I just think “October” and I start to giggle. I love the change in the weather, decorating for Halloween, and knowing that the holiday season is here. 

Don’t freak out.

While you can, and should, plan out your holiday marketing well in advance, you don’t have to be so far ahead when it comes to all of your newsletter content. 

When it comes to newsletters, you can handle the holiday season one month at a time. So, take a deep breath, relax, and let’s take a look at some October holidays, newsletter ideas, and subject lines that you can use for content in your next newsletter.

October holidays — 2021

While it may seem that Halloween is the only holiday this month, it’s just not true. Stand out from the crowd by celebrating some of these great holidays with your subscribers:

  • October 1stNational Black Dog Day. This day “encourages the adoption of dogs in the darker shades.” 
  • October 11thInternational Day of the Girl Child. Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2011, this day “focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.”
  • October 14thNational Dessert Day. Don’t we all deserve a little dessert in our lives? My favorite? Crème Brûlée.
  • October 15thNational Grouch Day. Yeah, we all know one (my favorite is green and lives in a trash bin on Sesame Street). Here’s to the wonderful, glorious grouches!
  • October 27thNational Black Cat Day. As Alaa Elassar wrote, “Black cats get a bad rap.” Show some love for these beautiful animals in your October Newsletter. I’ll show you how below.

October newsletter ideas

With Halloween trying to overshadow everything else in October, it’s time to stand out by sharing other important October holidays with your readers. Don’t get me wrong — Halloween promotions are a great idea but think about adding a section to your newsletter highlighting another October holiday or occasion that fits with your brand, culture, or community.

October newsletter ideas to bring awareness

October is definitely a time to be aware of things other than Halloween. October is:

Those are just a few causes that October is designated “Awareness Month” for. To bring awareness to a cause that’s near and dear to your heart this month take a section of your October newsletter to:

  • Share some important statistics with your readers.
  • Start a matching fundraiser and challenge your readers to give so much that you hit your match limit. Of course, set a limit to the matching that you’re comfortable with and let your readers know what it is upfront.
  • Share a link to an uplifting story that you’ve read that you found particularly poignant or interesting. Make sure to write a couple of sentences to let your readers know why you liked it enough to share. Or, share one of your own.

National Black Cat Day (Oct. 27th)

If you’re sending out a Halloween-themed email, black cats will fit right in. But, instead of contributing to the American-created superstitions surrounding them, use some space in your newsletter to educate your readers on black cats. 

  • Share information about how they’re considered good luck in Britain, Japan, and Ireland.
  • Start a fundraising campaign for your local cat shelter.
  • Partner with a local cat shelter to start a pro-black-cat campaign. Announce it in your newsletter and take it to social media to build awareness.

October newsletter ideas that are just for fun

If you want to have some fun with your newsletter, and it falls within your brand guidelines, here are some October newsletter ideas for you:

World Smile Day (Oct. 1st)

Whether you want to focus on the creation of this day by the smiley face creator, commercial artist Harvey Ball, or that we all could stand to smile a bit more, this is a great time to:

  • Share a photo collage of all of your employees’ smiles. You can even create a little contest by asking your readers to guess which smile belongs to whom with the winner getting a discount on their next purchase, a gift certificate, or a coveted branded item (like the shirts your employees wear).
  • Add smiley faces wherever you can in the body of your email.
  • Give your readers a reason to smile with a discount coupon, free consultation, or a good “dad joke.”

National Get Funky Day (Oct. 5th)

It’s not just for discos anymore! This day is about breaking free of comfort zones by getting down, getting funky, and letting loose. So, get funky with your readers by:

  • Trying something new. Invite your employees, friends, and readers to try something new with you. Then let them know you’ll be posting how it went on social media and invite them to post what they’re going to try and how it went as well. And, if there’s something new at your business, highlight it in your newsletter.
  • Get funky. If your brand allows, disco-up your newsletter, write a blog piece on your favorite Funk band and share it in your newsletter, or create and share a video with you and your employees grooving to a funky beat in their best Mad Hatter outfits.

National Mad Hatter Day (Oct. 6th)

Okay, yes, this day is just for fun. It’s a day just to be silly so live it up!

  • Encourage your readers to be as silly as possible by sharing images of you and your employees in silly poses, doing handstands, and making faces.
  • Offer a discount to any of your readers who stop by your place of business and offer up something silly to make you laugh. This could be anything from silly makeup, making a face, or wearing wild and mismatched socks. 
  • Brighten up your newsletter with bright colors, fun images, and sprinkle Mad Hatter quotes throughout.

TIP: Whatever holiday you highlight in your newsletter this month, whether you issue a challenge, offer advice, or ask your readers to share, include a branded hashtag and a custom hashtag — along with a corresponding post on social media — so you can easily find and like what they post!

October newsletter subject lines

While you’re thinking about Lewis Carroll and channeling your inner Mad Hatter, let’s talk about subject lines. A lot of people think that subject lines need to be serious but that’s just not so. As long as your subject line alludes to what’s inside the email and adheres to best practices you can have some fun and play with your subject lines. 

  • “We’re on a cinnamon, err roll” – National Cinnamon Roll Day (Oct. 4th)
  • “’Have I gone mad?’ or have you?” – National Mad Hatter Day (Oct. 6th) – Quoting a bit of the Mad Hatter here, this is great for offering a deep discount or sharing some (perhaps out of character) fun, funky, or “Mad” images, jokes, or challenges.
  • “Frapp’n… !” – National Frappé Day (Oct. 7th) – Yep, you can pretend it’s a curse word and put anything behind it. Heck, combine it with another holiday like, 
  • “Frapp’n Fluffernutter!” – National Fluffernutter Day (Oct. 8th)
  • “Say Whaaat?“ – Curious Events Day (Oct. 9th)
  • “You’re curding me!” – National Cheese Curd Day (Oct. 15th)
  • “Don’t keep me in the dark…” – National Mushroom Day (Oct. 15th) – for when you’re including a survey
  • “What starts with an ‘s’?” – National Dictionary Day (Oct. 16th), World Smile Day, and great for having a sale
  • “You know you want to” – Slap Your Annoying Coworker Day (Oct. 23rd)
  • “No baloney…” – National Bologna Day (Oct. 24th)
  • “”Your hair wants cutting.”” – (Make sure to use quotes because this one came directly from the Mad Hatter himself.) If you own a hair salon or are partnering with one for, say, an animal shelter fundraiser — celebrating National Mad Hatter Day, National Black Dog Day, National Black Cat Day, and National Cat Day (Oct. 29th). Oh, yeah. I’m definitely channeling my inner Mad Hatter!

As I’ve mentioned before, the trick, or treat, to finding the right subject lines, for me, is to create the newsletter first. Then, I take some time to jot down a ton of silly, funny, goofy, and serious potential subject lines that 1st: give a hint as to what’s in my newsletter, and 2nd: will hopefully make my reader curious as to what exactly I’m talking about. 

Now, put on that Mad Hat, grab a Frappé, and get a little funky with your newsletter! 

For more holidays and ideas on what you can do to share them with your customers, download the graphic below. Or, get to work planning out the rest of your holiday marketing with our full Online Marketing Calendar, complete with a free template and a full list of holidays you can use to plan a successful year.

October 2021 holiday and marketing planning infographic