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February 19, 2024 - Articles

Email Peeps 36: Eric Lepetit


What attracted you to email marketing, and how did you get to where you are today?

It’s a long story with a mix of hard work, opportunities and luck – but I’ll make it short. Though my college years focused on marketing and business, my passion for technology has always simmered. My early exposure to computers (think Apple II!) and a dad who developed medical softwares laid the groundwork. Combining this tech background with my marketing and web development skills, I landed at Lyris, an email service provider (now Aurea). From there, I moved on to other ESPs before joining Nest in 2012 as their pioneering email developer. Nest’s integration into Google led me to my current role, leading the Email Engineering team at Google Store.

What’s your favorite email code hack?

I jumped early on the interactive emails train so my favorite email hack will always be the punched card coding technique that Mark Robbins brought to email. It’s magic: It allows to create complex functionality without JavaScript. This basically uses a large number of radio buttons (:checked) to hide, show or change elements styles based on a user action. I will always remember his early talks where he was going through slides on that topic to reveal at the end that the whole presentation was in fact built in an email using the same technique he was talking about… simply brilliant.

What’s your process for designing and building interactive AMP emails?

It’s a very standard process with planning, concept, development and testing phases. What differs from static email processes though is that we focus on fine tuning the user experience. To me it’s never really about how we do it from a technical standpoint but more about why we do it. It’s about providing value to the user – for example facilitating the purchase process by enabling add to cart directly in the email, showcasing product features, …
At some point in the process we often build a prototype to validate the desired outcome. We look at things like 

  • Intuitiveness: Interactivity shouldn’t feel like a puzzle! Ensuring intuitive design in interactive emails is crucial since they’re still relatively new territory for users. We need to make interactions feel natural and instinctive, helping them understand “what can I do here?” instantly.
  • Usability to ensure the feature is easy to use and interact with
  • Performance (e.g latency) to ensure a seamless and frictionless experience. Users can interact immediately, without lag or bugs, leading to increased satisfaction and engagement

 I feel very lucky to have a team of highly skilled engineers who always figure things out!

What’s in your email marketing toolbox?

Mine is pretty simple.


  • 16” MacBook Pro
  • Additional 20” Monitor
  • All the latest Google Pixel phones
  • An iPhone 12


  • Photoshop
  • Figma
  • Sublime
  • Litmus
  • A plethora of Google tools / systems
  • Spotify

Note that the Ps4 is my son’s, not mine – I am not really a gamer. Honestly the best part of my desk is the view 🙂

What’s your favorite email campaign of all time? Why?

Definitely the Lego Bionicle interactive email!  It was built by Alice Li who is now Principal Email Engineer at Zillow and I believe was the very first interactive email I came across (Circa 2015). This email is the very reason why I decided to start building interactive emails. I spent hours (more like days actually) reverse engineering this email to understand the mechanics of it. It was such a different user experience from all the emails I had ever seen! I strongly believe that constraints drive creativity and this was a perfect example.

Beyond impactful projects, I’m incredibly proud of the interactive emails we’ve built at Google Store. These emails push the boundaries of traditional email marketing, bringing a seamless shopping experience right to subscribers’ inboxes.

Take the Pixel Buds Add To Cart email as a prime example. 

This email doesn’t just showcase the product – it lets subscribers engage directly with it.

Here’s how it works:

  • Choose your color: Subscribers can easily select their preferred Pixel Buds color with a tap or click, no need to leave the email. 
  • Pick your quantity: Want one pair or two? The built-in quantity selector lets subscribers adjust their purchase directly within the email. 
  • See your total: As they personalize their selection, the email dynamically updates the total price, providing instant transparency.
  • One-click checkout: Clicking “Add To Cart” takes them straight to the Google Store checkout page with their chosen items already waiting. 

This interactive experience doesn’t just look cool, it delivers results. By streamlining the purchase process and making it engaging, the Pixel Buds Add To Cart email converts subscribers into buyers more efficiently than traditional static emails.

What are some simple ways that marketers can add interactivity to their emails?

“Interactivity” can be a slippery term. True interactivity involves a two-way street, where systems or users respond and influence each other. Animated GIFs, for example, are one-way content – captivating, yes, but not interactive.

But fear not, marketers! AMP 4 email opens the door to truly interactive experiences. Built-in components like forms, carousels, accordions, and forms let you quickly add polls, quizzes, and even shopping features. And if that’s not enough, the playground is wide open for custom elements – your imagination is the limit! At Google Store, we’ve seen fantastic engagement with interactive AMP emails for product launches.

I know you have a busy job, kids, and play in a band, how do you manage work-life balance?

“Work-life balance?” Hmmmm… Honestly, it hasn’t always been my strong suit. But I’m learning. Setting boundaries and prioritizing time with my family and shared moments have been key in the last few years. 

Staying healthy also plays a big role – Trying to maintain 4 workouts a week and some meditation keeps me grounded. And finally, having an outlet like music is crucial. No matter where we live – San Francisco, LA, now St. Pete, FL – I’ve made playing in a band a way to recharge and express myself. My latest band is a 90s rock cover band I just put together, 90 Surge (Instagram / Facebook). We just had our first show last Friday and it was a blast! More to come…

Much love,

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @emaillove


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