This article is for marketers who want to know if using AMP for Email is worth it.
We will break down everything you need to know about AMP and AMP for Email, and by the end of this 10-minute read, you will be able to make an educated decision about whether or not to invest time and resources to send out AMP emails for your next email marketing campaign.
Limitations of Today’s Emails
No one can deny that email has evolved tremendously over the years. From plain text emails to HTML emails, from desktop only to mobile.
However, there are still some limitations to today’s email:
- The emails that are sent today are somewhat static. Despite having the possibility to add animated content such as videos and GIFs, the actual email message becomes irrelevant for the recipient over time.
- Email recipients have a restricted number of possible interactions with the email content. They can only watch videos (only supported in some email clients) and click through to a web landing page where they can go through with the action intended for them.
This makes the overall experience discouraging for both users and marketers. The conversion funnel is prolonged and email engagement rates can only reach a certain level.
This is where AMP for Emails comes in.
What is AMP?
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages.
It was first introduced by Google to web users in February 2016, offering new opportunities for crafting more usable and engaging content.
AMP by Google is an Open-Source framework used to optimize web content, particularly on mobile.
The goal was to help publishers create pages that load faster on mobile.
AMP includes interactive components like carousels.
AMP pages can also collect user inputs via forms.
Over the course of 2 years, Google researched and developed AMP to broaden the use of this technology.
And in 2018, AMP for Email was announced.
What is AMP for Emails? What is an AMP email?
AMP for email lets companies incorporate AMP elements in emails.
AMP for emails is used to send interactive, dynamic, and more engaging emails.
Recipients of AMP emails can interact directly with the email content, without having to leave their email provider.
Subscribers can now RSVP to events, leave and resolve comments, fill in questionnaires, make purchases, and more, all inside the email.
Is AMP for Email Worth it?
Over the past few years, the way we send emails evolved.
The shift from plain text emails to responsive HTML emails made email marketing a booming and fruitful practice.
Marketers race to get noticed in the flooding inboxes of their customers. And over the course of these years, a few main features and elements of email design and email content stood out among others.
Not only was there a shift in email design, but in email content also.
Before, we used to talk about blast emails and sending one email in bulk.
Nowadays, email marketing has become more and more personalized and customized according to each specific email subscriber (their preferences, actions, behavior, interests, etc.).
Before sending out any email marketing campaign, we need to think about Email List Segmentation and Targeting.
And instead of rewriting the same type of email from scratch every time, we create automated email campaigns and triggered emails, that are highly relevant to each user.
Just look at the rapid growth of the Marketing Automation market revenue, from 2009 to 2017.
A study conducted by Litmus about the “Top Email Design Trends in 2019” reaffirms that personalized emails are here to stay.
In fact, 40.7% of marketers said that they will be focusing on sending personalized and dynamic content for their email marketing campaigns in 2019.
There is a reason why personalized emails are so important for marketers. With 280 Billion Emails sent and received every day, consumers are sick and tired of having full inboxes, with useless and impersonal emails.
Sending well-targeted, personalized emails is no longer optional. Personalization has become a necessity for the success of any type of email campaign: Segmented email marketing campaigns have 14.64% more open rates and 60% more click-through rates compared to blast emails.
Animated emails are emails that include a video or an animated GIF.
As a way to keep their subscribers engaged, marketers started embedding videos and animated GIFs in their email marketing campaigns.
This practice has a positive impact on email metrics:
- An increase of up to 200% in CTR
- An increase of more than 19% in open rates, simply by adding the word “Video” in the email subject line
Subscribers love animated emails. The fun and engaging content catches their eyes and makes the email experience more entertaining.
Instead of scrolling through a long email to look at all the product options, shoppers can simply watch the 5 second GIF that skips through each item.
Adding animated content in standard emails makes the message feel more personal and connects the user to the brand.
Dynamic emails are emails that send relevant information to recipients based on a specific characteristic, pre-defined by the sender.
