AMP for Email allows you to use email in ways that were never possible before. Bringing rich engaging experiences with modern app functionality into your marketing email.
How cool is it to fetch real-time content, interact with forms, configure products, interact with the sender. Etc.
Still we aren’t seeing a lot of interactive or AMP emails yet. Come on guys! You all wanted to innovate, yes? The value of technology is in using it. That’s where the difference will be made.
So time to fix that and get creative!
In this overview I list over 150 AMP for email ideas in 31 categories for application and use of AMP for email. These are here for you to get inspired, brainstorm, try out and prototype. In other words, get creative with it!
If you are looking for an introduction to AMP for email, be sure to read: “What is AMP for email?“
1. Chat and live interaction through AMP for Email (5 ideas)
The chat experience will be a bit different than on the web, but even a modest version of chat in email will turn heads and be a huge leap in email interactivity. One way to show new answers is through pre-made answers / chatbot-style. For live agents, or even sales people on the other side, text can be shown “walkie-talkie style” pressing a button “refresh chat” or “fetch answer”.
- Chat with a customer service agent
- Speed dating / Chat roulette / chat with other email recipients.
- See real-time availability of sales people and link out to start a zoom / webvideo call.
- Incorporate a Chatbot with scripted answers
- Interaction with chat Prompts & conversation starters like you currently see on Linkedin. For instance showing buttons: “That is great” “I wonder…” “Tell me more about it”
2. Search and Discovery (5 ideas)
Search boxes and search functionality can be in the email interactively. Technically it would use a form that updates the email on submit. Of course a search box is not the only way to search and discover….
- Product search box in the email
- Content search box in the email
- Load content per tag / category / price range etc.
- Show gifting recommendations
- Load / show “others also bought” / “others also read” on click
3. Product selection and configuration (3 ideas)
Here is a money maker: A product configurator in AMP for Email allows subscribers to interact with the product. Check out different colors, swap out images for different versions, and use a multi question survey to give you the right product. Tailoring it to your taste, right there in the email!
- Product selector / wizard
- Product configurator
- Calculate price
4. Expand and show more (7 ideas)
Don’t you just want to sometimes see more content of the same kind, look at more detail or specs? On a click you can load more content into the email, showing additional parts or replacing current content.
- “Load more” / see more deals / products / content
- “Show more like this” see more similar products / content
- Expand product information on click
- Complete the look – show additional complementary pieces (eg fashion)
- Often bought together – show additional products
- “Switch gears” – show the variation of a product (eg showing beginner vs advanced when offering online courses.)
- Browse use cases or examples of use (eg recipes with food).
Here is an example of discovery / more info with dropdown switch
5. Live data updates / feeds (6 ideas)
Nothing as real-time as live data. This was partially possible with interactive email / live images, but never really replacing content, text and links. Now you can get very real inside the email.
- Update live scores of a sports game.
- Update charts or numbers – eg stock market
- Show live use or results (eg energy consumption or solar panel energy produced)
- Show today’s content in the email of yesterday.
- Correct a spelling mistake after sending <- this
- Live product recommendations in emaiI. At open,call the API and retrieve the latest product recommendations.
7. Email engagement this is HOT (4 ideas)
It might be interesting for the users to see which articles / products in the email are “HOT”. And showing the interaction with the email – this has the potential to put email interaction on its head. Technical people might wonder how that is possible. There is currently a way to do it: When a user clicks on any block, a message is sent to the server with the user’s email address and the block’s ID. And the server counts/tracks the number of clicks – displaying it back into the email.
- Display number of clicks / engagement with the email as total.
- Display number of clicks on email blocks
- Show the number of people at that time open / reading the email.
This would be amazing, think about a google docs like cobrowsing feel to the email. One creative way I thought of, was by having people “sign on” / “sign out” of an email with a button. Alternatively – you could make a “reading now” approximation, by counting the number of unique interactions at the moment of your own interactions (eg open, clicks) and a time (eg people interacted between now and ten minutes ago).
- Reorder the articles / items based on their popularity and click through rates. This will work – usually the top articles get the most clicks. So for instance the starting set is randomized.
8. Internet of things (unlimited ideas)
There are a lot of smart devices that are connected to the internet, this makes that there are almost endless possibilities here. Note that most of the connections with Internet of Things devices will need an integration with a web server / or the IoT service to get the needed data.
- Show live use of any of your own Internet of things items / connected devices.
- Control any Internet of Things items. (Like your roomba, robot vacuum cleaner?!)
- Have an internet of things / connected device to unlock / interact with the email. (eg solve a rubik’s cube to get content in the email…. )
- Check a live video feed
This is possible, but video currently supported – so it would have to be an image or an (on the fly generated) animated gif, additionally have a refresh button that will pull in a fresh image.
- Email, please tell me where my keys are
- Just leaving a link to IFTTT for your unlimited ideas inspiration.
9. Interact with email content (14 ideas)
By Interacting with the email, you can configure, give feedback and make the email “your own”. A marketer can learn a lot, and even on the individual level from interaction with the email content, which before was limited to opens and clicks.
