Halloween Email Marketing Strategies That Will Scare Your Competition Senseless
There’s no better way to celebrate Halloween than with a bowl of candy and a gory horror film. From classics like “Hocus Pocus” to scary sequels like “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension,” horror films have been inspiring nightmares for centuries. These flicks usually have a moral (sleep with one eye open, don’t trust clowns, etc.), but they also reveal lessons for a different audience: email marketers.
From unresponsive contact lists to emerging competition, email marketers have a lot to be afraid of this Halloween. Are you prepared for the scariest day of the year? Ask yourself this: In a slasher film about email marketing, is your campaign calling the police and running away or going weaponless into the dark basement? Even in the case of the latter, it’s not too late to save your campaign from impending doom.
In anticipation of All Hallows Eve, I’ve brewed up a few tricks (and treats) that will leave your contacts screaming for more:
1. Use subject lines that will make your contacts “Scream.” Subject lines are a life or death matter in an email campaign. In fact, a boring subject line is the equivalent of using an umbrella to fight off Ghostface. To keep your contacts in suspense, use A/B split testing to play around with some new and exciting subject lines. If one resonates well, try adding an emoji to further catch the eye of your contacts. You know you’ve always wanted a reason to use the skull emoji.
2. Prevent “Paranormal Activity” through email marketing automation. Email marketing requires careful monitoring of user activity. You want to know what your contacts did last summer. If tracking manually sounds like a fright fest, set up an automation system through your email marketing provider to do the work for you. Developing a track of emails triggered by paranormal user activity (e.g., shopping cart abandonment, newsletter signup, etc.) will allow you to react when your contact is on the brink of making a decision. Additionally, be sure to use reporting tools to monitor campaigns on a regular basis and make sure your contacts’ inboxes aren’t haunted.
3. Avoid the “Hocus Pocus” of email marketing. One of the biggest email marketing misconceptions is that messages are most likely to be opened if sent first thing in the morning. Here’s a secret to kill for: The idea that an email sent at 8 a.m. will magically bewitch your contacts is just a bunch of hocus pocus. If you really want to drive engagement, seek out the skeletons in your campaign closet. Based on past experience, when are your emails usually opened? It will probably vary for different demographics. If most of your contacts work full time, they might be more likely to check their personal email on their commute home from work. If your contacts are primarily stay-at-home moms, you’ll likely catch them on email while the kids are at school. Getting friendly with your contacts and analyzing their behavior is the only way to trap them in your clutches.
4. Prevent your campaign from turning into “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” The key to a successful scare is understanding what makes the victim tick. Just ask Freddy Krueger. The same is true for killing it in the email marketing game. You need to figure out what messaging makes your contacts howl at the moon. Then, use segmentation tools to send tailored emails to the appropriate groups of contacts. In addition to personalized messaging, segmentation also helps marketers develop promotional content. Just as you wouldn’t recommend a horror flick to a “Frozen” fan, don’t offer an unengaged contact 75 percent off a purchase. Save the big offers for your most loyal contacts and those who might need a little scare to interact more.
5. “American Horror Story:” Make your contacts go gaga with social integration. Much like the Countess in "AHS: Hotel," social is the shining star in any email marketing campaign. Social integration not only fortifies email marketing efforts, but also drives engagement independent of email clicks and opens. Rather than reinventing the wheel, resurrect content from the campaign graveyard and present it on your social platforms to build brand awareness and foster real-world connections with your contacts.
A few small adjustments to your email marketing tactics are all it takes to keep your emails out of the cobweb-filled trash folder. By implementing these tricks, marketers will be ready to put a spell on their contacts when the full moon rises this Halloween.