Category Archives: Advertising

Doodle switches to HTML

We send hundreds of thousands of notifications per day that are related to the administration of Doodle polls. Some of you may have already seen that we’ve switched to HTML e-mail notifications. This was an important step to improve the overall user experience of one of Doodle’s core communication streams. We handle these messages in-house so that we can have full control over what our users get. You’ll notice that the HTML e-mails look better and offer more helpful information in one look.


The basic approach to develop the new e-mails involved iterative steps and a lot of testing. Over the course of a month, we released six layout versions to small subsets of users and measured KPIs like the opening rate and the click-through rate. Many users and a service called Litmus helped us test the designs in a variety of e-mail clients. We immediately incorporated the feedback and were able to measure the improvements instantly.

Initial text-only notifications

First iteration

Five iterations later: today’s notification


As a result, you can now experience HTML notifications in a fresh and structured layout that gets displayed in all modern e-mail clients. Poll initiators are much less likely to send out the admin link that is not intended for the participants. They can also invite participants by clicking on the invite buttons in the HTML e-mail. The final layout has been selected because it achieves an optimum click-through rate on links to Doodle polls, other Doodle content and advertising partners. Just like before, you can get rid of all advertising on Doodle by choosing a premium subscription.


  • a text-only fall back increases the click through rate significantly
  • over 50% of all Doodle notifications get opened
  • less clicks on advertising was equivalent with a higher lead rate, which is good for the advertiser as for the Doodle user

In the end, it was trickier to develop a good HTML e-mail than a website because there are even more e-mail clients than there are Web browsers. That was one of the lessons that we learned that anyone who’s created HTML e-mails before has also learned. Here are some helpful resources that we used:

Doodle goes east and west

During the last weeks, we were able to realize new sales partnerships with both our west and east neighbours. In France, 24/7 Real Media, a WPP company, will from now on represent Doodle’s display advertising sales.

In Austria, the specialists from adworx internetservice GmbH could achieve the sales mandate from Doodle. Both partnerships are exclusive mandates in the respective market. Please contact our sales team for bookings and further information.

New advertising format supports Doodle’s free features

We recently introduced a new format of online adverstising: the Calendar Ad. This new format will show up in the participation page of a Doodle poll as a small box and reveal additional information and the location upon mouse over. Marketers that way can promote all kinds of events, including fairs, parties, and launches. The Calendar Ad has a high relevance for the user as it appears when people are actually planning events around that specific time. For the beginning, only users in Germany and Switzerland will see it.

The ads on contribute to a major share of Doodle’s revenue and enable us to provide the majority of all features for free. We heartily invite you to subscribe to a Premium Doodle price plan if you prefer to use the service without advertising and would like to profit from full branding capabilities and extra features.

More in our media update.

Calendar Ad in timely context: reveals additional information upon mouse over

Doodle crosses the 10 million user mark

The US leads the way with the fastest rate of growth

Online scheduling has reached a new milestone today as Doodle has now reached 10 million users per month* for September 2011. Users are distributed globally, and the main clusters are in Germany, Switzerland, France, the US and Belgium. The total number of users is more than three times larger than it was in 2009, and in the US, the amount of users (2M+) is almost four times larger than it was back then. Additionally, the usage of Doodle’s mobile version has had a threefold increase per year during the last two years.

Doodle's global user growth in the recent years

The viral growth of Doodle is fueled by the users who invite their contacts to meeting polls and therefore enable them to experience the benefits of Doodle. According to a recent survey**, 98% of all users discovered Doodle because of a personal invitation or recommendation.

Why did you start using Doodle?** (N=4,200)

The data also shows that users are extremely happy with Doodle when it comes to its design, reliability, data protection, functionality, and usability. Half of Doodle’s users use the tool more than once a month, more than half of them use it for professional scheduling, and 40% of them organize more meetings than they participate in.

Ratings by Doodle users** (N=4,200)

This large number of satisfied and regular users makes Doodle an attractive international advertising platform, and this accounts for the largest share of the company’s revenue. Doodle’s advertisers can reach their audiences in a precise way through thematic targeting, and the simple interface enables them to make a strong impact.

*Total unique visitors per month according to Google Analytics
**On-site international survey in September 2011 with 4,200 participants

Super basic, mobile beta, calendar ads, and intro film

We released the new beta version of the mobile participation page last month, and yesterday we added the poll creation wizard, too. On any modern* mobile device, you can now go through the whole process of creating a poll, inviting participants, participating, and closing a poll. Visit or go to on your mobile phone and select “Switch to new Mobile Doodle BETA”. We’re looking forward to getting your feedback!

We also launched a super basic desktop version of Doodle’s participation page that can be helpful if you use an older browser that doesn’t support the regular Doodle user interface. With this version, you can always be 100% sure that everyone will be able to answer a Doodle invitation no matter what software they use.

Users in Switzerland might also see a new form of advertising because we’re now experimenting with calendar ads. These ads will give advertisers the ability to promote events directly in Doodle polls in a chronological way.

Watch also the new intro film that was created during our video contest!

*We support IE9, WebKit (iPhone, Safari, BlackBerry 6 and later, Nokia S60 and later), Opera 6 and later, and Firefox 4 and later. We can’t guarantee perfect operation on all other / older software.

Doodle’s expanding: new VP of Sales

Tiziano Obrecht is our new VP of Sales. He brings eleven years of experience in online advertising to our team and will drive the commercialization of Doodle more international. Focuses of his first months at Doodle will be Germany and the French speaking part of Switzerland.

Doodle is in the top 10 online advertising platforms in Switzerland and in the top 50 online advertising providers in Germany.

Tiziano Obrecht