Maya Skidanova

Content Writer

Halloween Marketing Ideas to Surprise Customers

15+ Halloween Marketing Ideas to Surprise Your Customers This Year

We are entering the fall and winter holiday period, which is the peak season for ecommerce. And the first milestone on that journey is Halloween. This year, 73% of Americans plan to celebrate Halloween, it is the highest number of participants in the last 9 years. Young people in Western Europe are also eager to join in the tradition.

Therefore, it is not surprising that various companies, even those that have nothing to do with the holiday, organize themed sales to give a decent start to the high season. We would like to share with you a selection of interesting marketing ideas for Halloween that you can put into practice.

Benefits of Halloween Marketing for Ecommerce

After the Covid pandemic, people have missed the fun and the mass celebrations, so they are preparing for Halloween well in advance and very thoroughly. This creates the following opportunities for businesses.

Increasing sales

The US National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts that Americans will spend a record $12.2 billion on Halloween this year. By comparison, they spent $10.6 billion in 2022. What are people willing to spend money on? The NRF's survey showed that they will:

  • Give out sweets — 68% of respondents;
  • Decorate houses and yards — 53% of participants;
  • Wear costumes — 50% of respondents.

Obviously, the holiday will be most beneficial to themed businesses, such as candy makers and sellers. However, there are a variety of home decorating items that can help consumers create a Halloween atmosphere: lighting, tableware, various textiles, and more. The same goes for costumes. Sellers of apparel, footwear, and accessories can create appropriate sets from their collections that look casual when worn separately and Halloweeny when worn together.

Tips for creating a costume

So your opportunities to make money on the holiday are limited only by your assortment and imagination.

Improving brand recognition

Build brand awareness with an eye-catching Halloween promotion. Develop a festive campaign that grabs the attention of your customers. It's ideal if your marketing campaigns go viral so that people want to share them with their friends. Perhaps you can achieve this by using some of the ideas in the article and adapting them most effectively for your business.

Growing a contact base

During the high season, traffic to ecommerce sites increases as people look for gifts and various holiday products. This is a great opportunity to convert visitors into subscribers to your omnichannel messaging. An effective way to grow your contact base is to attract subscribers through the subscription form on your website. According to statistics, subscription forms on the home page (37%) and on other customer-facing pages of websites (33%) have proven to be the most popular.

Themed subscription form

Popups can be perfectly integrated into a Halloween marketing campaign by giving them a themed feel. Also, widgets can be a valuable addition to your Black Friday marketing strategy. Here are some ideas on how to use them effectively.

Running A/B tests

Holiday campaigns allow you to test your marketing hypotheses. People are engaged consumers during the peak season. They tend to be more active in online stores and marketing campaigns, so it's a great time to find out:

  • how subscribers respond to changes in message design;
  • which CTAs resonate better with your audience;
  • which direct channels are more popular with customers etc.

Once you've tested your hypotheses and are satisfied with the results, you can implement the most effective for your next promotions focused on other fall and winter holidays.

Halloween Promotions in Marketing Direct Channels

Use every communication channel available to draw consumers to your website and app. Develop a complete omnichannel marketing campaign in advance to get your holiday promotion in front of as many people as possible. Break the campaign into phases:

  1. Remind consumers that it's time to get ready for Halloween (2-3 messages);
  2. Tell subscribers about an upcoming holiday promotion (1-2 messages);
  3. Provide information about the sale and its progression — start, active phase, and end (1 message for each phase);
  4. Happy Halloween greetings (1 message);
  5. Post-holiday communication.

When using omnichannel communications, rely on the direct channels your customers prefer. Also, pay attention to their unique characteristics that should be considered to achieve business goals. Let's take a quick look at those features.

Email is well suited to include a wide variety of Halloween offers. Plus, thanks to AMP technology, this channel lets you add gamification. Grab subscribers’ attention with catchy email subject lines and create a memorable design. If you don’t have much time to create it from scratch, you can use the ready-made email templates available in Yespos’ drag-n-drop editor.

How to find Halloween templates in the Yespos' CDP editor

The editors’ AI capabilities will also help you with the text of your message: it will generate content, give recommendations on the emotional impact of your message, translate the text into multiple languages, and correct mistakes. Read more about the features here. And for design inspiration, have a look at our blog's selection of email examples.

Web and mobile push notifications help inform users about an important event promptly. For example, the start of a sale or an order confirmation. They are also useful for quickly driving customers back to the website or app with common ecommerce triggers such as abandoned carts and browsing.

