Halloween may not seem like a golden opportunity for catching customers — it’s not often associated with major shopping seasons like Christmas or back-to-school. But, even with lingering pandemic-related restrictions in place, the National Retail Foundation reported that the average American spent $103 on candy, costumes, and decorations in 2021 and estimated that the country spent a total of $10.6 billion on the holiday. And Halloween promotions can help you get in on this spending.
You might feel intimidated competing with large corporations for Black Friday and other holiday shopping revenue, but Halloween gives you the chance to cash in on holiday spending with less hassle.
Even if you don’t sell Halloween-themed merchandise, you can still take advantage of the holiday by creating themed branding around this popular shopping season.
How Halloween promotions can benefit your business
It seems like Christmas creep happens earlier every year, and you might be tempted to spend most of the fall season concentrating on the end-of-year holidays. However, by skipping out on Halloween promotions, you could be missing out on revenue.
Although Halloween spending declined during the pandemic, it has grown substantially in the last decade and is expected to continue growing in the future. An estimated 28% of shoppers will start buying decorations, costumes, gifts, and more in September, so start your promotions early to capture every Halloween shopper from the early birds to the last-minute joiners.
Draw these shoppers into your retail business with these Halloween marketing ideas.
11 Ideas for Halloween promotions
Getting your business ready for Halloween doesn’t have to be difficult. Try these ideas for simple but effective Halloween marketing.
1. Use Halloween email templates
Your email list is one of your best resources for spreading the word about holiday-related promotions to your existing customers. Send Halloween-themed emails to those on your list to let them know that Halloween is looming, and they need to act fast to get in on the deal.
Constant Contact offers cute, well-designed Halloween email templates you can use to tie your promotion into the holiday. Some of these templates include eye-catching animation, while others are simple and straightforward. Find a template that fits your business and fill in the details of your promotion.
In the build-up to your major Halloween promotions, use an email series to start drawing in customers from September all the way up to Halloween. Offer a combination of promotional emails and interesting content, such as costume and decoration ideas.
This email template features a clean layout with muted colors that lets the reader focus on your messaging. The email copy plays on the spooky theme, reminding readers to act on the deal before it turns into a ghost. You can reorganize these templates for your own needs, highlighting different parts of the email. Include a link back to your website and make sure all discounts are adjusted before hitting “send.”
2. Create a Halloween-themed landing page
If you operate a brick-and-mortar location, you can bring in Halloween-loving customers with a themed window display that also showcases merchandise. If you operate an online store, you can shift this idea to your website by adding a Halloween theme to your landing page.
Add animation, images, and other decorations to make your website more festive, or add a Halloween-themed splash page announcing sales for anyone who signs up for your email list. When you build your website, make sure it’s optimized for mobile so that people can access your Halloween promotions on their phones.
3. Develop spooky social media posts
Use your social media presence to build content around the Halloween theme, with hashtags to help customers find you. You might showcase how some of your inventory can be used to decorate for a party or show off some last-minute costume ideas made with your products.
Jumping on Halloween-related hashtags and pairing them with your own branded hashtag helps you build brand awareness in your area. Even if you don’t have Halloween-related merchandise, social media posts with factoids about the holiday can drive interest in your shop and build brand awareness.
For example, Anastasia Beverly Hills is a large makeup retailer with a substantial Instagram following. The brand regularly partners with beauty influencers who create Halloween looks for the holiday. Captions include links to each of the products used to create the look.
4. Run a Halloween-themed contest
Encourage people to visit your website by hosting a Halloween-themed contest, and promote it through social media. If your shop sells merchandise that fits in with fall décor, have customers use your products to decorate their homes and tag you in their photos. You can drive participation by letting clients vote for the winner, or you can pick the winner yourself.
If you don’t sell anything that can be tagged in a Halloween-related post, simply run a contest that people can enter by signing up for your email list. Offer a gift card or a discount to the winner, and choose one or more winners at random.
5. Host a trick-or-treating event
Halloween promotions can also be run in-store. Many parents find it easier to take their kids out to retail locations for trick-or-treating because it’s safe and convenient. If you decide to hand out candy in your shop along with your Halloween promotions, notify people through your email list and your social media pages.
You can make the event fun for parents by working with other local businesses in the area to create a scavenger hunt. Each store can offer gift cards and coupons hidden in different locations throughout the local area. Use your social media feed to send clues to people in the neighborhood.
You can also offer coupons to parents who visit the shop for your trick-or-treat event, along with candy for the kids.
