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August 03, 2016

Digital Marketing For Races: Analytics

Digital Marketing For Races: Analytics

When you hear the words “digital marketing”, your head probably goes to all things creative: developing Facebook ads, writing email copy that drives race registrations or creating video content to put all those SnapChat stars to shame. And all that stuff’s obviously awesome. But there’s another side of marketing that’s just as important: analytics.

Before you yawn and click back to the cat video you were just watching, hear me out. Analytics are an absolutely essential element in any successful digital marketing campaign. If you want the best results, you need to understand how your athletes are finding you and what they’re doing once you’re on their radar. Understanding your analytics is powerful; when you understand your analytics, you can continually optimize your digital marketing strategy to get more opt-ins to your email list, drive more race registrations and turn those people poking around your race registration website into actual paying athletes.

Here are some analytics that you’re definitely going to want to track in your digital marketing campaigns leading up to race day:


Race Registration Website Traffic Sources

So, you know there are people coming to your race registration website (at least, I hope you do!). But the question is: where the heck are they coming from? Tracking traffic sources is going to give you some serious insight into your overall digital marketing strategy and will help you determine what avenues you want to invest more in and what you want to put on the chopping block.

For example, if you see a 150% traffic spike to your race registration website from your social media after you post a training plan on your Facebook page, you know that creating valuable content  to share on your social channels is an awesome investment moving forward. Or, on the flipside, if you notice that your email marketing isn’t referring any traffic to your site, even after launching a new campaign, then you know you need to deep dive into your email strategy to figure out what’s going on.

The best way to track traffic sources to your website is through Google Analytics.


Email Opens and Click Through Rate

Speaking of email, it's super important to really understand the performance of your email campaigns, particularly opens and click through rate (CTR).

Opens are pretty much exactly what they sound like: they track the number of athletes on your email list who open any given email that you send. The CTR  is how many of those athletes actually clicked the link within your email.

For example, let’s say you sent an email to your list of 10,000 athletes with information about an event cancellation (good times, right?). Within the email, you included a link to a new registration form for the new race date. Let’s say 6,243 people opened your email and 4,212 clicked the link. Your open rate would be 62.43% and your CTR would be 42.12%.

Knowing and understanding your open rate and CTR trends can help you understand what’s working in your email campaigns, how to best optimize them and how to predict how your campaigns might perform in the future.

All of the major email marketing platforms, like Aweber and MailChimp, come equipped with an analytics package to help you track the performance of your campaigns, including opens and CTR. If you want to level up and get even more data, make sure to add Event Marketing Links from your imATHLETE dashboard to your emails.



Conversion tracking is a must must MUST-use analytic when you’re running a Facebook ads campaign.

Here’s the skinny from Facebook on conversion tracking:

“Conversion measurement lets you track actions people take after viewing your Facebook Ads across multiple devices, including mobile phones, tablets and desktop computers.

By creating a Facebook pixel and adding it to the pages of your website where conversions happen, like the checkout page, you'll see who converts as a result of your Facebook Ads.

The pixel will continue to monitor the actions people take after clicking on your ad. You can see which device they saw the ad on and which device they ultimately converted on.”

Conversion tracking is awesome because it helps you understand the ROI on your campaigns in a real way. So, if you’re running ads to get people to sign up for your next race, you can see how many of your registered athletes came from Facebook and then divide that by your total ad cost, which will tell you how much it ended up costing you in ads to get an athlete to register for your race. This is such an important piece of information, because it helps you to understand whether Facebook is a cost effective way for you to drive race registrations.

If you need more of the nitty gritty on how to setup conversion tracking, check out Facebook’s tutorial.

If marketing was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, then think of creative marketing as Michaelangelo and analytics as Donatello. Michaelangelo might be the cool one, but Donatello is the brains behind the whole operation.

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