The Complete Guide to
AMPpowered
Dynamic Emails in Gmail

On 26th March 2019, Google officially launched AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) HTML email and since then there has been a lot of buzz around it. It is an open source technology by Google that has paved a way for interactivity and sending dynamic emails to the subscribers.

So, what exactly is AMP?

AMP is a framework created from HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that enables you to build a lightweight email with shorter loading time. If you want to design an email with a classy subscriber experience, AMP is the best option for you.

Here's a video that will enlighten you about what AMP is, the pre-requisites to send AMP email and its awesome applications across the diverse industries.

Benefits of AMP

Be it carousels, responsive form elements, or retrieving new content from remote endpoints, the AMPHTML Email format offers a subset of AMPHTML components to use in email messages. Subsequently, the email recipients can interact with the content directly, like fill a form, RSVP to an event, or respond to a survey from within the email.

Pre-Requisites of Sending an
AMP email

How to Register with Google to send Dynamic Emails?

Once you are all set to roll out the dynamic emails to the users, you will have to register with Google as described below.

  • Send a real-life email from the production servers or a server with similar
    DKIM/SPF/From:/Return-Path: headers to ampforemail.whitelisting@gmail.com. It should also include the dynamic email MIME part.
  • Before sending the email, check whether the AMP version of the email is correct with the help of AMP validator and playground.
  • Do not forward the email because Gmail removes AMP MIME parts from a forwarded email.
  • Once you send the email, fill the registration form and wait for Google`s response.
  • Note that if you do not send the email for review, send a blank or test email or an email without AMP MIME part, Google will not accept the registration application.
Guidelines to Register
  • Use DKIM and SPF to authenticate the email address.
  • All the outgoing XMLHttpRequests (XHRs) from the dynamic email (like <amp-list> or <amp-form>) should be targeted to the same Zone like your From: email address. Let`s say you are sending emails from no-reply@mail.emailmonks.com. In this case, XHRs from <amp-list> or <amp-form> should be sent to emailmonks.com or its subdomains.
  • You must review all the best practices for AMP email before sending the email to Google.
  • The domain of the DKIM signature and From: email address should be the same.
  • In other words, if you are using From: hello@emailmonks.com, the DKIM must be emailmonks.com.
  • Check the SPF or DKIM settings through Email Authentication.
  • The email should be sent from a static email address.
  • Abide by the Gmail Bulk Sender Guidelines.
  • You should have a uniform history of sending an order of hundred emails from the domain for a few weeks at least.
  • It should have a low spam complaint.

Once you send the email, fill this Google form with fingers crossed.

Google Form

How to Receive AMP Emails in
your Inbox?

  1. By default, you wont be able to review dynamic email in Gmail. It is necessary to update the settings in your Gmail & G-suite account.
  2. Login to your Gmail account and go to Settings. By default, in your Gmail settings the option for Dynamic Email Development would be ticked(checked). Dynamic Email Development
  3. Click on "Developer Settings" and add the email address from where you would be receiving the Dynamic AMP email.(Please note that currently you would be able to add only one email address)
  4. If you want to review AMP emails in your Gmail Inbox, which Monks have created, you need to add kevin@bounces.emailmonks.biz in the "Developer Settings". Developer Settings
  5. Once you have added the email address ( kevin@bounces.emailmonks.biz for Monks Sample ) from where you will receive the AMP Dynamic email, ask the email marketer to trigger the sample to your email address.
  6. Once the sample is triggered from brand`s account to your email address, you would be able to experience the AMP dynamic email in your Inbox.

Bonus Tip

  • is:^dm - Use this in your inbox search to review all the AMP(Dynamic emails) you have received in your inbox.

How to Code an AMP Email?

