Each of your customers wants to be treated like a person, not a faceless statistic or just another email address on your list.
In today’s society – with its ever-increasing reliance on technology – personal connection is becoming less and less common. It’s such a rarity for your customers to feel a real connection with the brands they work with. So, if you provide that kind of personalized attention to your participant relationships, you’ll develop serious brand loyalty and differentiate yourself from all the other race options on the market.
And if you can give them what they want – a personalized relationship – you’ll benefit by gaining their loyalty in the form of referrals and brand evangelism
The top 3 ways to treat customs like a name:
#1 – Address Them By Name
It seems like a small detail, but personalizing your email messaging and including your participant’s name (whether in the body of the email or the subject line) can make a HUGE difference in how your message is received.
How much of a difference?
- “75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, or knows their purchase history.”1
- “63% of respondents are highly annoyed by the way brands continue to rely on the old-fashioned strategy of blasting generic ad messages repeatedly.”1
- 10.4% of unsubscribers listed “emails were impersonal” as the reason they did so.2
When your participant receives an email that either a) has no greeting, or b) has a generic greeting like “Dear Athlete” or “Dear Participant,” it feels unfriendly – and it’s much easier for them to ignore or delete the message.
By taking the simple step of using their first name (which you can easily set up in your email management system), you create a more personal experience and increase the likelihood of your message being well received.
#2 – Send them only the messages they care about by segmenting your list
There’s nothing more impersonal for a participant than getting a message that essentially proves you know nothing about them, like sending a first-time registration coupon to an athlete who has taken part in your event for the past five years.
By segmenting your list, you can ensure that the right participants get the right messaging at the right time. And delivering the right messaging to your participants will not only create a more personal connection – it’s also likely to give a nice boost to your conversion rate. Best of all, with the right software, segmenting is a breeze.
Pro Tip: Make the most of the power of segmenting by tracking backward to the types of information you collect on your registration form. What could you add to get to know participants even better?
If you asked about their motivations and goals as a runner, for example, and learned that someone eventually hoped to run an IRONMAN®, that opens up new possibilities for communications they might welcome. Conversely, someone who is on the one-and-done track or who joined your race strictly because of a cause they wanted to support wouldn’t be as likely to appreciate triathlon training opportunities.
Or you could discover who is interested only in local events as opposed to those who are willing to travel considerable distances for a desired event, and that would inform which events you promote to whom or how you preface the opportunity.
#3 – Meet up with them at events
Technology is amazing; it contains both the power to connect, along with the potential for removing the personal touch.
If you want to forge a real personal connection with your participants, eventually you need to take it offline and into the real world. Connecting with participants at your events is a great way to create a more personal connection with your athletes – not to mention a great way to get feedback on your events!
There’s always a human interest tale hidden amongst your participants. Having your team ask “What motivated you to join today’s race?” will bring those stories to light. Many times, they’ll break your heart and inspire YOU to keep going when directing races seems overwhelming, which means the stories will resonate with your customers, too. Dave McGillivray states that his motivation to keep running isn’t just for himself, but for all the people he provides events for and raises funds for. That motivation is fueled by his deep desire and availability to develop relationships with anyone who is interested.
Highlighting participants’ stories and celebrating their successes on a public stage (via email, newsletter, website, or social media) shows your entire audience you’re committed and connected to your participants. So, have team members on the ground at every event connecting with participants. Then, follow up the event with an email detailing any feedback you received and requesting more so your participants know you hear and respect their opinions.
1Evergage: Consumers Want Personalization