Do you keep hearing about the benefits of email marketing, but have yet to see them? Here's how Fortune 500 companies win at email.

Email marketing has changed a lot over the years, but one thing remains the same: it works. Yet many companies still fail to connect with their audience through email. If email is such an effective marketing communication tool, why doesn’t it increase revenue for so many businesses? The answer may be found in your company’s approach to creating emails. Some of the world’s most valuable companies succeed by implementing very specific tactics. As we deconstruct the following emails, you will start to notice some recurring themes which can be used to help you increase sales with email marketing.

Other potential advantages of email marketing include:

  • Increased ROI
  • Increased Brand Loyalty
  • Increased Conversion Rates
  • Decreased Marketing Costs

Walmart: Timely and Familiar

Ranked #1 on the Fortune 500 list, Walmart has one of the most prestigious marketing teams. In 2018, the retail giant spent $3.1 billion on marketing related initiatives and earned $11.5 billion in U.S. eCommerce sales. According to MailCharts, a vital part of Walmart’s marketing strategy was sending highly targeted emails for cart abandoners and events, particularly holidays. The following image is Walmart’s New Year’s email.

How Walmart uses email design for email marketing


This email doesn’t look like a traditional email. Rather, it looks much more like a webpage than an email. Web designers tend to use familiar elements that help users easily navigate sites. Users feel comfortable with the conventions of a homepage, so why not bring the same familiarity to your emails?

Highly Targeted Segment

Segmenting users is nothing new but Walmart kicked it up a notch and created a highly targeted segment—people in need of New Year’s party supplies who recently visited Walmart’s website. Walmart harnesses the power of email segmentation to take advantage of a buyer need that only occurs once a year. This increases the chance of users clicking through to its website. Well played, Walmart.

Verizon: Mobile-Friendly Design

Verizon has honed in its email marketing campaigns to please the modern day consumer. Along with segmentation and multiple buyer journeys, Verizon has done a great job implementing mobile optimization and design. The email below is an example of Verizon’s email marketing.

How Verizon uses email design in email marketing

Mobile Optimization

Verizon is one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies and it knows its users are viewing emails on a mobile device. In a recent study, 40% of consumers claimed their smartphone was the main device used to check email. When creating an email for a mobile device, there is less space to convey your message. This can make the creation of mobile emails challenging. Verizon has done a great job of simplifying language and expressing value on a small screen. With mobile optimization, companies can increase the impact of their marketing initiatives by delivering emails where they are viewed the most—on mobile.


Great design has the power to influence by organizing the vital information in a logical manner. Notice the text hierarchy in the above visual? It makes the email easily digestible and the communication clear. The imagery used is crisp and simple, making the product itself the centerpiece of the offering.

Amazon: Clear and Concise

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, is an eCommerce savant. In the span of two decades, he has transformed the eCommerce landscape. With one of the world’s largest product offerings, Amazon sells to customers with a wide range of interests. Amazon tailors each email for its various customer segments to include only offers that would appeal to them. Here’s what we can learn from Amazon’s email marketing:

How Amazon uses email design in email marketing

Have a Clear Value Proposition

Having a clear value proposition will help you increase sales. This Amazon email gets straight to the point and explains its benefit.

Save up to 80% on Holiday Clearance
The subject line for this email, ‘Save up to 80% on Holiday Clearance’, gets straight to the point and keeps the value proposition clear. The offer is quite juicy—who wouldn’t want an 80% discount? Inbox real estate is competitive and user attention is limited. A clear value proposition improves the customer’s comprehension of the offer and enhances customer focus.

Sense of Urgency

This email presents the opportunity to buy excess holiday inventory at a discounted rate. It creates a sense of urgency for users to take advantage of the deal, increasing the potential to complete the sale. The clearance sale is only while supplies last so users are compelled to purchase immediately because supply is scarce.

Use These Email Marketing Tactics

  • Highly Targeted Segments: Most of these emails deliver on an immediate need. The need could be last-minute party supplies or a screaming deal. In both cases, these emails cultivate a sense of urgency which motivates users to take a desired action. Pinpoint the timeframe in which your audience will need the product and send your email then.
  • Design: These emails are clean, easy to navigate, and have high-resolution imagery and clear text hierarchy. Make sure your emails offer a great user experience.
  • Sense of Urgency: Time-sensitive language compels users to take immediate action. Create a sense of scarcity by making the offer or supply limited.
  • Clear Value Proposition: These top retailers get straight to the point with simple and clear messaging. Don’t beat around the bush and make it difficult to understand what the true benefit of your offer is. Replicate Amazon’s email marketing tactic and make your value proposition clear.

Looking to take your email marketing campaign to the next level? Check out our Revolutionary Guide to eCommerce Email Marketing.

Email images and data were sourced from MailCharts.

About The Author

Luke Wester

Luke Wester is Miva’s Digital Marketing Analyst. With a creative agency and digital publishing background, Luke brings a fresh approach to content creation. He combines copywriting, SEM, SEO, and social media expertise to discover the ideal marketing mix for optimal campaign performance.

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