SMS Marketing Examples

How Uber Is Using SMS Marketing to Feed Seattle

Uber Logo

Nowadays it seems like everyone is using the Uber mobile app to zip around the city. Did you know though that in certain cities like Seattle, you can order lunch Monday through Friday from within the Uber app? It’s true, and it’s called UberEATS. How does it work? It’s actually very simple. To order lunch, a customer would first open the Uber app on their mobile phone, and in participating cities, select the meal icon at the top of the app. Then you enter your location and tap “View Menu”. You’re then presented with a handful of menu options within the mobile app, as you can see in the photo below.

UberEATS App Photo

Once the order is placed within the app, it’s only a matter of minutes before an UberEATS driver is pulling up to your curb to deliver your lunch. Pretty cool huh?

That’s all fine and dandy, but lunch quickly sneaks up on people, and UberEATS users were finding themselves midway through the line at their local deli before remembering that could have just used the mobile app to order lunch. Whoops…

This is a big problem for UberEATS, as every meal ordered outside of the app, is a meal that isn’t being ordered within the app… Unless you really have a big appetite for lunch. The solution to have the mobile app be top of mind when users are making a lunch decision… SMS marketing!

Yep, you heard me right, UberEATS is using SMS marketing! Monday through Friday, Uber is sending text messages to users that have opted-in, not only to remind them that the app is on their mobile device, but also to let them know what’s on the menu for the day. The SMS marketing campaign started when Uber sent the following email, encouraging users to subscribe for updates via text message.

UberEATS Text Message Advertising

As you can see in the text message below sent by UberEATS, Wednesday’s menu for Seattle included congee (no clue what that is – sounds healthy though), a Korean beef sandwich, or a delicious salad. At the end of the text message, they’re including a link, allowing hungry UberEATS users to simply click to order their lunch.

UberEats Text Message

UberEATS is using a deep link in the text message, that when clicked, opens up the Uber app on the recipient’s mobile phone. Seriously how can Uber make it more simple to order lunch? The only thing that comes to mind that would make UberEATS more simple is if they hand-delivered my lunch right to my desk. Unfortunately for now UberEATS only delivers curbside, but let’s be honest… I need the exercise to offset the amazing Korean beef sandwich that I’m going to enjoy.

What’s interesting to note is that UberEATS isn’t the only food delivery service in Seattle using SMS marketing. Peach also uses SMS marketing to generate business, but they do it a little different than UberEATS as you can see below. To be accurate, Peach is actually using MMS marketing, as they’re including an image of the daily lunch special they’re sending customers. Unlike an SMS message, which is limited to 160 characters of text (which can include hyperlinks), an MMS message allows a food delivery service like Peach, to send an image or video, and more than 160 characters of text. The coolest part about Peach’s usage of MMS is that unlike UberEATS where you click through to open the app and place your order, Peach allows you to simply reply “YES” via text message to place your order. Peach also uses a hyperlink in their message, allowing recipients to see more information about the dish, and to place their order on the mobile web.

Peach Delivery Service Text Message

While it’s very common for mobile apps to use text message marketing to increase app downloads, especially when text-to-download campaigns are generating 92% conversion rates, it’s relatively rare for them to use text message marketing to keep their users engaged with the app. It’s no wonder that a company like Uber, who’s been known to break the status quo at almost every turn, is exploring this communication channel.


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