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Cover image for Here’s how start-ups can send emails like Nike

Here’s how start-ups can send emails like Nike

ionorah14 profile image Laura O. Tolentino ・5 min read

A universal truth among start-ups is that a great product is not enough to succeed. You also need a great marketing strategy. Since email marketing is 40 times more effective than social media at customer acquisition, you won’t be surprised to learn we feel that emails should be a part of that strategy.

Look at the marketing strategy of some of the most recognizable and valuable brands on the planet, like Nike, and you’ll see that they understand this too. “But we’re not Nike,” I can already hear you saying, pointing to your finite resources and lean marketing team.

Here’s the thing: when it comes to great email, size doesn’t matter. Companies with limited resources can still scale their email marketing with the right tools and approach. Read on to learn what makes an email effective, and how you craft an email strategy that will impress and engage your customers.

What makes Nike’s emails so good?

Great emails don’t happen in a vacuum; they’re part of a brand ecosystem. Nike’s email strategy is aligned with their mission and vision statements, which are clear and purposeful. Their customers are self-described athletes; Nike’s purpose is to bring “inspiration and innovation” to them.

Their emails get results because they understand who the customer is and what they want, and every communication flows naturally from that core purpose.

How do you translate that understanding into an email strategy? Here’s a breakdown of Nike’s formula for success:

● Strong brand voice. Whether you’re reading a promotional email, a purchase confirmation, or a customer service message, Nike’s emails have a distinct, recognizable voice. It’s informal, positive, friendly, active, and direct.

● Clean, minimal design. Their emails are sleek, with streamlined messaging and plenty of white space. The style and formatting is consistent from one email to the next, which builds familiarity and brand recognition with every interaction. At the bottom of each email are links to and their product categories for men, women and children, inviting subscribers to explore the website.

● Seamless cross-platform experience. When you click through a link to Nike’s website, you’ll find the same visual experience and brand voice— there’s no jarring transition from one to the next. Nike understands that the customer journey doesn’t begin and end in the inbox, and aligns the look and feel of every platform for a holistic shopping experience.

● Personalized. Email content is tailored to subscribers, with product recommendations and offers that reflect their preferences and interests. New subscribers are asked for their birth dates and gender, data that give Nike a starting point for delivering on-point content, like an annual birthday discount.

Screenshot from Really Good Emails

● Strategically transactional. Nike makes great use of transactional emails that are triggered by user actions, like signing up for their email list, making a purchase, or abandoning a shopping cart. These are extremely effective: transactional emails have open rates that are 69% higher than other marketing campaigns (nice).

● Clear CTAs. Each email has a simple, direct call-to-action. This is helpful for driving sales, but also ensures each email has a purpose— no inbox clutter.

● Mobile-friendly. Nike emails are optimized for mobile as well as desktop displays, so that they look equally sharp on every screen.

● Cool features. For select campaigns, Nike dials up the presentation. The sleek, editorial shots of their training collection are enhanced by interactive rollover effects that provide product details, which is neat but not overbearing.

How to scale your email strategy with minimal resources

The strengths above can be distilled into three categories of excellence: quality, consistency and specificity. And fortunately, none of those are out of reach for your start-up, as long as you have the right tools and a savvy approach.

Dyspatch is an email builder that lets your team create beautiful emails that are personalized, interactive and responsive. Best of all, it’s code free, so you don’t need to spend valuable developer time perfecting each email. Here’s how it can help you achieve peak email performance:


Dyspatch is designed for cross-functional collaboration, which is key to quality control. Maintain the level of excellence that Nike offers by ensuring the right people on your team can review copy, product details, and brand elements, all in one place. No need to circulate endless versions for approval, either: use annotated comments and feedback to quickly gather feedback, then fine-tune and perfect emails before sending.

You can even add interactive content, like videos or image carousels, which not only impress customers but also increase engagement. Built-in fallbacks ensure that customers viewing on an email platform that doesn’t support interactive content won’t know they’re missing anything. No coding or design expertise necessary, thanks to our content blocks..


It’s easy to design an email that looks amazing as long as it’s viewed with the right email provider, in the right browser, on the right screen, during the right phase of the moon. But Dyspatch uses integrated Litmus testing across multiple email providers, so you can check for mobile-friendliness and make sure your email looks great for every user.

Consistency applies to the individual elements within an email too. Ensuring the same brand voice and design elements is hard if you’re crafting every email from scratch, where inconsistencies and errors can multiply with each version like a game of Telephone. By using pre-approved modular content blocks in Dyspatch, you can easily swap and recombine email elements with confidence. Save and store templates to generate new campaigns quickly and easily.


Nike’s personalized emails are integral to their success, building customer loyalty and keeping their subscribers engaged over the long term. Emails that feel random or generic are easy to ignore; people want to feel seen and valued. With Dyspatch, you can integrate customer insights and data to generate the offers and transactional emails your customers want to receive.

Ready to put that customer data to use? One major advantage that Dyspatch provides is the ability to easily integrate your customer data to create highly customized emails to increase engagement and sales. Dyspatch also lets you localize your email templates to communicate with every customer in their corresponding time zone, language, and currency. Translating content for global audiences is a breeze, with over 180 supported languages.

Ready to take your email strategy to new heights? Check out the Dyspatch platform and find out how it can work for your start-up.

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