The Best Halloween Email I Ever Received

Posted by Laura Christensen 

Halloween 2016 is shaping uphwn-chart to be anything but scary for retailers.  The National Retail Federation forecasts Halloween spending will reach $8.4 billion this year, as U.S. adult Internet users spend more than in the previous 5 years.

As an increasing number of brands compete for those dollars, getting subscribers to engage with your email messages can seem like a grim prospect.  So what does it take to make your Halloween messages jump out from a crowded inbox?  Return Path’s Consulting Team for North America selected a few recent emails that were a treat to receive.


Alexandra Braunstein
Sender: Bare Minerals
Subject Line: Transform into a magical unicorn

Bare Minerals intriguing subject line immediately grabbed my attention, and the fun and colorful creative, showcasing an interactive video, made the message highly engaging. I loved that they used helpful content as a clever way to sell their products, and while Bare Minerals may not be top of mind for Halloween planning, they did an excellent job at making the content relevant and timely.




Laura Christensenhead-shot
Sender: Pottery Barn Kids
Subject Line: Last chance! FREE SHIPPING + up to 60% OFF Halloween (while supplies last)

Beginning with the subject line, Pottery Barn Kids conveys a sense of urgency to prompt subscribers to engage.  In the body of the email, supplemental copy is kept to a minimum so that it doesn’t distract subscribers from the primary call-to-action.  Within the Halloween Sale feature, subscribers are able to click to find their nearest Pottery Barn Kids store or shop online. The email also includes an order-as-late-as call out to reassure last-minute shoppers.


Henry Gutierrezhenry
Sender: DogVacay
Subject Line: dog-vacay-subject-lineHalloween costumes for dogs

Relevancy and engagement are big drivers for success when it comes to emails. DogVacay deployed a campaign to help their subscribers think of costume ideas for their dogs, which they don’t sell. DogVacay is all about finding sitters for your hairy friends, but it’s great to see they’re thinking about their subscribers outside of selling their product. It prioritizes content from costume ideas to reminding dog owners they may need a sitter for Halloween. Other great features include prominent CTA buttons, social media links and a reminder of their mobile app. Looking at our subscriber panel data, it’s showing about 20% for its read rate.



Julia Peavyjulia
Sender: Marriott Rewards
Subject Line: Booooooo(k a Halloween Trip)

While promoting Halloween is generally easier for retailers, Marriott Rewards took the opportunity to leverage Halloween in their subject line and promote a variety of potential spooky vacation destinations. In addition to highlighting specific US locations, Marriott also promoted similar holidays internationally as well as “ghost hunting” opportunities in the email. The email still included reward status and leveraged responsive design with stacked images for smaller screens to ensure a “boo-tiful” experience for their preferred clients.



Casey Swantoncasey
Sender: West Elm
Subject Line: No tricks, just treats! SAVE at west elm, Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma + more!

This campaign stood out as a cross-brand promotion oriented around the single theme of Halloween.  In addition to offering subscribers convenient access to their intriguing “Halloween Marketplace,” this campaign provides exposure to some of the lesser known brands.  While an email from West Elm may not have driven my click, a chance to see Halloween favorites from 7 brands in one marketplace was very compelling.


Now, there’s no time to sit back and enjoy that sugar high.  During the holiday season, email marketing drives 20 percent of online orders, so make sure your email gets delivered to the inbox.  And find out everything you need to know to create a successful email program for the holidays in the 2016 Holiday Email Marketing Report.

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About Laura Christensen

Laura Christensen is an Email Strategist on Return Path's Professional Services Team with a passion for helping email marketers exceed subscriber expectations. With over 15 years experience in the email industry, Laura has worked with a broad range of clients to provide strategic, data-driven guidance to increase email delivery, subscriber engagement and revenue. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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