- Add annotations / highlights to your own email
- Change the order of content / order the blocks in your email.
- Add your own notes besides the email text (like on Medium)
- Star, save or favorite products or content
- Clap and show the writer your appreciation (like on Medium)
- Pin articles / items for tomorrow / next time.
- Choose your own adventure style content.
- Add bookmarks, save as favorites
- Remove elements from an email.
- Add a delay / postpone button (content gets hidden for X time and later reappears).
- Send items to someone else, share from the email (and they could have it in their email immediately)
- As a reader, you can suggest spelling corrections in the email and send it back to the marketing manager. This will be a grammar-nazi favorite. (Note that you can edit email text and send it to the server, not another recipient directly. The server should then store or send it to the original sender.)
- Give the reader points for clicks – or any other in email activities.
- Upload images or submit urls to be included in your email / next email.
10. Change email design and Accessibility (6 ideas)
Update how the email looks and acts. For fun, preference, functionality or to improve accessibility.
- Change layouts / designs / colors
- Change language in real time
- Change font size
- Zoom in on images. (This for instance can be done by swapping or loading additional images) and even can be made a permanent preference “close up mode”.
- Improve accessibility. For instance to swap for and make it permanently screen reader optimized, show bigger buttons, etc.
11. Testing and optimization
We all like A/B testing and optimization for conversion. With AMP for Email, the real-time optimization effect can be amplified.
- Show multiple variants of email texts, items, content, offers and real-time optimize them (eg most clicked get shown more often).
- Show items based on popular purchases at open-time (eg show different morning products, versus evening products).
12. Shopping and Orders (7 ideas)
Another money-maker in combination with a truly helpful service to the customer.
- Live update your shopping cart in the email
- Live update your wishlist
- Show order history
- Reorder from your order history
- Bundle and unbundle products, show upsells in email
- A complete shop and working check out in an email (or partially)
- Check availability (stock, tickets or bar reservations, table seatings)
Think about obama’s “you could be here” table seating
13. Ratings and reviews (4 ideas)
With the prevalence of eCommerce platforms, people buy for a large part based on customer reviews. Sequentially the world using email to show and especially ask for reviews on products, or after events, webinars, downloads etc. Learn from your audience and turn it into helpful content.
- Include live ratings and reviews
- Add your own rating or review
- Thumbs up / down and subsequent complaint or review form.
- Review the email itself, and give feedback on it.
14. Tabs (5 ideas)
One of the functions in AMP for email is the use of tabs to show or hide content.
- Use tabs to show content per category (eg: latest news, topic X, topic Y)
- Use tabs for products per target group (eg men, woman, girls, boys)
- Use a tab to show the most popular articles from the last email.
- Use tabs included in a navigation bar.
- Combine multiple email newsletters and put them in one digest. (this could work by extracting the emails and putting them in tabs.) If they are tagged somehow, you could mix and match.
15. Forms and Feedback (12 ideas)
There was never a way to get a form working in the email, until now. This changes with AMP for Email.
- Fill a survey in the email
- Ask for the Net Promotor Score (NPS)
- Ask for product reviews
- Do a Poll and show the answer
- Vote for content of next email
- Vote for product development
- Tell a friend form
- Do assessments
- Do a quiz. Here is a “placeholder” think about all the types of quizzes.
- Show a form to ask a Quote / Offer
- Group date/time picker (multiple people availability)
- Swipe left and right (it might still be a click, but you know what I mean)
16. Calculators (3 ideas)
The great thing about AMP is that you will be able to perform live calculations inside an email. This opens up a lot of possibilities. Your calculation can include sliders, open (enter your values) fields and multi step calculation widgets.
- Price Calculator
- How much can you save / ROI calculator
- Budget Planner
17. Preferences and profile (3 ideas)
Instead of sending people to a preference center, the data can be updated from inside the email itself. This also allows for progressive profiling and more creative ways to show responses after updating it.
- Update profile / email address
- Update preferences
- Update email frequency
18. Reveal based marketing (5 ideas)
Being able to update the email after receiving, makes for some cool “show me the money” type reveal based marketing. A surprise effect, that normally would only be possible in part. This is revealing after interaction. Nice! Some technical notes: Reveal works by on click replace/ swap an image, with a scratching animation that animates once, then displays image 2. You can simulate a timer by delaying the display of the element (hide/show something after N seconds + gif that “counts” these N seconds down)
- Scratch to show
- Lift the curtain
- Countdown counter (based on time)
- Count up / down counter (# of people) for instance if 100 people attend etc.
- Show names / social proof of others in real time buying the products.
19. Carousel & Page-turners (5 ideas)
The carousel is the element that is now most often found as “standard implemented” as a block in certain Email software providers (ESPs) that allow to send AMP emails. But even other similar effects can be gotten with other AMP functions.
- Product carousel click for next
- Carousel autoplay
- Slideshow presentation
- Flip through the pages of a book/catalog (including the look and animation)
- Every way that for instance a carousel is now used on Linkedin.
20. Agenda, Calendar and planning (5 ideas)
A calendar AMP email is actually already done as a working version, and might be one of the most practical applications of interactive AMP emails.