Spooky mobile pushes examples

App Inbox messages is a notification feed in the personal account of an authorized user of the website and app. Messages are stored in the notification center for a period set by a marketer. It's convenient for the customer to find there, say, a promo code to copy it, etc.

Widgets are an efficient way of communicating with all visitors, even those who are not authorized on the site. Use it to inform customers about holiday deals and various promotions.

In-app messages can help guide users to a page with a selection of themed products while they are using the app.

SMS is suitable for informing customers about the most important things, such as the start of a promotion they have signed up for, receiving payment, sending orders, etc.

Each channel has its advantages, but they are most effective in omnichannel marketing campaigns when they support each other. The most efficient way to deliver an omnichannel personalized experience to consumers is to use the Customer Data Platform. The omnichannel CDP Yespo automatically collects data from all kinds of sources, aggregates it, processes it, and makes it available for use. The platform is a hub for all data management and building, launching, and tracking the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

Take full advantage of omnichannel marketing with the Yespo CDP

Creating the holiday campaign requires ecommerce businesses to work in several fields, such as direct communications, website appearance, and online activities for the target audience. We’ve selected interesting Halloween promotional ideas for each of these areas.

Creative Halloween Marketing Ideas from Famous Brands

In search of interesting solutions for Halloween, we looked at the websites and marketing campaigns of well-known companies. Their efforts may inspire you to create your own fun and memorable experiences for your customers.

Make your website look spooky

The design of your direct channel campaigns should be seamlessly integrated into the appearance of the website, where they lead subscribers. The least you can do is add thematic details to your logo (it's not difficult task, if you use a logo maker for this purpose) and brand name. For example, replace the letter ‘o’ with a jack-o-lantern, as Hearthsong did.

A recognizable Halloween symbol was added to the brand name

An animation on the website will look interesting. For example, the Think Goodness online store had a bat flock flying around. They are small and do not interfere with site navigation, and they definitely add to the Halloween mood.

Bats are scurrying around the website

Add a special Halloween section to the menu to make it easier for customers who are looking for relevant products. By the way, you can do the same with the menu in emails.

Add the name of the thematic section to the main menu

The Lego website also uses an animated element to draw attention to the Halloween section.

Animation additionally attracts the attention of the site visitor

A bright promotional banner with a demonstration of holiday products will definitely be appropriate on the home page.

A themed banner is always appropriate

There’s no need to turn your entire site into a spooky Halloween cave, just focus on the most trafficked and important pages. For example, add themed CTA buttons to the home page, decorate the checkout and thank you pages with a nice visual, etc.

Create a landing page with Halloween products

Also, companies develop separate landing pages that contain all the products that might be interesting to customers looking for Halloween items. 

It is convenient to drive subscribers from direct channels to landing pages. Interested visitors are directed to a dedicated online space where their attention is not distracted by other topics. In addition, landing pages are useful in terms of SEO optimization and keyword search traffic.

Landing pages can have a detailed navigation divided into separate categories. Take a look at how BigLots did it.

Landing page with detailed navigation

Or it can be a dedicated page with a complete overview of a particular brand’s products. Take a look at how Target did this for the Betty Crocker brand. The baking products are not entirely Halloween-themed, but they are related to the tradition of treating children to sweets. And the page shows what spooky treats can be made with a particular product. By clicking on the appropriate CTA button, visitors go to the recipe they need.

The page shows what you can cook for the holiday

The Comfort Insurance company developed an interactive fun landing page about how to protect your motorhome in case of a zombie apocalypse.

Exploring such a humorous landing page will be long remembered

By clicking on the crosses, the user opens a detailed explanation of what equipment is needed and how to use it wisely to avoid attracting too much attention from the brain-eaters.

Engage customers with themed products

There are great opportunities for food and product manufacturers to create holiday-themed offerings. For example, Vegan Treats bakery has been selling monster pies and other treats since early September.

The bakery has been offering themed treats since early September

T-shirt manufacturers, for example, can add Halloween prints. Also, it's a good reason for restaurants and bars to get creative with their menus, adding salted mummy fingers to Bloody Marys, etc.

Present a limited edition of goods

Create a limited-edition series of your products specifically for Halloween. This is how Starbucks prepared for the holiday.

Starbucks limited edition mug and cups collection

Let customers know that the offer is limited in time and quantity. This will get them excited and make them want to become one of the few to own the limited-edition item.

Offer to customize your products

If you don't have themed products, or you're not sure they'll sell well, consider allowing clients to customize your non-Halloween items. For example, Yankee Candle suggests customers to personalize the design of their candles with just a few clicks.

