Come October, the people in the US, young and old, look forward to the 31st.
While Halloween originated over 2000+ years ago, in the present day, it's an opportunity for eCommerce brands to make profits.
But, the sad truth is that eCommerce businesses have failed to capitalize on Halloween.
There’s still hope!
This post will help you and other businesses learn through examples and strategies to make Halloween memorable financially and otherwise. Here's a preview of the topics we will be covering:
- 9 Super Creative Halloween Marketing Examples (eCommerce)
- 3 Surefire Halloween Marketing Strategies
- Halloween Spending by the Numbers: An Overview
9 Super Creative Halloween Marketing Examples (eCommerce)
1. Chewy: Build excitement by sending early Halloween emails
There’s no other marketing channel that converts well like email marketing. For every dollar spent, you get an ROI of $42.
Chewy knows this and this Halloween email campaign is a testament.
From grabbing attention with free shipping to offering first-time signups with discounts, Chewy’s nudge tactics are par excellence.
And, those cute doggos triggering a river of oxytocin. The cuteness will make customers remark “Awww”.
Why it works
- Copy: The copy is compelling and drives users to take action. Case in point,
Halloween in the house
Trick and treats delivered to your step
It uses heuristics, a key psychological principle that explains the consumer behavior while shopping. It’s a mental hack that helps customers make decisions and solve their problems.
- Simple Returns: An easy returns policy inspires confidence in your customer. More so, 67% of customers check the return policy before deciding to buy from an eCommerce brand.
Pro Tip — Including a referral link in your Halloween Marketing campaign email can increase your conversion rate by 3.74%
Check out Increasing sales through email marketing: The no-nonsense guide
2. Kylie Cosmetics: Give your site the spooky Halloween look
When Halloween is around the corner, you need to dress for the occasion and so does your website.
Adding a theme to your eCommerce website can help you convey the key messaging of the campaign. The color, visuals, and other elements represent your brand in a positive light which is crucial in delivering an amazing user experience.
Kylie Cosmetics dresses up its site in a Halloween theme reinforcing the offers it has rolled out for the same.
The use of green, white, and purple colors ensures cognitive ease. The ability of the brain to process information. This is a textbook example of choosing the right color palette for your website.
It follows the 60:30:10 rule, where 60% is the dominant color, 30% is the secondary color and 10% is the accent(used to differentiate the dominant and the secondary colors).
Why it works
- Two-column layout: Kylie scores a straight A for using the two-column layout where there’s equal weightage given the text and the image. This helps users to easily process information.
- Free shipping: By offering free shipping for both domestic and international orders, it gives an incentive to customers to buy. 93% of online customers feel encouraged to buy products if free shipping is offered. Free shipping can boost sales, increase average order value, and improve conversion rates.
Pro Tip — Offering an email opt-in in exchange for a discount can help increase conversions
3. Temptations Tasty Human: Videos + emotions = Visual Storytelling
Emotional Marketing will never go out of style. The technique of using certain messaging to target emotions and persuade customers is not everybody’s cup of tea.
Temptations, the cat food brand created this video which blends horror with humor effectively driving the message across.
According to a study, research was conducted on 1400 successful ad campaigns by brands to find which content had a better impact — emotional vs rational.
The results were mind-boggling, ads with emotional content performed 2x better compared to the ones having rational content.
It’s no surprise this video was a hit with the customers.
Why it works
- Video length: The video is 15-second long which successfully conveys the message that the average attention span of people is decreasing with each passing day.
- Voiceover: Voiceovers, especially Hollywood voiceovers are great at evoking emotions. It grabs the attention of the customers ensuring they don’t drop off in the middle.
Pro Tip — Using a blend of emotional and rational messaging can perform well (26%)
4. Nike Halloween Dunk: Let customers be your voice (User-generated content)
Nike launched the Nike Halloween Dunk as a part of its Halloween campaign in 2021.
And, here’s what Nike benefitted from leveraging the power of user-generated content. User-generated content has a high level of authenticity and hence sends better trust signals.
