Spooktacular Halloween Email Subject Line Ideas for Successful Marketing Campaigns

Spooktacular Halloween Email Subject Line Ideas for Successful Marketing Campaigns
20 September, 2023 • ... • 832 views
Mirlan Kubatov
by Mirlan Kubatov

Every October, email marketers shake with fear just thinking about… Their Halloween emails not being opened! 👻

What can you do to make sure this nightmare doesn’t come to life? Use great Halloween email subject lines and make sure your emails catch subscribers’ attention. Read this article for email subject line templates, tips, and examples to promote your scary holiday sales and deals.

Why do email subject lines matter to your Halloween email campaign?

Halloween is one of the most celebrated festivals on the globe, with shoppers going bonkers for spooky goods. It is a family-friendly holiday that should be on every marketer’s e-commerce events calendar. In 2022, Americans planned to spend $10.6 billion on this holiday, a record high. And it’s expected to break new records this year. So make sure you don’t sleep on this great opportunity.

However, even if you prepare the best deals and treats for your subscribers crafting a perfect Halloween email campaign, the trick is to make them read it. And that’s not going to happen if the email subject line is boring. With more and more businesses fighting for customers’ attention, your email marketing needs to be top-notch. So let’s explore how you can engage your audience this Halloween and see some inspirational examples along the way.

How to craft Halloween-themed email subject lines like a pro

To see your special offers, your audience has to open your emails first. To write subject lines that grab your audience’s attention, keep a few things in mind. 

Avoid overused buzzwords

Steer clear of “No tricks, just treats” and similar phrases. Simply put, everyone uses it for their holiday email marketing, and it’s too obvious. Your subscribers will be bored seeing the same subject line over and over. Try something original or keep it clean and simple to stand out.

From: Williams Sonoma

Subject: Ten must-haves from our Halloween Shop

A Halloween email promoting the 10 best items from the special shop section
Source: Milled

KSL Deals: Halloween Activities for Everyone

Boomdash: Boo! The Halloween Shop is Live

TruffleShuffle: S🚫mething strange in ya neighbourhood… 🎒👻

TomboyX: Halloween Head Start 👻

Pinterest: Your Guide To Carving Pumpkins

Use the power of puns and wordplays

Overused buzzwords can be annoying, but Halloween is still a great time of year to have fun with your subject lines. Just make sure they are smart, funny, and Halloween-themed.

Change the subject line “20% off — until the end of October” to something like “Scary savings: 20% off — until the next moon.” Use clever wordplay or humorous subject lines to attract the attention of your recipients’ and stand out in their inboxes.

From: Fred

Subject: Eerie Eats and Wicked Drinks

A Halloween email with a skull glass being filled with red liquid and the text Eat, drink, and be scary!
Source: Milled

Also, here are more pun words inspiration:

Memebox: 💋 Get Vamped Up for Halloween! 🧛🏻‍♀️

Puffy: Freaky savings this Halloween – Save $300

Cadbury: 15% Off All Ghoulish Goodies

California Baby: It’s Time To BOO-gie! 👻🎃🦇

Ashley Stewart: Don’t ghost Halloween this year 👻 the FOMO will haunt you!

Spark interest and curiosity

Add intrigue and mystery to your email campaign. Brands can be mysterious because Halloween is all about the spooky, creepy, and exploring the unknown. It is a guaranteed way to get someone’s attention. Admit it, you are dying to open the email and see what’s inside when you see the “OPEN IF YOU DARE” inscription. Use this technique in your marketing strategy for the Halloween season to spark your clients’ excitement and boost the open rate.

From: Bloomingdale’s

Subject: Open for the most iconic Halloween costume ever!

A Halloween email with the text We’ve got this year’s costume in a bag and a woman and a girl wearing the shop’s store paper bags as costumes
Source: MailCharts

More Halloween email subject lines that spark curiosity:

Bhg.com: Deliciously Spooky Halloween Recipes

Erborian: Knock, Knock.. Open this email for a real treat! 🍭


Bobbi Brown: Our Kind of Halloween Mask

Grubhub: 🍬 for dinner again?

Be short and to the point

If your subject line is too long, it could be cut off, and it may lead to your customers not opening your email. A study showed that 41 characters (7 words) are perfect for email subject line length (on both desktop and mobile versions). 

