A Halloween Email Goodie Bag for Marketers

an image of a haunted house on a hill with bats flying away from it

It’s that time of year again.

Pumpkin spice is in the air. Candy corn is singing its sweet siren song to you from the office candy jar. Your neighbor’s kid Joey is digging deep graves in his front yard in a bid at winning the block’s spookiest Halloween house war. But you’re starting to worry he might throw his parents in there.

Oh, and, as an email marketer, you’ve got to come up with a quirky/fun/elegant/corny Halloween email campaign that will kick off the fall and winter holidays with a bang.

Like the chocolate coating on M&Ms, we’ve got you covered. From sample Halloween subject lines to design and email copy templates, this Halloween goodie bag of a blog post has everything you need to make your Halloween email marketing spooktacularly awesome. 

🎃 Halloween Stats

The U.S. National Retail Federation estimated Halloween spending for 2018 to be $9 billion. The number of people celebrating Halloween in the U.S. hit 175 million, with Halloween spending per person coming in around $86.13.

In recent years, this holiday’s popularity has spread outside the U.S., as well. As of 2016, a little less than half of all U.K. consumers were spending money on Halloween. This represents a huge growth in celebrating this holiday – given that it was still considered exclusively an American tradition as recently as the 1970s.

Spooky Subject Lines

When it comes to Halloween subject lines, the zanier and (candy) cornier, the better.

Even if your branding is somewhat formal, Halloween is a time when almost anything goes. Include Halloween-themed keywords, and don’t be afraid to use Halloween sales puns – no one can resist a bit of Halloween cheese! Of course, all the usual subject line rules apply.

This means keeping your subject line short. It should be between 30 and 60 characters, with the most important information appearing in the first 38 characters. Another subject-line best practice is to use personalization.

Finally, an obvious point, but one that some forget. Make it clear it’s a Halloween email!

The holiday itself – with its impending deadline – creates a sense of urgency. This is what you’re tapping into by creating a Halloween email campaign.

Let your subscribers know you’re writing to them because Halloween is coming. Either use the word itself in your subject line or use phrases and vocabulary evocative of the holiday. (Check out this awesome word list for some unusually good ideas.)

Go for One of These Eerie but Playful Subject Lines

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick cheat sheet with eerie Halloween email subject lines:

  • Bewitching Deals for You
  • Ha-ha-halloween Costumes
  • I Witch You a Happy Halloween
  • No Tricks, Just Treats
  • It Would Be Scary To Miss This!
  • We’re Soo Pump(kin)ed About This Free Gift
  • These Offers are UnBOOlievable
  • Don’t Miss These Spooktacular Offers!
  • Looking for Halloween Treats? 🍬 We Promise This Isn’t a Trick
  • Drop-Dead Halloween Specials Unavailable Elsewhere
  • KILLER Deals You Don’t Want to Miss This Halloween!
  • We Have Some SpoOooOooOoky Savings You Won’t Want to Miss
  • Check out these KILLER deals! 🔪 These savings are SCARY!
  • Witch Deal is the Best? THIS DEAL!
  • Take Advantage of These Devilish Deals – THIS WEEK ONLY
  • Happy Halloween! Get Creepy With Us!
  • BOO!!! Did We Scare You With These Upcoming Sales?
  • Witch Way to the Money-Saving Deals? This Way!
  • Deals So Good You’ll Scream 😱
  • Savings So Steep They Will Haunt Your Dreams
  • Frighteningly Wicked Savings This Week Only
  • Buying a Costume for Yourself and Your BOO?
  • Haunt Your House With These Discounted Halloween Decor Items
🎃 Spookify Your From Name

Instead of sending emails from “Company” (Never do this! It’s scarily depersonalized😱) or the usual “Gary from Company, Inc.,” come up with a friendly or corny name to appear in your recipients’ mailboxes.

Try some simple alliteration like “Ghostly Gary” or a portmanteau like “ZomBen.” There’s a culture of bloggers and authors changing their Twitter handles to spooky names for October.

Take inspiration from the creative world and dream up your own spooky handle. It’ll get your readers to crack a smile and make your campaign stand out in the inbox.

Test Your Subject Line

Not sure which subject line will give you the best open rate and click-through rate (CTR)? Test the subject line and choose the best-performing version. Brainstorm a whole slew of subject lines with your team. Pick the top two and let your email marketing service discover which performs better.

Have a top three instead of a top two? While most email tools offer just two variants for testing, Newsletter2Go offers three variants of each trait. Test them all! Learn more about how to get started with A/B testing.


Devilish Design

As soon as the user opens your email, they should know it’s Halloween. The email’s whole look needs to scream Halloween!

