Engage your audience with interactive emails using AMP
If you’ve ever received an email that allowed you to reply to a comment directly from your inbox or experienced the thrill of a web-like browsing experience within your email, you’ve encountered AMP for email in action! Welcome to the world of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), where emails become dynamic, interactive, and more engaging than ever before.
So, what exactly is AMP email?
AMP originally stood for Accelerated Mobile Pages, a Google initiative launched in 2016 to boost web page loading speed and user engagement. Fast forward a few years, and this same technology found its way into the realm of emails, revolutionizing how we interact with our inboxes. With AMP, static messages are long gone, replaced by dynamic emails that can host forms, carousels, accordions, and more.
The following email service providers (ESPs) support AMP:
- Yahoo Mail
But how does AMP for email differ from regular interactive HTML emails?
With a regular HTML email, you can make it interactive. However, there are significant limitations with email client support, and what might work in Apple Mail with interactive HTML will not work with others. The other drawback with interactive HTML is that you cannot collect data in the same way that AMP for email supports. AMP for email not only allows for fallback HTML, solving the first problem but also enables connection to a backend server for data collection, ultimately eliminating the need for it to occur outside of the email on something like a web page.
With AMP for email, you can have a multi-step survey form that translates all data collected back to a server, whereas, with interactive HTML, you can emulate interaction. Still, any data collected would need to be repeatedly added in a form on a web page outside of the email.
Now, let’s talk about the benefits of using AMP
You can engage your audience with interactive emails, enjoy enhanced security by restricting third-party data access, and effortlessly keep your content up-to-date with real-time updates.
- Interactive emails: Users can have a web browser-like experience inside one email. Enhanced customer experience leads to higher engagement rates and better conversion.
- Safe and secure: AMP restricts the use of data from third-party providers, making AMP emails more secure than traditional static emails since they are less vulnerable to email cyber threats. Ads are also not available for AMP emails.
- Updated content with no extra work: Remember all the time spent creating a newsletter with updates on an offer/service/product that already exists? We know how repetitive this can be. With AMP, you can automatically update the new information. Emails are updated in real time, which means that when a user opens the email a second time, they can see something different.
But wait, there are some limitations with using AMP for email
Despite its wow factor, AMP has limitations and requires extra setup. The required work makes it challenging to adopt among non-technical teams, and those with limited resources need help to overcome the learning curve and barrier to launch.
- Marketers need to learn another language: This can be time-consuming, and marketers may not have this possibility. To use AMP, you will need to learn AMP specifications and markup languages.
- AMP for email requires that senders get approval: This step ensures that Gmail believes you have healthy sending practices and that you will maintain a positive reputation as an email sender. Google requires senders to have an impeccable sending reputation before they render the AMP.
- Consider the fallback experience: Even though this new technology is desirable, not all ESPs currently support AMP. This means that you will need an HTML fallback to render to those users.
AMP email use cases and examples
AMP emails bring actions that most often live outside of email into your inbox, eliminating the number of hoops you need to jump through as a subscriber to complete an intended action. E-commerce brands have started bringing the shopping experience directly to the inbox, enabling subscribers to make a purchase without needing to go to a browser!
Other AMP email use cases include:
- Send surveys instead of linking your users to an extra form to fill out.
- Create collapsible panels (accordions). A restaurant can have its menu, and when the user clicks on each dish, a section will appear with all the ingredients.
- Pull in dynamic content from a server, such as the weather, based on a specific location.
- Add an interactive game. For example, playing Wordle or Hangman inside an email you just opened.
Planning your AMP email marketing strategy
Before starting on your first AMP email adventure, we recommend reflecting on the following:
What percentage of your users are opening their emails in AMP-supported email clients like Gmail and Yahoo vs. emails that don’t support AMP, such as Outlook or Apple Mail?
Introducing AMP into your email marketing strategy requires time, so it’s important to ensure that a significant percentage of your customer base will be able to receive and engage with your AMP emails. You can check this in Customer.io by creating a segment for email attributes that contain “Gmail” or “Yahoo.” You can also use Parcel’s Progressive Enhancement Calculator (for free!) to understand if AMP for email would be beneficial based on your audience breakdown.
Which of your existing messages or customer journeys could you improve by adding an element of interactivity?
As you start getting to know AMP, an easy way to begin is by identifying an existing email or email journey where adding an interactive element could help boost conversions. For example, send your recipients an AMP email that allows them to RSVP to a webinar invite directly in their inbox or a customer satisfaction survey in which the customer can complete the survey directly in the email.
How will you track the success of AMP?
To understand the impact of sending AMP emails to your customers, think differently about how you are tracking conversions from your messages and comparing them to conversions created by sending a standard email. You can do this in Customer.io by using our a/b testing feature.
Take action with AMP
There is a lot to consider if using AMP for the first time. Like any other feature, its success could depend greatly on your type of business and your users. If you have limited resources, you first want to understand if the majority of your audience would benefit from the effort to create AMP emails. Then, you’ll need to ensure you have the proper foundations in place, such as an SPF and DKIM record, and being approved by Gmail for AMP sending.
We recommend also reading up on the basics of AMP for email creation and guidance on how to convert existing emails into those with AMP components.
However, we strongly believe in the power that AMP for email provides. With many senders starting to think about streamlining processes like data collection, senders can get ahead of their competition by leveraging AMP for email as an early adopter. The best advice we can give is to test, test, and then do more testing!
Customer.io Journeys is one of the few marketing automation products that offer AMP for email support. We are excited to see where our current and future customers take this opportunity!