5 Tips for Small Races to Get the Most Out of RunSignup

Putting on a race of any size is a big task. And in some cases, smaller races require even more of organizers since they tend to have fewer resources and staff on hand to help out. In order to keep things running – no pun intended – they need to make good use of all the tools available to them. 

Thousands of small races use RunSignup to manage their registration each year. Throughout the years we’ve had a front row seat watching what all the most successful small races do and how they utilize the RunSignup platform to their advantage. 

Below are five tips you can use to get the most out of RunSignup and create a more successful race. 

Set up your payment account ASAP

One of the most important things to do when making a RunSignup account is to create your payment account as soon as possible. It’s part of the setup wizard, but sometimes requires additional steps to complete. Without a payment account you can’t open registration or get access to things like our email marketing tools. 

Though people are generally approved very quickly, it can take a few days. So, having it done early also prevents any possible delays. If you’re having trouble setting up your payment account you can always reach out to your account manager, or our info@runsignup.com team for assistance. 

Customize your website 

Our websites are good out-of-the-box, but they can be made great by adjusting a few things on your end. Adding components like images help you show potential participants what to expect from your event. You can also add things like a Strava map to show the route beforehand. 

Strava map example

Further, there are options to customize the look of your event page, by adjusting the color theme. We have a few prebuilt options to choose from, or you can create your own custom theme to make sure your event is completely on brand. Though those changes may seem small, it helps your event look more professional, which can inspire confidence in those thinking about registering. 

Website example

Utilize email early and often

One of the most powerful tools we offer is our email marketing tools. In 2023 almost 20% of all transactions on RunSignup came directly from an email sent from the platform. When someone signs up for an event, they’re added as a contact. You can also upload your own list of contacts as well. There’s no contact limit, so you can add as many people as you like. 

Example email

If you’ve used the platform for multiple years, there’s a prebuilt past participants list. You can also automate emails for things like price increases, or to notify people when registration is about to close. It’s also great for sending updates and reminders about your event or sharing other details like time and location for an upcoming event. 

Leave registration open

Every year, we see the same thing: about 25% of all registrations happen the week of an event. That number is even higher for shorter events like 5ks. We understand all the reasons people may be hesitant to leave registration open until the day of, but we promise it’s worth any potential hassle. 

If you want to reduce some of the strain you can create print outs of your registration QR code (which you can find by going to “Promotion” in your dashboard, then clicking “Links”) so people can register themselves. You can also set up event day registration, which reduces the amount of information someone needs to put in if they register on race day.

Other tools like the RaceDay App and dynamic bib assignment also help reduce a lot of the issues people face with day-of registrations.

Set up price increases 

Price increases aren’t just a shrewd business move, they’re also a great way to motivate people who are on the fence to take action and sign up sooner than later. In fact, around 27% of all registrations happen after seeing a price increase, or registration close, message. So, they can be a big motivator. 

With RunSignup you can set up automatic price increases from the get go. All you have to do is add different time windows for the ticket types (you can learn more about that here). After setting those up, you can create automated emails to go out to the contacts of your choice letting them know about the upcoming change. 

Small changes, big wins

Getting the most out of your tools is important as a small race. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of all the different tools RunSignup offers. Doing so will help you have a more successful race and create a great experience for everyone involved. 

If you’re not a current RunSignup user, but think it might be right for you, you can create a race for free here. 

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