Google Officially Launches AMP for Email

Posted by Tom Sather 

Last year, Google announced their AMP for Email initiative in their latest attempts to make email more modern and dynamic. And now, Google announced a beta program for dynamic email for Gmail where AMP can be directly embedded into messages. Google also announced wider support for AMP by email service providers and mailbox providers, as well as some new features.

What is AMP exactly?
AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, is an open standard backed by Google to load pages more quickly on mobile devices. Google has expanded this to email with AMP for Email that allows for not only faster-loading emails, but also allows for emails to be dynamic and interactive, called dynamic email for Gmail beta. For example, surveys could be taken within an email versus directing them to a separate landing page. Or a retailer could create a carousel of products in an email, and even someone could complete a purchase without ever leaving their inbox.

Now that AMP for Email is supported, should I use it?
As I stated last year, AMP isn’t HTML, and will require a designer who is familiar with it. If you have a designer that knows AMP or has the time to learn it, the coding process is fairly straightforward. Once you’ve overcome that hurdle, the next question to ask is, does my ESP support it? At the time of writing this, AMP for Email will be supported by:

  • Twilio Sendgrid
  • Litmus
  • Sparkpost
  • Amazon SES and Amazon Pinpoint

If you don’t see your ESP listed, ask them if they are planning to support as the AMP team states that more ESPs are signing on, so it’s likely if they don’t support today, they will in the future.

If you have a developer and an ESP that support AMP for Email, one should see if there’s a strategic reason for using AMP. As I mentioned in my post last year, email is a powerful tool that can impact other areas of your marketing. For example, there may be cases where website traffic decreases as the call to action can be done within an email. On the other hand, making certain calls to action to be acted on within an email may result in higher responses.

Will this only work with Gmail?
One of the more promising bits of news in this announcement is that other email providers have indicated future support for AMP. Yahoo Mail, Outlook.com and Mail.ru have indicated they will also support AMP for Email, eliminating a major barrier to widespread adoption by email developers.

Additionally, emails received at email providers and email clients that do not support AMP will fall back to HTML.

Will I see any deliverability benefit?
When this was announced last year, I was frequently asked if using AMP will have a positive impact on deliverability. No email provider has explicitly stated that emails using AMP will be more likely delivered to the inbox than those not using it. However, one could argue there are implicit benefits using AMP if subscribers are going to engage with these emails more. As we know, relative engagement to other messages in one’s inbox is a major driver of engagement-based filtering.

How do I get started?
If you’re curious and want to learn more, test or just dive right in, you can read more about AMP for Email here, and test using their playground so you can see how emails will look and behave.

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About Tom Sather

Email data and deliverability expert Tom Sather has worked with top-tier brands to diagnose and solve inbox placement and sender reputation issues as a strategic consultant with Return Path. As the company’s senior director of research, Tom is a frequent speaker and writer on email marketing trends and technology. His most recent analysis of new inbox applications’ effects on consumer behavior was widely cited across leading business media outlets including the Financial Times, Ad Age, and Media Post.

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