Tricks or Treats? Inbox Spooks and the Lack of Ghoulish Email

Tricks or Treats? Inbox Spooks and the Lack of Ghoulish Email

If my six different inboxes are any indication, retailers and businesses of any type don’t use Halloween as the awesome opportunity it is. I received all of two Halloween inspired emails, which is rather pathetic. It’s a playful, fun, and joyously spooky time of year – why would retailers shy away from such a great opportunity? Are they worried they’ll offend? Seriously?

halloween2It’s called testing people, simple A/B testing…. Use it or doom your email program to meager, average standards and allow your brand to be forgettable. Just thinking about all the missed opportunities over the past several weeks saddens my Vampire heart and lacks stimulation for my Zombie brain.

Let’s look at the whopping two emails and uncover their missed opportunities, as they too missed the freak show boat:

ThinkGeek - The geeks usually do something, and this wasn’t the only email they sent in the past several weeks – merely one of about 8, and it’s not really Halloweenie; but, the subject line days before Halloween was dead on (pun intended):


It’s typical geek, which is very image-heavy, the CTA is way down yonder, and not remotely mobile-friendly; however, if you’re a geek, you know their email and it works for them. (Though, that is zero excuse, especially for professional geeks.)

Considering that their website already has snow in their banner with Holiday messaging, their eyes are clearly on the Christmas prize. I also checked my backlog of ThinkGeek emails for the two weeks prior to Halloween and saw nothing with even an inspired use of Jack-O-Lanterns. Tears of blood are staining my Doctor Who t-shirt with sadness.

Next up, Walmart – they don’t miss a step, but is this really the best use of an email? Repurposing what appears to be a print mailer within HTML does not a great email make:halloween6

Granted, this email was sent via their Credit Card company, but it leaves zero excuses for a brand that is notorious for protecting their image. With the moolah Walmart possesses, they could do so much better. At the very least, it is definitely Halloweenie.

halloween4But, what I’d like to know is where were the ghost GIF’s and the eye-popping zombie live-content pieces? Not a single ghoul jumped from the shadows to torment me into purchasing anything at all – what type of email world have we come to?

Sure, I’m happy to see that more and more retailers are understanding that the Christmas holiday season is underway – on November 1st, that’s cool. However, it really shouldn’t start too soon or you risk losing people to Holiday Over-Kill and their enchantment with your brand could wane.

halloween5Use Halloween as the spooktastic holiday that it is – a Pre-Christmas Festival of Horrors that can lead a memorable path to the Christmas Holiday. Using seasonal holidays keeps your email program fresh and shows you’re on top of things, creative, and makes you memorable. Consumers are getting smart to all our marketing tricks, so give ‘em a creative treat and show them your brand is more than a bag of marketing tricks.

Title: Tricks or Treats? Inbox Spooks and the Lack of Ghoulish Email
About: Email Halloween Examples
Audience: Email Marketers
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