The Ultimate Guide to Marketing to Rideshare Drivers

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Here’s a little-known fact: Rideshare drivers could soon be one of the most influential groups of people in the United States.

Not only do the estimated 3 million rideshare drivers in the US represent billions of dollars in buying power, they collectively interact with more than 3.1 million people in their vehicles every single day.

Over the next decade, rideshare drivers will be buying and influencing more than $100 billion in annual spending—which is why smart marketers are learning how to reach and engage these drivers.

To help ensure that you and your company are getting a piece of the multibillion-dollar pie, we’ve compiled this actionable guide for you to use when targeting rideshare drivers with your marketing.

These are the same strategies and tactics that the Gridwise team has used to amass an audience of more than 100,000 active and engaged rideshare drivers throughout the United States. By using some or all of these tactics, you’ll be able to hit the ground running with your next rideshare driver-focused marketing campaign.

Let’s get started!

Who Are Rideshare Drivers?

As marketers, we’re well aware that you can’t engage with an audience you don’t know, and it can be difficult to know exactly who rideshare drivers are. That’s because they can’t be pigeonholed … they are an incredibly diverse group of people from all backgrounds and walks of life.

Take a look at the following stats to better understand the demographic makeup of rideshare drivers.

Rideshare drivers are incredibly diverse 

Between 18 and 2919 percent
Between 20 and 3930 percent
Between 40 and 4926 percent
Over 5024 percent

Source: Benenson Strategy Group

They are also racially diverse

White40.3 percent
Black18 percent
Hispanic17.7 percent
Asian16.5 percent
Other17.5 percent

Source: Benenson Strategy Group

But not so diverse in terms of gender

Male drivers86 percent
Female drivers14 percent

Source: Benenson Strategy Group

Most drivers are well-educated

Bachelor’s degree or higher48 percent
Associates degree or trade school diploma/degree24 percent
No college degree28 percent

Source: Benenson Strategy Group

Most drivers are family-oriented

Married50 percent
Have children46 percent
Financially support parents or other relatives25 percent

Rideshare drivers typically earn around $18 per hour

Note that rideshare earnings are very dependent on location. To understand exactly how much rideshare drivers made during 2019 in specific cities, check out our article, How much do rideshare drivers make in 2020? [January 2020 update!].

Not surprisingly, drivers are putting a lot of miles on their cars

Source: How much do rideshare drivers make in 2020

Note: The graph indicates the median number of miles that drivers put on their vehicles per shift. Many drivers will do two or more shifts of 4+ hours per day.

So with such a diverse group … how should you market to rideshare drivers?

Take Time to Learn About Rideshare Drivers

Before you even think about marketing to rideshare drivers, you need to understand what motivates them to do what they do. By understanding what makes them tick, you can better understand how to offer drivers real value.

We’ve pulled together some stats to help you understand the mindset of a rideshare driver.

How rideshare drivers spend their earnings

In surveys, drivers have shared information about their spending habits. Predictably, more than 70 percent of the money they earn is earmarked for monthly bills. Here’s a further breakdown of where their money goes.

Car payments49 percent
House payments31 percent
Treats (for driver and/or family)27 percent
Expenses for children25 percent
Saving for emergencies23 percent
Medical bills20 percent
Student loans19 percent
Saving for a big purchase9 percent
Saving for retirement9 percent

Source: Benenson Strategy Group

Job category before working as rideshare driver 

White-collar professional or managerial30 percent
Service sector26 percent
Blue-collar worker14 percent
White-collar administrative or clerical8 percent
Other22 percent

Source: Benenson Strategy Group

Do rideshare drivers want to be employed by a rideshare service?

Yes45 percent
No55 percent

Source: Benenson Strategy Group

These data points are a great place to start, but in order to fully understand how drivers feel about you and your specific product category, you’ll need to do more research. Luckily for you, rideshare drivers openly talk about their pains, frustrations, wants, and needs on social media, such as in Facebook groups and forums. 

By joining a rideshare driver-focused Facebook group and simply observing what is discussed there, you can learn a lot about drivers’ perspectives on gas, car accessories, car buying, insurance, and anything else they feel like discussing.

Here, take a look at these conversations and you’ll see what we mean.

Insurance companies can use Facebook groups to understand conversations drivers are having about insurance-related topics

CPG companies can see what products drivers are talking about 

to understand what they like and don’t like

Be Real and Speak Their Language

Rideshare drivers can smell a sales pitch from a mile away. If they sense that you’re being less than authentic, don’t expect a pleasant response. Instead, be real and honest, and speak directly to these drivers in their own language.

