More than 60% of working millennials are hooked to checking their emails. Some even before they check their Instagram or Twitter as soon as they wake up. 61% check their emails as soon as they get a notification. It’s 2022. We live in a time capsule where the lines between the internet and reality are blurring every second. In a time like this, social media strategies and campaigns are not enough to reach your target audience or expand awareness of your business. So how do you still stay relevant amidst the chaos and noise?
Answer: Reread the first sentence.
Email campaigns are probably as old as my dad right now, but they remain effective and reliable even today. However, and unfortunately, they can still be a pain to set up and maintain – especially if you don’t keep up with the latest email client requirements. But fret not; Google’s got you covered. Developed by Google in February 2016, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an open-source HTML framework that allows marketers to create more interactive email campaigns and give customers more ways to interact with their emails.
So what exactly is AMP? And who is it for? Does the P stand for potential pitfalls, or will it steal the crown from SEO? Let’s find out!
Understanding Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages
AMP is an open-source HTML framework that allows you to build web pages that are fast and mobile-friendly. AMP pages can load up to 10 times faster than non-AMP pages, making them ideal for email campaigns.
In simple terms, AMP is a technology that allows you to embed interactive elements such as direct buttons for purchase and surveys, simple menus, confirmation tabs, and carousels into emails without the hassle of redirecting the user to a website or exiting their email page.
With AMP, Google aims to deliver an optimal mobile experience to its users. An AMP page can be featured on mobile search for rich text results, and Google search applies the same standards to these pages.
If you find a small flash icon beside your Google search on mobile that looks like this –
You’re about to experience an AMP page.
This icon helps users to identify pages that load quickly and smoothly. Moreover, according to Google Search Central, when users click on an AMP page, Google Search retrieves the page from the Google AMP Cache, enabling a myriad of load optimization options such as prerendering to make these pages appear almost instantaneously.
These pages can integrate across Google products such as
- Google Search (obviously!) – So that you can prepare your AMP pages compatible with Google Search. You can simultaneously add structured data to enable AMP-specific features in the search results.
- Google AMP Cache – So that Google can pull up your AMP page promptly and make the page work even faster.
- Google Analytics – So that you can track user interactions and page views just like you would for any non-AMP page.
You can also monetize your AMP content with Google Ads, Ad Manager, and AdSense.
Also, here’s a quick fun fact (no official reports, but the timeline seems a little suss): In many ways, the AMP project was Google’s response to Facebook’s instant articles that allowed readers to peruse articles without having to leave the Facebook website. And while it did give a similar experience to its users, AMP also acknowledges the world’s rapid shift to mobile internet usage and the need for a mobile-first strategy for a brand.
So, this is your cue to consider AMP as the next step in optimization.
Unpacking AMP for Email
Email marketing has been a well-established form of communication for decades. The AMP upgrade for emails received a rousing reception from global brands and businesses. But before you jump head-first into AMPlifying your emails, let’s deep dive into its possibilities for a minute.
AMP for emails allows for real-time interactive information and actions. The first step in preparing for this novel email method is to start designing your email campaigns with the richness AMP has to offer. Using its open-source technology can enable your marketing and tech team to improve the performance of your content, keep your audience engaged and add a lot of creativity and dynamism to the emails. With AMP for emails, your emails can display app-like behaviour for ease of use.
Additionally, AMP can help you ensure your email messages are search engine-friendly. So, if you have ever worried about your carefully crafted email disappearing from Gmail or any other email client because it was marked as spam, then AMP could be your solution!
At the core of AMP for emails, its functionality divides into three categories –
- Rich inbox experience
- CTA completion and form submissions within the email
- Dynamic and real-time content updations
AMP emails are not as constrained as traditional emails. Its interactive components and layout options allow senders to create rich user experiences that can save your readers time, and give them all the information they need about your product or service through one simple email. You can add image carousels, tabs, and accordions to show and expand your content without leaving the inbox.
