Get in the Halloween Spirit With These Marketing Tricks and Treats

You may not believe in ghosts, spirits, or even Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin, but according to the National Retail Federation, Halloween contributes an estimated $7 billion in sales of candy, costumes, and decorations each year, making it the second-most profitable holiday behind Christmas. This beloved American holiday isn’t only a big consumer spending event for marketers, though. Classic Halloween traditions also hold some key lessons that digital marketers can really benefit from. You might be thinking, “How can trick-or-treating, bobbing for apples, or pumpkin carving possibly relate to marketing strategies and best practices?” Read on and you’ll find out!


What value are you promising during email subscription or account registration? And more importantly, are you following through on that promise? Not fulfilling promises made at the time of subscription (such as special offers, specialized content, alerts, or loyalty program benefits) can make customers feel like they got tricked into signing up, resulting in attrition through lack of engagement, unsubscribes, and even complaints. Just as trick-or-treaters expect to receive some sort of goody when they knock on your door, so do your new subscribers. Don’t miss the opportunity to “treat” new subscribers with the content and experiences promised during the signup and welcome process – and keep it going throughout the customer relationship.

bobbing-for-applesBobbing for Apples

This game is often hard and frustrating, requiring patience and perseverance to chomp away until you’re able to grab that prize with your teeth. Searching for desired products or services online can feel similarly overwhelming, thanks to the multitude of options available to search, review, price compare, purchase, pick up, or ship. Do you know how your customers are “bobbing” for your products? Do your customers end up at your website through a basic Google search or comparison shopping engine, or organically through word-of-mouth? Are they “showrooming” at your store before searching for a better price online, or possibly “webrooming” on your site, browsing online for the products they seek before making a purchase in-store? Regardless of the product search and purchase path customers take, marketers need to provide simple and convenient cross-channel paths to purchase online, in-store and/or via a mobile app. If not, customers may end up feeling like they’re wasting time bobbing for apples and decide to buy from a competitor who provides greater convenience.

pumpkin-carvingPumpkin Carving

If the feeling, attitude, or sentiment of your email campaigns resembled one jack-o-lantern expression, what would it be? And would it be the right expression to share with your entire audience? As we all know, one-size-fits-all batch campaigns just simply don’t work as well as those that have even a basic level of messaging personalization. Understanding and eliciting the desired reaction from your customers requires relevant messaging – and to do that, marketers have to hone their data and content strategies to first understand their targeted segments, and then “carve” out relevant messages that will really engage each specific audience.

So take a cue from some of our most hallowed holiday traditions and treat your customers with clear value offers, easy-to-navigate cross-channel purchase paths, and personalized content that resonates with their needs in the moment. The results will have you screaming – for joy, that is.

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