If you’ve ever seen someone hunched over an iPhone, furiously tap-tap-tapping at the screen at lightening speed, then it's safe to say you are familiar with texting.
Texting is the #1 form of communication in 2016. Complete conversations happen via text, and it's not surprising to see that the simple text message has usurped phone calls as the preferred method of communication in the under 50 demographic.
More importantly, texting has evolved from being just a way to keep in touch with friends to another way for brands to communicate with their audiences. This is why we created a text messaging feature that provides you with an effortless, fool-proof tool to get your text on with your athletes.
So why should you be using text messaging to manage race participants?
1) It streamlines the Packet Pickup Process (PPP)
The Packet Pickup Process (better known as PPP) is a major source of frustration for athletes and event directors alike. There’s always that one guy (you know who I’m talking about) who spends 20 minutes pondering whether he put his real name or his race alter-ego, Sir Speeds A Lot, on his online race registration.
With text messaging, you can eliminate all of the PPP hassle. Using text messaging for the packet pickup process is so quick and easy, even Sir Speeds A Lot can get on board!
Example: The TD Five Boro Bike Tour recently rolled out a text messaging program where they texted their 38,000 athletes with a scannable bar code that they could use for check in.
The results? They cut down their PPP from 35 minutes to 27 seconds.
2) It’s a MAJOR Selling Point for Sponsors
Email marketing, on a good day, has a 60% open rate. Text messaging? 100% open rate.
That's right. 100%. That not-so-little percentage should be your best friend when you're pitching potential sponsors.
As part of your sponsorship package, give your sponsors the option to include a line of messaging and a link in one or all of your text communications. When you offer sponsored texts as part of your sponsorship package, you can say with total honesty “I guarantee you that 100% of opted-in athletes at this event will see whatever information you want to get in front of them”.
When you drop that sentence, your sponsors' jaws should all drop along with it.
3) It Creates a Personal Relationship with your Athletes
Like I mentioned earlier, texting is the way to communicate in 2016.
To build a real relationship with your athletes, you need to be texting, too. Aside from the texts with sponsor messaging or event info, you can use texting as a platform to open conversations and build loyalty with your athletes. Make them feel like they’re truly part of your race family.
Send them a text the night before the race with their bib assignment and to wish them good luck, or afterwards thanking them for participating. Once your pictures are live, text them a link so they can download the shots.
Insider tip: Always address your texts directly to your athletes. Use their names. If you don’t, it basically negates the benefit of texting as a way to build relationships. (Don’t worry, we've got you covered - our text messaging service makes it foolproof to make sure all your messaging is personalized.)
4) It’s FREE
After all of the fantabulous ways we just showed you texting is going to rock your event, you'd think we would charge you $10,000 or your first born child for our text messaging service. But you’d be wrong. Because it’s FREE with your imATHLETE race management software.
I know, I know... it's awesome. You’re welcome.
If you DON’T have text messaging as part of your strategy in 2016, you’re losing out on a serious amount of opportunity. Easier packet pickups, more sponsor dollars and better relationships with your athletes is just the tip of the iceberg.
So stretch your fingers, break out your emoji game and start texting.