Lena Anderssen began hosting running tours in 2011. As an avid runner who travels 200 business days a year, she was often training for marathons, which meant a lot of long run days in a new city every week. One week while on a trip to Vienna, a friend took her on a run around the city.
In that one hour, between 7:00 and 8:00 in the morning, Lena knew everything about the history of Vienna, where to eat and shop, and especially where to get the best coffee. “And I thought, why was this not in every single city that I just visited?” Lena added. “I went home, built a website, and quit my job. That’s when I started doing the running tours, but just in Copenhagen.”
Lena’s first running tour was in 2011, just two months after she launched her website, and by 2013, inspired by her guests who were asking if these tours were available in other cities, Lena decided to take things globally, and that’s when Go! Running Tours got its start.
An Evolving Business
During their first few years, Go! Running Tours used MailChimp for their email marketing, primarily to send newsletters to their running community. That worked for them at the time, but as the company evolved, so did their marketing and sales needs:
- Welcoming their guests and having visibility to their journey was a top priority
- Lead generation for corporate clients was becoming increasingly important
- They needed a smarter way to target audiences with different types of content, products, and services
- They needed an effective way to recruit lead guides
ActiveCampaign is frequently mentioned in the growth podcasts Lena listens to, and she was particularly interested in the engagement recipes, creating welcome flows, and the abandoned cart automations. “These were things that we couldn’t do at that time with MailChimp,” said Lena. “We moved over to ActiveCampaign to be a little bit more sophisticated with our marketing and nurture flows.”
“With ActiveCampaign we can get away from just doing the basics, to doing something that shows who we are and that we really care, because we know these people, and we want to keep connecting in a meaningful way.”
Like other companies, Go! Running Tours had to change how they stayed connected to their audience in 2020. People were no longer traveling, so Go! Running Tours changed their email content and newsletters to be more relevant to events and happenings in the regions where clients lived, rather than where they would travel. Most importantly, Lena wanted to do something to keep her clients happy and healthy, while staying connected to the global community.
That’s when Lena decided to host a virtual running event open for anyone from anywhere in the world to join, and used ActiveCampaign forms and email automations to organize the event communication. “All they had to do was to sign up,” said Lena, “And it didn’t cost anything, because I wanted it to be about connecting people and cultures and cities and bringing people together.”
The level of interest they received for the event was unexpected. “I woke up at 4:00 in the morning and my Instagram was going crazy! People from all over the world were joining in with all of these super-inspirational posts.”
Lena’s team took what they learned from 2020 and 21 to streamline their sales and marketing strategy, further positioning Go! Running Tours for growth. “We can really feel that it’s picking up now with the things that we’ve been working on in the background,” commented Lena.
Fueled for Growth
Go! Running Tours’ lead generation model includes outreach to run clubs, hotels, corporations, and influencers. Anything that comes out of an opportunity goes into Deal management in ActiveCampaign, providing key insights into the journey of their clients, prospects, and B2B partners.
“The ActiveCampaign Deals functionality is tremendous,” added Lena, “as a founder, I don’t sit with all of the opportunities, but I might like to understand which partners are we speaking to in Paris at the moment? If an opportunity comes in for the Marriott Hotel in Copenhagen, we can quickly look in ActiveCampaign to see what other Marriott Hotels we are working with in the different cities. Nothing falls through the cracks. Everything is followed up. That works exceptionally well. That’s fantastic.”
Using ActiveCampaign Deals, Go! Running Tours can manage all of their sales efforts with full visibility to communication, from initial contact through to when the contracts are signed. And using the Facebook integration, they can pass booking information to the contact record in ActiveCampaign and know exactly where guests have been running on what date and how much they’ve spent with Go! Running Tours.
For a full-circle view of their guests, “We use the ActiveCampaign integration for WooCommerce and that works really well,” said Lena. “We also use Zapier to move some of the data over to WooCommerce, and from there we use ActiveCampaign to feed into our social media audiences. Using the information from ActiveCampaign, we know exactly which are our most valuable guests, and we use that to create a copy of audiences in social media to reach more people.”
NPS and Repeat Business
The most important KPI for Lena is their NPS score. “I’m most obsessed about our Net Promoter Score, which is 89. Everyone on the team is focused on making sure that everyone is happy when they’re out on the tours.”
Another KPI Lena tracks is repeatability. “Before the pandemic, we had grown to around 28% repeatability. Now we’re closer to 40% and it’s picking up as people are traveling more.” Even with new guests, as soon as they try a tour in one city, they’ll book a tour again for their next destination. Much of this can be attributed to the personalized content the Go! Running Tours team has created in the ActiveCampaign engagement flows.
“40% of bookings are at the moment repeat customers,” added Lena. “We have used ActiveCampaign to re-activate our previous guests after two years of basically no travel. ActiveCampaign has been essential in this.”
The city tour guides have also developed a community amongst themselves via Slack. “Because our lead guides and city managers are all connected on Slack, they all know each other,” added Lena. “So, when a client runs in Madrid and goes to Barcelona four days later, the tour guides Phillip and Mattia have already spoken on Slack and say hey, “I heard you had a great run with Philip.” That makes people feel welcome and that they are actually seen as a guest.”
“I use Slack for everything. Because we have the Slack integration for ActiveCampaign, when we use ActiveCampaign forms for events, we are notified through Slack every time someone signs up. That way we can get an idea of what type of client this is, how do we reach out to them, and so on, instead of us having to go and look in ActiveCampaign. We get all of that information on Slack, and we can pretty quickly keep an eye on it.”
Customer Experience Automation
One of the most important automations for Go! Running Tours are the welcome flows. Lena takes great care to ensure the messaging in the automation emails reflects the DNA of Go! Running Tours – ensuring people are happy and healthy when they travel, as well as helping them to understand and connect with a culture and the local people in the cities that they run.
“The ActiveCampaign welcome flows are our way of introducing ourselves so guests can relate to us and feel comfortable that they are going to have a good time on our tours.”
ActiveCampaign engagement recipes enable Go! Running Tours to create engagement flows that offer clients additional products and services based on their location, behaviors, and user journey, further enhancing the guest experience. In addition to the Running Tours, Running Holidays, and Vacations, Go! Running Tours also offers online strength training where runners can subscribe and train with 4x Olympian Colleen de Reuck.
Go! Running Tours is in an incredible stage of growth and opportunity, and ActiveCampaign is happy to be a part of their success. If you want to find out more about them, check out their website!