To pull off the perfect Halloween email design, adapt your campaign design to your customers’ ghoulish expectations. You could change your color scheme entirely, or keep it simple with a few subtly placed images. Typical Halloween colors include:

  • White and gray – for ghosts, ghouls and spider webs!
  • Red – for blood and gore!
  • Orange – for pumpkins!
  • Black – for witches, darkness and spooky shadows!

If you prefer to stick to your corporate colors, jazz up your email with some Halloween decor instead. A cobweb here, a pumpkin there. A few simple touches can transform your typical email campaign. From witches and ghosts to zombies and skeletons, let your imagination roam free!

Halloween Images

There are many different ways to set the Halloween mood with images. It doesn’t have to all be blood and gore. From candy and kids in adorable costumes to freaky makeup to twee witch boots. Do any of these Halloween images for email match your branding and your campaign goals?

(If so, snag them. They’re royalty-free.) Or find the right image directly in our software thanks to our Unsplash integration.

Halloween Emojis

Insert a few seasonal emojis into your emails for added effect. Emojis in a subject line serve as eye-catchers in the inbox.

Use them in email copy as colorful punctuation or bullet points.

🎃 Jack-o-lantern
😱 The Scream
💀 Skull
😈 Smiling Devil
👻 Ghost
🧛 Vampire
👿 Angry Devil
🧠 Brain
🦴 Bone
🔪 Knife
☠ Skull & Xbones

🤡 Clown Face
👹 Ogre
👺 Goblin
👽 Alien
🤖 Robot
🧙 Magician
🦸 Superhero
🤘 Sign of the Horns
🍫 Chocolate Bar
🍬 Candy
🍭 Lollipop

Halloween Email Templates

Don’t have time to work on the layout of your Halloween marketing campaign?

Sign up for a Newsletter2Go account and chose from one of our predesigned Halloween newsletter templates below.

3 halloween email templates next to each other
🎃 A Halloween Call-to-Action (CTA)

This is a big one. Halloween comes with a deadline. Make the most of that! Keep your CTAs short and exploit FOMO (fear of missing out) in the text around your call to action.

Some Halloween Email Tricks up Your Sleeve

Not sure what kind of Halloween emails to send?

The best Halloween campaigns simultaneously generate excitement for the holiday and for your brand or products.

Try this: Pumpkin-spice up your promotional emails with some fun tricks. Grow brand awareness around the holiday with a stellar Halloween newsletter. Run a giveaway to boost your social media presence. Whatever your goal, we’ve got campaigns and copy for you to nab.

When planning your Halloween campaigns, remember the basics of effective email marketing, too:

Trick-or-Treat Campaigns

One of the most popular Halloween traditions: trick or treat!

The truth that every teeny trick-or-treater knows is that that catchphrase means one thing and one thing only: treats. Tricks are never part of the deal.

So give your shoppers what their inner trick-or-treater wants: a special treat.

  • A personalized discount code gives the reader a good reason to open your email
  • A free gift with purchase is an especially good treat
  • You could even run a trick-or-treat contest. Try including a Halloween riddle – if a customer tweets or emails you with the correct answer, they win an extra prize

Halloween Countdown

A clock set to run out has proven effectiveness. It creates a sense of urgency and convinces customers to make the most of your Halloween deals.

Set up a countdown and help your subscribers keep track of how long left until Halloween.

Again, you can have a bit of fun with this. Instead of writing “10 Days Left Until Halloween,” try a subject line like “🧠 10 Days to Go ‘til the Zombie Apocalypse!🧠 ”

Halloween Newsletter

Want to send holiday greetings to stay top of mind with your subscribers and grow your brand awareness?

Send out a Halloween newsletter and fill it with relevant content. Possible Halloween newsletter ideas:

  • Halloween makeup tips for the beauty industry
  • An autumnal pumpkin soup recipe for food or cooking-related industries
  • DIY costume advice for retail that can be converted into costumes, from hardware stores to fabrics
  • General Halloween trivia for any industry. Simply Google some fun facts and include them as a “Did you know …?” feature

Sample Halloween Email Sales Copy

Need more Halloween inspiration? Steal the copy and look from these multi-email promotional campaigns.

