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Spooky Halloween Tricks for Email Marketers

Halloween is almost here. Here are some essential tips to follow for modern email marketers to avoid sending out truly spooky campaigns on this day – and well beyond

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This Halloween, put a spell on your customers! Leverage your email marketing campaigns with the most up-to-date, fang-tastic strategies from Optimove email marketing experts. 

Read on to learn the best email marketing tricks this Halloween. 

Trick #1 – Email cut-offs and clippings

You, your designer, copywriter, and coding team are just putting the final touches on a boo-tiful email for Halloween filled with ghosts and goblins. You’re incredibly proud of your efforts and what you believe is an incredible subject line. So, after you’ve clicked the “Schedule” button and the message is sent on its way to your subscribers’ inboxes, you’re not surprised when you hear that it’s a hit.  

Except, you quickly learn that its success isn’t for the reasons you had anticipated. First, your subject line, “Halloween’s best-tasting and artisanal homemade cocktail recipes for your next party,” is cut off in the most unfortunate places. Then, you learn that the email is being clipped in Gmail, so subscribers don’t see the CTA, and you wind up generating hardly any clicks.  

To avoid this catastrophe in the future, always test your emails to multiple ISPs before sending them to your audience. This will allow you to see how elements like subject lines, preview text, and email content will render on desktop and mobile across various devices. 

A good rule of thumb: keep your email subject line 40 characters or less and your emails under 102KB in size to avoid clipping in Gmail. 

Trick # 2 – Ghosts of personalization 

Personalization is a powerful tool, but it can be scary when it’s not set up correctly! 

We’ve all received an email meant to include a piece of personalized content but didn’t. Maybe it was a first name. Perhaps it was something as easy as a date. Whatever the piece of content was – it was mysteriously missing… like “poof”, the content itself was ghosting you.  

Or worse yet, have you ever received an email from a marketer that revealed exactly what they were attempting to personalize in the template, but due to an oversight in their code or tagging infrastructure, the entire personalization tag is revealed versus the dynamic content intended to be revealed?  

Accidentally sending an email that looks like “Happy Halloween,” or “Happy Halloween, %%FIRST_NAME%%” are equally scary. Still, both can be easily avoided by sending a test email to a group of users before deploying the campaign to a larger audience.  

Trick # 3 – Shocking unsubscribing experiences 

Making the unsubscribe process easy and one-click is a real treat, and as soon as customers choose to unsubscribe, confirm opt-out and make re-subscribing easy. Better yet, provide a preference center that allows users to select the types of messages they can opt-in to receive rather than unsubscribe from all messages. 

A user who wants to opt-out of an email list by clicking the unsubscribe link (which has no relevance to your sender reputation and subsequent inbox deliverability) instead of reporting spam should be appreciated with a smooth experience. They shouldn’t be asked, “Are you sure you want to opt-out?” as having to click yet another button before finally receiving a confirmation of the unsubscribe is horrific. We tremble with fear just thinking of that!  

Halloween or not, having an easy way to allow users to unsubscribe from your promotional emails is not just a recommendation. It’s mandatory due to CAN-SPAM compliance regulations.   

Trick #4 – Alarming audience snafus 

Remember the Oprah episode where she excitedly announced to her audience, “You Get a Car! You Get a Car!”? Well, imagine if, as a sender, you were to repeat that same communication strategy with your email channel? Does that send shivers down your spine?  

Now, suppose you have a powerful message – a remarkable retention-based offer, for instance, and you decide to (or mistakenly) send it to everyone in your email database. A subscriber who hasn’t opened or clicked through on any of your campaigns in over three years will get 50% off their entire order. 

Or what about that segment you had already identified as churned and not safe to send to? Yeah, they’re a part of the “You Get an Email!” group too. This may be one of the scariest situations on the list, as this type of scenario can wreak havoc on a sender’s ability to deliver to reputable customers’ inboxes in the future.  

Your sending volume spikes well above double when you send emails to everyone in your database. You include potentially harmful addresses that have likely converted to spam traps, are likely to bounce or cause your IP and sending domain to find their way onto blacklists, and worse.  

To avoid this, segment your audiences, double-check what you’re sending and ensure that you send it to the right audience. 

Trick #5 – Things are scary in the dark… but don’t be afraid of dark mode

By now, we bet a good portion of your users are reading and engaging with your emails on at least one device configured in dark mode. Maybe it’s due to dark mode’s ease of strain on their eyes or simply because they prefer the aesthetic of dark mode.  

Regardless, dark mode can pose unique challenges when rendering your email’s content and template, and if you’re not careful, the outcome can be terrifying!  

But what is dark mode, and how does it impact your email campaigns? Dark mode inverts the colors on your device to help decrease the amount of light emitted on your screen. As users, we’re familiar with how it inverts a white background and black text to a black background and white text, but from an email marketer’s perspective, there are some essential tips to follow.  

First, it’s good to know that dark mode doesn’t and cannot invert images. So, if you are worried about branded content being impacted by a device’s dark mode, save it as an image file versus coding your email with the specific HEX color of a logo, font, or background.  

Additionally, a transparent background on a PNG image allows for a more seamless rendering of your content regardless of how dark mode inverts background colors. Pure white (#FFFFFF) and pure black (#000000) text and backgrounds will be inverted, so consider using alternate dark and light colors in your templates for testing. 

Remember, inbox deliverability is all about email engagement, and your subscribers are less likely to engage with content that they can’t see or that doesn’t render well. It’s scary to think what a device might do to your CTA or offer if you don’t proactively design for dark mode. Even on Halloween! 🎃  

Want to hear more spook-tacular email marketing tips? Reach out to us today

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