Do you sometimes feel like participants just skim over your website or emails, completely missing the registration link? Do you receive too many phone calls asking about race information that you think you’ve made plain as day? It’s no secret that attention spans are getting shorter and many people are skimming rather than reading, but there are ways you can present information about your event that are more likely to get the attention of anyone looking for it.
Here are five writing tips to ensure your words will be read (and get you more registrations):
1. Keep it simple
It can be easy to over-explain—you want to make sure every detail is covered and anyone looking for registration information can find it. But remember that you’ve got about five seconds of attention from your reader before they move on, so write short, concise sentences and only include the most important info. You certainly can write more lengthy content on your website versus an email or poster, but it’s still important to be brief. For example, instead of writing a paragraph about entry fee price breaks and deadlines, simply put the dates and fees in bullet point format. And most importantly, make the button/link to registration very prominent.
2. Use verbs
Marketing research has proven that people are more likely to take action when you goad them to it. So if you want someone to register for your event, tell them to! Use verbs. For example, it is much better to say “Register Now” or “Get Signed Up” than something like “Registration.” Phrases like this are appropriately termed “calls to action” and that’s exactly what you want to do—call participants to take action and register.
3. Throw in some personality
As a race director, your event is what you make it. It’s very much part of who you are, so give it some of your personality. When you write emails or on your website, keep a professional tone while still adding in some humor and friendliness. Catchy phrases like “if you love to run as much as we do, this is the race for you” or “a course so tough that I had to get mom’s permission to approve it” will stand out to readers and convey your excitement, which will translate to excited participants and more registrations.
4. Write about what makes you different
This is part of establishing your brand and differentiating your event from all the others out there. When you’re writing content for your website, emails, registration form, and other marketing materials, include what’s special about your event. Does it have a scenic course? Do you have a theme? Do you offer something unique at the finish line? And feel free to embellish! If you know that you get big crowds along the course, say something like “Be cheered on by a huge group of fans each step of the way.” By no means should you say something that is untrue, but using colorful words and a bit of exaggeration is all part of marketing, and what will grab the attention of participants as they read your materials.
5. Use pictures
It may seem odd to talk about pictures when advising on how to write the best content, but the old saying is true – a picture says a thousand words. Especially considering the popularity of social media like Facebook’s Timeline and Pinterest, which are both very image heavy, it’s obvious that people are very visual and respond well to pics that inspire or interest them. Write short, engaging content to inform participants, but support it with pictures that grab their attention. Showcase your past participants, start line, finish line, course, etc., and include them on all of your marketing materials. The trick is to write about how great your event is, and then show how great it is too.