Fangtastic Halloween Email Campaign: Tips & Tricks (or Treats?)

Fangtastic Halloween Email Campaign: Tips & Tricks (or Treats?)
11 September, 2023 • ... • 8020 views
Valeria Shulga
by Valeria Shulga

Spooky season is coming! 🎃 It is not only an opportunity to grab all the sweets, but also a wicked awesome chance for e-commerce marketers to reach customers with beautiful Halloween email marketing promotions. With tips from our article, you will learn how to create the funniest engaging newsletters that will stand out in your subscribers’ inboxes. Plus, you will see email newsletter templates and examples to inspire your Halloween email.

Why send out Halloween marketing emails

Holidays are the time when people spend more: a recent study by NRF says that last year Americans spent more than $10 billion on Halloween preparations and celebrations. In fact, Halloween was among the 10 top-spending holidays in the US. Plus, it’s a very popular holiday to celebrate. In 2022, 69% of Americans celebrated Halloween. No matter young or old, people want to get in the Halloween spirit, and they are ready to spend money on creating it. That’s why marketers should not miss such an opportunity.

A planned Halloween expenditure chart over the years shows a gradual increase year over year with some hick-ups
Halloween expenditure tends to grow every year. In 2022 Americans planned o spend $500 thousand more compared to 2021. Source: Statista

Moreover, Halloween is the perfect time to have fun and forget about seriousness! Switch on your creativity and try to represent your products and services in a unique, festive way, attracting attention to your promotions and discounts. You can get such engagement rates that were impossible to imagine.

Sure, if you don’t produce sweets, costumes, or make horror movies, Halloween may not seem a good occasion to remind customers about yourself. Let’s not jump to conclusions: there are thousands of creative ways for e-commerce marketers to join an overall festive atmosphere. If you do email marketing for a small business and don’t know where to start yet, continue reading to see some great Halloween emails…if you dare! 😈

Create the best Halloween email campaign in a few easy steps

Halloween and email marketing make a perfect combo! To benefit from overall holiday excitement, you’ll just need to shower your customers with discounts and attractive offers, using engaging and memorable newsletters. Let’s see how to do it right.

Decide on the offer

The value proposition is the most important part of every marketing email. A great decision is to offer your customers an attractive discount — but do that in a special Halloween way!

Create a discount code with an extra holiday-themed touch: choose one of those spooky words — Halloween, pumpkin, boo, October, witch, potion, magic, etc.

A clothing and home decor brand Lands’ End used the code Boo to get its customers into the Halloween mood:

A Halloween email with a 31% discount on the order with a code Boo
Source: Mass Mail Software

Make sure your discount code is easy to find. Highlight it with bright festive colors and use a special Halloween font. It’s best to put the code in the middle of the email or in another visible place. Create a phrase that is simple, easy to remember, and quintessentially Halloween.

Here is a good example. The discount code is in the middle of the email, on an orange background that contrasts with the black of the rest of the message. Plus, it is followed by a call-to-action for an easy shopping experience:

A Halloween email with a 30% discount on the order with a code Spooky
Source: MailCharts

Discount code is a nice trick to engage customers and increase opens. Don’t be afraid to get playful with your code word and give your email a boost of personality with other creative options.

A Halloween email with a 10% discount on the order with the code Deadstock
This email's creators added some creativity and chose an unconventional word that’s still Halloween-related. Source: Really Good Emails

Craft an eye-catching subject line

A subject line can be the make or break for your email marketing campaigns at any time of the year. Halloween is the perfect time to play with words and have some fun with the subject lines. Remember: this day the worse, the better! Puns about spooktacular discounts and monster sales create the appropriate festive atmosphere.

People usually welcome such plays on words and treat them with a smile. So, don’t become one of those boring e-commerce corporations with serious email campaigns all year round! Add some festive flavor to your subject line and don’t forget to highlight your offer and the benefit of getting your product.

These are the general recommendations for Halloween-themed subject lines:

  • Keep your subject line short, so that it displays correctly on the majority of mobile devices.
  • Spice it with Halloween-themed emojis to create a festive spirit.
  • Highlight your offer and benefits for the customer.