Here’s an unboxing video by Jeff Ong reviewing the Halloween Dunk edition sneakers.
User-generated content has a significant impact on purchase decisions. 90% of buyers find user-generated content authentic and believe what current customers say as opposed to promotional ads.
Moreover, 64% of customers search for reviews before checking out.
Why it works
- Micro-influencer: As we speak, Jeff Ong has 11.6k subscribers on his YouTube channel. This makes him a micro-influencer(people with 10,000-50,000 subscribers). Customers will better relate since social cognition is in action. Social cognition is a psychological principle concerning how people process, store, and apply information about other people and social situations.
- Economical: User-generated content helps in reducing the load of producing content. Since your customers are doing it, it serves as social proof increasing the organic traffic to your website.
Pro Tip — Using user-generated content on your website can increase recurring traffic by 20%
Don't forget to read 15 EASY ways to get customer reviews and boost sales
5. Delish: Create How-to guides on Halloween treats
Creating content that goes beyond keywords is necessary for staying ahead in content marketing.
Creating ‘How to’ content helps do just that. From addressing customer problems to driving traffic and converting new visitors plus existing customers, there's nothing good 'How to' content can't do.
Delish creates a recipe for baking the Dead Velvet cake (the name has a nice ring to it, isn’t it?).
The key advantage of how-to content is the repurpose flexibility it offers. You can write a post and turn it into a video, infographic, or a series of images.
Why it works
- Search intent: As much as Halloween is about partying, it’s equally about food. Customers looking to bake treats for Halloween will be looking for something eerie yet tasty. This post addresses the ‘informational’ search intent.
- Shareability: Content like this can easily be shared. This can get you without having to distribute across multiple channels.
Pro Tip — ‘How-to’ posts can also serve as an opportunity to create user-generated content. Ask users to post pictures and tag you to spread the word around
6. Target: Advocate inclusivity
Halloween isn’t fun for all due to certain limitations. Specially-abled kids are forced to sit and watch from the sidelines.
Target changes it by being inclusive by introducing wheelchair-adaptive Halloween costumes.
This is a laudable effort by Target for ensuring that no specially-abled child is deprived of fun. This truly reflects Target’s ethos of diversity and inclusion.
In a nutshell, they’re walking the talk.
As per the US Census Bureau, 4.3% of children have a disability in the United States as of 2019.
They also have these special costumes for toddlers, which makes Target a humane brand.
Why it works
- Cause marketing: Target has been a vocal advocate for diversity and inclusion. With this initiative, it is consolidating its brand perception as positive to the customers. In fact, 86% of customers are highly likely to buy from brands that are driven by purpose.
- Convenient Returns: The 365-day return policy is a blessing to customers as they have ample time to make the returns. This makes it a genuine initiative and not a marketing ploy. Remember, 92% of customers will make a second purchase if making the returns are easy.
Pro Tip — Including customer reviews can send greater trust signals and credibility
Know more: Inclusive Marketing: 22 eCommerce brands that do it right
7. Svedka Vodka: Use retargeting to your advantage
Retargeted ads are mostly considered annoying since they are shown to you everywhere.
Yet, the ROI on retargeting ads is 200%.
As shocking as it is, here is an Halloween marketing campaign that hits the ball out of the park.
Svedka Vodka created a cookie based retargeting campaign for its Halloween Marketing campaign in 2017.
The Goosebump styled video makes it memorable and persuasive.
By watching this video, you’re now cursed. Cursed with hellish ads that will follow you everywhere.
This is great messaging that brilliantly sums up Halloween.
Why it works
- High exposure: Retargeted ads are shown multiple times on different sites that a user spends time on. This will likely make them develop a preference for them. This is the mere exposure effect in action. According to this principle, people are more likely to like something when they are shown frequently.
- Statutory warning: Svedka Vodka mentions the statutory warning which effectively advises people to party but drink in moderation. This complies with the Alcohol Beverage Labeling Act (ALBA), 1988 wherein all alcoholic beverages for sale and distribution in the United States must contain a health warning statement.
