Photo by Mel Poole on Unsplash

Why should you do anything special for the month of October? Because Halloween marketing, or seasonal marketing in general, gives you the opportunity to shake up what your customers normally expect from you – and grab their attention at the start of the largest and most profitable shopping season of the year.

Hannah Connor, an account executive for TopLine Communications, agrees. “Consumers are far more likely to spend their money in special ways,” she says. “And are thus more susceptible to promotions and events.”

Below you’ll find 10 Halloween marketing ideas you can use to encourage immediate purchases from your existing (and new!) customers to help you make a killing in October.

Scaring Up More Business

Regardless of your budget, or the time you have to devote, coming up with a Halloween-themed marketing plan for October can work for any business. Using a little creativity, you can modify any of the ideas below to fit what you’re able to spend so you see a boost in profit.

Plus, the more visible your business is now, the more likely it is for customers to remember you when they start spending the big bucks for holiday shopping in November and December.

1. Give out candy-filled trick-or-treat bags for the month of October.

This is one of the sweeter Halloween marketing ideas you’ll see. (Pun intended.)

Buy small bags and fill them with a few pieces of candy along with your business card and a coupon for a return visit and hand them out to paying customers.

You can also give out a code word (“Trick or treat,” “Boo!” etc.) on various social media sites like Facebook and Twitter that customers will need to say when they come in to get their goody bag.

2. Offer a free reusable trick-or-treat candy bag with purchase.

If your target market is likely to have children, have bags printed up with your logo on them and give them to customers who spend ‘X’ amount.

Parents can use the bags for shopping long after Halloween is over, making this great publicity for you.

3. Create themed bundles.

Regardless of what you sell, you can cash in on the spirit of October by bundling some of your products together and giving them fun names.

For example:

  • If you sell food items, put some complementary items together and call it your “Zombie Apocalypse Survivor Kit.”
  • If you sell jewelry, put a few of your bestsellers together and call it the “Halloween Hottie” bundle.

Offer the bundles for less than what a shopper could buy the included products for individually — and you’ve got a brand-new way to promote old products.

4. Hold flash Halloween sales throughout the month.

Warning: This will only work if you already have an established email database and/or a strong social media presence with a decent amount of followers.

Tweet/Facebook/email out the information on your flash sale, which would normally be for a very limited amount of time that same day.

For example:

  • Hurry! Today only between the hours of 4 and 6 p.m., MST, get 31% off our entire line of products. Use code 31OFF online and in-store!

5. Incentivize with free tickets to a local event.

If customers spend ‘X’ amount at your store, give them two tickets to a local event going on in the month of October. (Think a local haunted house, pumpkin patch, or a fair.)

Advertise this Halloween special everywhere you can and make sure the tickets are affordable enough that you still see an increase in profit after purchasing them.

6. Create Halloween-themed social media posts.

While staying relevant to what you sell, try to mix in some fun, Halloween-themed posts.

For example:

  • A local bar could post recipes for spooky cocktails followers can make at home (and use this as an opportunity to highlight any October- or Halloween-themed drinks available during the month)
  • A clothing store could ask who’s the most stylish Halloween movie villain and post pictures for comparison
  • A pet-accessory store could ask followers to post pictures of their pets in costumes

Make it fun and interactive to encourage more followers to engage with you. While social media marketing is a year-round tactic you can (and should) use, putting a Halloween spin on it is how you can get in on the excitement of the season.

Followers get bored — don’t let them by capitalizing on seasons, holidays, trends, and special occasions.

7. Decorate your store.

Your storefront window is the perfect place for a holiday display and a great opportunity to showcase any October specials you’re having. The interior of your store is also fair game.

Whether it’s cobwebs and spiders or black cats and pumpkins, getting into the spirit of October can give your store a fun and festival feel.

8. Hold a “dress up for a discount” incentive.

Whether you do this solely on Halloween or throughout the entire month, offer customers a chance to get 31% off their total purchase over ‘X’ amount or on one item of at least ‘X’ value.

Take a picture of the customer, with their permission, and post it on your social accounts. This is a fun way to drum up business and a great incentive for your customers to come in and purchase immediately.

9. Hold a “show us your best costume” contest.

Use Facebook to hold a virtual Halloween costume contest where customers post pictures of themselves dressed up. (Or their pets!) The photo with the most ‘likes’ at the end of the time frame you specify wins a gift card to your store.

The best Halloween marketing ideas are ones that take a two-fold approach — so be sure to offer a consolation prize to your followers, which could be anything from 31% off with a promo code or a $5 gift card to your store.

This will help entice not only the winners of your Halloween costume contest to return, but everyone else too!

10. Send out Halloween-themed email newsletters.

Email newsletters are a great way to reach your target market, and when you switch things up by giving yours a theme, you’ll recapture your subscribers’ interest.

Try something silly like an email subject that says, “Prices so low it’s SCARY!” and then change up the names of some of your products (like the themed bundles mentioned earlier) and use a discount to entice buyers. Include any other specials you’ll be having throughout the month of October or promo codes.

Halloween marketing is a month-long chance to remarket old products in a new way. Get into the spirit of the season by switching up the words you use to promote your products to capture attention of your consumers, and always offer discounts and giveaways when possible.

Remember, there are plenty of companies vying for consumers’ interest — will you make your business stand out by trying some of these Halloween marketing ideas this year?