Halloween is a $7 billion industry that continues to grow as more Americans than ever get in the season’s spirit and fuel sales of everything from costumes and decorations to candy and haunted house tickets. Competition is fierce, so if you want to cash in on the spookiest holiday you’ll need to launch a successful marketing campaign. Scare up sales with the following five Halloween marketing tactics.

1. Halloween catalogs

If you’re in the retail industry, mail order catalogs are perfect for marketing your Halloween costumes, decorations, and other products. Send catalogs to a targeted mailing list comprised of those who match your best customer demographics. Fill your catalog pages with full-color photography that creates desire for your products, then give customers multiple options to buy: via mail, phone, or your website.

If you don’t have the budget to print a multi-page catalog, you can send “mini-catalog” brochures or postcards instead. Feature a display of your best-selling products to give customers an example of what you have to offer, then direct them to your website to see your full catalog. Turn your postcard into a time-limited discount coupon, completed with coupon code, to motivate quick sales you can track.

2. Halloween posters

Are you charged with marketing a haunted house or other spooky attraction? How about a Halloween concert, special trick-or-treat promotion, or even an alternative non-Halloween event? If so, you can employ poster power to get the word out.

Print full color posters to distribute in targeted, public areas with high visibility. Grocery stores, retail shops, bars, restaurants, public parks, banks, and gas stations all have designated areas you can prominently display your Halloween event posters.

3. Deploy the street team

Recruit a “street team” and send them out – in character, of course – to public gatherings leading up to the Halloween season: parades, festivals, sporting events, concerts, even shopping malls. Make sure all team members are outfitted with flyers, stickers, and business card-sized coupons to hand out to passers-by.

Your street team will help generate interest in your Halloween sales or haunted event, and they’ll make sure hundreds or even thousands of potential customers have your promotional literature.

4. Run a trick-or-treat promotion

If your business has little to do with Halloween, you can still take advantage of the holiday to scare up sales. All you have to do is participate in your community’s trick-or-treat event. Invite trick-or-treaters to visit your location to receive a special treat. Make it worth their while, especially if you’re out of the way – or, set up shop closer to the residential areas they commonly visit.

Along with your special treat, you can hand out stickers, brochures, mini-catalogs, business cards, and coupons. Some promotional items can go in the kids’ trick-or-treat sacks; others, you might want to hand directly to parents who accompany their children on trick-or-treat.

Many pizzerias pull this strategy off successfully every year: they give each child (and parent) a free slice of pizza – and no one leaves without taking special promotional coupons.

5. Hold a haunted house contest

Another great idea to promote your business on Halloween, even if you’re not typically associated with the holiday, is to hold a haunted house contest via social media. Put together a grand prize package and ask fans to submit photos of their Halloween decorations to your Facebook page.

Next, ask fans to vote for their favorite haunted house. Award the grand prize package to the winner – and get even more shares if you run a quick video segment of the winning home. This strategy won’t create measurable sales, but it will increase your brand recognition. Moreover, you can take advantage of the increased Facebook traffic (and, most likely, new likes) to offer direct promotions.

Don’t miss out on profits this year – scare up sales with these Halloween market tactics

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