Be on point with what your customers are actually looking for. Any email campaign’s success depends on your ability as a marketer to meet your clients where they are right now. This is about knowing and satisfying their:

  • Needs: what do they really need right now?
  • Values: what you can offer that your customers actually care about?
  • Desires: what would help them? 

So try to send them relevant offers and you will see how your sales from that email campaign grow. Check out this example:

From: Poo~Pourri

Subject: Your FREE Halloween deal is waiting 🎃

A Halloween email with a buy 2 get 1 free deal
Source: MailCharts

Sometimes just adding a little creativity to the subject lines is enough. Generally, congratulate your customers on the upcoming holiday or make them feel spooky. Here we have some short but still Halloween-themed email subject line ideas:

MeUndies: Have a Fang-tastic Halloween

Rothy’s: In the spirit of Halloween

Sugarfine: From Our Ghouls to Yours

Condemned: Don’t be SCARED to enter our SALE!

Be Hippy: Hippy Halloween! 🎃

Offer incentives

Give customers strong reasons to open emails. People receive hundreds of emails every day, so you need to provide attractive offers and good reasons to motivate them to open your emails. Offer your customers something that they cannot resist. Use common treats like discounts, deals, and giveaways to get them interested in what your company can offer.

From: ForChics

Subject: 🎃 Halloween treat: Get a FREE brow pen or mascara 🎃

Halloween email promoting a free mascara or brow gel offer
Source: Milled

Many companies that launch Halloween campaigns celebrate with deals and put the offers right in the subject line of their email. Here we’ve got a few ideas of subject lines offering incentives:

Gorgeous Cosmetics: Just for you! 🎃 Halloween Sale! 30% OFF storewide👻

ZINIO: 🎃 Spooktacular reads at 40% OFF!

Redbubble: Our 20% off Halloween sale is about to ghost on you. Don’t miss out

Paper Source: Get These Spooky Best Sellers Before They Ghost!

We Heart Pics: Happy Halloween! Get 50% Discount on Awesome Accounts

Citrus Lane Shop: Ready For Halloween? Save 20% Off Costumes

Make use of emojis

Emojis have become a new way to communicate. Digital marketers typically use email emojis in subject lines to make their emails stand out in recipients’ inboxes. They also help you express your feelings and intentions. You can use them to tell your story in a more expressive way and get closer to your audience. And, of course, they can add personality and color to your Halloween subject line.

The Jack-o’-lantern (🎃) and ghost (👻) are the most widely used emojis for Halloween. The spider (🕷) and cobweb (🕸) emojis are also common options. Check out this graph from the study by Return Path about the effects of different emoticons on email engagement:

Emoji chart open rate
Source: Return Path

Here’s one of the great Halloween email subject lines with scary emojis adding to the content:

From: Knife Aid

Subject: 🦇 A tale of knives and gore 🔪

A Halloween email with a scary poem and a Get spooky! button
Source: Milled

Using even a single emoji in your subject line can help to draw attention to it, create a sense of friendliness, and help to grow open rates. But don’t overuse emojis or you risk desensitizing your readers to them.

Here are some more examples of excellent Halloween subject lines:

Whokeys: Forget the candy, this sale is the sweetest one yet!🍬🍬🍬

Ariat: 🎃This is How We Halloween

Sears: 🎃 Frightful 👻 delightful 🏚️ decor 💀 for Halloween

Home Chef: 👻 Boo! We’ve resurrected our Halloween mystery deal!

Karity: 👻 Pre Halloween 2 day flash sale! 🎃😬

Blippo Kawaii Shop: Kawaii Halloween! No Tricks… Only Treats! 🎃😍

DavidsTea: Halloween costume = Free tea 👻

Do not forget the preview text

The email preview text is a short copy that displays near the subject line in many email clients, such as Gmail and Outlook.

Although marketers pay less attention to the preview text section compared to the subject lines, it is still important for the email marketing strategy. Consider it a brief summary of the content of your email that you may use in combination with the subject line to encourage recipients to open it.

From: Universal Yums

Subject: Halloween Treats Unmasked 🎃🍫🍭

Preview: These Snacks Have a Dark Secret!

