Emails have been around for more than 50 years and it is still one of the most widely-used communication channels. There may have been multiple social media channels and messaging platforms but emails are embedded in our daily and professional lives like no other. Whether it’s work meeting, sales follow-ups or marketing emails from our favorite (or non-favorite “cough, cough SPAM”) brands etc. Let’s agree that we rely on emails most of the time.
But, unfortunately, due to the static nature of email, there are limitations and design-driven rules set forward that brands or marketers have to abide by. For example, creating a marketing email campaign with static content and buttons that redirect users to specific pages. This is the typical usage and user experience we get from emails today.
However, interactive emails are a no more sad illusion.
Google recently announced the full rollout of AMP for Email—also called dynamic email—a potentially transformative new approach.
What is it?
AMP for emails can change the way we see and interact with emails. It is the same technical framework, but with a different end goal. The goal is to enable user interactivity within the emails rather than sending them to slow web pages that increase the bounce rate of a site.
SeatAssignMate’s official support to Gmail’s AMP initiative
The timing for interactive email trend couldn’t have been more perfectly planned by SeatAssignMate, as Google has shared the same email vision by beta testing their product “AMP for Gmail”.
We’re humbled to say that we’ve experienced some advanced interactive features with AMP and can officially say that we support this as an additional layer to SAM’s current solution.
What does it mean for brands and consumers?
Interactive email means that brands can offer a more enriched experience for the customers without making them leave an email. This digitally enhanced email features somewhat mimic a web experience making the user forget they are in an email, meanwhile prolonging the user engagement in the email from this delightful and seamless experience. As a result of this, brands will notice higher conversion lifts and increased NPS scores.
Objective and building effort: Interactive email vs static marketing email
For a static marketing email, the objective is content and information-driven with/without a call to action (designed in a form of a redirect link button).
As for an interactive email, it is primarily task-focused and is like a “mini-app” inside an email. It has the ability to host a series of dynamic pages in which a user can navigate through, i.e. tab selection, entire user flow from displaying and selecting a product all the way through to confirmation page, (and if necessary) showcasing various scenarios such as error, payment failure pages etc in between. This is designed to be a task/experience-centric application and some examples would be to RSVP to an event, register and login via interactive email, buy a product, submit an application, conduct a survey... the use cases are endless!
Let’s discuss some.
Use Cases of Interactive Emails
Ecommerce: One of the most effective use-cases of dynamic email is in the e-commerce industry. It allows you to fill your cart and go to checkout right from the email. This works wonders during the sales season when customers want to grab their favorite item before it goes out of stock.
Signups and Feedback: Another very important use-case is the in-email feedback, registration or signup. Many users do not respond to forms because of the multiple steps involved in it. Taking app reviews, product feedback and event sign-ups within the email will increase the conversion rate by multi-fold. (Hint: that’s what we do ;) )
Dynamic Story-telling: Not all emails will add numbers to your profits. Dynamic emails can also be used as a visual story-telling channel which sometimes is really boring on the site and leads to multiple links and pages. User can get really hooked to an email if he doesn’t have to leave it to read the entire story.
Demos and Tutorials: Another use-case is to provide demos to your customers right in the email. Troubleshooting a problem? Send them an interactive email to tell them how to fix it. Selling a feature? Tell them how to do with without making them leave the window.
The Efforts Behind the scenes
SAM’s email execution is deeply integrated into the business logic of a brand, therefore it is important to engage with stakeholders and product P&L owners in the early conversations and ensure all of our objectives and vision are aligned and the KPI’s are well understood, even in the beginnings.
Why? Because, the interactive email itself serves as a communication tool (a carrier of information, if you will), but the design and execution of the email is highly dependant on the KPI’s set forth by the commercial, digital and business teams. Therefore, collaboration with these teams is not only key, but necessary!
This is the real work behind the email. But wait, not just this...
As mentioned above, not only are the objectives and use-cases are different between the interactive email and static marketing email, but development effort-wise there is a huge contrast between both.
Because interactive email is integrated into the brand’s business logic instead of a single-time campaign, it means our emails are triggered based on events. For example, a confirmation email would be triggered after a purchase has been made, or a reminder email sent just before a flight departure etc. This requires rule based systems set in place to automate this email generation and sending process.
Non-interactive marketing emails fall on the other side of the scale, which are typically pre-planned campaigns, and are highly dependent on a brands marketing budget.
Spearheading the direction of email
Our vertical expertise is deeply rooted in the air travel industry and we are very proud to be the first mover (and currently only solution provider) to implement a real-time clickable seat map into an email. Not only are we spearheading the direction of where email is heading for air travel, but we are also exploring how this technology can transform the experience of other industries too.