7 Revenue-boosting Halloween Email Campaign Tactics & Examples

Written by: Chris Donald

Published on: 10-26-2021

Chris is Managing Partner at InboxArmy and has more than 25 years of experience in email marketing

When most marketers and businesses think of holiday marketing campaigns, they think of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, etc.


Because those are generally the biggest shopping holidays and the biggest money-makers.

And because, if you don’t sell costumes or candy, Halloween may not seem like a natural promotional opportunity for your business.

But if you overlook Halloween email campaigns, you do so at your own peril.

Halloween is a fun holiday, even for adults. You can make it more fun for your subscribers by creating exciting Halloween emails that offer enticing deals.

And you can make it more fun for yourself by applying these Halloween email marketing tips and creating engaging, revenue-boosting emails!

At Inbox Army, we help clients conceive, design, code, and deliver holiday email campaigns that drive significant revenue. If your past campaigns didn’t deliver the results you hoped for, or if you want help maximizing your holiday email marketing revenue, talk with a member of our team to learn how we can improve your results. Get in touch now.


First Things First: The Fundamentals!

Halloween is a unique holiday.

And while your Halloween emails should be unique, they must also follow the same fundamental rules as any other holiday email campaign, including:

Offer An Enticing Treat

Some holiday email campaigns don’t offer any discounts or incentives. They just aim to be a fun way to connect with subscribers and remind them of the value of your product/service.

That’s all good and well. But if you aim to drive real revenue with your Halloween campaign, then you’ll need to include an enticing incentive and give subscribers a reason to shop.

Incentives include:

  • Discounts
  • Free shipping
  • Free set-up
  • Free trials
  • BOGO
  • Free gifts (t-shirt, tote bag, etc.)

Incentives are especially important for Halloween campaigns because it’s not traditionally viewed as a shopping holiday. You need to give subscribers an extra reason to shop – something they won’t want to miss out on.

Tap Into The Spirit Of The Season

It should go without saying that your Halloween email campaigns should be fun and have a Halloween theme.

It SHOULD go without saying, but many people – including some of our clients – create holiday emails that merely promote their sales and/or products without much effort towards incorporating the holiday spirit.

But getting into the spirit of the season isn’t just a cheap marketing ploy, it makes your emails more effective.

Doing so creates a sense of fun that gets people into your emails. It also shows a human side to your brand and helps you connect with your audience.

Think back to your favourite shows as a kid – like the Simpsons. Didn’t you get excited about their Halloween-themed episodes? Think of your Halloween emails the same way.

Use Traditional Email Marketing Tactics

We’re going to discuss Halloween-specific tactics that’ll make your emails more effective in the next section.

But those tactics should be combined with traditional email marketing tactics that are known to boost open rates and conversions.

Some of the top tactics you should employ include:

Put Recipients In The Right Frame Of Mind

The goal of any email is to put recipients into an emotional state that compels them to buy your product or service.

Essentially, you want to get them thinking about the pain point your product solves (or the goal it helps them achieve) and what life will be like once they’ve purchased your product and solved it.

You can accomplish this by:

  • Sharing images of your product being used to solve the pain point.
  • Sharing images that show what your customer’s life will be like once they’ve purchased your product.
  • Use copy that describes the problem in words that your customers use.
  • Use copy that describes what life will be like once they’ve purchased your product.

There are many ways to put recipients in the right frame of mind. In this email we created for our client BOIE, we used images showing their body scrubber in action and language that describes how it is “easy to hold and manoeuvre”, “gentle on skin,” and provides “gentle exfoliation.”


Create Urgency

Creating a sense of urgency is a great way to influence recipients to act now.

Subscribers know that your holiday deals won’t last forever, and they don’t want to miss out. Your goal is to intensify their FOMO and make it overt.

You can create urgency by:

  • Add a countdown timer to your email.
  • Using urgent language like “Before time runs out!” and “Act fast!”

In this email we created for our client Vitamedica, we created urgency by using a countdown timer and telling recipients that this was their “Last Chance!”


Reduce Friction

To maximize the number of conversions, you need to make it as easy as possible for recipients to convert. This is why, in every email, you must reduce as much friction as possible.

One of the simplest ways to reduce friction is by handling objections.

Objections are common issues that make your shoppers hesitate before making a purchase. They may be worried that if they purchase your product they’ll be stuck with it even if they don’t like it (this is especially true if your product is expensive). You can handle this objection by sharing your warranty/return policies.

In this Black Friday email we created for Vitamedica, we handled objections at the bottom of the email by sharing their 60-day money-back guarantee and “excellent customer ratings.”

Vitamedica 2

Optimize For Mobile

It’s 2021 and many customers are shopping on mobile devices. If your emails don’t render properly on mobile, then they won’t even read your email, much less make a purchase.

While there are many aspects to optimizing for mobile, three of the easiest include:

  • Using mobile-responsive templates.
  • Providing a “View In Browser” link.
  • Testing your emails before sending.

7 Revenue-boosting Halloween Email Campaign Tactics

Now on to the main event.

