Boo-yah, it’s the most thrilling time of the year, as one of my favourite holiday approaches – Halloween. Like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter, Halloween is fast becoming increasingly popular in Australia.

In fact, last year Woolworths Group reported Big W’s first half results were boosted by big calendar events including Christmas and Halloween and that the retailer’s focus on family and community saw it deliver a 20.1% increase in sales to $2.6 billion.[1]

Halloween is all about dressing up, decorating your home, and lifting your spirits by escaping reality for an evening. What’s not to love – we are all dying to have some fun.

However, many customer shopping habits have changed due to the pandemic. From a massive surge in online purchases to mindful and responsible shopping, the impact is evident.

According to NAB’s consumer anxiety index, one in four consumers surveyed said they bought items online during the last three months of 2020, previously purchased in store.

The report further estimates, during the 12 months to December 2020, Australians spent $44.2 billion on online retail, equivalent to around 13% of total retail trade and 44% higher than during the 12 months to December 2019.[2]

While most of us are currently spending time confined to our homes, hopefully, things will look a bit different by the time Halloween rolls around. In the meantime, here are few key killer marketing tactics for businesses to implement this Halloween.

  1. Look the part 

Consistency is critical for an impactful Halloween campaign. Your social channels, website, and marketing emails all need to look the part of hooking your audience in the lead up to the scariest holiday of the year. Halloween themed images, buttons, and signatures will help your customers get into the spirit of things. 

By keeping things playfully spooky and creative will help attract customers to interact with your brand. A pleasant and seamless customer shopping experience is crucial, as happy shoppers often end up buying more than they plan to, with increased chances of converting them into return customers.

2. Trick or treat? Treat, please.

Halloween is an excellent opportunity to ‘treat’ your customers to an exclusive discount. Halloween is also widely considered to be the final hurdle before we can get into full holiday mode. It is a good time to introduce a gamification element to your campaign, with the classic being a trick or treat offering – keep it all in good spirit.

Gamification is a tried and tested tactic to get consumers clicking, even if just to find out their discount. A countdown email campaign for your subscribers is a clever move to draw in customers and a nice way of making them feel like VIPs.

3. Contextualised content 

Email copy and calls to action should be your priority. Discount codes are a great way to contextualise your marketing during Halloween and for the lead-up to the holidays.  

Contextualising your email marketing will significantly improve the customer experience. It’s an intelligent form of personalisation that goes far beyond first-name salutations. You’ll be demonstrating a thorough understanding of your customers, their goals, and their needs. Their engagement levels will rise, making them more inclined to shop with you. By contextualising your Halloween content, you can connect with subscribers on an emotional level.

4. Upsell and cross-sell

These are two of the most common marketing practices that have proved effective in driving revenue. Utilise user-generated data from past Halloween sales to create personalised recommendation campaigns.  

Tailored product suggestions in conjunction with their primary purchase, custom-made product bundles, pop-ups showcasing high-valued better options are few ways to encourage customers to buy more than one product. This will help boost the average order value (AOV), ultimately resulting in increased revenue.

5. Limited-time offers 

Flash deals are the perfect tactic to drive sales to record highs on a single day. The sense of urgency created by a flash sale is ideal for driving spontaneous purchases. Modern shoppers are savvy. They know to look around to hunt down the best deal for the products they want.

When it comes to Halloween or any other holiday themed sale day, shoppers have come to expect special offers from brands. The best way to entice shrewd customers into action is with a real-time offer. Communications across channels – email, social, targeted ads; defining the dates your limited offers will run from, will hook readers by emphasising the pressing deadline.  

6. Just have fun with it.

Finally, never forget to have a bit of fun. The reason Halloween is such a popular holiday is because it’s fun. Your message shouldn’t be all about thrills and chills. In fact, there’s plenty of material to inject a bit of haunted humour into your marketing campaigns to lighten the mood. Getting festive with your marketing will drive higher customer engagement and revenues and enhance your brand awareness.

Halloween marketing doesn’t have to be fancy or complex. Simple, effective, and consistent campaigns will improve customer experience, driving fang-tastic sales across the board. The more engaged and connected shoppers feel, the more likely they are to return to your brand time and time again.

Aparna Gray is head of marketing for APAC at dotdigital.