The must-have code:

Doctype declaration is a must for every HTML/AMP Email.
<!doctype html>

This declaration helps the inbox to identify the email as an AMP-powered dynamic email.
<html ⚡4email>

The charset definition must be the first child of the tag.
<meta charset="utf-8">

This script should be included without fail as all the functionalities are called on the basis of this.
< async src="https://cdn.ampproject.org/v0.js">></script>

The amp4email boilerplate tag
<style amp4email-boilerplate>body{visibility:hidden}</style>

Complete valid base structure of an AMP HTML email

Example Code

<!doctype html>
<html ⚡4email>
<head>
<meta charset="utf-8">
<script async src="https://cdn.ampproject.org/v0.js"></script>
<style amp4email-boilerplate>body{visibility:hidden}</style>
<title>--Page title--</title>
</head>
<body>
<!-- BODY CONTENT -->
</body>
</html>

Dynamic content elements of AMP
  • amp-form: This is the form element of AMP. It lets the designers to create forms directly in email that can be completed by users.
  • amp-selector: This is multi-select widget for use within a form.
  • amp-bind and amp-state: Simple scripting language in AMP that allows the manipulation of a state machine for interactions between elements. Can also be used to add behavior on certain events. amp-state is used to remotely fetch the initial state machine values.
  • amp-list: Remotely fetches JSON data that will be rendered by an <amp-mustache>.
  • template type="amp-mustache": A Mustache template markup to render the results of an amp-list call and the <div submit-success> and <div submit-error> of amp-form.
Layout
  • amp-accordion: A UI element that enables showing/hiding different sections.
  • amp-carousel: A carousel UI component.
  • amp-sidebar: A sidebar for navigational purposes.
  • amp-image-lightbox: A lightbox for containing images.
  • amp-lightbox: A lightbox for containing content.
  • amp-fit-text: A helper component for fitting text within a certain area.
  • amp-timeago: Provides a convenient way of rendering timestamps.
Media
  • amp-img: An AMP component that replaces "image".
  • amp-anim: Embeds GIF files.

Rendering issue might crop up if the component is in the head but not the body or vice versa, and in case the AMP HTML is not supported.

(Note: This section has been curated from https://amp.dev/documentation/guides-and-tutorials/learn/email_fundamentals)

Compatibility of AMP

  • Aweber and Sparkpost are the ESPs supporting AMP in email.
  • As of now, only Gmail email client supports it.
  • ESPs like Twilio Sendgrid, Amazon SES and Amazon Pinpoint will support AMP soon.

Uses of AMP email

AVarious applications across industries

AMP is a great idea for businesses who are looking forward to generating a greater ROI and driving business growth.

Here`s how you can incorporate AMP in your email marketing strategy.

  1. Ecommerce

    Ecommerce email marketers can use AMP to offer a complete checkout option within the email itself. Subscribers or users can directly make the purchase from this email with an option to select the variation like color/size/quantity and completing the checkout process (except the payment processing) without landing on a webpage. Integrating AMP in cart abandonment emails will work in a similar fashion.

  2. Finance

    For Finance industry, AMP email can be beneficial if we provide them a form within an email to calculate the loan details by just filling up the loan amount and loan duration. It can also enable several other financial calculations in the email itself.

  3. Travel and Food Industry

    AMP email can be beneficial for travel industry email marketers by letting the subscriber check the availability of the tickets and book the same from the email itself. This idea can also be implemented for booking a movie ticket or booking a table at a restaurant.

  4. Goods and freight

    Marketers in goods and freight industry can send AMP emails so that their subscribers can easily track their courier. It takes the customer experience to a whole new level.

  5. Event Invitations

    Marketers can send event invites with AMP so that the recipients can RSVP directly through the email. This will generate better engagement with the emails and get you more attendees. You can use the same strategy to yield more registrations for your webinar.

  6. Survey Emails

    AMP would make survey emails more effective by allowing the readers to respond right in the email. With AMP, the user would not have to go to the landing page to give their feedback. The smooth experience will enhance the response rate for any survey.

BDeveloping Mini App in the Email

Businesses will be able to send an email that simulates a mini app with the help of AMP. For example, dating apps (like Tinder) can perhaps let the users swipe left or right from the email itself. It would make things so much easier for the user.

CFill a form/ take a survey

Brands can send out an email that allows the user to fill a form or take a survey from the email. This will considerably increase the response rate of the emails.

DIncorporating Interactivity in emails

With the help of AMP, marketers can create dynamic and interactive emails that allow the users to browse through image carousels or catalogs, RSVP to an event, reply to Google Docs comments, and fill out a form right in their inbox. It enhances the subscriber engagement by increasing the time spent on your emails.

