Email design review: Nike

by | Wed 4 Sep, 19


Email design review: nike

It’s clear to see Nike take their design seriously, and visually this email looks great, but is it practical? Look how far you have the travel down before you see some actual copy, what’s the email about? Layers I presume?

Email design review: nike

The email itself, although looking visually appealing, doesn’t do much for selling the product/s. In Nike’s case, this point is moot, as they don’t sell on price, they sell on the strength of their brand identity. Arguably the Nike Swoosh is up there with the Apple ‘apple’ and the McDonald’s golden arches. Therefore, similarly to Apple, promoting price is not a factor, they are selling brand values and desirability.

Email design review: nike

Less is more, don’t clutter your headers. The simple Nike Swoosh without obvious links, text, preview text, view in browser links and menu items leave the eye drawn to the logo and main hero image.

I’ve drawn an arrow down to the first call to action, which as you can see is WAY down the email, which is not best practice. There is an invisible fold line in email as there is in web, this is around the 350-400px mark, and indicates the point where people will need to scroll to see more. This email is a very bad example of this!Email design review: nike

Email design review: nike

There is a desire to use images to replace text in your emails. I understand the argument… You can have the fonts you want, the layout is fixed (albeit not mobile friendly unless you image-swap), but before you drool with excitement, hold fire. Images weigh down the email, making it slower to load, and bare in mind you have a mere few seconds to grab attention when someone opens an email before they get bored.

On brand

Nike’s website is not similar to the email, besides the photography (streets, parks, demographic audience in photos, and shots of their products used throughout). That said, being such a huge brand, there could be sections of their website that are a closer match to the email, as they likely change the design according to their products and target demographics (street, sport etc).

Email design review: nike


The second page shows the structure of the email. The blue lines indicating the tables that make up the email layout. If you start at the top of the page you’ll see there isn’t much going on, and this is partly down to the email being 99% image-based. It’s only when you get to the footer that they rely on HTML tables and coded text.

Email design review: nike

Most email geeks get lost in the development world, or the email design world. The developers get lost in complex layouts and spend hours on testing, whereas email designers get lost in the visual, whether it’s practical or not. This email is very much the latter.

Images turned off

Here you can see what the email looks like with images toggled (turned off). As you can see, the layout of the email is super simple, but without the photography, it just doesn’t work. The email looks pretty bad. ?

Email design review: nike

Now, before you criticise Nike for this, consider this. Most of the ‘images turned off’ issue is an MS Outlook problem, and how many Nike customers use Outlook? I don’t know this factoid, but my guess is not many. I guess they are Apple Mac users, so the issue is void. Studies show around 60% of people read emails on mobiles, and with Nike i guess this is accurate, if not higher. Hence my concern over the mobile rendering!

Subject line

Email design review: nike

The subject line represents the content within, and is vague enough to get you in to see what’s within. This 6-word subject line does not include any personalisation, and it doesn’t use emojis, but i guess this wouldn’t be a good fit for their brand.


MailNinja arrow down

Join 25,000+ marketers — Subscribe to blog alerts ⚡


Subscribe to blog alerts ⚠️

[fluentform id="24"]