I received a promotional e-mail from Uber… and right away, I was able to spot the cognitive biases and marketing “tricks” used to influence me to — take an action. 

For a second I stopped and thought, “Oh wow… I am just starting to get my hands dirty into those biases and I am right away spotting them as I see them.” It was proud of myself for a moment. 

Moving on. 

When I first read it, I was tempted to take Uber more often, but then again I drive my own car, so using Uber on a daily basis isn’t really my thing, unless the car is in service.

Here it is… 

Uber Promotional Email

Let’s find out about those tricks, shall we? 

1. “Dear ‘Sherwette’” 

What does it hit? Personalization — We are more receptive to things that are personalized to us. Me. Me. Me. It’s used on every promotional email I get, thanks to tools such as MailChimp.

2. “…one week left…” 

What does it hit? Scarcity in time — which makes us want to hurry to … take action.

3. “…qualify for UberVIP…” 

What does it hit? Elite group — A status symbol of social association. 

4. “…you only have 2 ride(s) to go…”

What does it hit? It’s easier to start what has already been started for us.

In the beginning, I was only tempted and thought, “I have learned the tricks.” But then I read “you only have 2 ride(s) to go…” I clicked on “More on UberVIP” and I got “this link has expired page” message. 


Uber Expired Link

As I am writing this post, I was intrigued to know more about the perks, especially that I know I have taken Uber twice yesterday. So, technically speaking, I did take my remaining couple of rides — but not due to the promotional e-mail though. 

Did I have my status upgraded? 

No. My Uber status didn’t change to “UberVIP”, which makes me wonder, “What would I be feeling right now if I did decide to take those rides to upgrade my status to “UberVIP” then it didn’t change?” 

I would be pissed. I would be pissed but too embarrassed to complain about it. Plus, my time is also scarce, so I would let it go. 

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