Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and an ideal time for small business retailers to experience a spike in revenue.
To grab your share of this seasonal increase in consumer spending within your local community, try these two timeless marketing strategies coupled with detailed examples.
What’s more, find fun examples of how service businesses can participate in Halloween festivities and increase brand awareness. Also, at the end of this post is a Halloween word bank with 50+ spooky expressions!
October 31 will be here sooner than you think, so let’s get started!
#1 — Create a Halloween Marketing Slogan
To capture increased shopper interest, it’s imperative that you have a specific, Halloween-related advertising slogan.
Why are slogans important? Because they communicate the essence of what’s inside your retail store and distinguish you from other retailers. Let’s face it, it’s far easier for many consumers to shop at Walmart and get pretty much whatever they need for Halloween.
To compete with large retailers, you need to pick a Halloween-themed product or service niche to promote. Including your slogan on your storefront window, lawn signs, print ad, postcard, social posts, etc. helps explain to customers exactly what you offer during one of the biggest shopping seasons of the year.
You DO want to be known for just one thing. Using a Halloween-specific slogan helps you accomplish this goal. I say “one thing” because you’re a small business with shallow pockets. Therefore, you must be efficient with your messaging and repeat this one mantra over and over again. It’s the clarity and repetition of your themed message that draws shoppers. You’ll then up-sell your other products and services once customers walk through your door.
Essentially, your slogan is the foundation of your Halloween marketing campaign. No matter what your advertising vehicle is, you should always include it as part of your promotional message.
As an aside, if you’re responsible for marketing financial advisory services, then here’s a sweet resource for you, packed with some bloody-good ideas!
Now for the fun stuff…eek 🙂
Halloween Marketing Slogan Examples:
-Goriest Makeup for Trick or Treat
-Toy Savings Worth Screaming About
-Halloween Accessories So Unique It’s Spooky
-Frightening Window Treatments
-Creepy Custom Costumes
-Sinister Hairstyles & Updos for Wicked Women
-Haunted Boutique Filled with Halloween Treats
-Brutal Halloween Lawn Tools
-Zombie Thirsty Smoothies for Crazed Shoppers
-Weird Ornaments that Frighten Guests
-Eerie Organic Treats for Four Legged Friends
-Bloody Good Cocktail Ideas
-Frankenstein Wine is Divine
-Jeepers Creepers for Outdoor Enthusiasts
-Halloween Haul for Kids
-Squeaky Swag for Pups
Note: I promote just one product or service. Therefore, customers know with certainty they can easily visit your retail store for this one item and get it. Thus, you increase your store’s foot traffic through clarity.
RELATED: Find more than 200 email subject lines to copy and paste into your marketing campaigns and social posts inside my eBook: Email Marketing: Subject Lines that Sell. It includes extended lists of Halloween, Christmas and Valentine’s Day subject lines that inspire readers to click and buy!
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[Review] “This book does the work for you! Sharron Senter does all the work for those of us who struggle to come up with catchy titles to market our emails, newsletters, products and services. I can write copy in short order, but coming up with a clever title is where I spend the most time. I won’t have to from now on. Whatever the season or event, I will simply refer to Sharron’s book for a great title. In fact, I am going to use one right now for my weekly newsletter.” — Lydia Ramsey
Halloween Slogans Can Also Be Your Sales Promotion
Examples of Halloween Sales Promotions:
- Purchase Bloodcurdling Large Black Coffee & Receive FREE Twisted Danish through Halloween Eve
- Buy 1 Scary Large Pizza, Receive 1 FREE Order of Ghost-shaped Cinnamon Sticks
- Do Be Frightened by Our Spooktacular Storewide 25% Savings
- Receive 10 FREE Glow Sticks for Paying Customers in Costumes
- FREE Pumpkin Carving Kit with $20 Purchase or More
- FREE Hairy Spider Ring with Every Nail Art Manicure Purchase
#2 — Build a Halloween Marketing Campaign
Once you’ve determined your Halloween slogan, now build out your entire campaign. For example: Let’s say you’re a boutique gift retailer located on Main Street within your local community.
Your Halloween marketing campaign activities may look like this:
> Print ad (and digital version) in your local weekly newspaper that runs each week, four weeks prior to Halloween and the week after Halloween (advertising post-holiday discounts and closeouts).
> Scariest costume competition open house. Promote your event for free to your Instagram and Facebook followers, as well as your email list. However, also donate a portion of the proceeds to a local nonprofit from event-day sales, increasing the likelihood that your event-related press release will get picked up by your local media.
> Creepy character located outside your building holding your Halloween banner that includes your slogan. Ideally, when creating outside signage, use the items you sell as props. This sends a subliminal message to your customers, alerting them of what’s inside your store. For example, if you sell tires, then the creepy character is standing on top of a pile of tires holding your banner. Or, if you’re marketing a hair salon or spa, then your character may be wearing an orange robe, plush black slippers, hair rollers while holding brushes and shampoo bottles.
> Scary music playing inside and outside of your store.
> Prompt all customers to mention your small business at your community members-only Facebook page. Specifically, ask customers to post photos of your cool Halloween products or mention a fall service, such as your pumpkin and spice back massage or creepy-themed manicures. Also, display small signs throughout your store prompting customers to snap photos and post to their social channels.
