Iuliia Nesterenko

Technical Writer

Holy Sheet: How to Create Halloween Email Campaigns that Are Destined to Thrill

The creepiest and most terrifying holiday of the year is on the way, meaning it's time to think ahead to spooktacular campaigns that would make your customers tremble.

Of course, companies with a strong focus on costumes, candies, and decorations have the upper hand when it comes to cool Halloween ideas, but we’re quite sure that even a macrame producer can get creative and benefit from the event.

The National Retail Federation estimates Halloween spendings in billions of dollars, and it doesn’t look like the tendency is going to drop. Halloween's popularity is determined, for one thing, by that it can be celebrated by anyone regardless of age, sex, religion, job position, geography, or educational background. With sweets, costumes and parties as main components, it has been destined to win love around the world.

Historical Planned Halloween Spending

And people don’t mind spending on what they love, especially if it’s as much fun. And while most folks are stocking up on sweets and pumpkins, a good email marketer needs to hoard creative Halloween ideas for emails, SMS, or web pushes. And in case you’re in need of inspiration, look no further. eSputnik team has come up with an ultimate guide on how to make your Halloween campaign stand out.

What Businesses Should Commit

As we’ve said above, any company can find a reason to get in touch with their customers on Halloween. But it’s useless to deny that some businesses have more options to reach out. Let’s see what goods have the best chances to dominate October 31.

  • Costumes

Even if their office doesn’t officially celebrate All Saints' Day, when the workday is over, people go to parties, get together in cafes, or visit family and friends. And they most probably do it wearing something fancier than a grey t-shirt and jeans. And of course, few kids would refuse to be a Wonder Woman or an Iron Man at least for a day.

Campaign by Pottery Barn Kids
Halloween marketing
Halloween email marketing

  • Decoration

Candles, papercraft, spooky toys, tools for carving, fairy lights, etc. - anything that adds your space a bit of festivity turns into essentials on October 31.

Halloween email ideas
Halloween email

  • Candies

When the main motto of the holiday is “Treat or trick,” there is no need to explain why candies of all sorts are #1 in the shopping list.

Halloween marketing email
Halloween email

  • Clothes

Not everyone may dress up in special costumes, but why not make yourself just a little gift: celebrated or not, Halloween is still a holiday. Scarves, handbags, socks, ties, glasses, and hats - demand for not too expensive yet cute accessories is always high.

Halloween email
Happy Halloween email

  • Cosmetics and makeup

Scary makeup is as vital part of a Halloween look as a creepy costume, and some may say it’s even more important. People make beauty salon appointments weeks before the holiday, and any stylist can prove that late October is one of the busiest periods in their schedule.

Halloween email by Lancome
Halloween email by Clinique

  • Pet products

Who said pets can’t celebrate Halloween? Especially if they can enjoy cute costumes and tasty treats. Owners like to pamper their four-legged friends with no reason at all, and when it comes to holidays, their determination doubles.

Halloween email by PetShop
Halloween marketing campaign ideas: email by PetSmart

  • Travels

On holidays, some people like to shake it off and go see some places. The main thing to keep in mind when preparing flight sales and booking promos is that such campaigns should be sent in advance. People need time to consider all the advantages of your offer and plan their vacation ahead.

Marketing for Halloween
Halloween-themed emails

  • Jewelry

Not the first thing to come to mind when you think of Halloween, jewelry yet always ensures market. That’s why many companies try to come up with exclusive limited offers to meet the demand.

Halloween-themed emails: special offers
Halloween campaign by Brighton

  • Food and beverages

Coffee shops, pizzerias, taco spots or a luxury restaurant, whatever type of meals you sell, be sure - people would go for it. As there is no celebration that wouldn’t involve eating and drinking.

Best Halloween emails: pizzeria
Halloween email by Peet's Coffee
Halloween email by Starbucks

Hope there’s no need to explain that the above products don’t have a monopoly over the holiday. Any service can set the festive mood, if introduced properly. Proved by folks from Bose who managed to relate wireless speakers to the Halloween celebration.

Halloween-themed email by Bose

3 Steps to Craft an Outstanding Halloween Email

As with any other email, the success of your Halloween campaign is determined by 3 elements:

  • notable subject line;
  • remarkable design;
  • valuable offer.

How to Create an Email Subject Line that Generates Opens

Yes, we know it’s not rocket science. Any email marketer would tell that campaign success is determined by a great subject line. Even if you offer the best service on the market, people first need to learn about it. And they would fail to do so if all your emails are left unnoticed due to poor promotion.

Despite this, you’d be surprised to know how many companies don’t go further than Trick or treat? Sales! And when your inbox is stocked with dozens of such lines, the phrase looks a bit overused.

Look at the Halloween subject line ideas major brands came up with, and get inspired to craft your own.

  • Knock ’em dead this Halloween! (PepperMayo)
  • This sale is “pumpkin” to talk about. (ModCloth)
  • You’ll have nightmares forever? (Pull&Bear)
  • If Your Dog Can’t Have Halloween Candy, What CAN They Have? (Petplace)
  • Get These Spooky Best Sellers Before They Ghost! (Paper Source)
  • They’ll Be Goblin Up These Halloween Goodies (The Swiss Colony)
  • This monster won’t eat you! (Noe Valley Bakery)
  • Park your broom & shop these wicked deals! ? (PetSmart)
  • ?Carve out these savings? (eBags)
  • Inside a Real-Life Haunted House. (Zillow)

How to Create a Design that Generates Leads

There is no universal advice that can turn an email into a sales booster. What practice would work for your business depends on what product you sell, what audience talk to, and what tone of communication you used to stick to.