Some great examples:

  • Don’t let Halloween sneak up on you!
  • Witching You a Happy Halloween 😈
  • Humongous Halloweekend Sale 🎃
  • Witch Hats Optional
  • A little treat to go with all the tricks this weekend!
  • Double, double toil and trouble
  • BOO! Get 20% off everything! 👻
  • Spooktacular Halloween deals
  • Boo-tiful costumes for Halloween
  • [Name], we have a treat for you 🍬

If it’s still hard for you to craft a Halloween subject line, choose a couple of the most appropriate variants and do A/B testing to see which one of them works best for your customers.

Choose a perfect email design

If you want to create a quick email campaign to showcase your products, opt for a Halloween template. In Selzy, you can find two themed templates:

Select the Holidays category in Selzy’s template library to find two Halloween-themed templates

Alternatively, you can create a campaign from scratch and use your creativity to the fullest. The first thing that comes to mind is to choose one of the common Halloween symbols for your newsletter: cats, witches, potion pots, zombies, ghosts, etc. However, you can show a little more ingenuity in your campaign.

Opt for simple layouts that are both good-looking and easy to customize. Since Halloween is more of a visual holiday, choose designs with bright graphic elements and images to wish your audience a Happy Halloween.

Look at this marketing campaign by the brand Framebridge:

A Halloween campaign with a one-column layout, a brief introduction, and a 15% discount code
Source: Really Good Emails

It reminds us of traditional family values but with a certain holiday spirit. We see two girls in witch hats watching Halloween classics on TV and feel the coziness of celebrating this autumn holiday in a close family circle. Also, you can see another e-commerce marketing trick we’ve already mentioned: creating a sense of urgency. A limited-time offer encourages customers to make faster decisions. The black background with an orange call-to-action button contributes to the atmosphere.

Our common tip for those who create Halloween marketing campaigns is to think about how to connect this holiday with your brand. Make your products a part of the holiday, and your customers will be in awe of your Halloween marketing campaign. Don’t forget about the color scheme of the holiday, and add orange and black accents to the newsletter’s design.

Look how Slice represented their pizzas in a festive way. The photo of a pizza is at the top of the email, appearing from the fog like a spooky Halloween moon:

A Halloween email with a pizza appearing at the top from the fog and a call-to-action to schedule the pizza order
Source: Really Good Emails

If your brand made a collection of special Halloween products, you can dedicate the campaign to those. Here’s an effective example:

A Halloween email from a jewelry store showcasing several Halloween pieces, a themed collection, and a customer review
Source: Milled

This email has a great structure with a link to the website or landing page at the very top. It promotes different jewelry pieces, prominently shows the special collection, and drives the value of the products with a 5-star review.

Create Halloweeny message

As we already mentioned, Halloween marketing emails are more about visuals than the text content. Use fewer words, but make your message catchy and interesting.

It is appropriate and effective to use Halloween-themed puns and jokes. This is the time to forget about being serious! Even adults put on spooky clothes and do festive makeup to go back to childhood for a second and have fun. So, an overall playful tone of a message is a common symbol of Halloween email marketing campaigns. Using nice, allegorical Halloween vocab is an easy and elegant way to show your love and affection to your customers.

A Halloween email with a Witch, please and Shop the boo-tique texts
A witty marketing campaign by Modcloth with two Halloween puns. Source: Really Good Emails
A Halloween email with All Treats, No Tricks subheading
A reversed Halloween phrase is a classic of festive puns for issue-related newsletters. Source: Mailjet

Halloween is all about scary sights and creepy moods. When writing a text for your holiday campaign, consider using spooky language to evoke the right atmosphere. It is also the perfect opportunity to let loose and use your wit and humor to bring life to your marketing emails.

This email campaign is a great example of plays on words and puns:

A fragment of a Halloween email with a little horror story
Source: Really Good Emails

Halloween phrases like “a spooky tale to whet your appetite”, “gore-geous biscuits”, “scary-good chocolates” entertain and engage the customers making them read this creepy story till the end. Being able to hold attention is an important task for anyone who writes texts of this length.

So, if your holiday marketing email contains a large piece of text, consider using Halloween-themed language throughout. Funny festive storytelling is a great opportunity to represent your brand as a witty and loyal friend to the customers.

Schedule emails and send them out

Last but not least, don’t forget to prepare everything in advance and schedule your campaign. If you are using Selzy email marketing service, follow this instruction to plan the emails for later.

You can take this step even further. If your customers live in different time zones, segment them accordingly and send emails at the best time for each group.

