Scare up some sales with these 10 Halloween subject lines


Originally, All Hallows’ Eve was celebrated as the small window of time when spirits could walk free among men. But in the business world, it’s the one time of the year when it’s safe for businesses to take marketing risks and create campaigns with their most creative, attention-grabbing Halloween subject lines.

If they’re successful, there’s a lot of money on the table – $6.9 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. So even the big corporations let loose and dare to create fun, “cheesy” campaigns or run wild with puns.

Halloween Subject Lines

Conjuring up the spookiest Halloween subject lines

Halloween email marketing is not just an opportunity to blow off some creative steam, or show a business’ lighter side – there’s a method to the madness.

Subject lines that feature Halloween keywords outperform those containing the regular sales lingo. Experian found that emails with the word “ghost” in the subject line had an open rate 60 percent higher than the average for Halloween campaigns. Other terms that boosted open rates include:

  • DIY
  • Halloween
  • Candy
  • Trick
  • Scary

However, it’s not just about using the right terms; it’s about working these keywords into messages that grab the readers’ attention every time.

Promoting an offer in the subject line, such as coupons or free shipping, generate more revenue than other Halloween-themed messages, as found by Experian. These offer-based emails have transaction rates 56 percent higher than the average.

Here are 10 Halloween subject line recommendations to get some ideas brewing: 

  1. 10 deals that will send a shiver down your spine
  2. Enter if you dare: We’re slashing prices!
  3. Hair-raising sales in celebration of Halloween
  4. DIY (or Don’t) – We’ve got frightening low prices
  5. Trick or treat? Open to find out
  6. Oh my gourd! Have you seen these prices?
  7. No bones about it – these are our best deals
  8. Halloween’s got us feeling batty – 50% off everything
  9. Trick or treat – Witch will you choose?
  10. Ghost coupons! Get yours before they disappear

Want more subject line inspiration? Try finding inspirational ideas to write a catchy subject line that will improve your open rate for better ecommerce email marketing results.

Images have a SCARY big impact on email marketing success

The subject line is the first piece of the puzzle, but images are equally as important. An interesting image means the difference between having readers pay attention to your email, or them burying it in the dreaded email graveyard.

According to a study by Xerox, color visuals have the potential to increase readership by 80 percent, as people are typically more willing to read when text is paired with attractive images; also making the message 39 percent more memorable.

Here are four ideas for pairing free stock images with your Halloween subject lines to achieve a greater outcome from spooky email marketing:

1. Promote a seasonal sale with pumpkins

This simple picture of a pumpkin provides a great Halloween-themed backdrop that can be overlaid with a custom message. Alternative, for a more autumnal look, you can use a photo of fall harvest gourds.

2. Creep out your customers for effective reminder messages

What’s scarier than losing out on a great deal? Receiving an email that warns you time is running out WITH zombiesa spooky graveyard, or an abandoned railroad track.

3. Trick or treat! Give readers something nice to eat (or, look at)

The best way to prepare readers for Halloween is to show them pictures of their favorite sweets. This great art shot of Halloween candy or this photo of Halloween candy are bound to look appetizing in any email.

4. Keep it classic with cartoons

Nothing screams Halloween more than an illustration of a witch flying in front of a full moon; or perhaps this simple graphic of a haunted house? Free vectors are hard to come by in the stock image world, but RGBStock has a nice collection of illustrations that are free with registration.

Have your own photos you want to use? Try these easy and free ways to improve your product photos.

RIP boring Halloween emails

It’s time to be your own Dr. Frankenstein: bring the ultimate email campaigns to life by combining tried-and-true techniques with a dash of mad-scientist marketing.

What are your favorite Halloween campaign ideas? Have you seen any electrifying examples of ecommerce email marketing for the haunting holiday? Send us a tweet – we’d love to hear about them.

If you want to learn more about how better email marketing can benefit your ecommerce business, contact us.

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