Originally developed by Google in 2015, accelerated mobile pages (AMP) is open source technology designed specifically to boost how fast pages load on smartphones and tablets. Three years later, Google introduced AMP for email, which enables senders to include AMP components to create interactive email experiences for recipients.
AMP for email has continued to improve functionality, providing email marketers with a slew of personalization and interactivity capabilities — adding loads of features to the inbox. Rather than a bland static email, brands can generate leads more easily and nurture cold leads with interactive email conversations. AMP for email allows marketers to send surveys and collect data, too. Finally, email marketers can conduct abandoned cart campaigns or increase sales with email shopping carts and payment options.
Why AMP, and Who’s on Board?
AMP for email is a smart approach marketers can use to create dynamic, efficient user experiences and engagement. The servers receive fresh content from remote endpoints to update email contents updated in real time. It supports and enables a range of interactive features within advertising email campaigns and uses a markup that works with HTML and CSS.
In addition to Google’s Gmail, Mail.ru, AOL Mail and Yahoo Mail also support AMP. Salesforce also addressed support for building and sending AMP emails in 2021. The technology eliminates (or greatly reduces) the need for recipients to click away from their emails through to a website, and its uses are endless.
Some of AMP’s features include the ability to:
- Build out carousels to include auto-scrolling and sliders.
- Add animation to emails.
- Improve accessibility with refined features and added support for attribute selectors and pseudo-class support.
- Provide location-based or only current, live content to offer the most up-to-date information.
AMP has the potential to revolutionize traditional email marketing by increasing engagement and conversions. For example, now customers can take a survey directly from an email. They can respond to invitations, browse and explore content without going to a website, zoom in on and review products, reply to comments and so much more.
An AMP Use Case
Here’s one scenario for an ecommerce website: Someone gets an email advertising a few shirts. They like the style but they want to learn more: do the shirts come in different colors? Do they have the right size? Are they in stock? Are they still on sale? An email using AMP can provide up-to-the-minute, accurate information on inventory and pricing. Because let’s face it — there’s nothing worse than finding a really neat item and navigating to the website only to discover it’s out of stock or no longer on sale. It’s a missed opportunity for the retailer, whose email could have said, “We had this neat shirt but it’s out of stock — here are a few alternatives you might also like.”
Consumers appreciate engaging with email directly and not having to click on a link. And AMP offers brands the ability to show sales in real time, with quantities updating as inventory changes. Even more handy is the ability to search for specific products by pricing or name, browse a specific section of the website and add an item to the cart without ever leaving the email.
Putting AMP to Work for You
Emails consist of several parts. We started with the plain text email that evolved to the HTML emails used today. But now we have a third part — a third document sent in the email: the AMP document. It’s the area where marketers can embed forms, have animated image carousels and include like buttons, social polls and quizzes.
This interactivity includes a whole host of opportunities to better engage with audiences. It can even shorten marketing and sales funnels by enabling users to take action within the email itself. No more going to a webpage and jumping through hoops before converting. That’s where the opportunity lies.
Regardless of industry — and whether they’re B2B or B2C — companies using AMP-powered emails stand out from the crowd (and competition). AMP elevates customer experiences, making emails more powerful, useful and engaging. Sales teams can use AMP emails to generate and nurture more leads, thanks to its interactivity.
Marketers and brands can gather customer insights by creating NPS and CSAT questionnaires within AMP for emails. This approach requires fewer clicks and taps, enabling customers to quickly and easily send feedback within the email body itself and thus providing more insight for the company.
Using native interactive calendars or integrations with widgets like Zoom and Calendy empowers clients and prospective customers to book meetings for product demos, register for webinars or conferences, request support calls or appointments with ease — right from the email.
Interactive promotional email campaigns conducted via AMP emails can help ecommerce businesses improve their cart recovery rates by including a checkout option in the email body. While customers still can’t complete a purchase in the email, the button to check out does reduce the distance between buyers and payment gateways.
Brands using newsletters to connect with current and potential customers can add a little spark with AMP for email. Interactive emails can include animation, auto-scrolling or sliders to provide seamless reading experiences.
Brands looking for social proof and to encourage social media participation can use AMP for emails too, by including a quiz or poll directly in the email that displays results immediately. Or marketers can include a button to count likes, similar to Facebook. These interactive CTAs not only indicate whether recipients have actively responded to email content but also enable marketers to track their more engaged readers. And readers can see what percentage of people voted the same way or differently. It’s a fun way to increase the social element while building community right in the email.
AMP for email offers an untapped potential as the next email standard. Its engagement and interactivity positively impacts email marketing campaigns and proves that email isn’t dead (or dying). Email remains a valuable communication tool for cultivating relationships, attracting new clients, building credibility and trust, boosting sales, delivering messages, promoting goods and services, generating leads and much more. AMP for email helps brands to achieve those goals.
Melissa Sargeant is CMO at Litmus, where she runs worldwide marketing initiatives including corporate and product branding, demand generation, product marketing, public relations and event management. Prior to Litmus, Sargeant was CMO at customer experience leader SugarCRM and at ecommerce innovator ChannelAdvisor (ECOM). With more than 30 years of marketing experience in the tech sector, she has expertise in SaaS go-to-market strategy and execution, customer success, digital demand generation and branding. Sargeant also has held senior marketing roles at Avalara, CA Technologies (Computer Associates), Digitalsmiths – A TiVo Company, Bluefire Security Technologies and Guardent (VeriSign).