Halloween Roundup 2023: Fondue’s Discount & Offer Predictions

Industry Insights
Fondue Team
November 7, 2023

For the upcoming Halloween holiday sprint, our team at Fondue sat down with a few SMS marketing experts over at Postscript to outline a handful of discounting predictions within the e-commerce ecosystem.

We cover real-time discount campaigns, types of discounts that have yielded high conversion for brands, creative SMS ideas, and previous examples of high-performing offers. Let’s dive in!

Prediction #1

Are the majority of brands running Halloween discounting campaigns?

According to Rally Stanoeva, Senior PMM at Postscript, most e-commerce brands are actively planning to run marketing campaigns for Halloween, though not all include a discount. In Rally’s words, creative ideas for Halloween are “essentially endless” and brands can appeal to just about any age group and find a way to tie it back to their core brand and product lines.

Simone Vermette, Senior CSM at Postscript, also points out that the majority of the brands she works with are running a Halloween SMS campaign of some sort; often funny, cute, or seasonal. 

According to Laura Serino, Senior Manager of Content & Community at Postscript, the hubbub around Halloween seems to increase YOY and it’s really more like a season than just a holiday. She notes that she “sees Halloween sales start as soon as back to school sales are done to get folks invested in the season early. As we get closer to the actual holiday, discounts get deeper.” 

Bryan Dickey, Senior SMS Marketing Strategist, adds that over half of the brands he works with at Postscript run an offer around Halloween. Out of the half of the group that's not running a promotion, 50% of those brands are sending a Halloween themed campaign that doesn't include a promotion. He points out that there are still ways to engage with subscribers without offering a flash sale or Halloween themed promotion.

Prediction #2

Which Halloween discounts and offers will be the most popular in 2023?

Brands leverage a mix of discounting campaigns throughout the year and over specific holiday seasons, ranging from % off, $ off, free shipping, BOGO, and gift with purchase, among others.

From a quant lens, Bryan specifically points out that %-based discounts will likely be the most popular (10% - 30%). Most offers are flash sales (24-48 hours) and will require a discount code.

Despite the high volume of email or SMS discounts, Simone adds that only about 10 to 20% of brands will have their website updated with a discount or deploy a sitewide Halloween promo. 

According to Rally, Halloween is the best opportunity to try something new in your discounting strategy. Instead of doing a general site-wide sale, she recommends putting together specific product bundles (like the Feastables example below), mystery boxes, surprise discounts, or a surprise gift with purchase. In her words, “play into the ‘treat’ element” in particular this year.

Prediction #3

What creative campaigns will perform well for brands over Halloween?

According to Bryan, two distinct types of creative campaigns will likely perform for Halloween this year. First, promotional discounts like GWP and dollar off vouchers will drive conversions:

  • GWP for AOV boost: Bryan notes to avoid discounts and give away free products with purchase of x-amount. Helps increase AOV with a limited time window.
  • Dollar off vouchers: Giveaways or store credit that shoppers can use. This fits well with the Halloween trick or treat theme. For example, a $10 store credit with a $50 min spend.

Second, non-promotional discounts will also perform well for this upcoming Halloween sprint.

  • Low Inventory, Out of Stock, Back In Stock - Featuring products that are relevant to the fall/Halloween season that are restocked or in low inventory (create scarcity/urgency).
  • Recipes - Featuring your products used in a Halloween themed recipe or suggest a candy alternative i.e low calorie Halloween treats, Halloween party drink recipes, health conscious foods, drinks, and candy.
  • "Trick" or "Treat" - Sending a Halloween-themed message with CTA to respond with "trick" or "treat". Subscribers respond with their choice. Offer a different promotion depending on which keyword they respond with.
  • Costume ideas - Sharing trending or unique Halloween costume ideas featuring your brand's product i.e makeup, clothes, hair products, drinkware accessories, etc.
  • "Scary facts" - Taking an educational angle of the product and including a problem the product helps solve. Share a frightening fact that your product helps make it less scary.
  • Giveaways - Guess how many pieces of candy are in the photo.

Rally points out that a standout for her was a Halloween SMS campaign from OLIPOP below that gets subscribers to text back with their best Halloween-inspired puns. In return, they get a text back with a 13% off coupon code that’s only valid for 13 hours. All of the copy including the discount amount plays into the spooky theme.

Prediction #4

How will brands incorporate Halloween discounting in a creative way?

Simone points to a handful of specific Hallloween discounts that stood out in 2022, and recommends that brands take note and follow suit for this coming holiday season:

  • A supplement company known for their fun limited edition flavors designed and offered a spooky themed protein powder to their customer base that sold out incredibly quickly.
  • A hair accessory company ran a spooky themed campaign for BOGO on accessories.

Laura notes that gamification has been really fun to see from her lens at Postscript over the last few holiday seasons. In her words, “We’ve seen brands run Halloween scavenger hunts on-site to drive traffic and reward winners.” On a final note, Laura adds that she hopes to see brands lean into conversational discounting to reward subscribers who engage with special offers.

In terms of creative campaigns, Laura points to an example from Perfect Keto running a “Buy 2 Get 1 Free” deal. In her words, “I think it’s an important time for brands to push urgency and if applicable, remind customers that this might be a last chance for sales before BFCM.”

On a final note, Bryan points out two additional particularly creative campaigns from last year from Heart & Soil and Wandering Bear below.