august 27, 2021

Essence of Email Weekly - Should we still be using AMP for Email?

Jeremy Keith, a web developer and contributor to the web standards movement, has resigned from the AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) Advisory Committee. In his resignation email, he says:

"I can't in good faith continue to advise on the AMP project for the OpenJS Foundation when it has become clear to me that AMP remains a Google product, with only a subset of pieces that could even be considered open source.

If I were to remain on the advisory committee, my feelings of resentment about this situation would inevitably affect my behavior. So it's best for everyone if I step away now instead of descending into outright sabotage. It's not you, it's me."

???? Why should email marketers care?

This news could've gone unnoticed if AMP hadn't been a much-discussed topic over the past few years. Especially in relation to another AMP extension that interests us email marketers – AMP for Email.

AMP for Email allows users to engage with content right within an email, whether that's taking surveys, booking appointments, making purchases, etc.

Even though some brands have successfully been using AMP in their campaigns, it's still not ideal. According to Email Insider, "iOS doesn't support AMP now, meaning that 50% of Gmail users don't see AMP on their mobile. Microsoft also dropped AMP support a year ago".

On a practical level, few brands seem to be going for AMP. SparkPost, a major email sender, has seen little AMP activity.

"About 0.4% of our sending customers sent AMP mails over the past week," says April Mullen, director of strategic insight for SparkPost. "Only half of those sent more than 10% of their mail with AMP enabled. Adoption is still quite low because a lot of email teams are stretched thin, so creating a third mime type in addition to HTML and Text versions is a lot of work.

❓The situation still remains controversial. On one hand, AMP is a great tool to engage customers directly in an email, but for developers and email marketers, it's still a Google-controlled initiative and cannot be widely used.


Don't underestimate back-to-school emails

Last week, we talked about how back-to-school shopping might boost retail after a slight decline in offline sales this July. This week, let's discuss how back-to-school email campaigns are doing.

????Spoiler alert: Much better than retail!

Back-to-school email campaigns are showing a 40% higher conversion rate than they did last year, according to LiveIntent's research.

While the older generation leads with the highest number of clicks, the 18- to-20-year-old audience leads in conversions, with a 59% higher-than-average rate.

Newsletters with the highest conversions are shopping, style and fashion, and family and parenting. These campaigns saw a 140% higher conversion rate than the average.

????️ Women might be one of the reasons for such growth. As women are the ones who are doing the majority of back-to-school shopping, they are credited for a 27% higher click-through rate and 160% higher conversion rate than men.

"As we enter an unpredictable school year, marketers have had to be nimble when designing their back-to-school campaigns. Understanding when and where to reach an audience is critical, especially as regional regulations are changing," says Kerel Cooper, Chief Marketing Officer at LiveIntent.

As we mentioned before, total back-to-school spending in 2021 is expected to reach a record $37.1 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. And "as we lead up to Labor Day, it's not too late for back-to-school retailers to optimize their campaigns to reach these audiences when and where they are most likely to convert," concludes Cooper.


TikTok is riding the eCommerce wave

???? What do Cerave moisturizer, feta cheese, and instant coffee have in common?

The answer is viral TikTok videos. Sales of the three above-mentioned products have seen a surge, thanks to the popular Gen Z social network.

So, what does this mean? Social networks, TikTok in particular, are not solely platforms for sharing your daily routine. They are drivers of sales with a direct impact on demand. The platforms are maximizing this advantage by implementing on-platform shopping options. For instance, TikTok partnered with Shopify last fall to introduce "shoppable" video ads.

The new feature has only been available to users in the US and the UK, however, the company plans to expand the features to more countries over the coming months.

???????? This is a smart move, considering the fact that eCommerce is estimated to hit $36.6 billion by the end of 2021 in the U.S. alone, according to an estimate from eMarketer. That's nearly a 40% jump compared to the previous year.

So, TikTok may be right on time by expanding their shopping features. And with TikTok Shopping, Shopify will be the first commerce platform to bring organic product discovery and shopping tabs to TikTok and help creators and merchants deepen their relationships with consumers.

???? What is the new TikTok-Shopify feature all about? From now on, Shopify merchants will be able to add a shopping tab to their TikTok accounts and sync their product catalogs, so that users can choose to shop directly from the merchant's storefront or click a tagged product in a TikTok video and go to the merchant's online store for checkout.

"Our community has transformed shopping into an experience that's rooted in discovery, connection, and entertainment, creating unparalleled opportunities for brands to capture consumers' attention," said Blake Chandlee, President, Global Business Solutions at TikTok. "TikTok is uniquely placed at the center of content and commerce, and these new solutions make it even easier for businesses of all sizes to create engaging content that drives consumers directly to the digital point of purchase. We're thrilled to be expanding our partnership with Shopify and making TikTok more accessible than ever for their merchants."


Being pushy is not always better

Source: ReallyGoodEmails
⚡Who said eCommerce emails should be all about promotion?

Sometimes it's better to take the "salesy" part out of the spotlight and concentrate on the customers and the main product. Like in this email from Bathing Culture.

Instead of creating their own guide on how to use the brand's Outer Being Face+Body Oil, the email features tips from their community.

By doing this, Bathing Culture kills two birds with one stone. The email strengthens the brand's relationship with consumers by showing them the brand cares about what they have to say and simultaneously showing off the benefits of their product.

With its simple design in pastel colors and rainbow-colored elements, this email makes a strong impression with its content. And even though it's not a hard-sell email, it still has a subtle CTA at the end, so people can try out the product.

Remember – when there's no urgency, a soft-sell approach can be a much better choice for your brand. ❤️

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