Fall has officially arrived – and with it comes a slew of opportunities to connect with your subscribers. Remember, everything you do now sets the stage for your holiday campaigns. Take advantage of these October 2016 holidays and themes to grab engagement now, and get better results in your festive campaigns later.

Major October 2016 holidays and themes

Columbus Day, 10/10

While not everyone celebrates Columbus Day, it remains a popular day for sales and promotions. It’s also a great time to test out your upcoming holiday email campaign ideas.

  • Columbus weekend is a long weekend for some, so take advantage of it by running a new promotion on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Use a banner in your email that automatically updates with new sales to keep your emails updated with fresh content, no matter when your subscribers open them.
  • Run an A/B test with a few tactics you’re looking to try in your holiday emails. A few ideas: personalization, call-to-action copy and using GIFs or video in your email.
  • Send your subscribers a live poll asking if they have off of work on Columbus Day, then send different discounts to those who choose ‘yes’ and those who choose ‘no.’

Halloween, 10/31

68.5% of consumers plan on celebrating Halloween, so it presents a great opportunity to send a themed email campaign.

  • Just like the holiday season, the Halloween season lasts more than just one day – and so should your campaign. Halloween falls on a Monday this year, but you can promote your fall season sales all weekend (from 10/29 & 10/31) or even earlier in October.
  • Will your customers be using your product as part of their costume? Ask them to upload a picture with your product along with a hashtag of your choice , then feature it in a live social feed in your emails.
  • There’s a good chance your customers will be out and about for the holiday. Use device targeting to deliver great-looking mobile emails.

The presidential debates: 10/4, 10/9, and 10/19

The upcoming election is will be at the top of everyone’s minds, especially with the vice presidential and the second and third presidential debates happening this month.

  • No need to get political in your emails, but you can still run a live poll just for fun. Retailers can ask subscribers how they wear a specific article of clothing. The restaurant industry can ask about a favorite dish. Just about anyone run a poll asking about Halloween costume ideas.
  • Run a limited-time offer, like free shipping, on the day of each debate to give people something to look forward to.
  • If you’re a restaurant or bar and you’re hosting a debate screening, send your subscribers an email with a geo-targeted map to help them get to your event.

Here’s a few under-the-radar October holidays

  • World Vegetarian Day, 10/1
  • Mad Hatter Day, 10/6
  • Make a Difference Day, 10/22
  • National Candy Corn Day, 10/30

Plan your October 2016 campaign now

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, 2016 will only become more hectic for email marketers. Ramp up your email campaigns now by aligning them with one or more of these October holidays and start building the engagement you’ll need to sustain a strong campaign this winter.