The 5 Emails Your Race Should Send

Email Marketing is the most valuable marketing channel for events, and RunSignup makes it easy to send unlimited emails with free and integrated Email Marketing. This blog walks through 5 of the emails your event should send – and the postponement/cancellation email that we hope you don’t have to send!

Each sample email includes:

  • When you should send the email
  • Pro tips to drive registrations and make your email marketing even more effective!
  • Who you should send the email to
  • Suggested subject line
  • Email text that you can copy and paste into RunSignup’s free Email V2 marketing tool – be sure to customize the text that’s in bold with your event’s information! Underlined text indicates that you should add a URL.

Registration Launch Email

When to send: You have an event website and registration has officially launched. 

Pro Tip: Offer a time or quantity-limited discount to incentivize early purchases! For example, “$10 off the first 100 registrations” or “10% off your Event Name registration for the next 48 hours”.  We even make it easy for you to create a coupon URL to easily add the discount to a call to action (CTA) button in your email. 

Bonus Pro Tip: Grow your marketing email lists for free by adding an Email Capture Popup to your Event Website!

Sample Email #1:

To: All Contacts (System and Custom list uploads)

Subject: Registration Open for Event Name!

Sign Up Today for Event Name




We’re excited to announce that early bird registrations are on sale for Event Name. Get signed up before the price goes up on Price Increase Date.

This year’s event will feature:

  • Highlight 1
  • Highlight 2
  • Highlight 3

Commit Today

You can visit our website for more details. See you on Event Date at the start line!

Referral Email

When to send: Incentivize your attendees to bring their friends and family to your event.

Pro Tip: RunSignup can automate a referral rewards program to help grow your event – for free! The most effective referral programs are set up with a high threshold and high reward, and most referrers never reach the threshold to get a reward – so the people they do refer are completely free! This leads to an exceptionally low average cost per acquisition (CPA) of just $1.40 per ticket purchase (RunSignup 2021 data). Compared to the average Facebook CPA of $18.68, Referral Rewards can help your event grow without spending money! You can also build in additional referral levels and offer exclusive swag items, like a quarter zip jacket or hat, as rewards.

Sample Email #2:

To: All Current Registrants

Subject: Bring your friends & family to Event Name


We can’t wait to see you at Event Name

Don’t forget that you can earn up to a $XX refund of your registration or Custom Reward Swag Items (optional) by referring Referral Reward Threshold Number friends to sign up and join you at Event Name.

All you need to do is share your unique referral link. You can email, share on social media, or text your friends this link. Here is your unique link: %REGISTRATION_REFERRAL_CODE_URL%

See you at Event Name!

Price Increase + Swag Reveal Email

When to send: 48 to 72 hours prior to a price increase

Pro Tip: RunSignup makes it easy for you to set up price increases and other pricing configurations to drive registrations and create a sense of urgency. Learn more

Pro Tip #2: It is certainly still beneficial to send out separate emails for price increases and swag reveals. However, you can supercharge your price increase effect by pairing it with a swag reveal. Time them such that your T-shirt and medal design announcements coincide with the urgency to sign up and save today.

Sample Email #3:

To: All Contacts, Exclude Registrants

Subject: T-shirt Reveal and Prices Go Up This Weekend!


It’s not too late to register for the Ad Astra Marathon and Half before the price increases. Sign up before Price Increase Date and Time and you’ll save $X.  

Sign Up Today

Need more details? Check out our website. 

Athlete Guide Email

When to send: Monday of Race Week

Pro Tip: Include a QR code in the athlete guide email to make it easy for your volunteers & staff to scan registration confirmations with RunSignup’s free and easy to use mobile RaceDay CheckIn App!

Bonus Pro Tip: Add a page to your website with Race Day FAQ and information. That way, you can keep your emails short and provide a single place that answers potential questions!

Sample Email #4:

To: Current Registrants

Subject: Your Event Name Athlete Guide Has Arrived!


We are looking forward to seeing you at Event Name!

View the Athlete Guide


Race Day: %RACE_DATE%

Race Start Time: %RACE_START_TIME%

Race Location: %RACE_LOCATION%



Be sure to have this email with you (on your phone, no need to print out!) and be ready to scan your QR code below for quick and easy check-in.






Event: %EVENT_NAME% 



Add-On Items: %ADDON_ITEMS%

To make changes to your registration, like transferring distances and updating your t-shirt size, go here: %EDIT_REGISTRATION_URL%

See you at the start line!

Post-Race Thank You / Housekeeping Email

When to send: 24 hours after your event

Pro Tip: Include something valuable in your post-event follow up email! In the copy below, we suggest posting event photos to your website and including a link so that attendees can browse & share! This email also serves as a great opportunity to cover any housekeeping reminders such as where awards can be picked up and how long unclaimed gear check items will be available at your local running store partner.

Bonus Pro Tip: Use this email to promote registrations and ticket sales for any other events your organization hosts. If you’re a nonprofit, leverage the post-event thank you email to solicit additional donations.

Gamechanger Tip: Capitalize on the warm and fuzzies still buzzing from race weekend and open up registration for next year (see our best practices here). Combining a significant discount with the good vibes makes for an offer your athletes can’t refuse. Go further: offer a limited number of steeply discounted registrations to really build excitement. You’ll generate a ton of visits and many that miss out on the first set of discounted pricing will likely still sign up. 

Sample Email #5:

To: All Registrants

Subject: Photos, Results, and a HUGE Thank you!


Thank you for joining us at the Event Name and congratulations to all of our finishers. Your commitment, resiliency, and positive energy inspire us to no end. We hope you had a great time and are enjoying some well-deserved rest and recovery time!

Take a victory lap! Relive your race weekend experience and check out the links below for athlete photos, professional photos, and results from the event!

Athlete Photos

Professional Photos

Official Results

Don’t forget! Blitz pricing is on now for Next Year. Save big with our lowest price of the year by signing up for next year’s race by Price Increase Date. First Number of Spots to register will save $XX!

Register for Next Year

Some reminders on important housekeeping items:

  • Reminder 1
  • Reminder 2
  • Reminder 3

You still have time to meet your fundraising goal. The deadline for all donations is Deadline Date. Don’t miss out on some amazing reward swag when you reach $XXX. Your personal fundraising link to share with your friends and family: %%

A special thank you to our sponsors, Linked Sponsor Names, for making this event possible.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and check out our upcoming events: Link

Thank you to all of our athletes, volunteers, and their fans for another incredible year,

The entire Event Name Team

BONUS: Postponement/Cancellation Email (Just in case)

When to send: We really hope you don’t need to send this one – but unfortunately we’ve gotten used to unpredictable weather, events, pandemics, etc. over the past couple years, and it’s important to proactively communicate any changes to your event.

Pro Tip: Offer flexible options to your attendees, whether that’s a rescheduled date, transfers, deferrals, or refunds. If you have other races your participants can transfer into, enable race transfers so registrants can move their tickets to a new race!

Bonus Pro Tip: Post postponement/cancellation info to your event website, social media, and other channels.

Sample Email Bonus:

To: All Registrants

Subject: Postponed/Cancelled: Event Name (or Event Name Cancelled: Transfer/Defer Your Registration)


Due to Cancellation Reason, we are very sorry that we will be canceling Race Name.

All attendees have the ability to select from two choices:

#1 Transfer their registration to the following events: Event Names

Transfer Race

#2 Defer your registration to next year’s race.

Defer Race

To manage any other part of your registration, go here: %EDIT_REGISTRATION_URL%

If you need assistance, please reply to this email or contact us at Email Address.

Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to seeing you at the start line again soon!

The Event Name Team

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