EBetter Subscriber Engagement

EmailMonks has observed a significant increase in the time spent on the emails whenever we included any interactive element. With the help of AMP, it would be possible for Gmail subscribers to experience interactivity in emails that was not possible earlier.

Limitations of AMP Email

1It is a new language to learn.

Despite the fact that it is an open-source technology that anyone can use, people will hesitate to use it - primarily because it is a technique-sensitive technology and it has exclusive pre-requisites that need to be fulfilled.

2Not all ESPs support AMP email.

Email marketers have to use two different MIME types for creating emails for the HTML part (text/html) and plain-text version. Therefore, every email should have an HTML version and a plain-text version in the ESP. When it comes to AMP email, a third MIME-type will be needed. This adds to the complexities of executing AMP. If ESPs do not add support to this third MIME-type, it is not possible to create or deploy AMP-powered emails.

As far as Gmail is concerned, it has several rendering issues like discrepancy in email display for accounts working on Gmail addresses and non-Gmail addresses that use POP/IMAP.

3Email performance tracking is a challenge.

It is important to measure the performance of your email campaigns. With AMP-powered emails, it is a challenge to track the email metrics. The interactivity in these emails, like hover-based event or clicking through a range of different deals cannot be measured with conventional email metrics.

4Emails can be updated post-deployment.

As the content of AMP emails can be updated even after hitting Send button, it could leave the subscriber confused. It is tough to imagine an email that changes each time you open it. It might lead to trust issues if the subscriber is not aware of this new technology.

5It is time-consuming.

As it is far away from the standard coding practices, it needs proper expertise and can get time-consuming. Email developers will have to learn a specific skill set just to create an email - that is quite daunting. As far as Gmail is concerned, it has several rendering issues like discrepancy in email display for accounts working on Gmail addresses and non-Gmail addresses that use POP/IMAP.

Samples

EmailMonks

The AMP email by EmailMonks enlightens all the curious email geeks about the usage of AMP. The email begins with a slider featuring our top three blogs, followed by a subscription form. The next section showcases an accordion followed by a ‘Contact Us’ form —All these elements are powered by AMP.

Emailmonks

Experience AMP Email in your Inbox

AMP works in Gmail Web currently. Please enter Gmail email address to experience AMP email.

Please Enter Gmail ID

Booking.com

Booking.com makes it a breeze to avail the deals and book the accommodation from the email itself. It saves the subscriber`s time and brings more conversions for the business.

Booking
Pinterest

By using AMP, Pinterest lets the user save the pin and view the enlarged image in the email. In this way, the user will no longer have to open the app or use the browser to access Pinterest

Pinterest

What The Industry Experts Have To Say

Veronica Williams

simpleviewinc

Senior Email Marketing Specialist

When Google announced AMP for email was ready for the public, it was definitely a game changer for my clients, which are destination marketing organizations (DMOs). These clients straddle the tourism industry as well as the meetings industry, bringing visitors and meeting planners to their cities.

I feel the ability for AMP to turn our two-dimensional emails into web pages inside our inbox is magical, and the two industries to benefit from it the most would be the aforementioned.

This is exactly what the target audience of my clients’ industries want to do with the content they receive via email—utilize the basic functions of how they interact with the DMO without having to exit an email.

On the tourism side, we could easily start sending emails to visitors with upcoming trips to the destination which include the ability to book hotel rooms through booking engines like Booking.com. Or, use AMP for an email to add in a section for restaurant reservations. It does not look like this can happen now, but I can see very soon be able to sell attraction or concert tickets as well.

For meetings, at this time with Doodle, you have the ability to RSVP for your convention—with the hopes of being able to register in the future!—as well as secure hotel bookings, restaurant reservations, and tickets as mentioned above.

However, a really big one would be the ability to book a flight right from your email. I know there is an #emailgeek that can figure that one out!

Radu Neag

Travian Games

Senior CRM Manager

AMP for Email will be definitely the next big thing for our email campaigns. At Travian Games, we always keep it up to date with the latest trends, design techniques, and approaches when it comes to email marketing.

The framework, which is now available also for emails, will help us a lot to expand our ideas in terms of interactivity.

We're in the planning & testing phase at the moment, so beyond question, some of our campaigns will take advantage of the AMP framework in the close future - especially when it comes to dynamic content and interactive elements.

