Sending AMP Emails with ActionKit: Getting Started

Sending dynamic, interactive emails with ActionKit

Before you can use AMP

There are a few steps you need to take before you can start sending AMP-powered emails with ActionKit:

  1. Set up email authentication with valid SPF and DKIM records. Luckily, if you’re using ActionKit, you already have this set up. :)

  2. Set up a DMARC policy for your domain’s emails.

  3. Develop a production-ready sample AMP mailing in ActionKit with your organization’s branding and content.

  4. Fill out a registration form to apply for AMP whitelisting with the email providers that support it.

Overall, you should expect the process to take about a month at minimum from when you decide to get set up for AMP to when you can send your first production AMP mailing.

Next, we’ll go over what to expect during each of these steps, starting with DMARC.

Set up a DMARC policy

AMP allows your organization’s emails to interact more with end users — potentially tracking interactions within the email beyond the standard “email opened” and “links clicked” events, and potentially soliciting sensitive personal information in forms.

And all of that happens straight in the inbox, instead of on a webpage where the user can look at their browser’s location bar to be confident that they’re interacting with the trusted organization they’re expecting.

So AMP makes it even more important than usual to block phishing attempts. The way to do this is with DMARC.

DMARC is a standard that helps protect your brand, and helps protect your email recipients from phishing and email scams, by verifying that all emails from your organization’s domain really came from you.

DMARC … might be a requirement for AMP. It’s a little unclear!1

Build a sample AMP mailing

In order to get approved for AMP, you’ll need to demonstrate that you’ve implemented it correctly, with a production-ready sample mailing that you’ll submit to Google and others for review.

That means you’ll need a mailing with your real branding, real content, and at least one real working AMP feature.

Embedding one of your ActionKit forms is a good place to start with AMP.

But if you use a page that’s set up to require a lot of user information like name and address, then you’ll need to include those fields in your AMP email’s form — otherwise some of your members won’t be able to submit it.

So for simplicity, we recommend choosing a page that doesn’t require a lot of user inputs. If you have an evergreen signup form or a current petition that only asks for the user’s email address, pick that.

In an upcoming post we’ll go over how to actually build your sample AMP mailing.

Test your sample

Before you submit your sample for review, you should check it yourself to make sure it does what you expect.

But if you’re not yet approved as an AMP sender, how can you open your interactive email in an inbox to test it?

To make this possible, Gmail allows you to designate a specific From address as “always trusted” for AMP purposes, even before you’ve been approved as an AMP sender.

We’ll discuss the testing and troubleshooting process in another upcoming post, too.

Apply to be a real AMP sender

Once you have a working AMP sample as a draft mailing that you’ve testing in your own inbox, the next step is to — finally — register with the email providers that support AMP.

The AMP providers (currently Google, Yahoo, and all collaborate and provide a single registration process that lets you submit for review once across all the providers, which is really nice.

Weirdly, the registration process is just a very unofficial-looking Google Form. It really works and they really review you though, we promise!

The form lives at and is quick to fill out.

We’ve collected all the questions here so that you can prepare your submission in advance:

Most of the questions are quite straightforward, but in another upcoming post we’ll provide some notes on the ones that are a little less obvious.

What comes next?

If all goes well, you should hear back from the providers individually within a week, hopefully with confirmation that you’re now registered.

Keep an eye out for these in the inbox whose email address you used to submit the form — they can be easy to miss. For Gmail, the message will come from and will have a subject line like “Registered for sending AMP for Email in Gmail” or “Registration request for sending AMP for Email in Gmail.”

If your registration was successful it can take up to another additional week for the whitelisting changes to fully take effect. So you should wait at least a week and then send another copy of your test AMP email, this time sending it to a colleague who hasn’t whitelisted you in the Gmail developer settings. (Or remove the whitelisting in your own Gmail inbox.)

Once you’ve confirmed that your whitelisting is active, it’s time to start building some real AMP emails!

Setting these up can be quite involved, so we recommend starting small, and running some tests to get a sense of what it’s worth to your organization to invest in building out more fully-featured and polished AMP capabilities.2

Is AMP really worth the hassle?

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably thinking this sounds nice in theory, but it’s not going to happen — it’s a lot of upfront hassle and ongoing effort for something that may not even do much for you.

But we really urge you to give it a try. One organization we’re working with recently emailed a very long survey to some members with an A/B test: half got a regular mailing with a link to complete the survey, and the other half also got an embedded AMP survey if their inbox supported it.

The AMP version got twice as many actions taken in total, with half coming from traditional clicks and half from AMP submissions.

Overall, we’re very excited to see how AMP can help with your organizing efforts, and we’re very interested in making it easier to learn and experiment. If you’d like any assistance with your AMP setup process, building out beautiful AMP emails that match your full brand aesthetic and take fuller advantage of what AMP can do, or testing and measuring results, get in touch!

  1. There’s conflicting information about it on the web:

    • suggests it’s required…

    • but Google says it’s “recommended” and “may be enforced in the future”…

    • but a popup in Gmail’s developer settings says “Emails must be SPF, DKIM and DMARC-authenticated,” and we’ve heard reports that AMP emails from a domain without DMARC don’t work at all, even in testing.

    It’s also unclear what level of DMARC implementation is required, if any. It’s possible that the existence of any DMARC policy at all may be sufficient — even a monitoring-only “p=none” configuration. ↩︎

  2. That might look like sending a handful of very simple AMP-enabled “sign the petition” mailings to a subset of your Gmail and Yahoo users; tracking what percentage of them registered as having interacted at all with the AMP email, via the core_amptap table; tracking what percentage of them clicked the sign button; and comparing those engagement rates against a similar membership slice that received an equivalent standard HTML mailing.

    You might also want to compare after-action behavior to see if HTML mailing recipients who acted from a web page (and thus land on your standard after-action redirects) are sharing and donating at a higher or lower rate than AMP action-takers.

    If you’re interested in longer-term tests, you might track whether people who interact with a couple of your AMP emails become significantly more likely to open future emails from you, and/or compare AMP recipients’ time-on-list vs a similar slice of non-AMP recipients. ↩︎

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