Trick or Text: Maximizing Profits with Halloween SMS Campaigns

Halloween is one of the most exciting times of the year: falling leaves, spooky winds, and crazy costumes. But it’s not just about that. It’s also a massive opportunity for businesses to engage with their audience and promote their product/service. One increasingly popular way to reach customers and engage with them during the spooky season is via business SMS marketing.

Through SMS marketing, brands can connect directly with recipients through mobile devices. They can also deliver personalized messages to them to help capture their attention and reinforce engagement. Personalization can be done using SMS marketing tools; we’ll dive into that later. But first, let’s understand what Halloween SMS campaigns really are.

What are Halloween SMS campaigns?

Halloween SMS campaigns are marketing campaigns that offer businesses an opportunity to reengage with their SMS opt-in list – sharing special discounts, exclusive offers, product launches, and more. This occurs during the Halloween period – usually in the month of October or the week before Halloween. Companies get clever with the content during the Halloween season, too. For example, creating “Spooktacular Deals.”

Why should you use SMS marketing during Halloween?

The first and most popular reason businesses create Halloween SMS message campaigns is to boost brand awareness and audience engagement. Companies can make the content fun, spontaneous, relatable, and engaging during Halloween. In addition to this, there are a few more reasons to run an SMS marketing campaign this Halloween:

  • People like receiving timely and relatable content.
  • You can target your audience with relevant content easily.
  • It is one of the most cost-effective ways to communicate with audiences.
  • It’s quicker and easier than sending an email.
  • Your customers have already opted in and expect communication from you.

How to Create Profitable Halloween SMS Marketing Campaigns

Now that we know more about Halloween SMS marketing campaigns, it’s time to learn how to create one. The following strategies will help you understand how to develop effective, significant, and appropriate campaigns that will convert.

Step 1: Segment your audience

SMS marketing tools like Gleantap are designed to help you run Halloween SMS marketing campaigns. But such software can do much more than that – one feature being customer segmentation.  You can segment your audience according to specific parameters you set. For example, your opt-in SMS contact list can be divided based on age, gender, location, purchase history, interests, or preferences.

Here is a breakdown of these customer segments:

Design by

Design by

This means you can create more relevant and personalized SMS messages during your Halloween campaign. And, as we know, the more tailored a message is, the higher the chances of recipients resonating with that message and brand.

Check out our blog to discover a few key ways to effectively segment your SMS opt-in audience using an SMS marketing tool.

Step 2: Promote your Halloween party or event

Halloween is all about the candy, spooks, and costumes. So, make it about that by having an event! A party or event is an excellent way of getting your customers and prospective customers together for a night of fun, costumes, and dance (and hopefully some sales)! The idea is to engage with your customers on a one-on-one basis so that you can build rapport and have fun at the same time. Halloween is the perfect opportunity to get a few more customers under your belt and retain your existing customers, too. Here are a few ways in which you can use SMS marketing to increase your attendance numbers for Halloween events:

  • SMS your opt-in list with details about the event. Include your event date, time, dress code, and location.
  • Follow up with more information about what your customers can expect at the event. (This is the step where you can really create some hype.)
  • Offer a discount to customers who complete an “early bird” sign-up for your event.
  • Offer an incentive to customers if they “refer a friend” to your event.
  • Send text message reminders about the event closer to the date.

Step 3: Interactive elements

This next step is all about boosting engagement levels with your SMS recipients. You can do this using interactive elements in your SMS. This can be anything from a coupon share to a competition entry. What makes it interactive? Your SMS audience must text a particular word back to you to redeem the element.

Here are two examples of what this could look like:

Interactive Halloween SMS Template #1:

“[name], it’s Spook-tober, and we want you to celebrate Halloween fang-tastically with a gift card on us! We’re giving away 100 cards randomly. Text SPOOKY to get yours now! 👻”

Interactive Halloween SMS Template #2:

“Trick or treat? We have an amazing offer for you! Text TREAT to access 50% off all our apparel! We’ll text you the code back. Today only! 🎃”

Other interactive elements include using polls and quizzes, which will be looked at in more detail later in this post.

Step 4: Offer exclusive deals

Halloween is an ideal time of the year – everyone is back at school, but it seems to be the unofficial start to the holiday season. The weather is cooling down; people are starting to think about holiday season plans. So, hosting a few big sales is a great way to get the excitement going.

And SMS marketing can help you do just that. With bulk SMS campaigns, you can simultaneously send one message to many recipients, saving you much time and effort. Adding a deal, coupon, or discount code is essential when sending bulk SMS messages. This way, customers can quickly redeem the code and shop online or in-store, saving time and making the transaction as smooth as possible.

This is also an excellent way of building a loyal audience who will always come back for Halloween sales each year.

