Email is an effective and low-cost medium to reach users but, at its core, it is a static one-way communication channel with limited capabilities for dynamic content. Adding interactive elements into email is difficult, as is optimizing for different device types. There are so many variables at play that many marketing teams just settle for a simpler, more traditional approach.
What would be possible if email were truly an interactive experience, though? Instead of sending static communications that basically amount to digital postcards, each message could be a conversation — a true, personalized interactive experience?
I’m happy to announce that MessageGears is taking a step in that direction with our newest feature — content support for AMP for Email.
What is AMP?
In preparing to launch our AMP for Email feature, I attended the AMP Roadshow in Atlanta to better learn what the AMP Project was trying to accomplish. It was interesting — AMP collaborators looked at the internet in 2015, bloated with slow-loading and advertising-heavy pages, and decided it needed to be better. The idea of an Accelerated Mobile Page is that the internet should be user-first, and all other content that the user doesn’t care about comes second.
In introducing AMP for Email, they’re bringing to email the opportunity to evolve with the internet and continue to be a dominant communication medium in the 21st century.
What does AMP Email allow content creators to do?
There’s basic stuff in presenting information more richly — think accordions and slideshows. This makes email more visually interesting and is very simple to do.
As an example use case, let’s imagine I’m sending email for a major clothing retail brand. Instead of listing a page full of images, I can neatly put them into a slideshow, with clickable links taking them to each item. To get additional user input, I could insert a form submission asking what their user preferences are, or what kind of content they’d like to see. In fact, I could use that input to help with my preference center, making it easier for users to directly let me know what they want
But, in my opinion, what’s truly revolutionary about AMP in email is the ability to dynamically fetch content based on user interaction — using live data. For instance, it my consumer has an item out for delivery, my email could give an updated look at where that item is in transit, instead of needing to link to a third party site. Additionally, based on how my user interacts with the email, I now have the ability to serve any amount of content in my email, as the user navigates within the email as if it were a site — Pinterest is doing this now, and you can see the results pretty clearly.
Examples like what you see here are what I’m referring to when I talk about AMP opening up the idea of a new communication medium. The ability to display a literally unlimited amount of tailored content within a single email combines the more functional parts of an email, web page, and application into a single communication.
Not only that, but coupling the possibilities that the AMP format opens up with MessageGears’ unique ability to utilize your consumer data wherever it rests puts tech-savvy and forward-thinking marketers light years ahead of what could be done just a few years ago.
How popular is it?
Although MessageGears is an early adopter of the AMP format, it looks like the industry isn’t far behind. AMP is new, but huge. In May 2017, Google reported 900,000 web domains were publishing AMP pages with more than two billion AMP pages published globally. Gmail has support for sending AMP email, with support in Outlook and AOL in beta. When GMail throws their weight behind ideas, the industry listens. Best practices like DMARC authentication are only common because Gmail supported them. Remember DomainKeys?
MessageGears helps validate your AMP content to get you started — with an AMP previewer embedded in the product, complete with helpful reasons why your message may or may not be compliant. We want to help you send better and more engaging messages. If you think you’re ready for the next step in email communications, reach out.