To bring DEF into existence, there are five phases: AMPifier, brand Integration, ESP integration, eCommerce catalog integration, and payment integration.
AMPifier: Most emails today are plain vanilla HTML emails. They need to be converted to AMP. Then, a piece of code will need to be added to bring DEF to life. Both of these actions can be done with the help of an AMPifier. (For more, see AMPifier: The Heart of Email 2.0 Hotlines.) In fact, brands can just take their email templates, AMPifiy them, and they are done. This is the easiest first step which can be done in minutes by any brand and is independent of the email service provider (ESP).
Brand integration: The second level of DEF enhancement comes when the brand can add some additional elements at the email creation time to connect the AMPlets and PII info (email ID) to its backend, thus adding an element of personalisation. This requires the brand’s IT team to get involved.
ESP integration: The email service provider can bring in elements like Mu in the Subject which can create additional incentives for end customers to open the emails. Without the Mu, it is not possible for a customer to differentiate between ordinary emails and DEF-enabled emails.
eCommerce catalog integration: This can take personalisation to a different level by powering search, magic carts, and recommendations in the DEF.
Payment integration: The final frontier is to add in-mail payments. This can allow transactions in the footer without exiting the email. It can be a big driver for revenues for the entire value chain, eliminating the need to transfer control to a shopping completion process on a website or app.
DEF can thus take on a life of its own. The power of push and PII (email ID) can transform commerce and therefore ads which are shown. Just as a newspaper or media site combines content and ads, emails can do that and more – powering one-click purchase within the email. These are experiences none of us have seen. They can thus go a long way to a world of frictionless funnels and inbox commerce. While many of these footer AMPlets should become part of the main email body over time, the DEF gives brands the ability to experiment quickly without involving IT teams and deep integrations.
As a first step, brands should start using tools like AMPifier to ensure that every email they send is an AMP email with DEF. These will create excitement in recipients leading to more open rates and higher engagement. Over time, the unidimensional age of clickthrough ads we see all around us on the Internet will be replaced with interactive and actionable ads, creating new revenue opportunities for brands and intelligent next best actions for customers – a win-win which will reduce AdWaste and help drive greater profits for brands.