Google wants marketing emails to act like webpages
Friday, February 16, 2018
Social networks evolve like crazy. For example, Facebook's look has changed drastically over the last 14 years. On the flip side, emails that were sent back in 2004 look eerily similar to those mailed in 2018.
Yes, the design has improved, and there are more images — even emojis! — but the concept has remained the same. Emails are static messages.
But Google has something else in mind. The company just announced their plans to allow emails to continually update information while also enabling people to complete tasks directly in an email. Google is calling this new email capability Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
In the example that Google shared, users could actively pin content featured in a targeted, personalized email to them within their email client.
From past marketing lessons, we know users prefer when businesses streamline intuitive actions in one place. Think about how thrilled people were when Instagram debuted their shopping tags. Followers could finally view the products featured in posts and purchase them without ever leaving Instagram.
Users will appreciate Google's latest feature. Airlines could update flight statuses, shops could feature current prices, and all businesses could send questionnaires for users to fill out right there, right then.
Readers could keep coming back to one email and getting new information. Most users open emails and click the links 24 to 48 hours after receiving it. But 25 percent of sales generated by that email don't happen for three weeks, according to Alchemy Worx research.
In short, people are already saving emails. Now, you can ensure that the information they're referencing is as accurate as possible.
Right now, companies like Pinterest and Booking.com are testing this feature. Google is planning for support in Gmail later this year, but if you have a developer on staff, they can request preview access and begin integrating it into Gmail. Again, you would need to have someone who could code to do that. Also, users wouldn't be able to see the new feature until Gmail supports it later this year.
As it presently stands, AMP for Email is only going to work with Gmail. Google is counting on other email clients to build in this functionality using their AMP for Email spec. In short, Google wants to "modernize one of the most popular places where people spend their time: email." And the company wants others to follow their lead.
Though, to be fair, even if no other email client implements this feature, most of your customers probably use Gmail. Of the world's 3.7 billion email users, nearly half (1.2 billion) use Gmail. That's in comparison to 400 million who use Outlook, 360 million who use Windows Hotmail and 250 million who use Yahoo Mail.
Regardless, having actionable, real-time content directly in emails seems like a step in the right direction. Who wants to open another tab and jump from place to place?
The more we marketers can keep it simple, the more action we'll get from our customers in return. Now, here's hoping other email clients follow Google's lead and utilize that AMP for Email spec.
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