Create Bewitching Email Marketing Campaigns This Halloween
Originally published in 2016, this post was updated on 9 October 2018 with current data.
The U.S. National Retail Federation predicts that Halloween spending will be comparable to last year’s all-time high, with retail sales projected to be $9 billion in 2018. Here are a few more interesting stats: The number of people celebrating Halloween in the U.S. will 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.
The stats mean the same thing for marketers and business owners: a huge sales opportunity. With a high volume of Halloween-themed searches, it’s time to start creating Halloween email marketing campaigns.
Party goods, costumes, candy, greeting cards and decorations are all classic spending areas for Halloween shoppers. But whatever sector you’re in, it’s a good idea to invite people to enjoy the season with Halloween discounts and special offers. This post contains 11 actionable tips that will help your Halloween marketing efforts. Whether you’ve created many Halloween email marketing campaigns or it’s your first one, these tips will bring results.
1. Leverage Customer Data
Is it your first Halloween email marketing campaign? Skip this one and come back to it next year.
If you created a Halloween email marketing campaign last year, however, read on.
Your campaign insights from last year will provide you with necessary information about your customers’ habits and behavior.
Go back and review the click-through rates and opens of your last campaign. What worked and didn’t work? Did you send just one email or a series of emails? Did you do enough personalization and how successful was your personalization? Spending some time reviewing last year’s campaign performance will help you get into your strategy headspace to see how to make improvements this year. What sold best? What didn’t sell well and why do you think that is?
2. From Name
Come up with a friendly name that will appear in your recipients’ mailbox for this Halloween email marketing campaign.
A Halloween email from “Company” doesn’t seem too compelling. Halloween can be a great time for jokes, puns and all-around silliness. Let your hair down a bit and experiment with a slightly more relaxed tone of voice than your customers may expect from you.
3. Subject Lines
Subject lines are crucial, especially if it’s your first Halloween email campaign ever. How do you stand out in the inbox?
- Keep it short
- Make it clear that it’s a Halloween email!
- Go for an eerie but playful line
- Personalize it
- Test your subject line
Keep it Short
An ideal subject line should be a maximum of 50 characters. Keep in mind is that mobile devices display subject lines differently, so you should highlight your most important content within the first 38 characters.
Make It Clear That It’s a Halloween Email
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important not to forget what it’s all about. 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.
So don’t forget to let your subscribers know that you’re writing to them because Halloween is coming. Either use the word itself in your subject line or use phrases and vocabulary associated with or evocative of the holiday. (Check out this awesome word list for some unusually good ideas.)
Go for an Eerie but Playful Line
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick cheat sheet with eerie Halloween 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 Spectacular Offers!
Using your contacts’ first names in the subject line has proven to have a strong effect on open rates. Voila! You’ve got them hooked.
Test Your Subject Line
Not too sure which subject line will convert most? Test the subject line (with sender name and content) and send out the best-performing version. Brainstorm a whole slew of subject lines with your team, pick the two you think are the best, and let your email marketing software find the best performing one of those.
While most email marketing providers offer just two variants for testing, Newsletter2Go offers three variants of each trait. Consequently, that translates into higher open rates. Learn more about how to get started in A/B testing.
4. Preview Text
Don’t forget to add a preview text to your email! The preview text that appears in many email clients is a great way to add more depth to your subject line. Nowadays most internet users read emails on mobile devices, thus your mailings should be geared towards mobile users who can see the first two to three lines of your email. And a preview text is a great way to preempt these lines with even more punch.
What kind of message should you choose for your preview text? Something that enhances the emotional message of the subject line but is not necessary for fully comprehending the subject line. Remember, not all email clients display the preview text.
5. Segment Your Contacts
Know your audience. A horror movie fan in their 20s will enjoy a different Halloween email than a grandma looking for discounts on candy.
Your customers have different interests and budgets. This means you should create different Halloween email marketing campaigns for different customer groups. Segment your contacts according to varied identifying traits (age, purchase history, location, etc.) Learn more about audience segmentation.
6. Personalized Emails
Now that you’ve given identifying traits to your subscribers through segmentation, you can send personalized campaigns to all your contacts. Go for image personalization and personalized design blocks to really set yourself apart from your competitors. Check out this video to see how personalization works. Or read this blog for more personalization ideas.
7. Great Design
Go big or go home.
You’ve got a lot of inbox competition when it comes to Halloween. So you want to make sure you stand out with some awesome design. You can add Halloween-specific elements and colors, or even search for images directly in our tool through our Unsplash integration. Even better, you can save time for other marketing efforts and choose one of our predesigned Halloween templates.
If you’d like to get this free Halloween template (or other holiday templates), click on the pumpkin.
8. Optimize For Mobile
Now that most people read email on the go, you need to have it optimized for mobile devices. After all, you wouldn’t want your beautiful email to fail because half of the newsletter elements can’t be displayed properly.
Not all companies have embraced mobile yet. You, however, want to be smarter and reach your mobile subscribers. Learn more about responsive newsletter design.
And if you’re a Newsletter2Go user on our Pro Plan, remember to activate and analyze your display test before you hit send.
What you need to remember about mobile users is that subscribers on the go may also be searching for different information than at-home users, so don’t forget to include information about current sales, phone numbers and in-store availability.
9. Calls 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.
For example, you could offer a 25% discount until mid-October. Then scale this down to a 15% discount the week before Halloween and a 10% discount on the day of Halloween. Let your users know that the earlier they commit to their Halloween purchases, the higher their discount will be.
Messages such as “Last Chance to Buy!” can really move products.
Of course, using this kind of CTA requires sending a series of emails, not just one! We recommend doing this anyway, as it gives you more than one shot in the inbox. Our automated email campaigns make this possible.
According to KISSmetrics, 96% of first-time website visitors aren’t ready to buy.
Inserting a quick testimonial in your campaign is your best bet to showcase that your company is trustworthy and others were happy with your products.
11. Follow-up Emails
Follow up on Halloween day or the day after. Some subscribers prefer to wait to the last minute because they know they will be able to bag a deal anyway. Make sure you allow for follow-up emails in your Halloween email marketing campaign to show contacts what deals they can benefit from.
Get Halloween templates by clicking the image below to register for our product and sign up for our Standard Plan.
Still looking for more Halloween tips? Check out last year’s Halloween blog that’s chock-full of even more email marketing advice.