Here’s an AMP email in action:
AMP for Email also allows time-sensitive emails, such as job openings or discount offers, to serve current or real-time content to the audience. So, no matter when your customer opens their email, they will always get up-to-date offers and content.
But here’s the catch…
All AMP emails are interactive, but not all interactive emails are AMP.
You can add Gifs and videos to a traditional email to make it more interactive to increase engagement. But, AMP emails take interactivity to the next level – even beyond personalisation. While AMP for Email does simplify the code for interactive emails, its true strength lies in embedding live data into emails – making it dynamic and up-to-date.
Differentiating between AMP and Interactive emails
|Interactive emails are pure HTML, meaning users can see them on any HTML-enabled email clients they use.||AMP for Email is an open-source technology that can be viewed on screen readers, even when the user opts to view the plain text version of an email.|
|A few email elements like carousels and forms are possible in interactive emails.||AMP brings new functionalities to carousels, such as auto-scrolling, auto-fill, and so on.|
|Interactive emails are always static and give an overview of the data and time stamps at which they were sent.||AMP emails show data that applies to the moment the user opens it, as it pulls data from the sender’s data source.|
Why are brands flocking toward AMP for Emails?
Email marketing doesn’t only entail sending out communication to your customers or target audience. Through emails, your brand can drive engagement, build trust and even increase customer loyalty – which has a long-term impact on your business goals.
With AMP for Email, you can embed your high-value conversion points directly into emails which further prunes the conversion funnel.
AMP Strategies for an improved email campaign
That’s how long it takes to load a non-AMP page. That’s also how long it takes your audience to abandon the site and never come back.
By implementing AMP for Email, you are saving your audience’s time and delivering a better customer experience than your direct competitors. In this section, I’ll share some of the best AMP strategies we leverage here at ContentNinja for our clients. Take a minute to assess how these use cases and strategies can be applied to your business. With AMP for Email, anything is possible, and you have so many avenues to get creative. Let me inspire you!
Embedding forms directly into your emails without having to design, A/B test, or code CTA buttons that lead you to a webpage that takes minutes to load? Sounds like a dream! But, AMP for Emails makes this a possibility with a proven ROI.
Forms for AMP Emails is an excellent use case for productivity. Google uses the AMP capabilities for one of its own products – Google Docs. Remember how GDocs sends notification emails from G Suite when there’s a comment or edit? With AMP, you can directly edit, comment, or resolve comments right in the email without having to go to the actual document. This provides a lot of convenience and efficiency for Google Docs users, and this capability can also be applied to other apps – especially SaaS products.
You can also embed survey or customer research forms directly into the email. This will help you save time and cut out the whole process of building a separate Forms webpage.
These forms can result in higher engagement metrics, making your products stickier and way more effective. And here’s the best part, all of these added values will lead to better customer retention and a higher customer lifetime value.
Here’s an example of an email survey using AMP forms:
G.O.A.T AMP forms examples:
- Webinar registrations
- NPS surveys
- Demo request
- Team member invites
- Account creation
- Event RSVPs
- Feedback forms
- Product surveys
- Content subscriptions
Basically, any forms that you have on your website can be added to an email. Told you, the possibilities are endless!
Imagine if your audience clicks on a dinner set they really want and get redirected to the product page…only to discover the item is out of stock. What a waste of time! AMP helps you avoid this precise situation.
Yes, you can add carousel images and slides to an HTML email too. However, with AMP, your audience can browse through LIVE product lists or content that the static email type does not offer. This makes AMP for Email truly dynamic. An AMP carousel always ensures your audience sees up-to-date information about the availability of your products, ongoing offers and discounts, clearance items, limited listings and so much more.
AMP’s image carousels also offer new UI flourishes like auto-scroll, which makes the whole experience way more engaging.
Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect from this feature:
- Add to Cart
Let’s consider you a Marvels fan for a minute (we’d absolutely be friends if you are one IRL!). You love collecting MCU merch and memorabilia from wherever you can. Now, you just got an email from your favourite brand about an ongoing limited sale on Moon Knight’s Crescent Dart memorabilia. You don’t let it pass? But you’re also at work, and you don’t want your boss snooping on your browser history. If only you could buy it directly from the email. With AMP, you can!
