Using Email to Promote Referrals

With the release of Referrals 2.0, there is an opportunity to send reminders to participants to share with their friends.

The integrated RunSignUp Email system is perfect for this, since emails are generated right from the database. So you can add Placeholders to customize the email to each registrant. In this case, you will want to give them the URL they should share with friends so they can earn Referral Refunds:

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Use the second HTML Link if you want to have a live link in your email. The third option of just the raw URL will not have a clickable link.

One good way of using this is to encourage participants to a couple of days before a price increase and remind them they can get a referral reward if they remind their friends there are only 2 days before a price increase.

Another good strategy is to create a custom coupon that is good for a limited time and send that to all participants and encourage them to share. That way you can track the effectiveness of the coupon for that email campaign.

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 10.10.39 PMIf you have registration open when we release this, you can generate Referral Codes for all previously registered participants. Set that up from the Menu of Referrals shown on the right.

You will simply select an event to generate referral codes, and they will automatically be assigned.

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Automated Coupons

As part of the Referrals 2.0 release, participants can now receive an automatic coupon to share with their friends and family to encourage word of mouth marketing for your race.

First, set up the Referral Tracking Set this up in the Dashboard under Promotion -> Referral Tracking -> Automated Coupons. Before you set this up, make sure to create a Coupon that will be the “Parent” coupon for all the “Sub-Coupons” referral tracking will automatically create when people sign up.

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As seen above, “REFER” is the Coupon code that is set up in the Coupon section of the Dashboard. The Coupon capability is very flexible – allowing you to create any combination of % and $ off. We suggest you keep it simple – something like $5 off. This will allow you to do reports and track the overall ROI of your coupon referral program.

Use the Subcode Prefix to be appended before the coupon that is generated – so the coupon will look like PrefixX72HREN1.

Also, set the number of hours the coupon is good for. In most cases you will want to keep this to just a few days so that you encourage people to take action quickly – perhaps 72 hours = 3 days from the time a person registers and the sub-coupons is generated.

You can see Coupon Reports for more information on usage of your Referral Coupons:

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And more detail and ROI measurements:

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Warning for Potential Fraud

Currently, it is possible that a person signs up, gets the coupon, clears their registration, then registers again using the coupon. We feel this is a fair trade-off since it would be frustrating for a person to try to register with the coupon right after their friend registered and not be able to process it.

Automated Referral Refund Rewards

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 9.41.52 AMAs part of our big Referrals 2.0 release, you can now set up automated refunds as a reward to participants who refer others.

Referrals can be turned on to automatically generate a special URL with a special referral code each time someone registers. The URL looks like:

When a participant shares this link with a friend via Email, Facebook, Twitter, etc., then their friend will click on it and RunSignUp keeps track of who was the original referrer. This can be very powerful for promoting your race.

You can turn on referral tracking in the Promotion -> Referral Tracking -> Setup:

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For example, you could set up to give a runner a $2 refund for each participant they refer to the race. The setup in the Race Director Dashboard looks like this:

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The above example limits the number of refunds to 5.

Another example is to give a single large refund once a minimum number of people have been referred. In this example, the race gives a $20 Refund once 5 people register. The 0 indicates that no additional refunds will go to this person. The 1 is not too meaningful in this example like it was in the last example.

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You can build more than one set of refund rules. For example in this set up, the registrant gets a $2.50 refund for each of the first 4 registrations referred.  The registrant then gets a $5 refund when the 5th referred registration occurs.  There are no refunds after that. The referred registrations must occur before 1/15/2016 at 11:59pm.

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As the Race Director, you will be able to keep track Page Views, SignUp Page Views and Completed Registrations on a per referrer basis with the Referral Report:

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You will also be able to see the refunds that were made in your financial Refund Reports with the reason for the refund automatically populated:
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You can also see a summary report that measures the ROI on your referral refunds:

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Refund Timing

The referral processing takes place at 12:20am.  It looks at registrations from the previous day to determine which refunds to issue.  Multiple referral refunds for a single registration will be grouped together.  At 20 minutes after every hour, a process will run to check if any of the refunds set up in the 12:20am process can actually be refunded based on the refund reserve.

Multi-Person or Multi-Event Registration

When someone registers multiple people at once or registers for multiple events at once, a new referral code will be generated for all registrants and all registered events. However, the referral code for the first registration will be the one used in the share links on the confirmation page and E-mail.

Warning #1: Creditable Amount

The “Ensure Registration Balance ≥” option looks at the registrations creditable amount, which is the total paid for that registration minus any refunds.  However, that is the total amount paid for that registration, including giveaway costs, add-ons, etc.  Therefore, it is possible to refund add-on purchases on accident.  For example, if a registrant purchases $15 in add-ons, but the “Ensure Registration Balance ≥” field is set to $10, it’s possible that $5 worth of add-ons are refunded.

Other Notes

  • There is no cost for this service. We do NOT charge the $1 refund process fee.
  • The processing fee is NOT refunded.
  • Referral counts are based on number of registrations, even if the registrations are done together.

Referrals 2.0

These are awesome releases!  RSU is crushing it in 2016! Facebook sharing and Refund Referrals have the ability to have a BIG impact on our business and we’re really excited to test them out. We also like the idea of arming the participant with a Coupon Code to try and get their friends to sign up. We already do this as grassroots marketing with certain people in each city but this gives us the ability to do it in large scale! – Night Nation Run

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 9.41.52 AMWe are happy to announce a major upgrade to our referral program. We have supported Referral Tracking for over 2 years – allowing races to see which people are referring the most other participants. We are now making it simple to reward people who refer, incent the people they are trying to attract to your event, and more powerful referral mechanisms.

Specifically, there are four main components to this upgrade:

Automated Refund Rewards for Referrers

We offer complete flexibility to set up your own rules for motivating Referrers. For example, you can set up a $2 refund for each new participant the referrer attracts. Or set a threshold of 5 registrations and then give the referrer $20. You can also set a minimum amount so you do not “over-refund” a referrer.

Refunds are automatically credited against their original transaction – so there is no worrying about doing checks or PayPal transfers. And RunSignUp is making these refunds absolutely free of any processing fee (we usually charge $1 for refunds).

Automated Coupons

You can now give registrants a unique coupon code for them to share with their friends and family. You set a coupon amount (say $5) and an expiration for X hours after the registration. This gives the referrer something to offer to their friends, and sets a deadline for registration – say 72 hours – to drive registrations.

The coupons are generated at the time of registration. They are set up as sub-coupons so you can track the performance and ROI of all of the referral coupons together.

New Sharing, with Facebook Friend Tagging

We have redesigned the pop-up registrants see upon checkout (and given you some options for how this looks). The new Pop-up gives registrants more options for sharing – Facebook, Email, Twitter. It has a stronger “Call to Action” that tells the registrant the Refund Rewards they can receive if they get friends to sign up, as well as the special Coupon offers their friends will receive.

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 7.58.05 AMWe have also implemented a new Facebook features (we had to apply for special approval with Facebook to enable this feature) that allows for Friend Tagging. This makes sure the invitation is seen by friends.

Email Marketing

You can also remind participants to encourage referrals by sending them customized emails with their personal referral code in the email. Set up a new time-limited coupon code for them to share for each email so you can track the ROI effectiveness of the email blast.


Coupled with the new Team Size Discount and automated refund, this is a great capability to get increased participation for your race by encouraging viral marketing.