August 16, 2018Dooonate turns out of office emails into charity ad space

An out-of-office email response can draw a groan when you need something in a hurry, but for media agency Mindshare, they present an opportunity to do good. That's why they're trialling charity software Dooonate, who use the email space as a platform for direct advertising. We explore the insights behind Dooonate and understand how this novel form of advertising is disrupting the charity sector.

Rebecca Smith

Dooonate software is currently being beta tested by three charities, which are using office workers’ out-of-office (OOO) emails as a space to advertise on. "We wanted to explore ways our industry could use our expertise and talent for a good cause," says Becky Power, executive creative director at Mindshare. "Every time you see a message from a charity, they’ve probably paid to get it there. And advertising is not cheap. Dooonate gives charities a free space to send their message straight to people’s inboxes. "And OOO emails contain a lot of empty space. According to Mindshare it could rack up to £1 for every 1,000 emails. This equals up to £51,000 worth of media space every day in the UK.

People’s expectations for companies to give back are rising, and this can be difficult for brands to match. Research show that 54% of people think businesses should be legally obliged to donate part of their profits to charity. This may not be very appealing for brands, but Dooonate highlights how there are other effective ways to help charities as a business.

“People increasingly give on impulse and they want to be able to give frictionlessly,” explains Rhys Goode, PR director at Just Giving in an interview with Canvas8. Having charity advertising in people’s inboxes enables a frictionless, direct form of giving that people don’t have to go out of their way to do - similar to that of digital/contactless donation boxes. With 41% of shoppers also believing that businesses should be doing more for charity, those that do lead the way will stand out. Mindshare are doing just this by calling on their own expertise in media planning, which gives their brand some form of moral currency – even when they're on holiday.

Rebecca Smith is a behavioral analyst at Canvas8, which specializes in behavioral insights and consumer research. She has worked with a number of global brands to help them better understand the mindsets of their audiences, from what people want from fake tan to how they feel about technology. Outside of work, you’ll find her binge-watching anime or with her nose stuck in a fantasy novel.

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