Lessons to learn from Nike's email marketing

Email marketing isn’t obsolete. It remains one of the core pillars of digital marketing, helping your business convert sales and build stronger customer relationships.

Don’t believe us? Just ask Nike — one of the world’s most lucrative and recognizable brands, that routinely ranks among the Fortune 500.

Nike relies heavily on email marketing. According to Mailcharts, the swoosh brand sends around 3.7 emails every week to their customers, ranging from their welcome series to purchaser and cart abandonment notifications.

In this article, we will go through the different emails sent by Nike.

Welcome email

Nike’s welcome email is very informative and straight to the point, yet remains true to the brand’s tone and style. The email starts off with a simple “Thank you for joining us” headline (similar to the email subject line).

Next, a fast-paced animated image is placed in the center of the email, followed by 4 main action steps that the subscriber can do next.

Thanks for joining us on Nike.com

Nike welcome email

This actionable approach is helpful to the subscriber: it explains to them what they can/should do to fully benefit from the brand.

But the welcome email doesn’t stop there. Nike strives to collect data about new subscribers. The “Let’s celebrate your birthday” block is both enticing to the subscriber and beneficial to the brand that will refine their user data and improve email personalization down the line.

Finally, Nike promotes their mobile app before going full circle and closing the email with a thank you message.

Collect data from your customers

As mentioned in the welcome email, Nike likes to collect data. Data is not only crucial for email personalization. But it also helps the brand better understand their customers and perfectly time birthday emails.

Nike regularly sends out emails asking subscribers for their birth dates.

Weve got a birthday gift for you


Same email example with a different subject line and color palette.

Whens your birthday? We got you a gift.


And once Nike collects their subscriber’s birth date, they follow through with a fun Happy birthday email and a generous discount. This makes the personal information subscribers shared with Nike worthwhile, and increases their trust in the brand.

A birthday gift for you—20% off

birthday email from nike

👉 Read more | Full guide to birthday email marketing

Promotional emails

Promotional emails are a must for every e-commerce and retailer. Nike usually sends the same style promotional email template.

Find your fast


Nike’s promotional emails usually highlight one main product. The email starts off with a high-quality product image, followed by a detailed (somewhat technical) description of the product, and a series of close-up shots of the sneaker.

Of course, finished off with a simple “Shop” button.

Nike’s promotional email closely resembles the experience shoppers have inside a physical Nike store. The HD product shots reassure the customer and entice them to go through with the purchase, as if they were examining the shoe in real life.

Seasonal and holiday email marketing campaigns

Just like most brands out there, Nike takes full advantage of the holidays. During the main holidays (Christmas, Black Friday, Easter, Mother’s day, etc.), people are wired to shop. Let’s see how Nike managed their Mother’s day email campaign.

This year (2021), Nike’s first mother’s day email was sent on April 28th. The email didn’t mention any mother’s day sales. However, it provided a list of looks (what Nike calls Select) matching mommy and daughter outfits.

Selected x Lanie and Bowie


The next email was sent on April 30th. This email mentions Mother’s day clearly and explicitly. It starts with a beautiful illustration followed by a smart headline: Skip the slippers. The email copy calls out people who default to gifting slippers and robes to their mom for mother’s day. Nike provides them with an easy and timeless alternative.

Make Moms Day Every Day


Sent on May 8th, the next Mother’s day email sent by Nike promotes a completely different gift idea. As seen below, the email provides a last-minute gift card for subscribers who missed their chance to order some sneakers or Nike sweatpants.

Send mom a digital gift card


The beautiful gift card illustration, accompanied by a short description and an actionable CTA, makes for a great promotional email.

Sent on May 9th, the final Mother’s day email sent by Nike uses the same illustration style we’ve seen throughout the campaign. However, we’ve learned that Nike doesn’t send the same email message twice.

First, they started with a style guide, next they promoted their sneakers, then came their online gift card. And finally, the brand put together a video guide featuring moms!

Nikes Mothers Day Guide for Mom


Nike knows how to leave an impact. The brand’s strategy is to diversify messages and goals within the same campaign, in order to increase the chances of conversions. And speak to many different customers at once.

Purchase and order confirmation emails

Nike sends out a standard order confirmation email:

  • Confirmation of order
  • Expected delivery date
  • Package tracking
  • Order number for reference

nike order confirmation email

How does optimizing post-purchase emails help drive further business?

The average email receives an open rate between 15-25%, with a click-through rate of just 2.5%. Email receipts, on the other hand, tend to have a more favorable open rate given the nature of the content — this is a fantastic opportunity to drive further sales because more people are digesting the email.

Hot this week emails

Each week, Nike sends out an email newsletter with a selection of the hot products of the week.

Hot this week: Waffle Racer, Blazer, and more


The email template is pretty basic. No visuals or product images. Simply email headers and content descriptions. Maybe because it’s easier for the marketing teams to put together product newsletters faster, or automate the process. It might also be a choice made to avoid broken emails on certain email clients.

Whatever the reason, Nike’s “Hot this week” emails look very basic and don’t really entice subscribers to purchase.

What can a back-in-stock email do for your business?

By having customers sign-up to receive a notification when a certain product or service is unavailable, you’re creating a potential sale opportunity later down the line when you restock. Plus, you keep interested buyers connected with your brand, which is a great opportunity to tailor similar products to their buying habits.

Wrapping up

Email marketing is one of the main pillars of marketing, allowing you to establish an omnichannel process where your brand can be more connected with its audience on all fronts.

For Nike, its email campaigns are more important (and effective) than ever because it maintains a point of contact which is otherwise lost in the vast expanse of eCommerce.

Digest this guide and learn from what Nike has to teach about email marketing.