Pro Tip — Using 24 FPS in your marketing videos can give better audio and video experience
8. Harry’s: Encourage new product trial
When you want to sell your new product, you know that a ‘push’ strategy is the not best option.
You certainly would want to educate your prospective customers first and then encourage them to try your product.
Simply put, you need to soft sell your product.
Harry’s encourages its users to try a new product by sending an educational email about its new trimmer.
This is a work of creative genius since it focuses on providing value first instead of making a typical sales pitch.
Educating the reader can guarantee more conversions than hit-and-miss methods because it neatly outlines the customer journey map.
Why it works
- Benefits over features: Harry’s doesn’t talk about what it can do but it can solve the customer’s pain points. It talks about how it can shape your sideburns post shave, a better alternative to trimming the thickest of beards and trimming the eyebrows. This convinces customers that this product can solve their problems by reducing the perceived risk.
- Single CTA: Too many CTAs cause friction which affects the user’s decision-making ability. A single CTA in emails can increase clicks by 317% and sales by 1617%.
Pro Tip — Including names in the email subject lines is the greatest personalization strategy
9. RXBAR: Drive urgency by selling limited edition products
Urgency, FOMO, and scarcity are the greatest persuasive principles in marketing.
Limited edition products drive all three and RXBAR uses this to its greatest advantage.
It sent an email featuring its Pumpkin Spice Limited edition protein bar. You got to give it to them for stunning visuals. Human beings like images and 65% of people are visual learners, meaning they learn through images better than text.
The copy is a sight for sore eyes as it can hook the user’s attention quite remarkably.
It offers free shipping and a 20% discount plus free shipping by providing a promo code. This is a great incentive for customers to buy which is reciprocity in full swing. As per this principle, human beings repay a favor when something good is offered to them.
Why it works
- Offering alternatives: RXBAR offers a seasonal variety pack that helps confused customers make a choice. This is nothing but the principle of authority, where people trust the advice of people with credible expertise.
- Diverse content: The email includes a workout video with a pumpkin and a post on how to make an RXBAR costume which shows the time and effort to ensure that content ensures conversions.
Pro Tip — Including customer support information in your emails can help in answering customer objections resulting in more conversions
3 Surefire Halloween Marketing Strategies
1. Revamp your SERP
Well, you certainly know SEO but the change starts with changing your SERP. The higher your SERP ranks, the higher will be your visibility. This will reduce your Google ads costs and help you rank organically.
Moreover, SERP is the first customer touch point in the awareness stage of the customer journey map. In case you’re unaware, 67.60% of clicks go to the first five results on the first page of a Google search.
Here’s an example we created so you can understand it better.
Here are a few tips to help you rank your SERP better:
a) Optimize your site for the queries your customers use
By optimizing your site for the words your customers use aka long tail keywords you can become highly relevant because of high search intent. One way is to dig your Google Search Console data and find the keywords.
This is important because customers can quickly find what they want which makes your site more memorable.
b) Keep your images real
Ditch the stock images and use real images of your products. Why is this important? Original images indicate authenticity and send high trust signals to Google. As a matter of fact, 75% of customers insist on looking at pictures first before buying. It improves conversion.
Remember, using large images on your website has proven to increase conversation rates. It’s a fact that a 28% increase in image size can mark a 63% uptick in conversions.
c) Create content for customers, not for search engines
With all the focus on creating content, your customers should find your content valuable and instead of merely writing for the sake of search engines.
When you create content that addresses the pain points, you don’t have to spend on PPC campaigns and increase conversions organically. 88% of marketers have successfully created brand awareness, trust, and credibility through content marketing.
More importantly, content marketing can boost engagement and generate leads with 72% of marketers confirming the same.
In a nutshell, content that’s original and not talked about before is liked by customers. Providing a different perspective and demonstrating your authority can get your foot in the door.
Know if you're committing these mistakes: 14 eCommerce content marketing mistakes (+ their fixes)
2. Start the 21 days to Halloween campaign
Brands are excited to get their Halloween campaign early but there’s a question often asked, ‘How soon is too soon?’
