AMP Emails vs. HTML: What Gets Higher Conversion Rates?
The first time I came up against the menace of email conversions, I was leading marketing at a large fintech player in India. The email was one of the most effective and important channels for us to grow. However, the conversion rates were abysmal and there was constant pressure to get it up. It seemed like I had hit a wall.
This isn’t just my personal experience. It is shared by marketers across domains and verticals. Low email conversion has given sleepless nights to many marketers. In spite of being the most popular marketing channel, the industry benchmarks of email marketing conversions are pretty low. And the strange thing is that no one expects it to change. CMOs and marketing experts understand the limitations of this channel and have made peace with it.
It was in this atmosphere of drooping email open rates and CTRs that I came across AMP emails.
What are AMP emails?
AMP (short for Accelerated Mobile Pages) is an open-source framework launched by Google in 2015. It provides a straightforward way to create web pages that are fast, smooth-loading, and prioritize user-experience. AMP for Email was publicly released for Gmail Web in 2019, allowing users to include AMP components within emails.
AMP for Email functions via a novel mark-up and infrastructure which allows interactive elements like carousels, forms, dynamic data, and APIs to be inserted in the email body. This conversion of static HTML, pamphlet-like emails into lively and interactive AMP Emails was a real spectacle.
This motivated me to look for avenues to use its potential and make it available to all digital marketers and businesses. It was this thought that inspired me to build Mailmodo, an email marketing software where teams can easily create and send interactive AMP emails without any coding.
The turning point came when we started sending email campaigns for the early adopters of our product. We ran multiple tests to compare the performances between HTML and AMP emails. The results were pretty astounding.
Do interactive AMP emails convert better than HTML emails?
In order to test the impact of interactive emails on conversions, we conducted several performance tests. We carried these out by sending both AMP and HTML email campaigns among different industry segments with similar audience samples and sizes.
These campaigns clearly proved that interactive emails outperformed HTML emails in conversions by a drastic margin.
Our first performance-test was done in collaboration with one of our earliest clients. Our client sent survey-based email campaigns to collect user feedback and understand the customer intent. However, the response rate was low and their growth marketing team was looking for a way to improve this number. So when they tested Mailmodo for the first time, they understood that interactive emails might be a game-changer and decided to experiment with it.
This collaboration led to an interactive email campaign that had the entire survey flow inside the mail body. On opening the email, users were greeted with a dynamic questionnaire. This enabled the company to receive feedback from all its customers quickly, which was incredibly enriching. The net effect was a 225% increase in conversions using interactive emails as compared to the standard HTML email campaigns.
We ran another interactive email campaign with one of our other clients whose use case involved inviting job applications by sending quiz links through emails. The submission rate for these application forms was very low. Our client implemented AMP emails using Mailmodo. We sent out standard HTML email campaigns (with CTA buttons and landing page) and an interactive email campaign and compared the results.
We found that in the standard HTML emailing process the conversion rate was around 11% while with interactive emails it was around 41%. This was an unprecedented increment in conversion rate.
We also conducted a third test by sending both HTML and interactive email campaigns on similar audience sets to conduct NPS surveys for one of our clients. This time we increased the audience size and saw remarkable improvements in conversions with interactive emails. For HTML emails the form submission rate was 0.4% and for AMP emails it was 3.7%. This was more than an 8X increase in conversions.
With these results, we concluded that AMP interactive emails can disrupt the way conversions happen. This was a pleasant shock.
Why do interactive AMP Emails convert better than HTML Emails?
We studied these campaigns to find out the reason for their success. We realized that HTML emails naturally involve multiple steps and redirections for a user to complete the desired action.
Customers often drop off before completing all the steps leading to a huge churn. However, interactive emails cut down all such redirections by using forms within the email body. Users are thus able to respond to calls-to-action within their emails without having to visit multiple web pages. This results in a massive increase in the email conversion rate.
What have we learned about AMP interactive emails?
Over the course of time, and through numerous campaigns, we identified the major advantages of interactive emails over HTML emails. We collected our learning and used it to design and build Mailmodo.
In fact, while developing Mailmodo we took care to exploit the various features of AMP emails. I am listing below some of these features that make such mails so effective and also mentioning how we incorporated this aspect in Mailmodo.
AMP emails bring a range of interactivity within the inbox. This leads to lesser clicks, fewer steps, and a simpler user journey than that of HTML emails. We have quipped Mailmodo with elements that help users to perform tasks right inside the email without opening another tab. This makes it easy for users to shop within emails, book meetings, submit forms, and much more.
The second most important aspect is the improved engagement that interactive email brings to routine content. AMP elements like carousels, calendars, carts, and many other features that aren’t possible with traditional HTML Emails, turn boring content into appealing emails. As a matter of fact, Mailmodo’s recipients respond quickly before losing interest since interactive emails shorten the user journey.
When it comes to CTAs in HTML emails, the recipients have to painfully navigate multiple websites outside their inboxes before they can take desired actions. We realized that improving this step would create a cascade of benefits and simplifications. So, we created multi-step forms and conditional elements to help marketers configure all the CTAs to happen within the email. This simplifies the user journey and makes it frictionless.
AMP emails are dynamic which means that unlike their static HTML counterpart, AMP emails can be updated in real-time. To enhance this feature, we have enabled dynamic data and API integrations with Mailmodo so that marketers can update email data on the fly.
With traditional HTML emails, third-party inframe ads are possible and thus HTML emails are not completely safe from cyber threats. This makes them more prone to ads and security issues. AMP for email restricts ads and the utilization of data from 3rd party providers. This makes them more secure from cyber threats. This is one of the reasons that the deliverability rate of our clients is good resulting in higher conversions.
The Future of Emails is here!
Emails have always been considered an indispensable marketing tool. However, unlike the other marketing channels that have seen numerous tech upgrades, email has been the same.
This is the reason why benchmark numbers only varied to a small extent with demographic and social factors. With the advent of AMP emails, it has finally got the much-desired upgrade. In fact, the benchmarks set by marketing experts aren’t applicable anymore as interactive AMP Emails are breaking all records of conversions. And with Mailmodo we hope to democratize such interactive emails among all businesses to nurture growth and ROI.