6. Discount your fall merchandise
Halloween season is a great time for offloading fall merchandise to make room for your holiday inventory. Arrange a subpage on your website for fall products, and create small in-store displays of fall products. Dedicate a smaller section to Halloween decorations.
If you run a clothing store, make a display with lightweight sweaters and scarves that can be worn in the fall, and decorate the display table with pumpkins, leaves, and other fall-related items. Next to the sweaters and scarves, you can set up a smaller display with spooky decorations and Halloween-themed jewelry.
Online retailers can take this concept and shift it online, creating fall-themed subpages to highlight end-of-season merchandise.
If you have smaller items that aren’t selling, offer them as free gifts with purchases, and encourage people to give these items to their friends for the season. You might even consider ordering some small, Halloween-themed inventory that you can offer along with a promo code to drive traffic to your website and into your shop.
7. Make Halloween-themed videos and blog posts
Find fun and festive ways to incorporate your products into engaging social media and blog content so that people are inspired to come into your shop. These posts are a great way to drive users to your website without having to pay for an ad. Link the products listed in the post, and make sure that visitors are redirected to the sale section of your website.
Lists, for example, are excellent for Halloween promotions. They are easy to create, and they drive traffic because they are an easy way to incorporate keywords. Write a blog post titled “Top 15 Halloween gift ideas” or “Best last-minute Halloween costume ideas” to capture interest through search engines.
If you’re active on YouTube or another video platform, sell more with video marketing. Make a series of Halloween-related videos, using hashtags and keywords in the description to help people find your posts through a Google search.
8. Cross-promote different items on your site
One of the most popular subjects that people search for around Halloween is how to put together costumes. Retail shops selling clothing and accessories can use this opportunity to cross-promote products that can be paired to create a costume. You can put an outfit together with shoes and accessories with tags on how to turn it into a costume.
Not a clothing retailer? You can still create Halloween-themed sets with your merchandise. If you sell home goods, put a few items together that can be used to decorate for a party. Pair Halloween-related merchandise with other fall-themed items to help people create elegant décor for an upscale party.
9. Host an event
Bring people into your store by hosting a Halloween event. You could host a party after store hours with decorations and a DJ, letting people shop before they head out to other parties in the area. Host a “moonlight madness” sale after dark with a Halloween theme.
You can use your social media to promote and sell tickets to the event. If your shop has hosted similar events in the past, post photos to generate excitement for this year’s gathering. Offer a special discount to people who participate in your Halloween promotions to encourage more shoppers.
On the day of the event, use a branded hashtag to inspire user-generated content. Set up a photo booth in your shop allowing people to show off their costumes on social media while tagging your shop. You could turn the event into a contest and choose a winner from people who’ve tagged you.
10. Run themed ads
Halloween is a good time to capture new clients and introduce them to your brand before the official kickoff to the holiday shopping season. While you’re running fall specials and spooky discounts, use Facebook ads or Google ads to increase your brand awareness.
Create a series of themed ads showcasing how your merchandise can be used for Halloween gifts, parties, and costumes, and run them to users in your area.
Facebook offers auction pricing for advertisements, allowing you to set your top budget based on the number of people who click through to your site. This feature makes it easy to test out a variety of messages to see which ones result in the highest click-through rates.
Create ads for different target audiences. Once you have an idea of messages that work in your area, you can use this information to create your holiday ads.
11. Do some good in the community
Halloween-themed charity runs and other events have become more common in recent years. See what local charities are doing in your area, and consider sponsoring. Set up a booth at the event, or send coupons to be included in participant gift bags.
Some sponsorship levels include the chance to have your logo and shop linked on charity organizations’ websites. Use your social media and other content marketing tools such as email and videos to promote events.
Implementing your Halloween marketing ideas
Halloween continues to offer ever more opportunities for retailers. Whether you’re an ecommerce retailer or a physical store, it’s easy to capture your share of fall shoppers with Halloween promotions. Including your latest deals and promotional offers across your website and social media can drive traffic to your site and increase sales.
If you’re running an online store, focus on driving traffic to your website and highlighting promo codes and discounts. Create festive subpages on your website to highlight sale merchandise, and send out Halloween-themed emails notifying your customers of killer deals and other promotional events.
Retailers with physical shops can take the theme further with decorations and themed displays. Community events and competition prizes are also fun ways to engage shoppers while driving them to your website and into your store.
Marketing your business with Halloween-themed promotions doesn’t have to be difficult. Now you have some ideas to help you prepare for when the ghouls start coming out of the woodwork.