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Nike, Sephora & Whole Foods: What They’re Doing Right in Email Marketing

In recent years, many email messages have been replaced by Tweets and status updates, even Snapchats as a form of digital media marketing for businesses.

However, email marketing is still one of the best and most cost-effective ways of digital marketing. And of informing clients of new products and generating repeat sales. Over 205 billion emails are sent daily. Email marketing outperforms SEO, PPC and content marketing. Strategies have changed over the years, though. What worked well only five years ago doesn’t work today. Creating likable, relatable and concise content for your email marketing campaigns can be difficult. But effort placed in this marketing strategy has benefits which include increased open rates and click-through rates. As well as revenue per email.

How Nike, Sephora, and Whole Foods are Changing What Consumers Think of Email Marketing

Nike, Sephora, and Whole Foods are three major brands that have successfully created email marketing campaigns that work. They focus on simple methods that make it easy for customers to sign up. To get the content they are interested in. And unsubscribe if needed without any hassle. Here we will take a closer look at the email marketing campaigns for these brands. So that we can gain an understanding of why they are so successful.


From the very start of the email signup process, Nike takes the consumer’s time into consideration. Signing up for their emails is very simple and in return, the customer receives all the latest news and special promotions from the brand. You only need to provide them with your email address, zip code, date of birth and gender. While signing up, Nike lets you know that they will not share your Information with anyone, providing you with peace of mind.

Users receive a welcome email when they sign up and can expect promotional emails during special occasions such as holidays, new summer or winter inventory, graduation and other events where a deal on a new pair of Nike shoes could be useful. Nike’s approach to unique campaigns and partnerships with other brands make their emails more interesting to read when compared to the usual bland emails with coupon codes.


Sephora has managed to set themselves apart from all the rest when it comes to email marketing. More customers will take the time to open their emails and pay attention to the content from Sephora than any other cosmetics brand.

If you are not familiar with the brand, Sephora is a French chain that offers cosmetics and beauty items from 100 different brands. They sell around 13,000 different products for both men and women. There are currently 1,300 Sephora stores throughout the world with 300 located in the United States.

Sephora’s email marketing strategy works because they share a lot of information in a short and sweet email message. Their emails often include vivid and colorful images that are sure to gain their subscriber’s attention. They offer a Very Important Beauty Insider rewards program for customers to participate in as well. Information on rewards and current points available are all included in Sephora’s emails.

Whole Foods

Whole Foods is a popular U.S. supermarket chain that started in 1980. There are more than 400 stores located in the United States, Canada, and the U.K. They are the largest retailer of organic foods and the 5th largest public food retailer.

To make their email marketing technique work, Whole Foods focuses on the current needs of its target audience. Which includes individuals and families whose income is above the national average. Their audience also includes those who are dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle.  And those who live in sub-urban or upscale metro areas.

The customers who sign up for Whole Foods emails usually are not looking for coupons or special deals. However, the brand is now starting to target a new type of customers by reaching out to millennials. Whole Foods has changed up their approach to focus on the needs of this group. New college graduates who are concise about saving money and paying off student loans. The brand has also opened a new line of stores to cater to the needs of those who are on a budget.

How to Create a Successful Email Marketing Strategy for Your Own Company

Nike, Sephora, and Whole Foods have all managed to be successful with their email marketing by using several techniques. But there are more things that you should consider before you start to work on an email marketing plan of your own.

Analyzing the Data

Understanding your customers and personalizing your marketing efforts can help your brand stand out. The two key datasets commonly used for personalization are demographics and behavior. These are areas were companies like Nike have thrived. In one email campaign, Nike used its demographic data to customize the image and font for men and women. This simple strategy allowed them to promote new releases to a very targeted audience.  They combined this with discounts targeted to each demographic. And they were able to increase click-through rates and generate additional sales revenue.

Whole Foods has been very successful in email marketing by using appealing color themes. By announcing big sales. And by getting the community involved through various healthy activities their customer base enjoys.

Behavioral data is all about understanding your customers and your products. If two products are frequently purchased together and a customer only purchases one, a targeted email promoting the other product or service can help turn that missed opportunity into additional revenue. So, learning your customer’s interests by asking them to share their preferences and tracking their purchase history is a good way to start using behavioral data to increase engagement and sales.

Web Content Development is an expert in email marketing. Our staff has 20 years of marketing experience and all the tools needed to help your business achieve a high ROI. Contact us today to learn more about how email marketing can help your business.

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About the Author

Erica D’Arcangelo – De Silva

Erica D’Arcangelo – De Silva has worked in the Internet marketing industry for the last 20-years. Erica is the top-secret SEO weapon to marketing and advertising agencies in the world. She has generated over 300+ million in revenue for high-value brands such as Walmart, Pottery Barn, iRobot, Cutting Edge Firewood, Kelley Blue Book, and many more. Erica has custom-created more than 1,000 content, SEO, and marketing strategies which held the key to doubling and tripling online traffic, and marketing ROI. She has also authored a series of online publications including The Digital Branding Survival Guide, Million Dollar Marketing, 5 Steps to Increase Web Traffic by Blogging, and Repairing Your Online Reputation.