Increase Registrations with Pricing: Building a Sense of Urgency

RunSignup offers many features and ways in which events can creatively encourage a greater amount of registrations for their upcoming races. This is a first in a series of blog posts to help provide specific methods to increase race registrations through pricing. Two approaches that can be used in tandem that build a sense of urgency for earlier registrations are Event Size-Based pricing and Date-Based pricing.

Encouraging participants to register earlier has a compound effect in increased registrations since early registrations create a greater window of time for participants to spread the word about your race to their friends and family. This word-of-mouth form of marketing is very powerful and a significant driver for race registrations.

Event Size-Based Discounts

Event size-based discounts are price discounts that are applied to participant registration count thresholds. For example: the first 100 registrants receive $20 off. This is an ideal strategy to use when opening registrations and is a great way to kick off excitement for your event. This can be set up to apply to either the entire event or for specific race options (5K, half marathon, full marathon).

With RunSignup’s registration wizard, events can set up different registration thresholds where the price automatically increases based on the number of registrations, like shown below.

Date-Based Discounts

Offering discounts based upon date-based or time-based settings are an excellent way to create a sense of urgency and encourage participants to register earlier rather than waiting until the last minute. As participants realize that the price is going up, they are encouraged to take advantage of the reduced price. This approach is widely used among race organizers and is now expected by participants.

Some examples of applying this approach include:

  • Registering for next year’s race at the event’s expo (discount for opening day of registration).
  • Early bird discount for a specified period of time.
  • Promoting price increase at certain date.

If you want to take things a step further, you can combine this with some type of race swag to give them that extra incentive.

To set this up you simply create different registration periods with the changing price like shown below.

Promote Your Discounts

These time-sensitive pricing strategies rely heavily on awareness and promotion of the discounts for their effectiveness. People are inundated with information and may not see an email or social media post. We suggest you set up a campaign where a series of emails are sent to communicate registration opening or date-based pricing discounts and remind them when they are about to end. This should be also combined with other forms of promotion like on your social media sites and on the front page of your website. Make sure to include a clear call to action and registration link!

Important Tip!

Be selective on your discounts. Implementing too many price increases will reduce the power of any one increase.


If you have additional questions, please contact your account manager or email

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