Tammi J.Miller

Zumba

Senior Email Marketing Manager

All industries (with a large enough subscriber population on supported domains). To me, the most obvious ways to leverage the technology are through things like purchases, reviews, event registrations and survey submissions where you are not forcing the subscriber to leave the inbox to take the action you want them to take.

The simpler the process is for the consumer, the higher completion rates you should see.

Sam Hurley

OPTIM-EYEZ

Founder

This new development in the email marketing world adds a fancy layer of interactivity to subscriber comms .

It's a way for businesses to encourage deeper engagement by offering audiences the ability to explore/penetrate content right from the comfort of their Gmail inbox (and Gmail only, for now).

This reduces friction because they don't need to wait for a browser to open and content to load — it's all instant on the email message itself.

I see B2C eCommerce brands gaining the best results from this strategy at the moment due to the quicker nature of such conversions (perfectly suited to AMP), whereas B2B offerings will need to be more creative to achieve the same bottom line outcome.

Matthew Vernhout

250ok.com

Director

AMP will be great for many businesses, but not all will see the immediate benefits due to production costs, support of new MIME types, and the learning curve required for email developers to build these campaigns.

I see a huge opportunity for AMP is in the travel sector. The greatest benefit to them will be the ability to walk subscribers through much of the education, evaluation, and purchase process directly within the email.

Basically, they will be able to move much of the purchase decision into the inbox and have the search results fed back into the message with significantly less friction from the consumer.

Retailers and social sharing sites have already seen some of the benefits of AMP in email, but only time will tell if consumers feel the same way.

kath pay

holistic email

CEO

I’m still in two minds about AMP. The temptation to use it is real however, as the possibilities for enhancing the customer’s experience are exciting. However, two main things hold me back from being convinced that it is generally a good thing.

The first is that nobody ‘owns’ email – however, significant uptake of Google’s AMP would see email being more reliant upon Google, and a ‘default’ ownership may happen.

The fact that nobody owns email is one of its strengths and so this may weaken email as a channel. The second is something I’ve been speaking about since Hotmail Active Views (the forerunner to AMP) was launched back in 2010.

Aside from some very basic RSVP and form-fill functionalities, having fully interactive emails (i.e. being able to browse the website within the email), will require a significant change of consumer behaviour as the inbox is a very busy place, and getting a subscriber to commit to not being side-tracked form this ‘busyness’ may be difficult.

The average inbox has messages coming in regularly and there are many benefits to taking the subscriber away from this busy push channel and depositing them on a well-designed e-commerce site or landing page.

Humans love novelty and new things, and a new inbox message is just that. So, the chances will be very high that they will be interrupted when browsing the website within the email, potentially resulting in more bounces and fewer conversions.

The obvious industries are travel and e-commerce, with the focus being on customer service and making the experience easier and better for their customers.

Dennis Dayman

Return Path

Chief Privacy and Security Officer

Despite the drastic transformation in the world of web development, emails have substantially remained the same.

If you want to take action through an email, you have to generally click on the CTA, open another tab, or go to the website.

The advent of dynamic AMP emails has paved avenues for interactivity that simulates mobile apps. It allows the subscriber to RSVP to an event from the email itself, fill a questionnaire, select a meeting time, reply to a comment, etc. It enables interaction with the content from the Gmail client without having the need to visit the website.

Every industry will be able to derive advantage from this technology but it will be particularly intriguing to execute it in cart abandonment emails, thereby driving better conversion rates.

Michal Leszczynski

GetResponse

Content Marketing Manager

The obvious answer that comes to mind is e-commerce, but I think it's a bit early to say which industries will benefit the most out of AMP in email.

I'd bet that we'll get surprised by some super creative campaigns in verticals. we wouldn't normally associate with innovative communication.

Publishers, heavy machinery manufacturers, automotive, NGOs – I imagine it'd look great in every scenario; not necessarily in terms of conversions, but perhaps in terms of the amount of buzz it's going to generate around the most successful brands.

How EmailMonks Can Help?

Thrilled with the possibilities that you can reinvent with AMP in email?

Reach out to the Monks and we would love to help you.

P.S. Keep looking at this space for more exciting updates in AMP (as and when they are launched)

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