This Halloween's season's hocus pocus: personalization, predictive marketing and segmentation

October 03, 2013

Are you looking to make the most out of this Halloween and holiday season? I’ve taken some of this season’s early Halloween email campaigns, and constructively critiqued them to help you get the most out of this holiday season. The hocus pocus? Personalization, predictive marketing and segmentation. They are pretty awesome so please, read on and enjoy.


The classic: Discount

Yes, we all know that a good discount offered in the subject line of your email is a guaranteed way to get high open and click through rates along with a certain amount of purchases. However, as a company that makes the majority of their money off of one particular holiday - this one being Halloween, you better give a big incentive to guarantee that all of your potential customers come to you and not to your competitor.

The key? The subject line. “Up to 85% off”. Doesn’t mean everything has to be 85% off; just enough to get the ball rolling, getting people to look at what you have to offer for this Halloween season and continue nurturing from there. You’ve already got their attention. Now make them speak to you. Buy, an online customer retailer, did this flawlessly.

Big discount offered? Check.

Creepy-crawly email? Check.

Awesome products (aka: costumes and accessories)? Check.

They’ve got the hocus pocus all ready to go to make this Halloween season a moneymaker.

 85 percent off

Know your customers. Well.

This email campaign by Costume, an online site for purchasing Halloween adult, kids and pets costumes and accessories has been my favorite so far.

They created a campaign around mom and child. They basically told mom: buy your child’s costumes now (because their favorite character’s costumes won’t last – sense of urgency – smart!) and when you spend over $75 we’ll give you $15 to spend on a costume for yourself.  Fabulous. The mom most likely wants to be part of her child’s Halloween experience and will jump at the opportunity of free money towards her own costume and buy her child’s costume through Costume

How could this smart and sweet campaign be even better?

Personally - I’m not a mom. This email doesn’t apply to me. I loved the idea but it’s lost in translation because I don’t have a child.

If they knew their customers better – they could customize and personalize the emails for each person: father and child, college freshman and roommate, married couple with no children, you get the idea.

It seems like they could use a little help in segmenting their database from AgilOne.



Everything one could possibly need

Fab Inc., the e-commerce store that sells very cool and unique accessories and apparel for you and decorations for your home sent out an email offering up everything Halloween based you could think of.

Decorations, costumes, Halloween makeup and accessories, animal costumes, and creepy art were all part of this incredibly well made offer.

How could have they improve this already awesome email offer?

My guess would be to make it a seamless offer. An individually tailored offer depending on if you are a man or a woman (based on prior purchase history) and what you have browsed in the past, in terms of taste and preference. Now that would be a home-run sale for Fab.


Keeping your company top of mind: Upselling

Halloween is mostly all about candy, costumes and the decorations, right? Well I know and I’m sure that you know too, that Walgreens sells all of these things. So it makes sense that Walgreens the largest drug retailing chain in the United States plus that also sells consumer goods and services, would take this opportunity to make an offer involving Halloween that has little to do with the typical offers of candy, costumes and decorations. It’s very clever if you think about it. Instead of flooding your inbox with the same offers all other companies are doing right now, they are offering up personalized cards, postcards and photo books with a hocus pocus spin on it.  This is guaranteeing that you’ll keep them on top of mind for all your basic Halloween purchases, along with all your Halloween photo needs.


Dress up like you own Halloween

You don’t have to be a costume shop to benefit from Halloween. LivingSocial, a deal-of-the-day website that features discounted gift certificates usable at local or national companies recently offered up the coolest looking Halloween yard inflatable I have seen in a long time. They had a few other offers in the Halloween spirit to seriously juice this holiday. I can’t wait to see what they offer for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas. How could they make this cool offer even better? If they could determine if you live in a house or an apartment and cater the Halloween inflatables they offer based on the size of your house. Genius.



Eye-catching offers

I was almost done writing this post when the email below by, an online retailer of contact lenses and eyeglasses came through. I saw that it was from Coastal, and since I had just received in the mail my contacts (I religiously order through them), I was ready to ignore the email. Yet something caught my eye. The subject line said “Halloween” in it. What? How could they possibly be offering a promotion for Halloween? They are contacts and glasses. So I read it more carefully. “Take Your Halloween Costume To The Next Level! 20% Off & Free Delivery On Halloween Contact Lenses”. Intriguing, I thought. What could they possibly be offering…?

How did I not think of this?! Crazy colored and shaped contact lenses to enhance your costume. So smart. I’ve been receiving Halloween costume emails for about two months now, but had not received anything from Coastal about Halloween.

The timing here is perfect. Coastal waited for people to begin buying their costumes in the hopes that by the time they receive this email they will have purchased their costumes and want to enhance their costume by purchasing crazy-contact lenses. Same concept as: Buy dress first, accessorize later.  My hats off to you, Bravo. Halloween

All of these emails are great. Engaging, visually pleasing, good promotions, etc. But they all could use a little TLC in the personalization, predictive and segmentation arena.

AgilOne specializes in this. If you are a retailer or brand manager looking to get the most out of this Halloween or holiday season contact AgilOne.

We would be more than happy to speak with you.

Contact AgilOne.