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COMPANY BLOG & NEWSROOM

01Jul

Google Will Begin Default Support of AMP in Gmail on July 2, 2019

AMP in Gmail
Almost
a year and a half ago, Google announced that it was going to support the AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) technology in Gmail to make emails interactive. That was followed by a long period of tweaking and testing AMP-powered emails via the services of several of Google’s partners. 

Finally, the tech giant made another historic announcement: on July 2, 2019, it will allow the rest of us to send dynamic emails without any restrictions. In this post, we’re going to explain what this AMP-hype is all about and why static emails may soon become a thing of the past.  

AMP: WHAT AND WHY 

WHAT IS AMP? 

AMP is a technology with publicly available source code that Google introduced in 2015. The principal goal was to enable web pages to load faster, particularly on mobile devices. 

In essence, AMP is a framework that hides the “whales” of the web — HTML, CSS, and JavaScript — under the hood. Up until recently, it had only been used for building highly interactive websites, especially for use on mobiles. Now, Google has extended AMP’s area of application to emails. A true ground-breaker! So, what does AMP 4 Email offer?

WHAT IS AMP 4 EMAIL? 

AMP 4 Email is a subset of AMP commands. While it means that you can’t fully leverage the power of AMP in your emails, you still have a mighty arsenal of components at your fingertips to achieve almost any design or functional objective.

View the full list of the AMP 4 Email commands here. You can also learn how to create a simple AMP email by watching the video from AMP Conf 2019 (9:50 onwards).

AMP 4 Email commands

A caveat. In order to be able to use AMP components, an email should consist of three MIME types. We see some eyebrows raised. Why three? There are only two MIME types used in emails, aren’t there? Well, not anymore. 

Traditionally, an email has included two MIME types: Plain Text and HTML. Google has added a third: text-x-amphtml. All AMP-powered letters must include this third MIME type from now on. The technical details out of the way, let’s talk about Google’s motivation behind AMP 4 Email. 

WHY AMP? 

Speaking at AMP Conf 2018, Aakash Sahney — Gmail’s Product Manager — clearly explained why Google decided to add AMP to emails. 

In his words, the web development world has made huge progress over the years — from simple, static pages to highly dynamic websites. For all those advancements, though, emails have essentially remained unchanged. 

Users have to open a new tab to view the details of an offering, fill out a form, or RSVP. With AMP 4 Email, you can perform all those actions right inside an email. In essence, email messages become interactive mini-sites.

Example AMP 4 Email

What does that mean for marketing? It brings the most coveted benefits of all: a higher click-through rate and enhanced conversion. To prove it, at this year’s AMP Conf, Sahney told the audience OYO Rooms’ story of success. 

This travel recommendations provider has had a +57% higher click-through rate and +60% higher conversion since it began sending out AMP-powered emails to its clients. The secret is simple: fewer clicks — more time for selecting and purchasing products and services.  

HIGH QUALITY IS GUARANTEED 

Google is renowned for the highest quality of its products. Everything is thoroughly tested before it’s released to the general public. AMP-powered messages are no exception. 

Since the first announcement, Google has tried out its new technology on a number of services such as Doodle, Pinterest, Booking.com, and others. All of them have found AMP 4 Email extremely useful for promoting their offerings. 

Not only that. Google has engaged the whole email ecosystem:  

  1. Email delivery services to ensure messages reach their recipients reliably. 
  2. A service for testing emails to ensure they render properly across devices and clients. 
  3. Various email clients. 

Among the companies Google has partnered with are SendGrid, SparkPost, Amazon SES, Amazon Pinpoint, and Litmus. Do you doubt the high quality of the end result? We don’t.

WHAT ABOUT SECURITY? IS AMP 4 EMAIL SAFE TO USE? 

Security is one of the major concerns when it comes to emails. What if a cybercriminal implants a virus into the script of an AMP block in an attempt to steal your messages?

Luckily, using JavaScript in an email with AMP blocks is possible from a specific source only. In addition, you can use a limited collection of scripts and can’t add your own JS code to emails. Bottom line: AMP 4 Email is as secure as can be. 

The most impressive feature of AMP 4 Email, though, is the ability to change the content of an email in real time. 

AMP 4 Email

ON-THE-FLY DATA MODIFICATION: EXAMPLES 

The most vivid example is Google Docs commenting. At present, every time you receive a letter with comments, you need to open that document in order to reply to them. With AMP 4 Email enabled, by contrast, you’ll be able to do that without leaving the message.

Another illustration. Say you’ve sent out an interactive email with a catalog of your products to your customers. Some time passed. You’ve decided to remove an item from the listing. You don’t need to send an updated email anymore. The “black-listed” product will be automatically removed from your first dynamic message. Efficiency at its best! 

What makes this real-time data modification possible? The data is no longer hard-coded into the letter’s HTML. It’s now stored on the server. 

CONCLUSION 

Just like any new technology or feature, dynamic emails will take some time to take off. At the moment, only Gmail (web version) users will be able to take advantage of AMP 4 Email. However, other email clients will soon follow suit: Yahoo Mail, Outlook, and Mail.ru. So, prepare to bid farewell to static emails starting July 2.

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