4 Ways to Boost Race Signups Without Breaking the Bank

With inflation on the rise, race directors need to boost signups without breaking the bank. Learn how to stretch your event promotion dollars.
min read

In today's economic climate, stretching every dollar is essential, especially for event directors tasked with promoting races.Inflation is on the rise, and it's crucial to find cost-effective ways to boost signups without breaking the bank. Whether you're organizing a local fun run or putting on a national event, these four tips will help you maximize your marketing efforts on a budget.

1.    Leverage Social Media Platforms

Harness the power of social media to reach a wider audience without spending a fortune. Create a content calendar to schedule a steady stream of engaging posts leading up to race day, such as training tips, participant spotlights, a highlight reel from past events, and participant reviews. Social media is also a great place to raise awareness of promotions, like early bird pricing, as well as to prevent last-minute signups. Don’t forget to make it interactive. Try encouraging your followers to share their own experiences and use event-specific hashtags to increase visibility.

If you’re new to marketing your event online, this video by RaceID is a great place to start.

Tip: If promotion is running you ragged, consider passing the baton to ACTIVEWorks Endurance, the race management platform that enables participants to drive engagement for your event throughout its entire lifecycle with built-in social integrations.

2.    Optimize Email Marketing

Take advantage of email marketing to communicate directly with your target audience. Collect email addresses from past participants and prospects to build your contact list, then craft personalized and engaging email campaigns to promote your race.

Even the best email is lost on recipients if it’s not optimized for mobile viewing and for all email platforms. Before you click send, consider these statistics:

- 75% of Americans would delete an email if it’s not optimized for mobile viewing.

- The leisure, sports, and recreation industry has the highest mobile email readership at 60.0%.

- Implementing a mobile-responsive email design can lead to a 15% increase in unique mobile clicks.

Source: https://www.mailmodo.com/guides/mobile-email-statistics/

Tip: Don’t have time for email marketing or mobile optimization? Let ACTIVEWorks Endurance clock in at record time by segmenting your audience on any data point imaginable, such as previous year's participants, geographic location, and even previous race times.

3.    Incentivize Referrals

Drive registrations and revenue by providing registrants with financial incentives to market your event and recruit additional registrants. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to boost signups:

“Referral programs are dream solutions for event planners because they’re so cost-effective and far more affordable to facilitate than traditional tactics. You’re using the existing client relationship to encourage referrals and warm leads. There’s more trust involved, less expense to initiate and manage, and [a high probability of] real results with a referral program.” (5 Benefits of Establishing a Referral Program for Your Events Business)

Tip: Consider this your referral to ACTIVEWorks Endurance, the race management platform that integrates referral programs with tiered rebates, rebates for the referrer to the referee, and percentage-based or flat-rate rebate amounts.

4.   Cross-Promote With Local Businesses

Forge partnerships with local businesses to expand your reach within the community. Look for opportunities to cross-promote your race in exchange for sponsorship or in-kind donations. Offer to display their logos on promotional materials or provide exclusive discounts to their customers. Collaborating with businesses not only helps spread the word about your event but also strengthens ties within the community. Here are some cross-promotion examples from RaceID to inspire you:

The New York City Marathon and Airbnb

In 2016, the New York City Marathon teamed up with Airbnb to offer race participants discounted accommodations through the Airbnb platform. This collaboration provided runners with a convenient and affordable place to stay during the race and helped increase brand awareness for both theNew York City Marathon and Airbnb.

The TransRockies Run and Grand to Grand Ultra

These two events are both multi-day stage races that take place in different states (TransRockies in Colorado and Grand to Grand in Utah). Despite their differences, they promote one another on websites and social media channels, recognizing that many trail runners are interested in participating in both types of events.

The Right Tools to Set Event Records

Promoting events on a budget requires creativity, strategic planning, and leveraging the right tools and resources. One thing is for certain in uncertain times: Utilizing a trusted event management software ensures every dollar is put to good use.

The best events around the world use ACTIVEWorks Endurance to optimize every detail from start-to-finish, including race promotion and registration. Join the fun runs, marathons, and Tough Mudders already using ACTIVE Network to set event records.

Book a demo to see ACTIVEWorks Endurance in action.

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March 6, 2024
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