AMP functionality brings the convenience of online shopping directly to your email. Before this functionality was ever discovered, the state of the online purchase funnel was a sinking ship, with 69.82% of online shopping carts getting abandoned. Forgotten logins, extremely convoluted check-out processes, redirections to multiple pages – there were multiple factors that could deter users from completing a purchase. Brands then have to spend immense time and effort designing drip emails to lure the customers back in. AMP for Email helps brands dramatically condense the purchase funnel and directly lead your customers to conversion right from the get-go.
AMP’s Add to Cart capability reduces the amount of friction users experience and alleviates user convenience.
Industries that are already leveraging this functionality:
- E-Commerce – From clothes to appliances, all the products you need
- Travel & Hospitality – From buying airline tickets to hotel bookings
- Education – From signing up for a course to applying to your favoured Uni
- Food & Beverage – From ordering in to booking a table at a restaurant
Fintech – From applying for loans to investing in stocks
Here’s an example from a Travel & Hospitality brand:
AMP for Email Use Cases for B2B and B2C
AMP emails give B2B companies an edge over their competitors in their leads’ inboxes. B2B companies can use AMP email to drive new user adoption of their product and even collect product feedback. Here are a few ways how B2B companies can engage with their audience through AMP for Email.
- Events: Embed an RSVP form and a submit button for your large events and webinars and you’re good to go.
- Product Demo: Turn your “Schedule a Demo” CTA into a quick demo booking within the email – these will dramatically improve your demo attribution score.
- Onboarding flow: Increase new user adoption by helping them complete quick onboarding steps in minutes.
- Product feedback: Save time manually chasing your customers for feedback or review by giving them an option to provide feedback directly from an email.
- E-Commerce products: Show only up-to-date and available products without having your users run into out-of-stock items on your website.
- Bookings & Reservations: Use calendars embedded in the email to book just like you would on your website or app.
- Referral Campaigns: Enable your audience to easily refer friends and send incentivized invites without ever exiting their inbox.
- Abandoned cart campaigns: Allow recipients to add a previously viewed item into their cart and proceed to check out.
- Newsletters: Add visually dynamic elements to make your content stand out and engagement-worthy.
- Loyalty programs: Offer live reward counts, tier status updates, and personalized recommendations.
Benefits of AMP for Email
In case you haven’t realized it yet, this whole blog post is all about the advantages of leveraging AMP for Email. Let me quickly summarise it for you:
- Keeps content dynamically updated
Static emails can be interactive and cool but the content can become outdated quite quickly. Sure, you can run a fresh campaign to convey the latest updates, but you could also save that time and watch a full Stranger Things episode instead. AMP enables emails to automatically update themselves with new information in real-time. This simple feature can optimize your email campaigns to a great extent.
- Provides the experience of a website within the email
You can make your emails behave like websites or apps and gamify all your CTAs instead of just placing a button at the bottom. Pinterest is a great example that comes to mind here – it allows users to add pins to their boards directly from the email. As a result, you don’t need to hop on to their website and wait for all the images to load.
- Curates better marketing strategies
Static newsletters, infographics and images are a passe, thanks to AMP. Your marketing team now has the option of embedding live surveys, event calendars, and even purchasing functionality for products into the email. Gone are the days when email was just an electric form of a marketing brochure. It is now armed with virtual elements that bring interactions to life right inside an inbox. Honestly, it’s just fun exploring a truly immersive and interactive email than just scrolling through a static one.
- Boost sales
While email marketing’s core goals are to keep your users engaged and nurture new leads, AMP for Email can enhance this process and condense it further for more conversions. Instead of just adding images of your latest collection, you can simply add a check-out option that compels your customers to hit the “Buy Now” button in the email and convert within minutes. This functionality also shortens the user’s buying decision phase.