In addition to traditional email marketing tactics, you should employ these Halloween-specific tactics to get the most from your campaigns.

1.) Use Halloween-Themed Language

As stated earlier, getting into the spirit of the season makes your emails more fun, shows a human side to your brand and helps you connect with your audience.

Your emails should tap into the spirit of Halloween by combining elements of your brand/product with Halloween-themed language.

You don’t have to be a poet. A little effort here goes a long way.

Our client BOIE sells optimized personal hygiene products like face scrubbers, body scrubbers, and toothbrushes. We incorporated simple Halloween-themed language into their emails in two ways:

  • We combined the word “boo” with their brand name to create the discount code “BOOOIE.”
  • We invited recipients to buy BOIE products and “Banish creepy crawly germs for good.”

BOIE Halloween

2.) Use Halloween Style Fonts

Another low-hanging fruit way to make your Halloween emails more fun is to use Halloween-style fonts.

Halloween fonts are fun and tap into the recipient’s nostalgia about Halloween in their childhood.

But use Halloween fonts sparingly in your emails, as they can be harder to read. A good rule of thumb is to use Halloween fonts for headers and big text, but use simpler fonts for product descriptions and copy that explains the specifics of your sale.

Dunkin’ Donuts does this well by using a Halloween font in their header and regular font to explain their offers.

Dunkin' Donuts Halloween

3.) Use Halloween-Themed Product Descriptions

Whether you’re sharing product descriptions or your value proposition, it’s possible – with a little creativity – to create descriptions that put recipients into the right frame of mind and tap into the spirit of Halloween.

To do so, you simply need to combine the benefits of your product/service with concepts that are traditionally associated with Halloween, horror, the supernatural, etc.

In this email we created for Boie, we created several Halloween-themed product descriptions:

  • We described loofahs and washcloths as “the stuff of nightmares” and how Boie’s body scrubber would “protect you from things that grow in the night.”
  • We described how BOIE’s face scrubber “exfoliates without harsh scrubbing, so you’ve got nothing to be scared of.”
  • To promote their toothbrushes, we joked about how “Dracula just had gum erosion.”

They’re corny jokes. But they’re fun and humanize BOIE’s brand.


4.) Share Halloween-Specific Product Recommendations

If you don’t sell any products that are relevant to Halloween, then you should turn to tip #2 and create product descriptions that make your product more relevant to the holiday.

But if you do have products that relate to Halloween – and you can be creative in how you make this connection – then you should share those products in your emails.

Sharing themed product descriptions accomplishes two goals simultaneously:

  • It reduces friction, as you’re making it easier for shoppers to find relevant products.
  • It provides value, as you’re sharing products that help subscribers enjoy Halloween more.

Airbnb accomplishes this by sharing “frightfully fun places to stay” and “haunted homes for the daring.”

Crate & Barrel shares fun products shoppers can use to make Halloween treats and decorations.


5.) Use Halloween-Themed Images

Another easy way to make your Halloween emails more fun is to include Halloween-themed images.

Witches, zombies, ghosts, spiders, pumpkins, etc. Anything that relates to Halloween or horror is fair game.

While any type of Halloween-themed image works, the more relevant they are to your products, the better. In fact, try to think of ways you can combine your products with Halloween/horror elements.

In this email for BOIE, we included an image of a witch riding BOIE’s toothbrush instead of a broom.


While you can always keep things simple, you can also use images in more creative ways that help you sell products.

For an example of advanced Halloween imagery use, we turn to Framebridge.

Framebridge sells custom picture frames and art frames. Their Halloween email taps into the very reason we take pictures – to immortalize the best moments in our lives.

Their email includes an image of kids in Halloween-themed pyjamas watching the Haloween classic Hocus Pocus. It taps into a parent’s desire to capture the best moments of their kid’s childhood, as well as everyone’s desire to relive the best moments of their own childhood.


6.) Match Your Imagery & Copy To Your Audience

Don’t just create a generic Halloween email. Put in a bit more effort by matching your imagery and copy to your audience.

Catering to your audience ensures that recipients find your email content relevant and connect to it more.

Brands that cater to children or general audiences should keep their imagery and copy more PG to appeal to their audience and avoid offending anyone. Alexa & Alexa, an eCommerce company that sells children’s clothing, keep their imagery and content family-friendly and shares fun Halloween-themed outfits.


Brands that cater to more adult audiences can, and should, go with darker, more adult-themed imagery and copy. Jack Threads, a company that sells clothes and shoes to adult men, included an image of a pumpkin vomiting with beer cans around it.


While Asos sells both men’s and women’s clothing, they created a segmented email that caters to their teen female audience in both copy and product suggestions.


7.) Add Some Creative Gamification

A clever way to boost engagement is to gamify your emails and your offers with a Halloween theme.

Put simply, turn your offer into a fun game that intrigues your subscribers.

The easiest way to add some Halloween-themed gamification is by incorporating an element of mystery to your offer, as demonstrated by this J. Crew email. It invites shoppers to stop by their store for a “mystery sale surprise.”

