Google's New Amp Email: Good or Bad?

John Lister's picture

Google is to make emails more interactive. It's billed as offering "more engaging and actionable email experiences" but might appeal to marketers more than users.

It's all to do with the release of what Google calls "AMP for Email." AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) already exists and is a project designed to have web pages open quickly on mobile devices even if they contain media such as photos or videos.

AMP for Email makes it possible to send a document in AMP format, but have it delivered as an email. At its most basic level, that should mean emails will be quicker to load, rather than having noticeable delays while the content formats itself.

Emails Could Contain "Live" Information

Google also says it could make email messages more interactive. For example, an email could include a questionnaire or have an RSVP button. Users could interact with the email without needing to open a new web page. (Source:

The setup could also make it possible to send dynamic emails, meaning the content is generated specifically for the user at the moment they open it. For example, somebody promoting a clearance sale could send an email that included "live" details of whether items were still in stock when the customers opened the message, rather than have to click through to a website and be disappointed.

Another possibility could be an email promoting a petition which could show how many people had already signed it, with the figure right up-to-date as the user opened and read the message.

Travel Company On Board

Although Google developed AMP for Email, it will release it as an open standard meaning other email providers will be able to support it.

Several major companies have already started work on the format and will likely start sending out emails using it in the next few weeks. They include travel site, jobs site Nexxt and events planning tool Doodle. (Source:

In theory anyone can create and send messages in the new format. However, it will require some technical knowledge, similar to creating a web page, so it's much more likely to be used by businesses than consumers.

What's Your Opinion?

Would you find more interactive emails useful? Will it just mean more intrusive marketing messages and spam? What changes would make email better for you?

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Dennis Faas's picture

Email should serve the purpose of sending a quick message to the recipient. Anything more is going to be cumbersome because most email clients have limited viewing space. If the page needs to be interactive I think the user should be taken to a webpage using a web browser, which has stricter security policies about viewing content. I think this is going to open up a huge can of worms and spam is going to be even more deceitful than it already is.

beach.boui's picture

That's all we need... more crap getting our face and grabbing our attention. As a marketer, yes, it might seem like a good thing. On the receiving end, I will be quick to block senders who start sending AMP emails. I simply don't need and don't want the distraction. This may be a case where less is more. Ugh

David's picture

One newsletter I subscribed to had an option to receive plain text or HTML emails. I preferred plain text, but one day they took that option away. At first it was mostly ok, except for the tracking beacons. That was fine for a while, but then they started jamming in ads and active content - I unsubscribed.

AMP only promises worse.

SeaSteve's picture

With the growing problems from phishing, AMP could potentially allow emails to dynamically alter themselves to the receiver. Imagine what information AMP phishing emails could be designed to display after scanning through your browsers cache.

RedDawg's picture

Hmm, just another way for hackers to get in EASIER is my guess! I sure as helck (didn't want to use any dirty words LOL)there is a way to block or turn it off easily. Just what we need a way for things to run, execute, or hide in memory without even having to click a link WOO-PIE!

Rusty's picture

Reeks of malware exploit potential.

eric's picture

Malware exploits are the main thing that will come from this.
But Google won't shut it down, even after the attacks become widespread and apparent, because all they'll care about is advert revenue.
They'll introduce a few "new security measures" that temporarily (and inadequately) mitigate some of the attacks, declare the problem resolved and pat themselves on the back.
Live web connected emails with no chance to open the email without the connection is nothing but a bad idea in any universe in the multiverse.

russoule's picture

Okay, I hear what all of you are saying about the new road for advertising provided by AMP. I agree that more advertising is NOT something I look forward to. But let's be reasonable here, the sites that send email, particularly notification emails, do not operate out of the goodness of their hearts. Advertising is source of funding for all these various "free" information sites and blogs and all the other sites that send out an email. It's very simple to stop the deluge by adding those sites you don't want any emails from to the "blocked list". But advertisers pay money to the operators of these sites in order to generate sales and if there were no advertisments, the sites would quickly shut down, including InfoPackets. There are truly "no free lunches" and it is less expensive to have ads than to pay money for access to these sites. BTW: I believe most of the email providers are in the same boat-how do they pay for the services provided if there is no monthly/daily/unit price fee for the service? Think of all the services that Google provides for FREE each and every day. How do they pay for it? By ADVERTISING.

pctyson's picture

I must disagree with you. Google just posted a $100 billion a year business and their business is almost exclusively advertising. The ads are not there to "pay" for the cost of running a "service". The ads are there to make money. I can not have any sympathy for a $100 billion company needing to add AMP to the mix. Look how many times Dennis has to clean up computers because of the garbage that is sent to folks through their email. If people have not been around the internet for awhile and are trusting, they will click a link or open a page that they should not. AMP will open the door for many more scammers out there. How is Google going to be able to control the "live" content. It is almost impossible to control the imbedded links now.