11 devilishly good Halloween marketing tactics to BOOst your KPIs

Halloween is fast approaching. That means two things:

  • The watershed will be brimming with grisly, gory, grotesquely gruesome movies. (Not my cup of tea; I prefer ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’.)
  • Brands will pepper their stores, websites, emails, and ad campaigns with jack-o’-lanterns, cobwebs, and many other devilish delights.

Halloween is a fun time for revelers. (I for one am glad that we live in a world with Octobers.) But that’s not to say it’s an easy ride. Carving a pumpkin is the last thing you want to do after leaving the office and battling the commute. Plus, who has time to decide on a fancy-dress costume when picking out an outfit for work is a tiresome daily struggle.

In the same vein, the build-up to Halloween is often a challenge for brands. Preparing the campaigns and crafting the right message can leave marketers distracted from their critical day-to-day activities. What’s more, October 31st is slap bang in the middle of crucial holiday planning for Black Friday and Christmas. But it’s worth it: in 2018 175 million Americans celebrated Halloween and collectively spent $9 billion dollars – a record of $86.79 per person.

Success takes tactful planning and a touch of creative flair.  

Enter us. To help you get the most out of Halloween, we’ve sourced 11 frightfully good ideas that will add some dark delight to your marketing campaigns.

1. Include a trick or treat in your Halloween emails

You’d be mad not to. This is a classic quick-win that every marketer should employ. Make trick or treat a game and inspire subscribers to play to win. Hide two separate offers behind their respective calls to action: trick or treat. Apple bobbing is another great example of gamifying your message.    

2. The devil is in the design

Go kitsch. Do cheesy. It’s Fall, so be cozy too. Adding a seasonal flavor to your design is a great way to bewitch customers – it makes your page or email more visually relevant. An autumnal angle on your shopfront emits warmth and nostalgia. Be loud and clear and informative. Be creative with color – if you need inspiration, just look outside.

Halloween Fall
Halloween autumn

3. Build the suspense

The leaves are falling and maybe your prices are too. Or perhaps you’ve developed a special spooky product line for a limited time only. Make some fun, and shout about it before it’s too late. We loved the creativity and urgency in this example from Lush Cosmetics:

Lush

4. Spook-ify your subject lines

Great Halloween subject lines should be creative, urgent, and specific. Embrace the cliché, because every other marketer will be. Here are some best-practice examples:

  • 🎃 Celebrate Halloween with our
    terrifyingly good offers
  • Spooky
    Savings – Up to 50% off
  • Style
    so good, it’s spooky.
  • Did
    you hear who won the skeleton race? No BODY!
  • Witch
    better have my candy
  • Autumn
    enchantment just for you
  • Send
    your Boos some love

5. Personalize the trick (or treat)

Personalization is the key to customer engagement and should be used from January to December, not just during the holidays. And that doesn’t just mean using a first name, either. You should include numerous relevancy points such as references to location, preferences, or a loyalty scheme. We loved Starbucks’ spooky ‘Broomates’ rewards email. The Halloween spirit really comes through with the Gothic type and ghoulish treats.

Personalization

6. Halloween is great storytelling

The history of Halloween is fascinating, so talk about it. Curate a story series on the history of Halloween that complements any promotional campaigns you’re running. But don’t overdo it on the copy. Simplify your story with iconography and don’t digress from what you’re trying to say.

Halloween storytelling

7. Everyone loves a Halloween freebie

Consumers are like trick-or-treaters – they expect free stuff. It doesn’t have to be anything substantial or super-lux. You can mask an everyday promotion under the guise of a spooky special offer. Over recent years, retailer Home Depot has slashed (no pun intended) 50% off select Halloween tableware. While last year All Bar One offered 2-4-1 on their devilishly fruity ‘Bat Bite’ cocktail during Halloween week, prompting people to download their app.

Spooky drinks

8. Right message, right time. Spooky, right?

Knowing your audiences is
important all year round. But at Halloween you’ll need to work out who your
personas are and how you can target them. 

Some might:

  • throw/attend a Halloween party
  • carve a pumpkin and make pie or soup
  • buy candy for trick-or-treaters
  • take their kids trick-or-treating

Sick or treat? Don’t forget not everyone celebrates Halloween; some
despise it and avoid it like the plague. Tapping in to their Halloween hatred
is a clever way to make sales.

You can use all of the above to
send a tailored marketing message that leads to a monster sales boost. According to the Halloween & Costume
Association
:

  • Over
    9 in 10 celebrants purchase candies
  • 70%
    spend money on decorations
  • Nearly
    7 in 10 buy costumes 
  • ¼
    of celebrants get greeting cards

So, give your time-strapped shoppers exactly what they want this October.

Halloween party treats

9. Don’t just be scary – be enchanting

For some Halloween is a creepy affair. For others it’s a snug time of year. Think foliage, squash, and conkers. Think crisp morning frosts and spiced Pumpkin lattes. So, dilute your fangtastic emails with Fall-inspired campaigns that focus more on the historical and seasonal characteristics of Halloween. 

Halloween enchantment

10. Put a spooky spin on retargeting ads  

Halloween is your opportunity to
turn something inherently negative into something fun. Svedka Vodka’s Halloween
curse campaign certainly had the creep factor, haunting and taunting users
wherever they went.

The eerie banners made fun of the persistent retargeting ads that follow us today. This time, the onslaught of digital ads wasn’t that vacuum cleaner you viewed 29 days ago but spooky prompts and scrummy Svedka Vodka cocktails.

Creepy ads

11. Halloween-ify your products

Anything can be Halloweeny; even a motorcycle. Make sure you bring your products to the forefront. Halloween is a great opportunity to present your offering in a different and more visually creative way.

Halloween products

Witch tactic will it be?

Witchever tactic you adopt, just be fun! Halloween is the perfect opportunity to engage dormant contacts and delight regular customers. It all comes down to giving them a good spook and making them laugh. Remember that embracing the season is competitive: Whether you put a Halloween spin on your products, re-skin your emails with a ghostly template, or tell chilling stories, your brand’s authenticity is what people will remember.


Get holiday-ready with Engagement Cloud. If you’re already a customer, check out more holiday content here!

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