How Uber Has Been ‘Speaking Human’ Recently

Subject: You won’t believe this story…

They pulled us in right there. That subject line when paired with a “from” line that displayed the name “Uber” immediately had us intrigued. Enough so that we took that essential first action that’s becoming rarer and rarer in the age of the overcrowded inbox: We clicked to open the email.

And while that’s a strong, compelling subject line, it’s not even the best trick pulled off by this email marketing effort. That comes in the body copy.

Focusing on the Human First, Service Second

When we opened the email, we saw a graphic image and then the headline “Request a ride, get a story”. OK. Then Uber gives us this quick one-sentence description of their uberPOOL service:

“uberPOOL matches you with riders headed in the same direction, allowing you to share your ride and the cost.”

That one sentence gives us everything we really need to know about the service in a simplified package—what it is (matching), how it works (sharing), why it’s beneficial (cost). 

Rather than selling us on why this service is so great with the rest of the email, Uber takes a surprising turn and goes a different direction; a more human direction.

Sharing Touching, Funny, and Surprising Stories

The second and third sentences of the email, while still underlining the benefits of the service, hone in on something more intriguing uberPOOL offers: Stories.

That’s the true core of this email (or so Uber wants us to think): all the unique and interesting experiences customers have sharing Ubers through this service. We get a taste of those stories in the email, along with a link to more stories on the Uber website.

What this email does brilliantly is sell this service through a fun sleight of hand. They’re shining a spotlight on the stories of riders, but the uberPOOL service is always present in the background. 

So while you’re taking in these rider stories, you’re also learning more about this service. The concept and message of uberPOOL are being imprinted on your brain while you’re engaging in the human interest aspect.

It’s a clever move. And it works.

Check out the full email from Uber:

Uber Rider Stories Email Marketing