The idea to run an overnight 24+ hour running relay across the mountains of Utah was a lifelong dream of founder Steve Hill. The dream became a reality in 2004 when Steve, his son Dan and Dan’s college roommate, Tanner Bell, organized the first Wasatch Back Relay, spanning 188 miles from Logan to Park City, UT. Starting small, the Ragnar Relay Series has grown from a single relay in Utah to the largest overnight relay series with around 40 races in the US, Canada, and Europe. Ragnar fulfills people’s freedom to roam, to explore, to lead, and a free-spirited desire to get out there and experience an outdoor adventure with friends. Ragnar runners traverse beautiful scenery, conquer challenges, and celebrate as a team.


With its large database, Ragnar desired to create highly personalized emails to connect with their past, current, and future runners. They also wanted to solve the problem of over-sending multiple emails containing different information per race. Ragnar wanted a way to keep upcoming races top-of-mind, find a way to customize their marketing emails, and start building greater loyalty with their runners year-round.




The solution was to create dynamic emails for each individual runner or prospect. For example, if someone had run in four different races in previous years, they would have received all four marketing email campaigns individually. With multiple marketing emails within each race, this caused an issue as email volume was likely overwhelming the customer and may become overlooked or lost in their inbox.

The switch to dynamic content also enabled Ragnar with the opportunity to create a foundation to do something more with their emails and connect to their customers on a deeper level. They now have the ability to speak to a captain differently than a runner, a trail runner differently than a road runner, or engage a prospect differently than an avid Ragnar runner. These dynamic emails not only cut down on the overall volume but also opened the door to endless content opportunities they didn’t have previously. 

Ragnar knew customer segmentation and personalization was key in creating effective marketing campaigns, so they turned to their CDP to build a custom program to segment individuals. The logic of the program looks at items such as previous races run, proximity to a race, etc. to score each race by the individual within the database. This allows Ragnar to show the most relevant races first followed by races the individual might be interested in learning more about. Once the database is scored, a list is sent through their email provider and dynamically populates a single template with multiple dynamic pieces to each runner.

But the emails are not just about the races. These emails allow Ragnar to move away from a strictly transactional seeming email to include content that will help them truly connect with their runners. The emails now include engaging information for each runner including nutrition tips, training tips, inspiring stories of other runners and more. Runners now receive these personalized emails on every marketing send. Moving to dynamic emails instead of individual race emails, the volume of their email sends dramatically decreased while engagement rates continue to improve, showing that runners were interested in hearing from them but were getting inundated with multiple emails containing content that they weren’t connecting with. They now receive one dynamic and personalized email send a week and results have shown that this change in strategy has been a success to both Ragnar and the runner.






Increase in average revenue per email campaign

 Open Rate Increase

Click to Open Rate Increase


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