Halloween is just a few weeks away and for millions of people that means stocking up on candy and dusting off old Halloween costumes.
And for merchants it means preparing a Halloween sale.
Believe it or not, Halloween is one of the biggest sales events of the year. In the US alone, sales have been steadily increasing year-on-year and are now nudging $10 billion. With the average American adult spending $82 on the holiday.
That’s a lot of costumes, decorations, and candy.
But it’s not just typical holiday-related purchases people are making. Nor is it only Americans getting in on the action.
While Halloween may be seen as a North American holiday, its origins relate back to Europe where it’s still celebrated as well as around the rest of the world.
This means that savvy merchants worldwide are running Halloween sales regardless of what they sell.
And as you’re reading this article, you’re probably planning on doing the same. You’re also likely thinking about creating a Halloween email marketing campaign.
(Which you should absolutely do seeing as email is the most effective digital marketing channel.)
So to help you get inspired, we’ve curated this list of what we think are the 10 best Halloween emails out there.
Halloween email marketing examples
1) Teaser email
As with any holiday or sales event, you don’t want to wait for the day to arrive to send your first email.
Your competitors will be sending their campaigns out early and if you wait your customers will likely have already decided to spend their money elsewhere.
That’s why we recommend sending your first Halloween email in mid-October.
As for the content of this initial email in your campaign, the one above from J. Crew Factory provides excellent inspiration.
A simple teaser where you let your customers know that you’re going to be holding a sale but don’t provide many, if any, details will build excitement.
The “trick or treat” question in this example helps to amplify the anticipation among your customers and keeps the email holiday-themed.
After sending a teaser email, you’ll want to follow it up with an email providing more details of your sale. Something your customers will keep an eye out for after receiving an email like this.
2) Sale announcement email
This is J. Crew Factory’s follow up email announcing details of their sale.
After having got their customers excited to learn more details about their sale, this email will enjoy a decently high open-rate. The fact that people have to click through to their site to learn details about the sale also means it’ll likely have a great click-through rate as well.
What makes this email stand out however is the clever use of copy.
If you’ve ever been trick-or-treating then you’ll know the excitement of getting a full-sized candy bar which J. Crew now has you associating this feeling with their sale.
3) Reveal your deal
This is another example of a sale announcement where Loft has included an appealing call-to-action (CTA).
The email itself is a good example of Halloween design with the orange background and contrasting black bats, stars, and moon. But what completes it is the “reveal your deal” CTA.
The sale announcement will generate a decent amount of excitement itself but the prospect of revealing your own deals will be what gives people that extra push to get them to click through.
4) Adding an element of gamification
In addition to how Kendra Scott subverts the traditional Halloween colors to match their brand while remaining Halloween-themed, what we like about this email is the gamification element.
Instead of simply listing which items are on sale, Kendra Scott invites customers to go on a treasure hunt on their website. This could be a lot of fun for their customers and is a way of getting people to engage with their store.
It also has the advantage of getting customers to browse through their range where many people will likely find something they want to buy even though it mightn’t be on sale.
5) Trick or treat
This Halloween email from New Look also incorporates a gamification element, this time by presenting two different CTA buttons letting people choose between trick or treat.
These intentionally vague CTAs build on the email’s mysterious vibe and keeps everything holiday-themed.
While CTAs should usually be descriptive and action-oriented, we’re sure many customers will still be clicking on these just to see what’s “behind the door”.
6) Aligning anything with the holiday
As we’ve already mentioned, it’s not just merchants selling candy, decorations, and Halloween costumes who hold sales. Regardless of what you sell, we’re sure that with some creative thinking you’ll be able to link it back to the holiday.
This email from Keurig is a great example of exactly that.
Coffee is certainly isn’t something people associate with Halloween but by playing on people’s fear of running out of coffee, Keurig has nonetheless made a connection.
A few spiders are thrown in and some orange added for good measure as well.
7) Animated GIF email
Many brands would prefer to steer clear of traditional Halloween imagery like Jack-o’-lantern, cobwebs, and ghosts that can come across as tacky.
The email from Kate Spade however shows how these brands can still get in on the Halloween fun while staying true to their design language. It’s classy and elegant and importantly, on-brand.
The animation thanks to the image being a GIF also helps grab customers’ attention and makes the email stand out in their inboxes.
8) 31% discount
There are many ways you can tie your email campaigns in with Halloween from the color scheme to the imagery and your email copy.
And while this example from Lands’ End shows all of this in action, it also contains another subtle Halloween reference: the 31% discount.
As people know Halloween is always celebrated on the 31st of October, incorporating the number 31 is another small way you can keep your marketing emails holiday-themed.
9) Sale ends today
Again, you don’t want your Halloween email campaign to only consist of a single email.
While we’ve talked about additional emails you can send at the beginning of your campaign like a sale teaser, this email from Maniology is an example of how you can close out your campaign.
As your sale draws to a close, you’ll want to send a final last chance email to let your customers know that your sale is about to end.
The countdown timer helps to amplify this sense of urgency and compel shoppers to take action right away.
10) Last chance email
This is another good example of a last chance email that was sent in the final hours of their Halloween sale.
What makes this email stand out is the use of copy.
“Final witching hours”, “act fast before they disappear”, and even “spooky surprise” and “boo-tiful designs” all relate the email back to the holiday and reinforce the final chance message.
It’s also a fine example of Halloween email design.
Halloween is becoming an increasingly important sales event, not only in the United States but around the world. That’s why smart merchants and marketers are creating their own sales and email campaigns for Halloween.
And now you hopefully have plenty of ideas and design inspiration for your own Halloween campaign.
Of course, no email is complete without a compelling subject line. Especially when a third of your email list will either open or ignore your campaign based solely on its subject line.
So to help you with your Halloween campaign even further, we’ve put together a list of over 50 Halloween subject lines that you can get inspired by.
Best of luck!