RunSignup CRM: CliffsNotes

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is technology that lets you manage your interactions with customers and potential customers. In the endurance market, CRM is evolving from a buzzword to a tangible technology that race directors need. Your participants are your customers, and you need to promote your race(s) and deliver customer service to your current, past, and potential participants throughout the race lifecycle.

The power of any CRM is good data that exists within a single platform – RunSignup CRM is built on your participant data and integrated at the core of all RunSignup tools, and that is what makes it so powerful. Since the beginning, RunSignup has been designed as a core CRM engine with full CRM functionality. All of the capabilities laid out in this blog exist within the platform today. Right now, we have embarked on implementing a new CRM interface that puts an easy-to-use layer on all of the existing powerful functionality of RunSignup. Much of the new interface has already been deployed or will be deployed by the end of 2018, and we will continually release new features and tools based on the endurance industry’s and races’ constantly evolving needs.

This blog is the CliffsNotes version of Bob’s CRM blog series (hereherehere, and here).

1. Why a CRM for Races?

In order to provide the best customer service, all of your participant information AND actions need to be together. Let’s look at a couple of examples:

Example 1: A runner calls you and asks for a refund due to a family emergency. You look that runner up in the CRM and see they have come to 7 of your races and were a fundraiser who raised $483 for one of your charities last year. You probably don’t mind giving her the refund. Having all that in RunSignup let’s you do that in a single system and a single browser window by clicking on 2-3 pages in the system with a natural path. The staff member who issues the refund can include a note directly on that participant’s profile so that other team members can see why the refund was issued.

Example 2: You want to send a special offer to sign up to past participants who used a coupon last year, but want to exclude current participants and people who paid full price last year. Non-industry specific CRMs would not be able to give you this information.

Traditional CRMs like Salesforce, SugarCRM, and Insightly, are built for businesses with very large transactions and dedicated staff to manage and optimize CRM use. They also require significant monetary and personnel resources.

RunSignup provides a complete toolset to races that brings modern technology in a format that is easy to use and customized directly to the endurance industry. A CRM built for races eliminates errors, cost, and time inefficiencies when syncing data across multiple platforms.

2. What is CRM for Races?

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The most important part of CRM is to have a great race day experience and to make sure your race policies and interactions support CRM concepts. RunSignup has the technology to ensure that race policies are implemented smoothly to reduce customer service interactions and ensure a positive participant experience from registration through race day.

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If the foundation is your race experience and policies, the things you want to do with your Race CRM is engage with your various constituencies – Participants, Fundraisers, Donors, Sponsors, Volunteers, Clubs, and more.

CRM Engagement happens through a wide variety and combination of:

  • Channels – Your race website, email, Facebook, expos, training groups, etc.
  • Targeting – Specific targets like Fundraisers who raised over $250 last year, Participants who have run your race over 5 times, Participants who referred more than 2 friends, Runners who ran faster than 2 Hours, Registrants who signed up with a coupon last year, Registrants who signed up more than 2 months before the race last year, etc.
  • Promotions – This is how you get them to engage. It might be a Loyalty Program where there is a special registration period. A Team size competition with the largest team getting their own VIP area with a port-a-potty and tent. Special pricing or coupons. Special Swag Referral programs.
  • Participant Management – This is where you are taking care of the details of managing your participants. Setting bibs and corrals, and communicating expo and start information. Managing participant changes. Enabling self serve in a way that it drives incremental revenue. And so much more as every race director knows!
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RunSignup CRM has 2 participant management focal points:

  1. Make it easy for participants to help themselves. RunSignup’s participant self-management option and full suite of runner tutorials make updating information, bib exchanges, team joining, fundraising, etc. easy for participants.
  2. Make it easy for your team to deliver the best customer service possible.
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A huge part of CRM is maximizing sales. The 2 fundamental parts of this are increasing loyalty by getting returning participants to SignUp, and by leveraging the people who know about your race to invite their friends and spread the word. And with things like Facebook Custom Audiences, find people who are like the people who come to your race.

RunSignup CRM has the robust tools to execute promotional campaigns that are cost effective, as well as analytical tools like RaceInsights to see what is working and what is not.

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You collect a lot of data on your participants: when and how they registered; what teams they are on and who are their team members; did they use coupons; do they donate; did they set a PR last year; do they have photos; who cheered them on during the race; etc.

Having all data in a single database designed for races increases the effectiveness of your CRM engagement throughout the race lifecycle.

3. RunSignup CRM Offerings

Participant Search and Profile

RunSignup has an easy participant search menu, which allows race directors to immediately find and manage any participant’s registration. This speeds up customer service requests and provides the intelligence to deliver the appropriate response.


This view has a number of powerful features:

  • Past race totals in a single view. This lets you know if this is a long time customer at a glance when doing support if they email or call.
  • Easy access to details on anything – specific races (other than the race you are on), Referrals, Fundraising, and Donations.
  • Easy access to Manage Registration with full participant management capability with one click.

CRM Notes

CRM notes facilitate races’ internal communication, establishing consistency in the delivery of customer service and participant management.


CRM Lists and Promotions

RunSignup has already rolled out the ability to create targeted lists of participants. The parameters and ways to use the lists will expand rapidly throughout 2018.

We currently or will soon offer the following (but not limited to) list searches, actions, & promotions:

CRM Promotions provide an easy way to utilize RunSignup’s existing Promotion capabilities, and will continue to expand over the next year.


CRM Analytics and Automation

We will connect our powerful RaceInsights to CRM Promotions. This will enable you to automatically monitor the engagement, success, and return of your various campaigns.

There are two areas of automation we will bring to the RunSignup CRM system. First, we will make it simple to automate common tasks around promotion. Much like our automated emails for registration drop-outs or price increases, we will tie the power of lists to appropriate promotions. Second, we will offer a set of personal interactions the race can have with individual participants, such as birthday greetings or PR congratulations.

4. Key Takeaways

  • Race directors need the technology to promote, manage, and interact with participants and potential participants throughout the race lifecycle. This technology is CRM.
  • RunSignup CRM already exists is integrated at the core of all RunSignup tools. Since the beginning, RunSignup has been built for races to manage participants and provide first-class customer service; engage all constituencies (participants, sponsors, volunteers, etc.); promote; and manage data, analytics & reporting. All in one platform.  
  • RunSignup continues to implement a new CRM interface that puts an easy-to-use layer on all of the existing powerful functionality of RunSignup. We will continually release new features and tools based on the endurance industry’s and races’ constantly evolving needs.

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