Hobgoblin Metrics: Email Marketing On Halloween

Halloween may be a great time for trick-or-treaters, but It generates the lowest open rates of any fourth-quarter holiday, according to the 2018 Holiday Marketing Guide, a study by Yes Lifecycle Marketing. 

In 2016, for example, Halloween open rates averaged 7.8%. A year later, they fell to 6.9%. Unique clicks hit 0.4% for both years.

In contrast, business-as-usual (BAU) campaigns usually average 13.9% and average click rates of 1.2%. And Christmas campaigns, naturally, garnered a 14.8% open rate last year. 

Yet Halloween conversions hit 5.4% in 2017 -- up from 5.3% the year before -- whereas BAU campaigns generate only 4.8%.

“Despite low engagement, Halloween conversion rates still beat out standard campaigns by 11%,” the study notes. 

Yes Lifecycle Marketing tracked almost 8 billion emails sent in fourth-quarter 2017. 

The top-performing subject lines show wit and puns. For instance, Taylor Media scored with a line that said: “Don’t be a Hallo-weenie. Enjoy these spooky treats.”



House Party asked, “”Are you ready for your Epic BREWS & BOOS Halloween House Party?”

An Organic Life magazine said: “We tried all the Natural-ish Halloween Candy We Could Get Our Hands On.” 

Fortnum & Mason asked: “Is Fortnum’s haunted?” This email used the brand heritage to tell “personal spooky stories,” the study notes.

Note that specific offers were missing from these subject lines.

Campaigns with no offer in the subject line achieved a 10.8% open rate and 0.6% unique click rate. In contrast, emails subject lines stressing dollar-off offers pulled 5.3%, percent-off offers drove a 5.9% rate and free shipping came in at 5.2%. No-offer subject lines also generated higher conversions.

The worst-performing subject lines failed to specify how the theme related to their brands.

It is probable that these messages “lacked context and relevant details for the target audience,” the study states. “This may have contributed to these emails blending in with other run-of-the-mill campaigns.”

The best time to send? The Friday before Halloween achieved a 7.9% open rate last year and a 9.4% conversion rate, so don’t wait for the day itself.

Here are some other tips from Yes LifeCycle Marketing:

Make the goal of the Halloween campaign clear from the start

Avoid content with dense blocks of copy and multiple CTAs.

Take advantage f the occasion to stand out.

Yes Lifecycle Marketing tracked almost 8 billion emails sent in fourth-quarter 2017.  


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