Below, there are several tips suggesting what approaches you may employ while preparing for October 31. They’re not imperative: choose the one that suits your needs or create a powerful combo of several options.

1. Keep it simple.

Animation, goofy pictures, rollover effects, and bright layout don’t necessarily have to load your Halloween campaign. Sometimes, one themed element, be it a leading phrase, minor graphics, or color solution, is enough to set the right mood.

Simple style of a Halloween email
Halloween email by Mango
Halloween email by New Era

You can use already-made templates and upgrade them with little editing, if needed. For example, in the eSputnik’s drag-n-drop editor, you can download any image or choose it from the free bank, and edit it straight in the template; the same can be done with text blocks.

How to create a Halloween email in the eSputnik's editor

Create Emails that Thrill!


2. Use plain text.

Extending the concept of simplicity, opt for no visuals at all. Instead, experiment with the font and size: use different styles and cases, change between shades, underline words and team them with symbols or emojis.

Plain-text Halloween email
Halloween email by Alex and Ani

3. Use a Halloween-themed background.

Focus on the background so as not to distract from the content of the email. A spider web, cracks, falling leaves, mist or blood stains put behind the main message don’t require to change the whole structure of the campaign.

Halloween email with sales
Halloween email by Daniel

4. Add a GIF.

And here comes interactivity. An animated element can make any email more fun to read, and the mood is especially important when you get in touch on holidays. Your only task is to ensure the chosen GIF file doesn’t exceed 2MB and is mobile-friendly.

Dynamic Halloween email by the Knot
Halloween email with a GIF

5. Use symbols.

A pumpkin, witch hat, black cat, broom, or full moon are all Halloween-related symbols you can incorporate in your campaigns. Most of them require no word explanations and serve as great storytellers.

Halloween and marketing: best examples
Halloween email by Lands' End

6. Create special offers.
Many companies launch limited collections before major holidays. Why make an exception for Halloween? It may not be as popular as Christmas or Mother’s Day, but many would still want to get some exclusive item as a gift.

Halloween email marketing ideas: special offer
Halloween email with exclusive offers

7. Get your customers involved.

Give people more options to interact with your campaigns. Quizzes, challenges, contests, survey forms all serve one purpose - to make emails more dynamic and engage subscribers with the brand. Don’t be afraid of technical issues: with the help of the newly introduced AMP technology, a subscriber can react to whatever offer in the email straight in its body, without downloading extra pages.

Interactive Halloween email
Interactive Halloween email by Warby Parker
Interactive Halloween contest

8. Create a sense of urgency.

And nothing does it better than a good old countdown timer. Deadlines and expiry dates push people towards making a decision quicker, as nobody wants to miss out on the opportunity, especially if the offer is really good.

Halloween marketing ideas: campaign by TRX

9. Design Halloween-themed product packages.

You may have the same product, but stuffed in a new creative package it would definitely spark as big interest as new arrivals. Thematic packages may be good life-savers when you have no time or resources to come up with a new product offer yet want to surprise your customers with some novelty.

Creative Halloween email
Creative Halloween campaign

10. Take new product photos.

If you aren’t a Halloween-specific company (like 99% companies around), reintroduce your products using Halloween-related elements, like black or orange paper, gothic interior, or models with a wamp-like makeup. Custom photos can make any goods look luxurious and original, and people are ready to pay for exclusivity.

Halloween email by Lipsy

11. Offer discounts.
Yes, we’ve put it at the very end of our list for a reason. Although it seems like a generous discount can win you instant love, things are a bit trickier. On holidays, everyone offers discounts, so your task is to make them a strong backup of your campaign rather than the main focus.

Halloween sale email

How to Make a Valuable Offer that Generates Sales

An email marketer shall not leave by sales alone. No doubt, an 80% discount is a good reason to click on Order Now, but so is other deals you may offer your customers:

  • free shipping;

Halloween email with free shipping

  • promo code for forwarding friends or a social media share;
  • useful advice;

Halloween email with useful advice

  • free materials to download, like images, videos or GIFs;

Halloween email by Designmodo

  • extended trial period;
  • lucrative offers by your partners;
  • subscription;

Halloween email by BarkBox

  • online master classes or workshops;
  • instant cashback;
  • software or app upgrade;

Halloween email by Grammarly

  • premium loyalty program.

Halloween campaigns can generate the benign conditions for expanding the relationships with your customers. This event is a great opportunity to let your brand personality shine: while most offers would still be about sales, the campaign design is what makes a difference.

And a banality of the day: whether you’re announcing a monster sale or just sending a greeting card, remember to put your heart in the design. Have fun and Happy Halloween!!?

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Iuliia Nesterenko

Technical Writer

A technical (but still very creative) writer at eSputnik with a strong focus on design, current digital marketing trends, and new solutions for email automation.

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