Campaign Copy for Promotional Halloween Sale

Campaign Launch: Early or late September
Campaign Content: Upcoming sales, promotional deals and Halloween discounts
Number of Emails: 3
Advantages: Promote last-minute Halloween sales; drive return customers; help new customers finalize a purchase

A dark-themed Halloween email reading: Send in September to kick-off campaign Subject line: BOO!!! Did We Scare You With These Upcoming Sales? Preview text: Take advantage of these spooktacular Halloween discounts Greetings, George! With Halloween just around the corner, we want to offer you killer deals you simply can’t resist! After all, going all out for Halloween doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg … no pun intended, we think? Don’t let your next Halloween gathering or celebration let you down. Stand out from the crowd in any costume your spooky side desires. From glitter and fake blood to handcuffs, realistic wigs and medieval garb – we’ve got you covered from head to toe. Do you plan to make an entrance at your upcoming Halloween costume as a monster, a zombie or even an infamous serial killer? Do you want to leave a lasting impression with high-quality makeup effects and accessories? We have everything you need and more to make this Halloween a celebration you won’t forget any time soon. Our Halloween savings are out of this world! Receive 15, 25, or even 40% off your entire purchase before 10/27 to maximize your savings with us this year! BOO-tiful Savings and More! Get ready for an eerily unforgettable Halloween with a killer costume and savings so steep they’re scary! We can’t wait for you to receive your tricks and treats! Start your Halloween shopping before the boo-tiful spooktacular deals are all gone! Your favorite Halloween shop, Harry, Owner Haunted Harry’s Halloween Haven
A dark-themed Halloween sales mailing that reads, Send in early October, 15 days before campaign ends Subject Line: It’s SpOoOoOoKy How Fast Time is Running Out! Preview Text: Take advantage of serious savings just in time for Halloween We’ve missed you, George! But, we definitely do NOT want you to miss out on this deal, especially so close to Halloween! All our Halloween costumes, accessories and home decor items are between 25–40% off. Just in time for the holiday. Don’t think twice. This can add up to some massive savings, especially if you have plans to purchase Halloween accessories and decor for next year. However, even if you’re planning for the present year, you still have 15 days left to place your order to receive your item(s) just in time for this year's Halloween bash! In need of more than just one item? Shop NOW and save on shipping costs while combining discounts to maximize your savings. Through Halloween, simply pay the shipping for one item only, regardless of the number of items you purchase. Shop Now Before It’s Too Late! Promotion Ends 10/27 Stay spooky, Harry, Owner Haunted Harry’s Halloween Haven
A Halloween email sales campaign that reads, Send out 5 days before campaign ends Subject Line: Don’t Be Scared, But You’re Almost Out of Time! Preview Text: It’s not too late for Ha-Ha-Halloween discounts! George, We still haven’t heard from you, even though we have some of the most sp00ktacular deals we’re likely to ever offer right now! In fact, we’re actually missing you quite a bit and we’d love to have you back from the dead. Or, just back from wherever you have been while missing out on our best Halloween sale ever! We’re still fully stocked with hundreds of costumes, decor items and accessories to bring any costume or Halloween party to life. Not only is it possible to save a few dollars on shipping with each order, but we are currently offering Halloween goodies for up to 75% OFF. Don’t be scared. Take a peek! YES! You read that right. This week, our final sale features Halloween items for 15–75% off as we begin restocking with new and exciting inventory for next season. We hope you’ll take advantage of this delightfully frightening steal. See you soon, boo! Harry, Owner Haunted Harry’s Halloween Haven

Campaign Copy for Halloween-Centric Giveaway

Campaign Launch: Late August or early September
Campaign Content: Halloween-centric contest and giveaway
Number of Emails: 3
Advantages: Build brand recognition and brand awareness; gain followers, trust and loyalty from customers and prospective supporters

An email with an image of a black leather bag that reads: Email 1 Send when contest launches Subject line: Miss this only if you dare! Win the hippest tote for Halloween! Preview text: Enter to win a night-black leather tote from [Brand Name] Dear Parker, You’ve selected by our Halloween committee at Totes Luxury for eligibility in an upcoming contest. This contest is exclusive and only available to our most loyal subscribers who are dedicated to the ultra-luxury lifestyle. Intrigued? Here are the details: Share our Instagram post about the best totes for Halloween to your public Instagram account while also following our official Instagram page. The winnings? We’ll gift 3 random winners with this night-black leather tote from [Brand Name] that retails at $1,300. Share on Insta to Enter Instantly Contest entrants are by invite only. Contest dates: 9/1 through 10/20. Winners will be announced October 25. Read the current terms and conditions of this contest. Don’t let your inactivity haunt your dreams! Warm regards, Susan Ryder Marketing Manager, Totes Luxury
An image of an html Halloween email that reads: Email 2 Send during last week of contest Subject line: The Deadline is Fast Approaching for You ... Preview text: Don’t miss an opportunity to have the hippest Halloween bag ever Dear Parker, We are saddened that we have yet to hear back from you, dear friend. Our Halloween contest is extraordinarily exclusive, which is why we chose to invite you to participate. We know how much you truly love looking hip for all the holidays. A [Brand Name] night-black leather tote will make you the Head Witch in Charge at this year’s Halloween parties. You have a very real shot at winning 1 of the 3 bags we’re giving away. Please do not make the mistake of missing this opportunity. Act Now to Enter for Your Chance to Win We look forward to your participation, Susan Ryder Marketing Manager, Totes Luxury
A HTML Halloween email that reads: Email 3 Send the final day of contest, early in day Subject Line: One...Last...Chance...Act Tonight Preview Text: Register for your chance to win big for the last time...tonight! READ THIS IF YOU DARE, PARKER! Tonight is the night. The very last night. The end. Tonight is the last night you have to register to win 1 of 3 night-black leather totes by [Brand Name]. Enter Now or Forever Hold Your Peace You have exactly 10 hours left to enter before it’s too late. You know what to do, Susan Ryder Marketing Manager, Totes Luxury

