5,000 Messages
$1,300 – 10,000 Messages
$2,400 – 20,000 Messages
$5,500 – 50,000 Messages
$10,000 – 100,000 Messages

STEP 3: Sending TXT Messages. This is relatively simple – just type up to 160 characters, pick the group of people you want to send to and click send. It may take a few minutes for all messages to send depending on your list size (we can send about 25 per second). Here is the user interface:

Send TXT

Dirty Dog 15K Trail Run 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 Dirty Dog 15K Trail Run Case Study focuses on tiered pricing for a sellout race, building bib labels, and differentiating your race to create positive word of mouth. 

View the PDF Version of the Dirty Dog 15K Trail Run Case Study

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Dirty Dog 15K Trail Run and RunSignUp

Picture1 The 2015 Dirty Dog 15K Trail Run came to RunSignUp after hearing about the integration with Race Director during a Webinar, and seeing results of a poll indicating that a high percentage of Race Director users prefer RunSignUp.  The important factors in the move included a lower cost (the race chooses to absorb processing fees), and the potential to better integrate with their club system.


About the Dirty Dog 15K Trail Run:

2015 marked the 12th edition of the West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners’ Dirty Dog 15K Trail Run, directed by club member Daniel Todd.  The event was initially named to indicate that runners’ “dogs” (feet) would get dirty…but someone suggested that Daniel allow actual dogs as well, and the idea took off.  Dogs are not only allowed to participate, but are actually encouraged and provided accommodation (at no additional cost).


Offering Low Cost, Tiered Pricing with a Sellout Race

While the race started with just 63 runners, it has grown over the years and now caps out each year. Because of this, Daniel is able to use a unique tiered pricing system that allows him to reward early registrants.

  • The first 100 Runners pay just $15
  • The next 150 Runners pay $25
  • The remaining Runners pay $35Picture2

To accomplish this in the RunSignUp system, Daniel sets the race at $35, and uses publicly posted coupon codes (limited to the number of users for that price range) for the discounted options.

This year, Daniel used the RunSignUp Loyalty Program to give last year’s runners first access to the $15 slots by allowing them to register earlier.  60 runners took advantage of the Loyalty Program access; the remaining $15 registrations sold out in a few hours when regular registration opened.Picture3


Because the race sells out, the tiered pricing allows Daniel to know ahead of time exactly how many registrations will be sold at each price point, and budget accordingly.  This also helps him to maintain a low price point on the race: his goal each year is just to collect enough in registrations to offer runners a good process, make a donation to a local animal shelter, and put a little bit of funding into the West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners Club.


 Building Bib Labels for an Easier Packet Pickup

DPicture4aniel used to do Bib Assignment in Race Director; this year, he assigned his bibs in RunSignup and then synced it with Race Director.  He was able to customize his bibs to include ALL information that volunteers at Packet Pickup might find important, including information collected in custom questions (like whether they have a dog and need a bandana).  The system saves his Bib preferences, so he can re-use that bib label.Picture5

The Bib label builder was very easy and saved automatically. Always, no matter what system I use, somewhere in the mix the labels get screwed up and print off the label…this time, every page printed perfectly.  In other words…it WORKED.  That’s the key.”
– Daniel Todd


Communicating with Runners: Widgets & Email Marketing

The Dirty Dog 15K is listed on the WVMTR’s website; to keep traffic there (and engaged with the club), they use a widget on their Club site for sign ups.

“I really like the addition of widgets.  It appears that people are staying on your website; you can customize it and really make it a part of the site.  Our entrant list on our website is just a widget to RunSignup.”

The second tool that Daniel used to keep runners informed was the new Email Marketing system.  He likes to send both pre and post race emails to his runners, and values the ability to use RunSignUp to communicate effectively with those runners.


“One thing we try to do is to make the race a little bit better each year: that much more organized, that much more efficient…the only way you get a good word of mouth is by putting on a good, efficient race with a positive experience for runners.”


Differentiators:  Creating a Unique Race Experience

The goal of every race is to create an experience that differentiates it from other race options. While allowing dogs was more of a post-naming accident, it has become an integral part of why runners to Charleston, West Virginia from throughout the area for the 15K trail run. In 2015, they had runners from 15 states, as far as Florida and Ontario, Canada.

Runners can bring 1-2 dogs; dogs must be on a leash for the first mile, but can run the rest of the race off-leash within eyesight, and running dogs receive a bandana.  There is also a “Top Dog” prize for the first dog to finish.  A full 107 runners (27% of the race) indicated that their dog was running as well.

There are a few other bells and whistles that Daniel uses to set this race apart:

  • Notifications: Because of the remote location, there is no internet and runners cannot get instant notifications; however, notifications are still turned on and go out as soon as an internet connection is made.  For a 400-person race, this is a nice perk even with the delay.  In 2015, 187 SMS notifications, and 168 Email notifications were sent out.
  • Results Scrolling on a TV Screen: Daniel further addresses runners’ desire to see their results instantly by setting up a scrolling results screen on a TV within about 10 minutes of the first runner finishing.
  • Video Results: There are video results for all runners.  This is complicated by the off-sets of having wave starts for a non chip-timed race, but is popular with the runners regardless. Video Bonus: it also helped Daniel to recognize and disqualify a few runners who were running under someone else’s bib, and had “placed” in an incorrect division.Picture8

Why it matters: As a custom question, the race asks runners a multiple choice question regarding how they heard about the race. 40.8% indicated that they had heard from Family/Friend; another 34.4% were previous participants coming back.

That means an overwhelming 75.2% of participants are registering because either they, or someone they know, had a great race experience.Picture7

Photo credit to Mary Shannon Johnstone…fantastic photos and a fantastic race!

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!