Offer customers product personalization capabilities

Interestingly, even the maker of Oreo cookies offers a similar service to its customers. And let's face it, on a holiday so closely associated with sweet treats, they should sell well without being decorated. However, the company still provides personalized offers.

Even popular cookies can be customized

Cross-promote offers

Even non-themed items can become Halloweeny when perfectly paired with other products. This works best for apparel, accessories, home decor, and textile stores. For example, by combining casual clothing with accessories in a single gloomy style, the customer already has a gothic costume, etc. Your job is to help people choose. Check out how it works at Target.

Generated themed outfit

You can automate the generation and display of such sets using AI-powered product recommendations. The Yespo omnichannel CDP provides 180 AI algorithms already available in the system. So, companies from different industries can choose from a wide range of algorithms.

Learn more about personalized product recommendations for your website

Show bundles of Halloween items

Recommendation blocks can also contain sets of complementary products that are often purchased together. You can give a discount on such offers when the customer orders the entire set.

Generated Halloween set

In this way, you help shoppers discover things they may have forgotten about or never even considered. And for businesses, such recommendations help drive cross-selling and up-selling.

Halloween Online Activities to Entertain Customers

Halloween is a good occasion to engage your target audience through online activities such as contests etc. Here are a few options that involve different communication channels.

Email games to drive customer engagement

Offer your customers something fun to do by giving them a chance to win small gifts, such as free shipping or a reasonable discount. Here are some things you can add to your promo email:

  • Find and count the differences between the two pictures (the correct answer will be the number from the promo code for the discount on the order);
  • Solve a quiz (with AMP, the subscriber can provide the answer directly in the email);

An example of an AMP email with a quiz in the Yespos' editor

  • Solve a puzzle (requires AMP technology);
  • Spin the slot machine (requires AMP technology);
  • Spin the wheel (requires AMP technology).

An example of gamification in email

Gamification can be added to emails as well as to widgets. This is a great way to increase your contact base.

An example of gamification in a widget

A themed photo or video competition

Many people will wear costumes and dress up their children and even their pets. Invite your subscribers to participate in a contest for the best picture/video in costume.

Email with detailed contest rules

Brands can specify in the terms and conditions that their products must be in the photo. Contestants can email you photos or videos or share them on social media (remember to come up with a catchy hashtag). You can go beyond costumes and have a photo contest with the most original carved pumpkins, the most atmospheric yard, etc. It's great user-generated content that you can use in further campaigns. Don’t forget to invite the website visitors to participate in a contest through popups and gather their contacts.

Guess how many in a jar game

Run an email contest to guess the number of themed items in a jar. Take a photo of a glass jar full of Halloween trinkets, such as candy, cookies, and decorative small items. Ask your site visitors to guess how many things are in it. You can offer several options for people to choose from. Reward the correct answer with a discount on a purchase.

Or run a social media contest for your followers to guess the exact number of items in the jar. Set a time limit, select everyone who guessed correctly, and use a randomizer to pick one or more winners.

Last post

Scavenger hunt for the best deals

Create a scavenger hunt on your website. For example, add small decorative elements such as a bat, tombstone, skeleton, witch's hat, spiders, etc. to the most trafficked pages. Place them in such a way that searches are not too easy and visitors are excited. For example, clicking on such elements should take the user to a landing page with a Halloween sale.

Gambody combined a scavenger hunt on the website with a puzzle in an email campaign. Subscribers could try to guess which products were on sale with a holiday discount orr they could go directly to the online store and look for items with a special mark.

Mixed scavenger game

Final thoughts

More than just a holiday for costumes and candy, Halloween is a great opportunity for ecommerce businesses to engage their audience, increase sales, build brand awareness, expand their contact base, and enhance their marketing strategies. You can attract customers with themed products, limited editions, and customization options, adding personalization that makes your products even more appealing to potential buyers.

The festive atmosphere you create in communications and the spooky transformed website will leave a lasting impression on the targeted audience. This can lead to increased brand awareness and a stronger connection with your customers. Engaging consumers through creative and entertaining campaigns, such as games or contests, might allow you to collect valuable data for future marketing efforts.

However, it's important to remember that Halloween marketing is most effective when delivered through omnichannel campaigns. Using the Yespo CDP simplifies this process by allowing you to aggregate data, run and track marketing campaigns, and deliver a personalized experience to your customers.

Also, keep in mind that a successful Halloween campaign is just the beginning of the holiday season. So, check out the November marketing ideas to get ready for new challenges. And maybe you'll find inspiration for your future campaigns in the Autumn GIF Ideas article.

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Maya Skidanova

Content Writer

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