According to Statista, 39.5% of customers start shopping during the first two weeks of October while 36% of customers begin their shopping in early September.
So, we recommend you start the 21 days to Halloween campaign. You guessed it right since it takes 21 days to form a habit, your customers will become conditioned to buy from you.
Here’s a 3-step guide to help you get started —
a) Introduce Halloween edition products
Introducing special edition products has always evoked curiosity from shoppers.
Gen Z and Millennials have a high preference for special edition products. In a study, it was found that 46% of Gen Z and 45% of Millennials bought special/limited editions.
Build-A-Booty launched its Halloween edition resistance band bundle.
This bundle has 3 types of resistance bands serving different purposes. This is the value proposition it is offering and not just its aesthetics.
b) Offer value-based content
When Halloween is a few days away, you shouldn’t be pushy and start selling outright.
Instead, use your product to create an angle and offer valuable content.
Terra Origin created a Halloween Pumpkin Spice Shake recipe which is a gentle nudge without being pushy.
It works for two reasons — Fitness buffs looking to try out new healthy drinks can have fun instead of drinking alcohol.
People trying to get in shape may end up buying Terra Origin Organic Plant Protein in vanilla.
And the vegan fitness freaks will have a greater reason to rejoice.
c) Get started with your email marketing campaign
Email marketing is one of the most deliverable channels with an ROI of 4100%. For every $1 spent, you get a return of $42.
You can send early offer emails, pre-order emails, or flash sale emails to drive awareness and traffic to your site.
Here is an email from Ferguson Showrooms using a pun to drive conversions.
The humor combined with FOMO makes it a creative yet persuasive email.
3. Give a haunting surprise with push notifications
Push notifications are often an underutilized channel when it comes to driving conversions. With an ROI of 3500%, push notifications can be a powerful addition to your Halloween marketing campaign.
Here’s an example of a Halloween push notification by Soulcycle.
The rhyming lines make it short and memorable. The use of emojis can significantly increase open rates by 20%.
Push notifications can give this superpower
You can reach your target audience without invading their privacy
Apps request permission from users before sending the notification. If the customers enable them, then it’s with their consent.
You can send the push notifications at a time convenient to them. This makes it convenient to build a personalized relationship with the customers.
70% of customers find push notifications useful and 53% are willing to provide location details with no reservations.
Take note, the highest push notification click through rate by day of the week is 8.4% on Tuesdays followed by 8.1% on Sundays. The success of your push notifications depends on the days and most importantly the time.
Remember, push notifications are to be used sparingly. Too many notifications can lead to app disablement or worse.
You might be interesting in reading 18 Push Notification Templates for eCommerce (& great Examples)
Halloween Spending by the Numbers: An Overview
Halloween by and far is still the most celebrated holiday in the United States. One look at the participation levels from 2015-22 indicates that US customers are enthusiastic as ever, albeit with a small dip in percentage due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
With 2021 saw things return to normalcy, 65% of the US customers planned to celebrate Halloween, in contrast to 58% in 2020.
With the Covid situation improving in the US, the number is expected to reach 70%.
Next up, is the anticipated average consumer expenditure on Halloween-related items in 2021.
US customers were expected to spend an average of $34 on costumes, and $32 on decorations. While the average expenditure on candy was $30, greetings cards came last at $6.64.
With the US economy recovering after Covid, one can expect to see an increase by a small yet significant margin. That’s a positive sign.
When it comes to spending by age group, the 35-44 age group planned to spend the highest at $149.34 with 25-34 coming in second at $130.34 while the 65 and older group were the lowest at 57.07.
In conclusion, millennials and Gen X are the highest spenders, which mean selling your products to them can help you strike gold.
Halloween Marketing 101
1. What is the best form of marketing for Halloween?
The best form of marketing for Halloween is the one that gets you the most sales, festive season or not.
Your analytics data can be the best judge. Here is an important question you should find answers to
- Which channel has the highest traffic? Is it direct, paid search, or display?