J.Crew Factory

New Look goes a step further by prompting customers to choose between a trick and a treat. The mystery alone is enough to get many recipients to click just to find out what each is, which is a great way to get more attention to their sales.

New Look

The Best Halloween Email Subject Line Tactics

There are many subject line tactics and most of the work. But the trick is to use the right subject line tactics for a specific email.

Every email has inherent emotions and themes associated with it. These themes come from the email content as well as the context in which the email is being sent.

Black Friday emails, for example, are centred around the huge discounts and the limited time recipients have to act to take advantage of them. Subject lines that create urgency, FOMO, and exclusivity work best for these emails.

Halloween emails, however, are centred around the sale you’re offering, as well as themes associated with the holiday itself. Subject lines that create urgency, curiosity (mystery), and value work best with these emails.

The Urgency Subject Line Tactic

Since you’re likely to be offering a discount on your products, subject lines that create urgency are great for increasing open rates.

The key to creating urgency is by:

  • Telling recipients about the discount (or hinting at how big it is)
  • Telling recipients about the limited nature of the sale (by telling them how soon it ends or how quickly supplies run out)

The goal is to communicate the fact that your email represents an opportunity that won’t last and requires immediate action.

Urgency Subject Line Examples

  • 20% off sale ends tonight at midnight!
  • Last chance! 30% off all shoes and dresses!
  • 15% off all bikes while supplies last!
  • HUGE sale! Small window. Shop NOW!
  • It’s scary how big this sale is… and how fast supplies are running out!

The Mystery/Curiosity Subject Line Tactic

Since Halloween is heavily associated with mystery, incorporating it in your subject line is on-brand. It’s also a great way to generate curiosity about your offer.

To create curiosity, simply hint at the contents of your email without telling recipients specifically what’s in it.

Mystery/Curiosity Subject Lines:

  • Have the spookiest Halloween with these scary decorations!
  • Be the most popular house on the block with these Halloween candies!
  • This sale is the sweetest treat you’ll get this year.
  • Something wicked this way comes…
  • No trick. Treat yourself to this huge sale!

The Straightforward Subject Line Tactic

Let’s be honest – the sale is the workhorse of holiday emails. It does most of the heavy lifting regarding getting recipients to open the email and buy your products.

So getting cutesy with your subject line isn’t always necessary. Sometimes, you just need to be straightforward and share the specifics of your offer.

Straightforward Subject Lines:

  • 20% off all shoes this Halloween weekend.
  • 15% off + free shipping now through Halloween.
  • Halloween Sale: 30% off + free shipping!
  • Your favourite dresses are now 10% off. Today only!
  • All week: 20% off everything + free shipping on orders $50+

The Value-Oriented Subject Line Tactic

Value-oriented subject lines aim to get recipients to open your email based on the value of what’s inside.

There are two types of value to focus on:

  • The value of your sale
  • How the products you’re selling can add value to recipients’ lives.

To create these subject lines, merely share the value of the sale and/or how the products inside can improve the recipient’s life.

Value-Oriented Subject Lines:

  • Be the scariest house on the block with these spooky decorations!
  • Create a Halloween your kids will never forget! + 20% off everything!
  • Win the best costume with these Halloween outfits (up to 30% off)!
  • The perfect drinks for your Halloween party are on sale now!
  • Halloween isn’t complete without these delectable treats!

Make This Halloween Season A Treat!

If you’ve read other articles about Halloween email campaigns, you were probably left a bit dizzy and unsure where to begin.

That’s because there are many tactics you can use on your Halloween emails – but most are just unnecessary tricks.

That’s why we put together this list of the tactics and strategies that actually have a significant impact on the efficacy of your Halloween email campaigns. So you won’t have to waste time with useless gambits. So you’ll know what to focus on.

With these tactics, you’ll be able to create campaigns that tap into the spirit of the season, connect with your audience, and influence conversions.

The 2021 Holiday Season is fast approaching. Don’t waste any more time. Apply the tactics listed above and make this Halloween season a treat!

At Inbox Army, we help clients conceive, design, code, and deliver holiday email campaigns that drive significant revenue. If your past campaigns didn’t deliver the results you hoped for, or if you want help maximizing your holiday email marketing revenue, talk with a member of our team to learn how we can improve your results. Get in touch now.


About Author

Chris sent his first email campaign in 1995. He’s worked directly with Fortune 500 companies, retail giants, nonprofits, SMBs and government agencies in all facets of their email marketing and marketing automation programs. He’s also a BIG baseball fan, loves a good steak, and is mildly obsessed with zombie movies. For more information follow him on linkedin

Let Us Help Take You To The Next Level Of Email Marketing

Get in touch to start a conversation.

Get in touch
Multi-ESP Support

We support 50+ ESP vendors. Be it enterprise platforms such as SalesForce and Oracle Marketing Cloud or small and medium sized business platforms such as Mailchimp, Klaviyo, Aweber, and ActiveCampaign, we’ve got you covered.