Until today email was simply a flyer, a static preview of an offer. No longer, or (at least) not only.
In fact, Google has recently announced that it has released AMP technology in Gmail, making emails not only dynamic (animated GIFs and countdowns already contributed to this) but also interactive, browsable, and actionable.
This novelty opens up significant scenarios for companies, so much so that some companies – such as Booking, Doodle, Ecwid, and Pinterest, just to name a few – have already introduced it in their email marketing plans.
But let’s start from the beginning. In this post we’ll take a look at:
- What is AMP technology
- How it applies to the email world
- The communication and marketing scenarios it offers companies
- How to make it your own using MailUp.
What is AMP
Opened up and promoted by Google, AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Page. It is a website creation language derived from HTML and optimized so that sites can load faster on mobile devices.
At the base of AMP’s development was the desire to support the global trend, where traffic on mobile devices is constantly higher than that attributable to the desktop world.
In many cases the use of content on mobiles is not yet optimal, suffering from difficulties in adapting graphics and slow loading. These limits affect the user’s browsing experience.
Created with the aim of improving the loading speed of web pages for mobile, AMP pages are in fact programmed with their own language, a variation of HTML called AMP HTML, a new open format with Apache license whose code is available on GitHub for all those interested in development.
In short, AMP is the open source library that lets you create interactive pages that are fluid and load quickly.
Why implement AMP in Gmail
And here we come to the point: Google very recently announced that it has completed the AMP implementation project on its email services.
AMP for Email translates into the possibility for recipients to perform actions within the body of an email that go well beyond the simple click redirecting them to a landing page or a website.
Simplifying its operation, we can say that – based on the recipient’s click – the email client sends data to the company website and, as a result, updates the email with new content.
This is a huge turning point, especially if we consider that Gmail catalyses a huge slice (26% of the audience) of the ESP market, thanks to over one and a half billion active users at the end of 2018. Furthermore, Mountain View has already announced that AMP will also be implemented on Yahoo Mail, Outlook, and Mail.ru.
“In the last ten years on the web in general, we have moved from static pages to interactive apps. Yet email has remained substantially unchanged, with static messages or ones that are simply a springboard for more complex content”.
Aakash Sahney, Gmail Product Manager
With the new email technology, actions can be carried out directly in the message body, for example:
- Confirmation of participation in an event
- Filling out a questionnaire
- Browsing offers and product catalogs
- Responding to a comment and much more.
All this without having to leave the email.
As anticipated, several companies have already started using these interactive emails. These include Booking.com, Despegar, Doodle, Ecwid, Freshworks, Nexxt, OYO Rooms, Pinterest, and redBus. Let’s see some use examples of AMP for Gmail.
Some email marketing usage scenarios
Pinterest was one of the first companies to experiment with this technology. In fact, Pinterest’s emails appear just as before, but – once inside – you immediately notice an enormous novelty: they are now literally browsable, letting recipients search for ideas and inspirations to pin.
That which the Pinterest user would have done by entering his account, he can now do directly within the email. Distances are indeed canceled, the user experience is simplified, to the full advantage of both actors: the company and the user.
OYO Rooms, on the other hand, lets the recipient browse between the various proposals for accommodation and hotels obtaining details simply by scrolling and clicking in the body of the email:
Not to mention how much the new technology can facilitate all those activities related to reservations: museums, institutes, or any company promoting events or courses, but also airlines and trains. Every business will find the best and most functional creative way to give customers and prospects the opportunity to browse, choose, and book trips, visits, and courses directly in their inbox, from desktop or mobile.
This is similar to what Doodle currently does, as it sends interactive emails with which the recipient can respond to invitations by selecting the ideal date, without having to access another site.
Then think of the potential that AMP can have for the email marketing strategies of e-commerce and retail, two sectors that could make their own campaigns for real online browsable stores: showcases that can be browsed in depth just a few moments after opening a simple email.
How to get ready for Gmail AMP
A necessary disclaimer – currently, Gmail AMP isn’t supported by any drag & drop email editors (such as MailUp’s BEE) and its inclusion in HTML-coded messages is far from straightforward.
A good starting point to get your infrastructure ready is to correctly set up your DMARC and align the domain used in the DKIM signature with that used as the sender.
To wrap up: how excited are you at this news? And how would you use interactive emails in your strategy? Let us know in the comments below!