- Which channel generates the most ROI? Is it email, SEO, or paid ads?
Right after this, here are some proven Halloween marketing tips —
a) Offer BOGO deals
BOGO deals are major promotional deals that 66% of customers consider to be their favorite. BOGO deals are a customer’s favorite since they believe they are getting two products for the price of one.
From a retailer’s standpoint, BOGO can help move slow-moving inventory while still being profitable.
Chewy offers a BOGO offer with 50% off on Glow in the Dark squeaky balls which comes in a pack of 4.
The BOGO offer includes four balls of different colors and designs. It offers a free shipping nudge where offers over $49 qualify for free shipping.
This is a smart BOGO bundle with all persuasion tactics such as social proof and comparing similar items.
Smart bundles aren't always about price. It’s price plus value that drives customers to buy.
b) Start a donation campaign
Halloween isn’t just about warding off evil spirits or ghosts but also about celebrating together and bringing happiness.
Start a donation campaign where a part of the proceeds goes to charity. For example, for every purchase worth $85, $40 shall be donated to Feeding America.
Empathetic and humane brands have positive perceptions by customers. Purpose-driven companies attract more customers with 86% highly likely to buy from companies driven by values. It’s even better when the organizations share mutual beliefs.
Ultimately, it’s a proven strategy to increase sales by 74% in certain retail categories, with consumers likely to spend 2x more after looking at social responsibility ads than normal ads.
c) Offer free returns
Offering free returns can compel more shoppers to buy since it reduces the degree of perceived risk. 79% of customers want free shipping and will be motivated to buy more products.
In a study, two retailers were asked to offer free shipping for 4 years, the average purchase by customer shot up to $620 and the other by $2,500.
Free returns convince customers to give the products a try, and even in case of apprehension, the customers can return the products without paying for free shipping.
2. What should I post on Social Media for Halloween?
Anything from contests, quizzes, and DIY that enable user-generated content will do well on social media.
Here’s a Halloween Pumpkin Smash Challenge by Gymshark for its Halloween Marketing campaign in 2019.
The contest required people to smash pumpkins and tag their friends. It teamed up with Steve Kris, an Instagram influencer with a million followers.
This is influencer marketing done right. The post has around 715k views, as we speak.
The objective of social media marketing is to generate buzz, social media mentions, brand awareness, and traffic to your eCommerce brand.
So, unless you’re confident about pulling it off, keeping it simple works best.
3. How can I increase sales on Halloween?
Halloween is a major holiday in the US with people rushing to buy things and discounts aren’t the only strategy that can help you increase your sales on Halloween.
Here’re three strategies to help you increase your Halloween sales —
a) Offer Halloween mystery bundles
Smart pricing bundles are a proven way to increase sales while offering discounts and without having to forgo your margins.
It creates a sense of increased perceived value at a much lesser price.
MyProtein offers a Halloween Mystery bundle consisting of two protein packs of 500g.
This is creative marketing since MyProtein’s customer base includes a sizable chunk of millennials and the Gen Z population. As a matter of fact, 40% of young customers have bought limited edition products from a brand.
b) Include stock alert
Including stock alerts such as ‘Only 2 left’ triggers a sense of urgency to take action. Especially, when the customer has no objections about the product, this is guaranteed in improving conversions.
In fact, a study revealed that 78% of buyers were influenced by low-stock alerts to buy.
Adding an option to notify customers in case of out-of-stock situations can also improve sales.
c) Provide Buy Now Pay Later options
Buy Now Pay Later options provide customers an alternative to pay the price in equated installments. This can help increase your customer base since BNPL is becoming widely adopted in the US with 50.6% of users in 2021 alone. The number is expected to increase to 79% in 2022.
MyProtein offers 4 different interest-free payment options on its product page.
While Clearpay and Zip offer 4 installments, Laybuy and Humm offer 6 and 5 respectively.
With multiple options, customers can simply not leave citing the non-availability of a particular BNPL service. It also reduces choice paralysis since the number of installments and the amount is different for each of the services.