Learning these common terms will help you talk to rideshare drivers 

PAXShorthand for passenger or rider
Flat surgeThe new surge pricing that was introduced in 2019 and changed surges from a multiplier to a flat fee
AB5California legislation that could pave the way for Uber, Lyft, and other TNCs to be required to classify drivers as full-time employees—a highly controversial topic
DingA term for a bad rating from a passenger
Dead milesAny miles that a driver must drive while not earning
Dead timeAny time a driver is working but not earning, such as when a driver can’t find a passenger
PingThe sound made by a driver’s phone when a passenger requests  ride
TLC licensingTaxi and Limousine Commission licensing in New York City
TNCTransportation Network Companies

Now that you know what words to use to interact with drivers, it’s time to understand the proper voice. Here are three rules to keep in mind:

  • Be clear and concise about what you’re trying to get across
  • Be confident and experienced, but not brash
  • Be knowledgeable, but willing and eager to learn
  • Be down to earth and human

Check out the email example below where we used proper tone and language to engage rideshare drivers.

*

And one more pro tip … never, ever talk down to drivers. In fact, you might want to get a few trips as a driver under your belt so you can really understand what it’s like to do what they do. 

Create Content That Provides Real Value

As previously stated, drivers hate a sales pitch … it’s like they have radar or something, and can sniff it out before you even say anything. 

But if you use content to provide real value and insight for rideshare drivers, they will begin to appreciate your brand and think of you as a value add.

The key is to understand how and where you and your company can provide unique value—and you almost certainly cannot provide unique insight into rideshare driver strategies, earnings, or anything else that fits into a listicle.

Instead, tell a story about how a driver’s life has changed as a result of your company or product. Check out a few examples of content from our blog that resonated with drivers.

This blog post was written in tandem with Play Octopus to help rideshare drivers understand the different ways they can earn extra income while doing their normal driving. It resonated with them because drivers all want to find ways to earn extra income, and they didn’t have any insight into how they could do that with a tool like Play Octopus. Now they get it.

This was a blog post written in tandem with Cargo, which helped drivers uncover a way they can earn extra income while driving as they normally would.

In this article, the Gridwise team analyzed Uber’s earnings report and used our unique data insights to help drivers understand what the report means for them. This was valuable to drivers because we simplified their complicated financial statements and highlighted the things that could affect them.

Engage with Drivers Where They Hang Out

One thing that unites rideshare drivers is where they hang out, which helps simplify how you should market to them.

Social Media

It’s no secret that rideshare drivers spend a lot of time on social media. There are hundreds of driver-focused Facebook groups that companies can use to listen and engage when appropriate.

As long as you do it the right way.

The key to successfully marketing with Facebook groups is to NOT spam. I repeat DO NOT spam. That means don’t just post a link to your specific article or product, leave, and expect it to do your work for you. Instead, follow these steps.

  1. Join the community and observe how people interact, learn the rules, and identify the influencers within the group. These influencers will be the most active and can easily sway the group’s opinion.
  2. After a few days, start to engage in discussion with the community. Be Helpful. Don’t even think about linking back to any of your content yet. Instead, attempt to helpfully and humbly interact with a few group influencers.
  3. After about a week of engaging with the community, consider answering a question by linking to one of your articles. By doing this, you are still remaining helpful while giving your article a bit of promotion. Continue to do this for a few weeks and continue to build rapport with group members.
  4. After you’ve built enough rapport, you can consider posting your article by framing it as a question to the group.

When done correctly, you’ll not only get people viewing your content, but engaging with your content, with you, and with your company.

Check out how we engaged this community for Gridwise.

We started by asking an engaging question that would later serve as the topic of an article.

We asked questions that linked back to our content.

Finally, once we could speak their language, we shared an article that we knew would resonate with drivers.

The content team at Gridwise does this in more than 100 groups, which is just part of the reason we gain thousands of users each month from our content.

Email

Email is an incredible tool to reach rideshare drivers. The average email to our drivers gets an open rate of more than 35 percent and a click-through rate of more than 5 percent.

We do this by ensuring that our email content is consistently adding value for drivers and is sent at appropriate times. Below is an example of an email that received a 40 percent open rate and an 8 percent click-through rate.

This email worked because we spoke about an issue that was relevant to drivers, offered a unique perspective, asked a question, and used the appropriate voice and tone.

An It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia gif never hurts either.

Gridwise

More than 100,000 rideshare drivers use Gridwise to maximize their income, so advertising in the Gridwise app is a great way to get your brand in front of them.

The team at Wrapify enjoys a 2.5 percent CTR on their ads on Gridwise, which is more than 2.5x the CTR they would see on Google. This is helping them build a network of 10,000+ highly engaged rideshare drivers.

Let the Gridwise team build a multichannel strategy for you!

Still not 100 percent sure how you should be engaging with rideshare drivers? No problem! At Gridwise, we have a team of marketers and designers who are experts in engaging and converting rideshare drivers across all channels and we’ll be happy to design a personalized strategy for you!

Simply reach out to sales@gridwise.io and we can set up a strategy session.

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