Halloween is right around the corner. For your small business, this means big business.
In fact, more than 171 million Americans plan to celebrate Halloween, spending an average of about $83 each, up from about $74 in 2015, according to the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association. That’s not all. Total spending is expected to hit $8.4 billion, an all-time high since NRF began its annual Halloween survey in 2003. With more than half the surveyed consumers planning to dress up in costume or decorate their homes and 70% expecting to hand out candy, it’s time for your small business to join the festivities with Halloween-themed marketing programs and sales events.
Even if you think your services and products are not conducive to Halloween promotions, you can still participate in the holiday fever—and help boost your sales. In fact, it’s not too late to appeal to your customers and clients with spooktacular promotions and deals. Take a look at our four top ways to capitalize on Halloween with minimal advanced planning or preparations:
Partner with a local Halloween costume outlet, candy store or bakery
This is a great way for any type of small business, including a service company—like a CPA firm, sales agency, or website designer—to participate in Halloween marketing. For starters, find a costume shop or bakery nearby and pitch the idea of offering discounts to their customers, such as a month of free services. In exchange, the retailer can create a promotion for you to give to your clients, such as 20% off a baked goods order during the month of October or November. For instance, you can leave a stack of “first month free” coupons in a bakery. If a bakery customer then calls you to take advantage of your deal, he can use a coupon code, like HALLOBAKE, to receive your promotional special. Likewise, you could give out the bakery’s 20% off coupons to your customers to buy Halloween treats and baked goods. Think of it this way: Even if no one takes advantage of your offer, this is great free advertising for you in a heavily trafficked store. Plus, your customers will love the chance to buy goodies for their kids at a discount price that doesn’t eat into your profits.
Send out e-blasts and promote Halloween deals on social media
Have fun with this one and be sure to use Halloween images and verbiage, such as “Check out our frightfully exciting Halloween deal”, “Out of the crypt trunk sale”, and “We’re scaring up our best deal yet”. You can then include savings coupons at the bottom of the email that expire at the witching hour of midnight on Halloween. Likewise, you can post similar coupons and deals on Facebook to help create a howl.
Get into the “spirit” by hosting a Halloween event and invite your customers
Pick a date, either right before Halloween or on October 31, and scare up some fun by inviting your clients to a party. Ask you staff and customers to dress up in Halloween costumes and be sure to decorate your office. You can even go all out and create a haunted house and ask your customers to bring their children. Another idea: Give out candy and discount coupons for services and products to use on this day only. Be sure to promote the event via social media and e-blasts. Lastly, take plenty of pictures so that you can post the pictures on your social media feeds that night or the next day.
Hold a Halloween costume contest
This is a great way to engage with your customers on social media. The rules are up to you, but a great start is to simply ask your customers to dress up in their Halloween best and post their photos on your Facebook feed. You can also come up with your own ideas for sharing and posting on other social media channels, like Instagram and Twitter. Then, you and your employees can all join in the fun by voting on the best costume photos submitted. Once you’ve selected a winner or a few winners, you can post their photos on your social media feeds and website. You can also send out an e-blast announcing the winners and their prizes, such as free products or discounts on services. The best part: You get to actively engage with your customers and clients in a memorable way.