What is Google AMP?

First launched in October 2015, AMP, which stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, was a Google-backed project designed as an open framework for any publisher to have pages load quickly on mobile devices. This project collaboration included Google’s partners in the Digital News Initiative (DNI) and more than 30 other news publishers and technologies from around the world. The project was successfully adopted, with Google reporting by 2017 that 900,000 web domains were publishing AMP pages, with more than two billion pages published annually.

At the AMP Conference in 2019, it was announced that AMP is now just AMP; it no longer stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. Also, its framework was extended to support email. This meant that marketers could now include AMP components inside emails, enabling modern app functionality and common interactive web page behavior, by exposing a subset of AMP HTML.

Google AMP vs. Kinetic Content

This kind of interactivity in email is not a new concept, though. In fact, many Selligent Marketing Cloud users have already been including kinetic content within our emails for some time. Kinetic approaches share the same concept as AMP, enabling users to leverage dynamic capabilities such as the inclusion of accordions, carousels, and forms within the email.

Unlike AMP, which is only supported by Gmail officially (with Outlook, Yahoo, and Mail.ru expected to provide support soon), kinetic content is supported by a much broader range of email clients. As a result, more email recipients can benefit from the tactile approach marketers can embed with kinetic content to improve the email CX.

Unlike conventional HTML email, AMP requires a third, new dedicated MIME-part to be added for the functionality to be supported. Email users already use two different MIME types for the HTML (text/html) and plain text (text/plain) part of an email, which is why typically, two versions of every email are created. Then specific tags and JavaScript are required to add the interactive effects.

Kinetic content is typically designed through additional HTML and CSS coding hacks, often with mail client specific coding. Even though some of the earliest uses of kinetic content date back as far as 2014, very few brands are able to leverage it today due to the complexity of setup.

How Will AMP Empower the Marketer?

Despite the fact that coding emails with AMP is a lot easier than hacking away with kinetic content approaches, the reality is that AMP is not empowering. Marketers need to learn an entirely new language, as AMP has its own content-, layout-, and media-tags. The framework is well documented, but marketers will hit some barriers, as the documentation is in its infancy and has gaps which could impact adoption.

Also, if an email recipient forwards the message onto a friend, the additional AMP coding will be stripped, reverting the email back to its basic default behavior.

Google has now opened up a playground for developers to start using AMP, which offers a validator with clear error-messaging, along with a content preview. But Selligent Marketing Cloud users will be able to start coding their AMP content in our message editor from early 2020, as we will then offer out-of-the box support!

How Do I Start Adding Interactivity to My Emails Today?

Non-Selligent Marketing Cloud users wanting to use AMP in their emails need to register with Google as a sender of dynamic email. Then, they can start building messages. They will also have to check with their Email Service Provider (ESP) as not all of them support the use of AMP today.

For Selligent Marketing Cloud users, there’s good news. The future of AMP is still uncertain in terms of adoption, due to kinetic content providing wider email client support. In early 2020, we are adding kinetic capabilities to our email message editor, so that users can leverage drag-and-drop kinetic components, which just need basic configuration. This approach will empower marketers, not just developers, to be able to design and deliver interactive experiences across a wider range of email clients, to positively impact email engagement.

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Vitacost: A Kroger-owned health retailer boosts customer engagement, loyalty, and lifetime value with a personalized kinetic email campaign

All signs point to interactive content and kinetic design elements as the next wave of email marketing innovation. From real-time countdown clocks, in-email animations, and email experiences designed to simulate websites right in the inbox, customers are proven to engage with interactive content at much higher rates than others. Find out how the Kroger-owned company, Vitacost, uses interactive design elements to supercharge their engagement in this case study with Selligent Marketing Cloud.

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