What is the best time to start your campaign?

Plan your Halloween campaign long before the date. If you target on the 31st of October only, it can decrease your conversion and engagement rates.

Creating a series of email marketing campaigns is a better way to get more sales. Find some time several days (2-3 weeks better) before Halloween to plan activities and provide customers with the right incentives.

The most effective time to send your email marketing campaigns:

  • Best day and time: Tuesday and Thursday — 5 am to 10 am
  • Worst day and time: Saturday and Sunday night and morning — 8 pm to 3 am

Your key to success is to create anticipation for your customers. Fuel their excitement with stunningly scary emails before the date. Miss your chance and your customers are likely to spend their money elsewhere — many of your competitors have already sent out their campaigns. That’s why we recommend sending your first Halloween email in mid-October.

As for the content of your first Halloween email, create no more than a simple teaser. Let your customers know that you’re going to hold a sale. Don’t provide too many details: your email should be mysterious. After sending a teaser, follow it up with more details and features of your sale as well as the link to the dedicated Halloween landing page.

Happy Halloween email ideas and examples to try out this season

Here are some classic ideas and templates for Halloween-themed emails. Find yours!

Trick or treat

This well-known Halloween phrase helps to amplify the anticipation among your customers and keeps your emails holiday-themed.

A Halloween email with a big Trick or treat text and a link to find a store
A simple but cute email with a ghost picture and orange Halloween accents in the color scheme. Source: MailBakery
A Halloween email offering subscribers to pick a side and join either the Tricksters or Treaters community.
Sea of Thieves created a game event with two opposing sides: the Tricksters and the Treaters. Source: Really Good Emails.
A Halloween email with the phrase All treats, no tricks in the middle.
A well-known Halloween phrase can get a new meaning if we change it just a bit. Source: MailBakery
A Halloween email with a photo of a boy with a cloak and a fang sketched over.
A regular photo sketched in Halloween style is a great and fresh idea. Source: MailBakery

31% discount

People know that Halloween is celebrated on the 31st of October. Incorporating the number 31 into your emails is another small way to add festive features to your campaign content.

A Halloween email with a 31% discount with code Halloween.
Source: Milled
A Halloween email with a 31% discount on tattoo sheets
Source: Really Good Emails

Last chance email

Creating a sense of urgency is a proven way to boost your sales. A countdown timer is a working tool to boost sales and engage your subscribers.

An email with a countdown of hours before the end of the sale
A Halloween email with a countdown timer with days, hours, minutes, and seconds until the end of the sale.
A timer can look like anything. Use an ordinary line, like in the template above, or wake up your creativity and craft something unique! Source: Smartrmail

Tasteful use of Halloween colors

Think outside the box when it comes to colors, fonts, and images in your templates. Show subscribers your spooky (and funny!) side.

Orange and black are traditional festive colors, but it doesn’t mean that your design should use these colors only. The thing is that orange represents a degree of risk and looks a bit cheap in some cases. It is nice to use it as an accent color to highlight different elements in your email design, but sometimes it can be used as dominating. Nevertheless, it depends on your taste and brand peculiarities.

Try purple, green, and red too: these colors are less popular, but also look nice and festive in email design. Don’t include anything too dark or gory — it can spoil an overall fun atmosphere.

A Halloween color palette with black, a light and a dark purple, an orange, a yellow, and a green.
One of the Halloween color palettes to find inspiration for your templates. Source: Lila Loa

Let’s take a closer look at color solutions in the Halloween email marketing campaigns of popular brands.

A Halloween email with a banner with an orange background
You can choose different shades of orange: bright and lush… Source: Really Good Emails
A Halloween email with a yellowy-orange background
… and subtle, more muted orange, which is closer to yellow. Source: SmartrMail
A Halloween email with a dark blue background and bright orange accents
Several bright orange accents in the Halloween email template are also OK. Source: Really Good Emails

Don’t want to use any orange? Here are some different holiday-appropriate color schemes: red and mint, purple and green, black and white with electric green accents.

