When you think of seasonal marketing, you might go straight for the big guns, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
But pump the brakes for a second because there is another opportunity lurking in the shadows of your marketing campaigns… Halloween!
Don’t worry — you don’t need to sell costumes or candy to cash in on Halloween marketing. (But it sure doesn’t hurt, as Americans spend 171 million annually on Halloween-themed items, according to The Balance.)
So lock the doors and draw the shades because 13 eerily effective Halloween marketing tips for online sellers are coming for you right now.
1. Get Creative With Your Existing Items
No, you might not sell pumpkin outfits for dogs or gummy bears to drop in trick-or-treaters’ bags. But — but you can’t afford to be shortsighted about this either.
Consider what’s currently in your online store (or e-commerce site) that you can repurpose as Halloween-friendly.
- For example… maybe you sell handmade clothing, including vintage-style dresses. Put a little marketing magic into your cauldron and promote them as “pinup-girl costumes” or send emails to your customers saying, “Go retro this Halloween with this handmade 1950’s-style dress.”
- If you sell handmade jewelry, you also have the same opportunity. Promote your Bohemian-style jewelry as the perfect complement to a 60’s-style costume or your stackable gold bracelets as Queen of the Nile-style pieces.
- Makeup sellers can promote lipstick shades that go best with specific costumes, like a “devilish red,” or “pin-up pink.”
- If you sell camping or outdoor items, you can promote it as “zombie survival gear.”
- If you sell desserts, promote them as tempting treats for Halloween parties or as goodies to bring to your child’s school party.
2. Treat Your Customers to a Sweet Surprise
Looking for Halloween marketing tips that’ll surprise your customers and encourage them to buy again?
Try creating small trick-or-treat bags filled with goodies for your customers and dropping them into their orders as a surprise.
- Fill each bag with a few hard candies (or other non-perishable items)
- Drop a business card in
- Include a special promo code for their next purchase (promo code: BOO15, THANKS31, SHOP50, TREAT10)
3. Hop Aboard the Seasonal Bandwagon
As far as Halloween marketing tips go… if you are able to create something specific for the spookiest season of the year, you might want to give it a whirl!
Be sure to promote these items as “limited edition” creations to entice shoppers to buy immediately.
- Home-decor sellers might create Halloween decor signs, centerpieces, wreaths, yard decorations, etc.
- Candle creators could create Halloween-specific scents, like black licorice (perhaps named Witches’ Brew?), candied apple, candy corn, caramel corn, forbidden fruit, fireplace, pumpkin, harvest moon, toasted marshmallow, and more!
- Bath and body sellers could create wickedly seasonal bath bombs in scents like “magic potion,” “Dracula’s delight,” and “pumpkin spice.” (Of course.)
4. Offer Halloween Discount Codes
Just because you don’t sell costumes doesn’t mean you can’t still try to sway Halloween shoppers to visit your online store.
Get in on the fun of the season by offering discount codes to shoppers.
5. Hold a Halloween Contest
Halloween marketing tips, like holding a contest for your Facebook fans, are versatile enough for all online sellers.
- If you have seasonal scents, food, decor, clothing, etc, you could ask fans to submit a picture of your product in use to win a prize.
- Or, you could ask Facebook fans to upload a picture of the favorite costume they’ve ever worn in order to win a fan-favorite of your products (doesn’t need to be a Halloween-themed item).
6. Change Up Your Verbiage
If you want to evoke the spirit of Halloween, try switching up the words you use in your marketing materials, social media posts, email marketing, and more throughout the month of October.
Here’s a list to get you started:
|Wickedly Good||Devilishly Delicious||Frightening||Blood-Curdling||Bone-Chilling|
7. Send Halloween-Themed Emails
Email marketing should be a part of your year-round marketing arsenal. But you can send seasonal- and holiday-specific emails to appeal to shoppers and shake up what they expect from you.
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Here are some subject lines to try:
- A frighteningly good deal awaits you…
- Open for a scary-good deal (if you dare)
- 50% Off all seasonal scents (3 days only!)
- Get free shipping till October 31st
- Free candy bag when you spend $50
- Get 15% off your purchase with code TRICK15
- A fang-tastic sale is happening now
Want to try emojis in your email subject lines? Grab them from a site like this one to ensure they’re visible on all mobile devices.
8. Create Halloween-Specific Social-Media Graphics
Halloween marketing tips don’t always have to involve spending money. Spend a little time creating new Halloween visuals for your business using a site like Canva or PicMonkey. (Canva is free at a basic level and PicMonkey is $3.99 a month if billed annually.)
- Create a new Facebook cover — maybe it’s a collage of your products with a Halloween theme.
- Create fun Halloween-themed images of your individual products to share on sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
- Update your e-commerce site with a few Halloween elements (like a spider dropping down) on your homepage.
- Make a new template for your email marketing efforts that incorporates a Halloween theme.
9. Offer a Frighteningly Tempting Freebie
Perhaps the bulk of your items don’t have anything to do with Halloween — but you can still put a Halloween spin on things by offering a frighteningly fun freebie.
- Try the candy-filled trick-or-treat bag mentioned above, but available only if shoppers spend $25 or more at your online store.
- Offer a “spooky surprise” of your choice that you will drop into each order. (Like spider window clings or cobwebs.)
- Give away trick-or-treat bags for kids (not filled with goodies) if you sell items for children.
10. Create a Product Collage
Whether you have any Halloween-themed products to promote or not, a product collage is a great way to highlight what you have to offer. Create a collage using Canva or PicMonkey, use some of the silly Halloween verbiage shown above, and post it on your social media accounts.
You can also email your collage to subscribers (use one of the subject lines above) to promote any deals you’ll be having for the month of October.
11. Encourage a Seasonal Conversation
It can be difficult to get fans talking on social media. But once you get the convo going, others tend to follow suit.
Ask direct questions that relate (at least somewhat) to the products you sell.
- If you sell bath and body products, ask your followers what their favorite seasonal scent is for the month of October.
- If you sell home decor, ask your followers to show you pictures of how they’re decorating their homes and lawns for October.
- If you sell clothing, ask your followers to share photos of DIY costumes they’ve made.
- If you sell makeup, ask your followers to share photos of their best DIY Halloween makeup creations.
You might want to randomly reward those who comment with a $5 gift card to your online store to entice more followers to comment. (Tell them to DM you with their email address so you can send them the discount code or gift card.)
12. Give Halloween Tips to Followers
Not too into creating new images just for Halloween or using seasonal puns?
Try something a bit more practical, like offering safety tips. (This is one of the lesser obvious Halloween marketing tips, but still can get your followers’ attention.)
- If you create handmade dog treats, offer tips to followers on how to keep their dogs safe on Halloween. (Send these tips out in emails, use them on your blog, and create text-based images with them.)
- If you sell children’s toys or clothing, offer tips on how to check Halloween candy to make sure it’s safe or send out a list of safer trick-or-treating options (like at local businesses rather than in neighborhoods) to your followers.
- If you sell food products, post themed recipes or ideas for healthier trick-or-treat items.
13. Use Disappearing Content to Keep Followers Spellbound
Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat all offer ephemeral content, which is video and text-based images that are available for a limited amount of time.
You can post Halloween discount codes, funny videos, demos of Halloween-themed products, and so on, on your accounts to keep customers spellbound throughout the month of October.
Take advantage of Snapchat and Facebook’s filters to show your followers the lighter (and spookier) side of your brand.
No matter how you feel about Halloween personally, you can’t deny that seasonal marketing works. So don’t be afraid to break out your cauldron, add a dash of creativity, and stir up some sales for your online store this October!