AMP Emails are Coming – Are You Ready?
After one year in the making, Google has finally launched AMP for email to encourage a more interactive, dynamic Gmail user experience. The company announced that it would be supporting AMP for Gmail last year and has been doing the necessary back-end work to successfully launch this new feature.
These dynamic emails now allow users to browse image carousels, RSPV to events, and fill out forms without having to leave their inbox. Instead of being redirected to other browsers and web pages, users can do everything they need to do right from their email. In other words, AMP-powered emails make life a little bit easier!
What’s more is that since these dynamic emails are powered by AMP, they provide consistent, updated information. “Over the past decade, our web experiences have changed enormously – evolving from static flat content to interactive apps – yet email has largely stayed the same with static messages that eventually go out of date or are merely a springboard to accomplishing a more complex task,” says Gmail product manager Aakash Sahney. Email content will now update automatically so that users have access to the latest information without having to open a link to another website.
AMP-powered emails will essentially make Gmail a one-stop-shop, where clients can complete all of their tasks right from their inbox. Google has already acquired its fair share of supporters who have signed on with Gmail’s AMP emails. Booking.com, Despegar, Doodle, Ecwid, Freshworks, Nexxt, OYO Rooms, Pinterest, and redBus all support this new development. So don’t be surprised if your Pinterest emails look a little different than usual over the next few weeks. Head over to the google blog for some examples
First Things First: What’s AMP?
Let’s back up for a second: What even is AMP? Launched in 2015, the AMP project, or the Accelerated Mobile Pages project, is an open-source library that provides a straightforward way of creating web pages that are compelling, smooth, and load instantly for users. In other words, AMP pages are essentially just web pages that you can link and control yourself. These pages are built with three different components: AMP HTML, AMP JS, and AMP Cache. The AMP ecosystem is quite massive, with 25 million domains, 100+ technology providers, and leading platforms that extend to e-commerce, small businesses, advertising, and more.
Now, AMP is taking to email with Google as the very first email client to support it. Applying AMP to emails will make it possible to complete simple actions without having to leave one’s inbox. Your email can even be considered as an app of sorts, where content is continuously refreshed and actions can be taken right then and there.
Gmail’s new email feature supports AMP components that include dynamic content (amp-form, amp-list, amp-selector, etc.), presentation (amp-carousel, amp-sidebar, amp-lightbox, etc.), and media (amp-img, amp-anim). These different components will certainly change the email game and benefit the many different players, including consumers, businesses, and Google.
Why the push for AMP emails? There are three primary reasons as to why Google has launched this new feature: improved UX, more access to consumer data, an increased scope to sell digital advertising. AMP emails will give Google a greater scope to expand its offering to advertisers. And since Google can now witness the consumer transactions right on the Gmail platform, they will be able to more effectively target consumers based on the persona of each individual user.
Gather Around Marketers!
Google isn’t the only one reaping the benefits from this innovation. There’s a great advantage for marketers who are planning to implement AMP emails into their email campaigns. In fact, a poll by Litmus revealed that the 31% of marketers who said they were familiar with AMP thought it very likely that they were going to take advantage of AMP in their email marketing program.
Gmail AMP is undoubtedly a valuable tool for email marketers to leverage, with 26% of all emails opened in Gmail, which is also the #2 most popular email client globally. You can now have your clients RSVP to events, browse and interact with your content, and fill out forms without even leaving their email. Clients will also be kept up-to-date on the most recent information, regardless of when they get to opening your email.
AMP emails are also a great opportunity for marketers to revamp their creative strategy. Up until now, marketers have faced the challenge of creating engaging email content, while also keeping it simple and straightforward. Now, these dynamic emails will allow and even expect marketers to get creative and come up with interactive email strategies. In other words, the rules of email marketing will change with AMP, which means it’s time for you and your team to put on your creative hats.
As with any new technological development, there is some resistance to Google’s AMP emails. Marketers may be a bit hesitant to use AMP in their email campaigns for the following reasons:
- Missing support from ESPs: AMP-powered emails require a third MIME-type (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions). Without ESPs offering support for this MIME-type, there really is no way of creating and sending these emails.
- Exclusive to Gmail: While Gmail is one of the most popular email clients, there are some who don’t use Gmail and would therefore be unable to see your AMP-powered emails.
- Unclear about performance tracking and reporting: Since much of the engagement is occurring in the inbox with AMP emails, it is not clear how marketers will measure analytics and marketing metrics.
- Not all emails should be updated after being sent: Automatically updated email content may cause confusion among consumers who expect to find the same content when opening an email more than once.
- Not an email coding standard: AMP emails rely on client-specific coding, making these dynamic emails another step away from the email coding standardization that email developers seek.
Despite these obstacles that some may encounter, AMP certainly seems to be a feature that marketers are very excited about. Creating interactive email experiences and focusing on dynamic content ranked as the top two trends of the top email design trends for 2019. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that AMP will continue to be of interest to marketers who wish to keep up with the top trends and create effective email campaigns.
Time to Start Emailing
Are you ready to dip your feet into the AMP email pool? If you and your team have prior experience using tools such as SparkPost, Litmus, Twilio Sendgrid, Amazon SES, and Pinpoint, you’re already one step ahead! These third-party email products have either already signed on or are in the process of adding AMP support, meaning that you can start creating dynamic emails directly through them.
As previously mentioned, email marketers and developers should keep in mind that Gmail will now require a separate type of MIME for AMP emails, known as text-x-amphtml. Anyone who is familiar with email development knows that MIME has been used for a while now to bunch together a plain-text version of the email along with the HTML. This will now be different, with a third type of MIME required for AMP emails.
What’s better than Google launching AMP for emails? A new Gmail Developer Preview feature to accompany the new development! In addition to their recently launched AMP emails, Google has also released the Gmail Developer Preview. This addition will allow you and your team, or anyone who builds AMP emails, to test them within the Gmail platform before sending them.
The Future of Email Marketing in 2019
While nothing is expected to change overnight, it certainly will be fascinating to witness how this new email feature will affect marketing campaigns and consumer interaction. It will also be interesting to see how Google competitors respond to this development, as the powerful tech company leads the way in AMP emails.
For now, all you need to focus on is how you and your team can start leveraging this new feature. Unleash your agency’s creative forces and discover why so many others are looking forward to incorporating AMP emails in their marketing campaigns.
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