A Halloween email promoting different snacks
Source: Milled

Let’s take a look at some examples of correctly using the preview text in emails:

Gorgeous Cosmetics: Just for you! 🎃 / Halloween Sale! 30% OFF storewide👻

Naturasil: BOO! Scary Savings Alert / Get 25% off your entire order!

Case-Mate: These Best Sellers Are Too Cute To Spook 🎃 / Happy Halloween! Treat yo self!

Always personalize

Treat your subscribers like friends: if you know something about them, use it to make the email more personal. You may use their name or location to improve your subject line and draw readers in. Personalization will help your email stand out from the rest and make it easier for the recipient to read through their inbox.

Here’s a good example of personalization:

From: Rover

Subject: 👻 Halloween toys your dog will love 🎃

Rover Halloween email
Source: Really Good Emails

Use last chance email trick

Sense of urgency is a powerful weapon to push your clients to act, that is why a last chance email is great to make more sales. You can create it with specific words like “Last chance” or “Limited time only” in your email marketing campaign like Chaco did in this subject line:

From: Chaco

Subject: LAST DAY! Get up to 30% off sale styles

A Halloween email with a wheel with discounts
Source: Milled

Note that a “last chance” or “last reminder” style email that pushes your consumers to act before it’s too late is a smart concept for the final email in your campaign. Don’t start scaring your customers away with the first email campaign you send. Reserve the sense of urgency sale tactic for the end of October or even the first few days of November. Here are more subject lines with a style of last-minute Halloween email:

Busuu: Last chance – It’s Time For Half Price Halloween

Waves Audio: Halloween Sale – Ends Today

Yandy Costumes: Last Chance! $19.95 Saturday Halloween Delivery!

Born Tough: Final Hours: Halloween Sale – Get 40% Off

LARQ: Happy Halloween! 👻 15% off ENDS TODAY! 🖤

Effy Jewelry: No Tricks, Just Treats! – Extra 31% Off Today Only

Hunter Boot: Ends Today! 20% Off Kids For The Spooky Season

Best Halloween-themed email subject lines from other brands to get inspired by

Are you ready to treat your subscribers with expert subject lines? Here are some more spooky examples to fuel your imagination!

Curiada: Nothing’s Spookier than Spirits… 👻🥃

Green Roads: 🧛 Fangtastic Savings Storewide 🦇

Tech21: We witch you a Happy Halloween…

Mud Pie: 🍫 We found one more TREAT in your bag!

PrettyLittleThing: Don’t be haunted by the offer you’ll miss 💀

The Lakeside Collection: 👻 Get Your Boo-tiful Home Ready With Halloween Decor

Halloween Express: De-booing our Newly Arrived Frights! 🎃👻🕸️

Yes Wellness: Get a Spooky Freebie Today!

Fancy Sprinkles: Open for an undead delight ⚰️

World Market: Set out a deadly spread: It’s a Halloween boo-fet!

Best Choice Products: 👻 Home, Sweet Haunted Home 👻


Every email marketing campaign starts with a  subject line. It is the first impression you make with your customers and should be written to elicit their curiosity and interest in the content of your message. Having said that, it’s also the most variable part of your campaign and often takes a lot of time to get right. So here are the main tips that we suggest you to follow:

  • Offer incentives to your customers to get them to open an email.
  • Use emojis to get fun and spooky as there is no better time than Halloween to do this.
  • Personalize your subject lines, if you want your customers to feel special and follow your CTAs.
  • Add “Last chance” and “Limited time” calls to your subject line to create a sense of urgency.
  • Use puns and wordplays, humorous subject lines always get the attention.

We hope that our advice, suggestions, and brand examples have provided you with good motivation to surprise your clients this Halloween. Good luck! 


This article was originally published in October 2022  and was updated in September 2023 to make it more relevant and comprehensive.

20 September, 2023
Article by
Mirlan Kubatov
Mirlan is a content writer and marketing manager from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. He has a huge experience in sales, business development and management. He’s also a cryptocurrency and NFT geek. Mirlan likes to spend his free time playing tennis or watching movies, and prefers outside activities. He believes in all the good things and wants to change the world one day.
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