This type of email is called dynamic because of the actual content of the email changes.
Here are some examples that you might even have used before:
- Adding your ESPs name merge tag to send each subscriber an email with their name on it
- Email countdown timers
- Live Polls
Dynamic emails are highly relevant and can boost email metrics to the roof. A case study for a Black Friday campaign showed that by including dynamic content (countdown timer) in their promotional email, The Diamond Store increased their click-through rate by 171%, and their conversion rate by 400%.
A study conducted by Litmus this year shows that 32% of marketers chose interactive emails as one of the Top Email Design Trends in 2019.
In the previous two years, interactive emails were the number one email design trend in the same Litmus poll.
But, What are interactive emails?
Interactive emails allow recipients to do an action on the email message. This action then triggers another event on the same email.
Even with the technology still lagging when it comes to interactive emails, brands are still willing to experiment.
When subscribers can complete a CTA without leaving the email client, then the road to conversion is shortened.
In theory, AMP emails combine personalized, animated, dynamic, and interactive emails into one. Email recipients can RSVP to events, go through image carousels, reply to comments (Google Docs comments, for example), and fill in questionnaires, without even leaving their email client.
How do Marketers use AMP Emails?
When asked about AMP for Email back when the initiative was first announced, more than 44% of marketers said they never heard of it.
The rest said they are aware of AMP for Emails, and over 30% confirmed they would likely use it in their email marketing campaigns.
The use of interactive emails is broad, and for each goal set for an interactive email, there is an email element that can serve your purpose.
Here are the most used interactive email elements by B2B and B2C companies so far:
B2B Companies tend to use
- Hamburger Menu: A navigation element that opens up into a slide menu
- Hot spots and product tours
- Search bars
B2C Companies tent to use
- Carousel or image galleries: image sliders that display a gallery of photos.
- Add to Cart
How to Create and Use AMP for Email?
If you have experience in coding or you are just curious and want a step-by-step HTML guide on how to create AMP emails, check out these useful resources:
- Create your first AMP email
- What’s the Latest with AMP and How Can I Use It for Email?
- AMP for Gmail
What are the Downsides of AMP for Emails?
You have to code AMP emails
Despite being an open-source technology that any developer can use, AMP for email is still a new coding language that developers will have to learn.
After spending years coming up with drag-and-drop email editors that anyone can use to design emails quickly, AMP emails take us back to the starting line.
Email developers will spend hours coding emails, and marketers who do not have any background in HTML will once again be set aside.
Not all ESPs and Email Clients support AMP
Only a few email service providers and email clients support AMP emails. Email developers will have to code a fallback HTML version for the majority of ESPs and Email Providers that can’t run AMP versions.
Which Email Clients support AMP for Email?
Which Email Clients announced they would support AMP for Email soon?
Which ESPs (Email Service Providers) Support AMP for Email?
- Twilio Sendgrid
- Amazon’s SES
- Amazon’s Pinpoint
Emails can be updated after sending
From the perspective of marketers, this is a great feature! Imagine being able to update your offers according to the customer’s behavior or fixing an error mistake that no one noticed before hitting send.
However, from the perspective of your subscribers- especially those who are unaware of this new technology, this can create confusion, communication issues, and even trust issues with your brand.
AMP for Email is controversial
From the day Google announced their new plans to modernize emails, people have been criticizing them for trying to become the Gate Keepers of all web content.
Some believe that emails should just be emails and not mini-applications that will forever transform this relatively untouched means of communication.
Others argue that AMP for emails is a technology that will only benefit Google and its continuous pursuit of data collection.
Users are afraid of security and privacy issues, stating that their private accounts can become hubs for unwanted AMP Spam emails.
Whether AMP for Emails takes off or not, it’s still worth trying out if you are knowledgeable in HTML email coding, to guarantee that your emails aren’t broken and that your subscribers will receive your messages properly.