Halloween Direct-Marketing Ideas

Arguably the most fun of holidays, Halloween offers many opportunities to market to your target audience and drive your return on investment (ROI). Follow these ghoulishly easy concepts to spark your design creativity, so you can develop compelling direct-marketing postcards, brochures and flyers for a monster return.

Give away a 'treat'

You can easily play on the trick-or-treat tradition during the days leading up to All Hallows Eve by giving away a free sample or offering a great bonus as part of your offer. A software company, for example, might send out a postcard that includes a special URL for free game downloads or trials; alternatively, a mortgage broker might send out a postcard with a piece of candy attached to it that says, "No tricks, just treats." If you give something away, you're more likely to earn a response, which helps to brand your company and introduce your product offering to new customers.

Host a haunted house

The staple of Halloween horror, hosting haunted houses offers great opportunities for you to earn valuable PR points. You can donate proceeds to a favorite charity, and, your event will likely get free press in newspapers, radios and television news programs. Not to mention, you're working toward branding efforts, because you can print off a large banner with your company's name as the sponsor of the haunted house.

To advertise the event, try sending out postcards or half-fold brochure mailers that resemble funeral cards, or, if your crowd is a little younger, you could have them die cut into the shape of a tombstone, bat, ghost or your favorite monster. These unique direct-mail pieces would be a big hit at home.

Tell spooky stories

People are fascinated with Halloween, and it shows: Halloween is the retail industry's second-highest grossing holiday season. One way to get people leafing through every listing and section of your direct-mail catalog or brochure is to include Halloween history, legends, tales and other tidbits scattered throughout the pages.

Another take would be to host a "Midnight Special," in which a retailer opens the doors at midnight for an ultra-special - and spooky - sale. Employees (and guests) can dress as characters, scary sounds can be played overhead, and refreshments can be served. If you try this route make sure you make the deals good enough to bring people in that late, and that you get the word out with a spooky direct-mail campaign.

With so many ghouls, ghost, goblins, legends, stories and other spooks so ready-at-hand, any graphic designer can come up with unique ways to develop horrifically great direct-marketing materials. And remember - if you want attention, sometimes you have to howl at the moon.