Going to copy-paste my massive Twitter thread here to contribute my thoughts :)
What does #AMP4email mean for the #emailmarketing industry? Here’s my take as a 10+ year industry veteran, “thought leader”, and member of the #emailgeeks community.
(In case you missed it, and have no idea what I'm talking about, this post will get you up to speed on yesterday’s #AMPConf announcement: https://litmus.com/blog/gmail-announces-native-support-dynamic-interactive-email-powered-amp )
It's great to see an inbox provider/ISP supporting innovation in email, and specifically interactive/dynamic email. Even better that they are advocating for creating a "standard". But...
Proprietary solutions (or "standards") that are specific to one type of inbox aren't sustainable as a long-term solution (remember Hotmail Active Mail? >>> http://www.emaildesignreview.com/email-industry-insight/hotmail-test-interactive-email-messages-with-active-mail-772/ )
Gmail/Google claims that AMP is open source, but will other inbox providers/competitors contribute to, or adopt AMP, as a standard? Probably not. And that makes fragmentation/support worse, not better.
ESPs will need to get onboard with supporting a third MIME type to even send AMP-enabled email. This didn't go so well with the Apple Watch (context: https://litmus.com/blog/how-to-send-hidden-version-email-apple-watch ). Today two MIME types (text and html) are standard.
The requirement to add a third MIME type (aka "Gmail version") of an email will mean that only top-tier brands and agencies adopt AMP-enabled email due to increased email production and testing costs.
I'm cautiously optimistic about #AMP4Email. It's cool, yes. It's innovative, yes. Email needs more innovation. But is this the right way to approach it? Not sure. We'll have to see how it plays out over the next year.
I'm personally hoping for more text-only emails and utilizing language that's more human. In combination, these feel more like personal, 1:1 emails and my suspicion is that they may see higher response rates in the right industries/circumstances due to that personal feel. That said I'd also hope that marketers strike a balance between mimicking 1:1/personal emails and using misleading tactics like fake forwards, fake replies, or intentionally sending emails that look like internal mistakes.
I suspect that those misleading tactics contribute to the 8th trend on your list, which is focusing more on personalization and lifetime value. Using gimmicks can lead to short-term gains in open or click rates but can burn brand trust in the long term.
Hi Anne! Would you mind clarifying your question a bit? You mention Outlook as an example, however I typically think of Outlook as an "email client" rather than an "ESP." ESP stands for "Email Service Provider" and these are platforms like MailChimp, Constant Contact, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, etc. They manage your list and do the "sending" part on behalf of a company/marketer.
An email client, like Outlook, receives the mail and is responsible for displaying it.
It's a combination of both the email client (such as Outlook) and the ESP (such as MailChimp) that determine how opens are tracked. Most ESPs use a 1x1 tracking pixel to measure opens. At you point out, some email clients (such as Outlook) block images automatically. In the case where an ESP relies on image-based open tracking and images were never enabled, no open would be tracked.
Some ESPs (you'd need to check with yours) will infer an open from a click. For example, if images are turned off and the user doesn't click to download, BUT they do click a link in the email, some ESPs will assume that since a link was clicked, the email must have been opened, and they'll count an open even though images were not turned on. Not all ESPs do this, however. You'd want to check with the ESP that sent the email to see how they track opens.
For this reason it's always important to understand how your ESP tracks all their metrics. In the past when I've switched from one ESP to another (or worked with customers on different ESPs), I've seen many variations on how both opens and clicks are reported, so it's sometimes comparing apples to oranges since the metrics are being tracked differently behind the scenes.
Hi James. This sounds like a myth to me. Unfortunately, there's lots of outdated advice on the interwebs, especially as it relates to spam.
See Myth #5 in this blog post:
My recommendation would be to continue to use "unsubscribe" because this term is widely understood by subscribers. If they are looking for the unsubscribe link, but can't find it, they're much more likely to mark your email as spam instead. I'd hate to see you get more spam complaints in an effort to avoid being marked as spam—oh, the irony!
Hi Rémi, thanks for the feedback! We definitely owe everyone an update on the Microsoft partnership, and that's coming early in 2017. Stuff has been happening behind the scenes (some of it's quite exciting!). As you suspected, there are lots of factors involved, and we're in the process of determining the best way to respect Microsoft's processes for testing and releasing product updates while simultaneously bringing all the email geeks up to speed. We appreciate your patience and can't wait to share more soon.
If there's one thing I've learned over and over again at Litmus, it's that you can't be afraid of failure if you want to innovate. And that extends to the perception of failure. We've accepted that we need to take risks (as we've done today) in order to move the industry forward. Sometimes that means acknowledging that ~13% of our audience may think an email is broken, and being okay with that. It's uncomfortable and scary, but then again so is any type change—and change is what fuels innovation.
Our audience (all of you!) have really high expectations. We've set a high bar for excellence and quality in email. I'm incredibly proud of that, and am even more proud to continue pushing the bar higher.
Thanks for your support along the way!
I'd like to think that I'm reasonably informed about spam laws, but that's probably not really the case! My biggest questions are "how do I stay up to date on non-US spam laws?", and "how do I determine if/when International spam laws apply to my email program?"