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6 Tricks (and Treats) That Increase Holiday Sales

by Stephanie Hamilton

This is a critical time of year for many businesses.

The holidays are upon us.

Through the end of the year, there will be a constant stream of holiday centered promotions both on and off-line.

Halloween marks the beginning of these lucrative holidays.

For marketers, the lead-up to the haunting holiday can boost sales before the year-end crunch.

In this article we’ll take a look at how some large and small online merchants have grabbed the attention of online shoppers through their Halloween marketing programs. Take these tips and practices into consideration in preparation for the upcoming holiday season.

Trick 1: Plan Ahead

Target is a staple when you think of Holiday shopping, and this is no different for the Halloween season.

The big box retailer typically starts their coupon and deal programs in mid-September, a couple weeks ahead of smaller retailers. This is especially important for costume purchasing, which requires more planning before purchasing.

Target Halloween Marketing

The purpose of seasonal design changes are to:

  •  Attract Attention: Visitors will be intrigued by a new look and are more likely to spread the word or take action.
  • Make special offers stand out: in the background of the overall design (and thus increase conversion rates).

Trick 2: Make it a Multi-Channel Theme

Your marketing doesn’t have to be relegated to the couple weeks leading up to the holiday. Give yourself plenty of time to explore and connect with customers through promotions on various channels.

Wilton, the baking accessory company, utilized a month-long series of Halloween promotions that offered party tips, cookie- and cake-decorating ideas, and product promotions in several channels.

Among their promotional tactics for Halloween include:

  • A Halloween party planning video available on their Youtube channel, blog, and Facebook page.
  • Using Twitter to promote Halloween baking ideas and specific products, such as cookie cutters. Then, on Halloween, a tweet encouraging customers to post photos of their creations on Wilton’s Facebook page.
  • They made Halloween the theme of their October email newsletter, offering ideas for cookie, cake and cupcake decorations.

Wilton Halloween Marketing

All this planning for Halloween paid off, too. As a result of their social media and e-marketing promotions, they generated a 120% increase in Halloween product views on

Trick 3: Timing Is Everything

Another tip in getting the most out of customers is to align offers with customer buying patterns.

There are two types of customers to consider:

  1. the planners
  2. the last-minute shoppers

You can make the most out of these two demographics by developing two email campaigns for in-store purchases as well as online sales., for instance, emails e-commerce promos two weeks before Halloween. Additionally, they email in-store promos during the week of Halloween to capture last minute sales for items that don’t have time to ship.

Halloween Express Marketing

Trick 4: Tie regular products to a Holiday theme

Hersheys generates excitement about Halloween by including not only Halloween candy offers in its email marketing, but recipes, crafts, and even costumes.

This image below shows how a typical email newsletter can be altered to include a Halloween spin with related graphics and imagery.

Good-quality visuals for Halloween, stop the eye of your visitors long enough for them to read the content and take action. The result is higher conversion rates and more sales.

Hersheys Halloween Marketing

If your store doesn’t sell Halloween costumes, party supplies, or pumpkins, you can still twist your emails and other promotional material to cater to the holiday.

Consider using of the following in your emails:

  • Instead of an orange and black color scheme, use rich red and colors associated with autumn.
  • Include photos of families engaging in fall activities ( i.e. fishing, mountain biking, golf, etc) if your audience is travelers.
  • Include yellow and red (falling) leaves, etc and other seasonal images in your design.

Trick 5: Engage with Your Audience

Social media is all about interaction and engagement.  Holidays are the perfect time to make a human connection with your market.

User-generated content is a powerful strategy for bringing traffic to your site while celebrating the holiday.

For example, Good Housekeeping asks their audience to submit the images of pets wearing Halloween costumes. This builds excitement amongst customers while generating traffic.

Good Housekeeping Halloween Marketing

Don’t limit yourself to photos.  Stories, drawings, and jokes are among other types of content that work well.  This strategy can boost search engine ranking while giving you content for holiday promotions.

If you’re a small retailer, consider using your Facebook fan page to host these holiday specific creations to connect with your audience on a whole new level.

Trick 6: Don’t Limit Your Design

Focus on Colors

Black and orange is typically used for Halloween. However, many people respond well to autumnal tones as well. focuses on orange colors in its Flash-based ad. The impression is enhanced by different hues of the same color.

Skechers Halloween Marketing

Onlineshoes adds a few complementary design elements, sticking to an orange palette for the special offer text background and red for the text that needs to stand out.

Online Shoes Halloween Marketing gets a stylized orange look. The design is simple yet communicates the message effectively.

Eddie Bauer Halloween Marketing

Halloween marks the beginning of a string of holidays that can make or break the profitability of millions of businesses.

Use these strategies to make the most of your holiday promotions.  Plan ahead and keep things light, fun, and engaging and customers will be more receptive to your efforts.

After all, it’s the holidays!

Image courtesy of wwarby

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Stephanie Hamilton

Stephanie Hamilton runs a small branding and web design studio where she helps clients market their company online. Visit By Stephanie and let's collaborate to tell your brand's story. Visit the blog for more helpful design and business resources.


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