AMP (accelerated mobile pages) for Email has been widely discussed since Google announced it was working on the project in 2018. But are brands really using it?
“There has not been a lot of adoption because email marketers are stretched pretty thin,” says April Mullen, director of strategic insight for SparkPost, a service provider that supports AMP and was a launch partner with Google.
For one thing, AMP users are tasked with many operational chores. For example, they have to get themselves whitelisted on Google and other email clients.
Then there’s the pressure on budgets in this time of the pandemic. “We’re in the nascent stages,” Mullen admits. “Budgets are disappearing—the shiny objects tend to get cut.”
But Mullen adds, “That would be a wrong move, because email is cost-effective and AMP makes it that much better.”
For those who may have missed it, AMP is an open-source framework designed to make mobile pages load faster. Extended to email, it leads to “more engaging, interactive, and actionable email experiences,” Google said in 2018.
Still, Mullen’s view about the lack of brand buy-in is shared by other industry experts—like Roger Barnette, CEO of enterprise email provider MessageGears.
“We support AMP and I would say it’s getting a lot of attention—I don’t want to use the word hype. There are lots of questions about it, and lots of people want to test it but I haven’t seen large-scale adoption.”
“It’s still a buzzword because of the lack of adoption,” adds Ryan Phelan, chief marketer of Origin. “It would seem that this capability would appeal to marketers to enrich email, but I think this lack of adoption is based on the level of effort that a marketer would need to do against all the other things that are already in the production process.”
Despite that, Phelan adds that “dynamic email by companies like LiveClicker, MovableInk and Campaign-Genius have made it easy. They all have tools that take little implementation and time and are easy to understand.”
Some big brands are using AMP. Enabled by AMP, Pinterest has “taken the experience within the app or post log-in and made it so you can pin items right from the email. Every email they send is one to one,” Mullen says.
Then there’s Lending Tree, which offer an interactive quiz.
In short, AMP allows consumers to do whatever they need to do--within the email.
All this is happening as marketers contemplate the purported death of the cookie.
“The end of the cookie will hurt the ability of marketers to target on third-party platforms,” says Charlie Reverté, CTO at SparkPost. “It’s going to reduce the effectiveness of personalized paid media and reduce the ROI of cold acquisition, and increase the demand for email.”
That may be a good thing. Mullen adds that brands are “hemorrhaging money on acquiring and not following lifetime value. The demise of cookies suddenly makes lifetime value more important.”
Brands should not just be “filling the bucket to fill the bucket,” Mullen adds. Instead, they should focus on serving their existing customers.
AMP can provide a level of interactivity that has not been seen in email. It increases email visibility by 10X, and can deliver “dynamic content, up to the minute, sealed and sent,” Reverté says.
AMP “seems very technical, which translates to decreased speed to market and means marketers have to learn about it and apply it to their strategy and tactics,” Phelan says.
Until they do, “I have my reservations as to widespread adoption,” Phelan adds.
Another source, Twilio Sendgrid, warns that “AMP can be a double-edged sword...When you use AMP in an email campaign, you set up the dynamic content you want to use and then send it away, losing the control you had over the interaction,” the company says in its 2020 Email Deliverability Guide.
All that is probably right. But big brands are interested, and AMP for Email may finally take off if other email service providers support it and these glitches are all worked out. We’re only at the start.
“I’m bullish on AMP,” Mullen concludes.