Campaign Copy for Halloween Engagement Program

Campaign Launch: Early October
Campaign Content: Brand loyalty and engagement program
Number of Emails: 3-5 (ongoing)
Advantages: Extend the lifespan of consumer relationships; build brand loyalty and trust; incentivize engagement among followers and customers; generate buzz and excitement surrounding your business and brand

A spooky Halloween-themed email that reads: Email 1 Send in early October Subject line: Looking for a killer loyalty program for Halloween makeup lovers? We’ve got you. Preview text: Take advantage of wicked specials and savings Dear Rory, When it comes to Halloween, you love it all. From an elegant glitter eye to half-faced zombie makeup. And we’ve noticed how much you love it. That’s why we’re inviting you as an eXtreme Makeup lover to our exclusive loyalty program. Not only is our loyalty program a way to earn points for spooktacular savings, but it’s also a way to earn FREE accessories and makeup. That’s right, you heard it. FREE. And no, we’re not kidding! CHECK IT OUT Your invite code is: XTY1940 Sign-up is simple and requires just a few seconds with your email address or preferred social media platform. Once you’re a member, begin racking up points and BOOsting your reward level with each new purchase you complete. That’s it! All loyalty rewards members receive 5% off of ALL purchases and may be eligible to receive an additional percentage off with each purchase depending on current sales and restrictions. Thank you for all your support! We could not have launched this program without you. We look forward to having you, Elly from eXtreme Makeup
A Halloween email loyalty invite that reads: Email 2 Send 5 days later to those who didn’t convert Subject line: Reap(er) the Benefits of Our Loyalty Program Preview text: Rory, We still haven’t heard back from you, and we’re kind of bummed about that. We just know this program is right for you, especially due to your love for Halloween makeup. Save on major items such as face paint and body paint, dark lipsticks, smokey eyeshadow palettes and more brand-name Halloween makeup just for signing up. All members of our rewards program will receive a minimum of 5% off of each new purchase. Get to saving on your favorite spooky look today! SIGN UP FREE! THE PROCESS REQUIRES LESS THAN 30 SECONDS TO COMPLETE. Start saving just in time for this year’s Halloween extravaganzas! We’ll see you there, Elly from eXtreme Makeup
A Halloween loyalty program email that reads: Email 3 Send shortly before Halloween to those who didn’t convert Subject line: You’re Missing Out on Seriously Spooky Rewards Preview text: Earn rewards and save as if your life depended on it with our loyalty program Dearest Rory, While we’re shocked that we’ve yet to hear from you or receive you as a member of our loyalty program, we understand that life can get a bit … well, hectic at times. Don’t be spooked, however! We are still accepting new members into our rewards program, and we want to remind you one last time that you can be saving massively with every purchase you make! We know how addicting shopping for Halloween makeup can be, which is why we simply cannot allow you to miss out on this opportunity. Join us today! I VAANT TO BE A MEMBER We knew you’d see the bewitching benefits of becoming a member of our spooktacular loyalty club. We couldn’t be more thrilled! Let’s make this year’s Halloween a celebration to remember for years to come, Elly from eXtreme Makeup

In Sum

As a holiday, Halloween is a blast. It’s fun and hokey and spooky all at once. Have fun with your campaigns and your readers will have fun reading them, too!

Still need a quick-fix for your Halloween template? Make your own Newsletter2Go account today to start using our Halloween HTML templates. It’ll save you tons of time creating your own great email for Halloween!

About the Author

Mara Taylor
Online Marketing Manager at Newsletter2Go

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