Despite more holiday hate over surge pricing, Uber is one of the more high-profile up-and-coming digital brands in the world. As the new year dawned (3 Jan 2014), Moven ran an eye-catching promo offering a free Uber ride (up to $30).
I flagged the email because I thought it was a great activation move. Moven appeared to be offering me $30 to get moving and complete my new account authentication (note 1). And more importantly, to get my Moven card in play in an app that offers a future stream of interchange revenues.
But unfortunately, the offer is limited to new Uber customers only (disclosed in small type at the bottom, that's my red arrow in the inset). And surprisingly, it appears that you can enter any credit/debit card number into the signup form as it's not Moven-specific.
Here's a quick rundown of the pros and cons of the promotion:
Good: Free Uber ride is cool and valuable and a good company to associate with the Moven brand. The $30 offer beats what Uber served me on a Google search by $10 (see second screenshot below).
Bad: A significant number of those interested in the offer will already be Uber customers and unable to participate (note 2).
Fix: Allow existing Uber customers to participate (perhaps with a lower dollar cap); if that's not economically feasible, it's time to showcase a more prominent "new Uber customers only."
Good: Encourages users to enter their Moven card number into the Uber app.
Bad: The form, and offer, can be used with any credit/debit card.
Fix: Require the ride be charged to the Moven card to qualify for the free credit.
Good: The email design was attractive and easy to read in a desktop browser window.
Bad: Headlines were good, but copy and fine print were not readable on a mobile (iPhone 5) without zooming (see inset above).
Fix: Design for mobile window
Bottom line: Despite these drawbacks, it's still a good promo. And its cost to Moven is likely zero (note 3), a very important factor for a startup. So I'd rate it a B+ overall in terms of execution, but an A for value (to Moven), assuming Uber picked up the tab.
Email from Moven (3 Jan 2014)
Note: Displayed in iPhone 5
Google offer under "uber" search (2 pm from Seattle IP address, 14 Jan 2014)
Image source: Placeit
1. I signed up as soon as I got a Moven invite, but I got caught in the authentication loop, still needing to find those trial deposit-amounts and feed that to Moven.
2. Also the fine print says "new users only." Originally, I took this to mean "new Moven users" since the message came from Moven and I was new to Moven and not new to Uber.
3. It's highly likely there was no cost to Moven, and it's possible the startup is earning a commission for each new Uber customer.