Fall is officially here. The days are growing shorter, social media feeds are piling up with snaps of apple picking and everyone is starting to brainstorm their Halloween costumes. Before you know it, trick-or-treaters will come knocking. Is your business ready?

More than 175 million Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year, according to the National Retail Federation. Total spending is expected to reach $9 billion, an all-time high in the history of NRF’s annual survey. Whether your business deals in retail, hospitality or services, there’s plenty of opportunity to dress up your marketing for the season.

Avoid the nightmare and plan ahead

Almost half of consumers tackle their Halloween shopping in the first two weeks of October — which means you need to start sending your Halloween email marketing right away if you haven’t already.

Here are some of our favorite Halloween campaigns already hitting inboxes.

Spooktacular subject lines

Give your customers the equivalent of a good “Boo! I got you!” with a subject line that screams the spirit of the season:

  • Park your broom & shop these wicked deals! 🎃 (PetSmart)
  • All Hallows Tees (BoxLunch)
  • Treat Yo’ Self — Wheel House Deals to Scream About! (Wheel House)
  • Sip or Treat: Drinks for Halloween (Caskers)
  • Don’t Catch These Chills…Bundle Up, Babe! (Charlotte Russe)
  • Trick or treat, spooky or sweet? (Etsy)
  • A Halloween Sale so good it’s SCARY (Urban Outfitters)
  • 🎃Carve out these savings🎃 (eBags)

Bloody good design

Remember that 90 percent of the information transmitted to the brain is visual, so your emails should contain compelling design and visuals to help make a lasting impression on your subscribers.

Old Navy sets a fun tone for their Halloween promotions with a cute, winged pumpkin against a bold background. The copy — “Go batty for 31% off” — not only ties in with the image, but also matches the playful mood set by the quirky design. Delivered on October 31, the email offers a very festive 31 percent discount:

PetSmart lets its customers know that Halloween treats aren’t just for kids — they’re for dogs and cats too. The email’s orange and brown color scheme is perfect for fall, and photos of an orange and black cat and a dog in a jack-o’-lantern costume are sure to hit all the right notes for pet lovers this time of year:

Creepy copywriting

Puns, rhymes and festive wordplay abound this season, so hop on the hayride with witty copy of your own. Whether you’re “slashing prices,” or giving your customers a “sweet treat” or “ghoulishly good ideas,” you’ll scare up some sales with a memorable line or two. Caskers, an online craft spirits retailer, cleverly encourages its customers to “Get into the Halloween spirit.” BoxLunch Gifts offers deals on its horror T-shirt inventory in hopes that its shoppers will “Eat, drink and be scary” this Halloween. San Francisco-based shorts retailer Chubbies uses their playful brand voice to collect user-generated content by writing customers, “To whom it may concern (that’s you, dude), send a good Halloween costume idea to the ol’ tipline.”

Mouth, an artisanal food and beverage company, sprinkles spooky phrases and puns through their “fa-boo-lous” Halloween email. Their “drop-dead gift bags” make the “perfect care package to send to your favorite ghoul away at school.” To top it all off, Mouth’s email CTA is simply “Boo”:

Whether you’re offering customers a “trick or treat” discount or special offer, or simply getting into the spirit of the season with a spooky email, there are plenty of ways to participate in Halloween. Plan ahead today, and as the mummy would say, “That’s a wrap!”

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Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and relevance.

© 2018, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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