> Zombie selfie station or similar so customers can take a photo of themselves near a life-size zombie, witch, mummy, etc. and post to their social channels. Be sure to have a small branded sign that can easily be captured in every selfie.
> Face painter the weekend before Halloween, free to customers. Again, this message can be promoted throughout all of your community advertising mediums and their respective event calendars at no cost to you.
Also, keep this in mind:
Many media outlets will do a Halloween roundup story. Essentially, they’ll write an article detailing local Halloween events and activities. You want to be in this article. Increase your chances by posting to your community’s online calendars and create a Facebook event page, making it easier for reporters and bloggers to find your activity.
Use some of these words in your communications:
Beyond the Veil, Bleak, Boo-tiful
Chainsaw Massacre, Cringe Worthy
Delight and Fright, Demon
Embrace the Dark Side, Evil Spirit
Feast of Flesh, Ghastly, Grim
Scary Savings, Spooktacular Deal, Strange Year
More Halloween Advertising Campaign Ideas…
> Create a Halloween-specific web page. Why? Let’s use the above face painter event as an example. Let’s say you’re looking to attract female shoppers between 28-47 years old with young children. One way to do this is to host a child-related event.
During October, many of these moms will go online and search for: “children Halloween activities [town]” or “best kids Halloween events [town]” and other similar search terms. When you create a unique Halloween events page using targeted keyword search terms within your promotional copy, these moms will be better able to find you. Be sure to use geography related words.
Furthermore, create Facebook event pages for all local events.
Why? Because, according to the U.S. Mobile App Report by comScore, Facebook is the #1 app in monthly users on both smartphones and tablets. The report adds that 46 percent of smartphone users have Facebook on their home screen and it’s the #1 app smartphone users say is “most essential.”
Let’s face it. Many of your customers are scoping out Facebook to find stuff to do. Give them some fun and spooky options!
> Scary book reading for kids, with surprise creepy visitors, e.g., bats, lizards, spiders, etc. Given that it’s a free book reading, you can now approach your local library and ask to promote your event in their email newsletter (at no charge!). You can also distribute flyers throughout local daycare and other educational settings, again at no charge. Be sure to ask the latter to mention your event within their social media channels.
> Host a Halloween costume swap.
> Sales flyers distributed to other local retailers in your proximity, to be placed on their counter tops, bulletin boards, etc.
> Most importantly, a bounce-back coupon that you hand to every customer who leaves your store!
Given that you’re a brick and mortar, I recommend that a great deal of your Halloween marketing campaign be event-driven, creating a concentrated effort to lure people to your physical location.
Now, a Few Fun Halloween Marketing Tidbits…
Almost any small business can participate in Halloween; drawing more attention to your business. True, you may not sell candy or costumes. However, you can still build awareness about your business by dovetailing onto the Halloween theme and the community spirit it creates.
Here are 5 easy examples:
#1 — Plowing & Landscaping Companies — can decorate their vehicles with Halloween decor. Same idea for any business that has company vehicles. The more creative, the higher the probability that you capture free publicity. Visualize a pickup truck decorated with creepy decor and in the passenger seat is a zombie. Take a photo and send it off to your local media. Be sure to include a fun, community-related caption to accompany your photo. You could really run with this and make it an all-out Halloween campaign.
You could name your zombie and then keep sending in different photos to the media as well as all of your social channels, depicting your zombie at different community events in town. Make sure your logo is somewhere on your zombie. You could also promote a “name the zombie” contest, and the winner ultimately gets to take the zombie home with them.
The following year, pitch a follow-up story to the media detailing the zombie’s past year and the various travels and activities he’s done with his new family.
Remember, the more community focused your message is, the easier it is to obtain news coverage.
By far, the easiest way to obtain news coverage is by aligning your business to the weather.
#2 — Corner Variety Store — can build a creepy corner or hallway that adults and their children can walk through.
#3 — Computer Repair — can offer a deep discount on orange colored computer and tablet accessories.
#4 — Oil, Propane & Sewage Companies — imagine a gigantic black spider securely wrapped around the end of your truck. Drivers and others will notice, and when they do, they’ll see your brand.
#5 — Any Small Business with a Road Sign — can decorate that sign with large spiders, grizzly looking characters, witches on broomsticks, etc. The key here is to do an outstanding and elaborate decorating job, thus, attracting the attention of passersby and the media. For the latter, your primary goal is to inspire the reporter to take a quick photo.
The key for nontraditional retailers is to have fun with each holiday season and to participate, aligning your brand with your local community. When you participate, you’re sending a very specific message to community members, i.e., we care about you and the activities you enjoy.
Easily Compound Marketing Efforts
[Check out my eBook: Duplicate Yourself, Small Business Piggybacking & Partnering Strategies at Amazon.]
We already know that most people in your community will spend extra money preparing for October 31. Therefore, using Halloween-related language in relation to your products and services will increase the chances of catching the eyes and ears of shoppers because Halloween is top-of-mind for them.
Said another way, Halloween is a “trigger.” Author Jonah Berger explains how environmental triggers can increase word-of-mouth in his excellent book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On. (Paid Link*)
*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Halloween Retail Sales Data & Other Statistics
View the National Retail Federation’s Halloween Data Center shopping trends.
Here’s a handy Halloween Marketing Word Bank. Spread the word. Please pin it!