- Pick a time for availability / meeting agenda with multiple people.
- A full working (and filled) agenda
- Christmas calendar / Advent calendar style
- Include a todo list
- Schedule things
21. Games (6 ideas)
Include complete (mini) games inside your email. A great way to take a different approach and / or bring some enjoyment into your emails. There amount of creative ways to build games is limited only by the imagination, here are some ideas:
- Memory game
- Whack a mole game
- Do unlimited recaptchas for fun: Click on all with a traffic lights
- A play by eMail turn Based game (eg 3 attack, 3 defense boxing or a game of chess).
22. Gamification (4 ideas)
There is more to take from a game experience beyond full in-email games. And lots of applications for using gamification in email. Meaning game mechanics and elements you would normally find only in games – applied to other uses. Either making them more engaging, enjoyable or easier to do.
- Stars and badges for engagement
- Wheel of Fortune discounts
- A treasure hunt
- Daily check in – EG in health: How were your blood levels today?
23. Fun & Weird (3 ideas)
No need to only keep to functional, business like ideas. It can be fun for the fun of it (and turn out to be a bigger success than expected). To open up the creative mind, think about all the weird ideas and fun ideas… or things you just enjoy outside of email and then try to (re)create them inside our newfound inbox space.
- Million dollar homepage / Buy your message to go with a piece of content.
- Decay… Color of items change based on how many days it was ago (like old paper or food)
- Water your plant / feed your pokemon (every hour).
24. Unlocking and gated content (5 ideas)
To gate or not gate your content… That’s the question. This makes for some very engaging elements for the creative marketer. But content can also be gated for “for your eyes only” type information.
- Unlock (personal) content with password.
- Unlock (personal) content with passcode (click the numbers like a type pad).
- Unlock (personal) content when logged in only. Show logged in version versus not-logged in version.
- First accept terms and conditions before able to view content
- Generate a new password / code to log in somewhere else.
25. Promotion and lead gen
- Include a third party (advertiser) ebook / content / offer – only accessible by subscribing / filling in the lead form.
26. Real time loading (6 ideas)
As we can update an email in real time, what can’t we do in terms of content? (there are limitations, but probably much more than you’d expect). Timely gets a new definition, as well as relevance.
- Real time swap or include items based on popularity (inside the email, on website)
- Load latest Articles / rss
- Load latest products
- Load social media mentions.
- Load / create new coupon code
- Real time Ad-bidding
- Send a timed signal.
- Load UGC / User generated social content. For instance hashtagged tweets or instagrammed pictures.
27. Co-email experience (7 ideas)
This is one I am very excited about and not really seen anywhere yet. It has been said people sign up for the email, but stick around for the community and connection. A co-email experience allows for just that… a look through to the people on the other side of that email.
- Story writing together. Every day one of the readers adds a paragraph to the email, then next day another user adds a paragraph etc.
- Send anonymous “message in a bottle” messages to other email readers
- Pull in random reviews from other email users (eg book club that sends and gets reviews).
- Change / randomize message and CTA (case for instance is a vegetarian activists that mail their subscriber base to complain at local restaurants. The text or restaurants need to be randomized to appear “natural”.)
- Become email buddies with other readers – not really sure what that means yet :D
- A facilitated chain letter, where replying or sending through would update the emails for others in the subscriber base.
- A quora-like function to help me / answer the question.
28. Process steps (5 ideas)
The ability to update an email on action, means you can guide people through a process. Or indicate how far they are along in a tiered action.
- Guide people through a process Step by Step (with checkmarks).
- Show a multi step process / project progress bars.
- Live update of shipping information – live tracking of car
- A daily challenge which updates every day
- Autoscroll text. Technically this would work by updating it.
30. GEO and Weather based content (4 ideas)
You cannot get geolocation in AMP emails, so any location based emails will need input or data from elsewhere or use other data points (not the location where you opened the email).
- Weather based product recommendations / offers.Show content based on your own chosen location
- Pick your own favorite location / shop
- Real time colored map based on activity
- Show the distance or route of your product to your delivery location. (with update button).
31. Animations (2 ideas)
Animations are somewhat limited. The only type is called transitions. But this still means a lot of possibilities and creativity can be added.
For instance think of something like:
What can we do to animate a block or make it seem animated?
More ideas, uncategorized
There are always more ideas once you get brainstorming. Here are a few that didn’t fit the above categories.
- Linkedin type real time number of messages / notifications indicator.
- Show a job board
- Keep a brand diary / live blogging
- Leaderboard List
- New questions / items / answers from a discussion list
- Do a live auction
- Show Last browsed
- Google docs alike mini functions
Your own AMP Email innovation lab
I hope this list got your creative juices flowing. Some of the applications also work with other types of interactivity. By using dynamic images or pick up the interactive piece on the landing page (right behind the click). So I challenge you to first think of the ways you’d like to use the ideas and not discard them too quickly. Together we can bring some innovation and lively spirit into email marketing.
A special thanks to Dmitry Kudrenko from Stripo and Mark Robbins who helped with technical feedback, input and ideas for the original 150 AMP for email examples.