A Halloween email with a retro red, mint green, and black
Source: Really Good Emails
A Halloween email with a green and purple color scheme
Source: MailCharts
A Halloween email with a black and white main section with bright green accents
Source: Milled

Spooky graphics that fit your brand

Here are some ideas that you can use for your Halloween-themed illustrations:

  • Pumpkins/jack-o’-lanterns
  • Slime
  • Ghosts
  • Witches
  • Broomsticks
  • Candles
  • Monsters
  • Fangs
  • Eyes
  • Spooky houses
  • Cauldrons
  • Potion bottles and books
  • Bats
  • Spiders/spider webs
  • Black cats
  • Skeletons/skulls
  • Graveyards
A Halloween email with flying bats on an orange background, drawn in a watercolor style
Mild watercolor illustrations definitely grab attention. They are an attractive option to go with because they are not used frequently. Source: MailBakery
A holiday email with pumpkins and letters that look like they were cut out from a piece of paper
Hand-drawn images look funny and convey positive vibes to your customers. Source: Really Good Emails
An email with different pumpkins and a bat with a CTA button made to look like a coffin with a spider hanging from it
Here the illustrations do not look outstanding, but this coffin CTA button has definitely stolen our hearts! Source: MailBakery

Adding a GIF

A bright GIF nails the reader’s attention even better than a static image. ​​Adding movement to your marketing campaigns’ design gives an extra Halloween spooky factor, or sometimes, the touch of comedy.

Look at the way Postable incorporates a funny GIF image into their content:

An email with a GIF of a person with a pumpkin on the head dancing
Source: Really Good Emails

Another Halloween email example, which is designed in unconventional colors, but still ​​conveys festive feelings:

A purple and green email with a flying ghost GIF
Source: MailBakery

And here’s another great option that is designed to excite the email recipients about their mystery discount:

A Halloween email with a GIF reminiscent of a slot machine that spins and stops at three question marks.
Source: MailCharts

Special fonts

A Halloween email is a great place to use interesting fonts. Opt for vintage-looking, gothic fonts that are reminiscent of horror movies, dusty attics, and dark secrets. But don’t use your special fonts all over the email, this may make it hard to read. Reserve them for banners, headings, and offers.

Check out these examples for inspiration:

A Halloween email with a retro wavy font used for the banner
Source: Milled
A Halloween email with a mix of fonts. The special font is used only for the Last 24hrs! text.
Source: Milled
A Halloween email with a crystal ball and magical-looking fonts
Source: MailCharts

Rewarding your loyal customers

Consider creating a Halloween-themed loyalty program. It will benefit your business because it’s more profitable to retain existing customers than engage new ones.

Develop a dedicated points system for the most loyal customers. You can attribute more points to those who make frequent purchases or recommend your products to their friends. Make your VIP customers feel special!

Keeping the spooky season in mind, adapt your email campaign design, and add some creepy discount words.

Look at the way H&M rewards their loyal customers with Halloween bonus points:

A Halloween-themed email promoting a loyalty program
Source: Moosend

Bottom line

Halloween is not only a time for fun and treats but also a high sales season for marketers and owners of businesses. In order not to miss it, you’ll need to be more creative in your marketing campaigns, embracing the joyous spirit of the holiday.

Here are the key takeaways for those who are planning their Halloween email campaigns:

  • Start sending out Halloween-related marketing emails 2-3 weeks before the holiday to create anticipation among your customers. But in case you are limited in time, sending out a single email on October 31st is fine too.
  • Think of some holiday-themed discounts and loyalty programs for the most dedicated customers. Halloween is a great time to remind them how you value their time and loyalty. You can create special landing pages with festive discount offers and add links to your email.
  • Integrate classic Halloween imagery into your email marketing campaign. Use spooky graphics and themed illustrations in your templates: they tie everything together and set the creepy mood. Keep them brand-appropriate.
  • Orange and black are the key festive colors, but it’s OK to choose others for your templates like green, purple, and red. You can also try out spooky fonts.
  • Halloween goes hand in hand with silly puns and plays on words. Work a few puns into your message to show your personality and support the overall festive atmosphere. Have a happy Mailoween!

This article was originally published in October 2021 and was updated in September 2023 to make it more relevant and comprehensive.

11 September, 2023
Article by
Valeria Shulga
A writer by nature, study, and trade with more than 7 years of experience. Contributor at Selzy wearing many hats: I create special content projects, write articles, and own Facebook and Reddit communities. My expertise lies in email and content marketing, but I also have experience with the topics of real estate and immigration. Outside of work, I like spending my free time learning foreign languages, seeing plays at our local theaters, and doing yoga.
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