Step 5: Create a sense of urgency

As discussed earlier, Halloween is an ideal time for offers. But it’s also a great time to create a sense of urgency. You can do this by using words such as “exclusive,” “limited sale,” “limited time,” or “only until Halloween” to help drive that feeling of “get it now.”

This urgency encourages customers and prospective customers to take immediate action, which, in turn, helps increase sales and overall ROI.

Step 6: Utilize multimedia

You can take SMS marketing to the next level this Halloween by incorporating multimedia into your messages. But what is multimedia?

Multimedia in SMS marketing can be anything from images to short videos or GIFs. This helps make traditional text messages more elaborate and helps your brand tell a spooky story visually. As we all know, people respond to visually appealing elements (movies, videos, imagery). So it’s a great idea to use them to your advantage during Halloween.

Below is an example of what this could look like:

SMS marketing

Step 7: Personalize your messages

As we know, personalization is one of the most pivotal parts of marketing today. This stems from people knowing they want to be associated with and buying from brands that actively care about them and their preferences. We live in a world where every buying behavior can be tracked and used for future marketing campaigns. And consumers love that.

The best part? Any business can personalize messaging to their customers. It goes back to the all-important point of audience segmentation. In point one of this blog post, we spoke about customer segmentation and how it can be helpful to you when marketing. You can segment your customers using SMS marketing tools and then target personalized text messages to them during Halloween.

Here’s an example:

“Hi, Jerry. We noticed you grabbed a pair of our latest [brand name] sneakers last month. Why not get a matching coat? Go on, treat yourself! It’s Spook-tober, after all. 👻”

Step 8: Keep it concise

We know that text messages may be cheap, but they come with limitations. One of them is 160 characters in length. But, despite your SMS marketing campaigns having length limitations, it’s also crucial to understand that either way, your message should be as concise as possible.

Why? Surely, it makes sense to pack a punch and add as much info as possible.

Actually, no. You want your message to have one solid topic and get your CTA (call-to-action) across clearly and concisely. If you have too many topics in one message, it may confuse the reader, and they may not understand what you’re trying to convey. Or worse, they may not want to read ambiguous content and unsubscribe at that moment.

Avoid this by sticking to one or two sentences in your SMS. Always include a CTA (we’ll discuss that in the next point), and ensure your communication is crystal clear. Don’t use ten words when two will do.

Step 9: Include clear CTAs

This strategy is necessary for any SMS going out to your opt-in list – even outside the spooky season. You should always have a clear call to action. Each text message should have a solid purpose and be part of a larger digital marketing strategy. Ask yourself the following questions when planning your SMS CTAs for Halloween campaigns:

  • What is the purpose of this SMS?
  • Which customer segment am I targeting?
  • What am I promoting or sharing with the recipient?
  • What do I want them to do after reading the SMS?
  • How will I measure the success of the SMS?
  • How will this impact my broader marketing strategy?

Step 10: Provide value beyond sales

While Halloween discounts and offers are exciting and great for business, you should also take the time to provide value in additional ways. Consider including one of the following in your Halloween SMS campaign:

  • A small freebie for SMS subscribers
  • A holiday gift guide
  • A Fall recipe
  • A personalized holiday card
  • DIY décor tips
  • A branded calendar for the following year

These tips, gifts, or freebies can be a little gesture that goes a long way.

Step 11: Compliance and opt-out

This may not be the most exciting Halloween SMS campaign tip, but it’s essential. Remember to always comply with TCPA SMS rules and regulations. There are a few rules you should always bear in mind, some of them being:

  • Identification: Always identify your business/brand name as the sender.
  • Consent: Always ensure that the recipient has actively consented to receiving text messages from your business.
  • Local laws: Messages must comply with local laws regarding decency and fairness.
  • Time: SMS messages must be sent at fair hours. Try to avoid Sundays and always send messages between 8 AM and 8 PM for the recipient’s timezone.

Step 12: Send a gift card

You can also make use of gift cards during the Halloween season. This can be quickly sent to customers via SMS, building excitement and energy around the end of October. And if you’re a business that wants to share more than just your products and services as appreciation, you can send them a gift card for another place.

Why? It shows that you’re building credibility as a brand within the community. For example, if you’re a gym owner wanting to use SMS marketing this Halloween, why not give away a series of gift cards for the nutritional café down the road? It complements what your business believes in, and at the same time, you’re supporting a fellow business owner. People appreciate this type of sentiment.

No matter which business your gift card is for, ensure the value of it is sufficient for your SMS subscriber to want it. Then, you can use claimed gift card user data for future personalized SMS marketing campaigns – and so the cycle of data-driven marketing goes on!

Step 13: Host a pumpkin carving contest

This can be pretty fun if you’re feeling up to it. Send a Halloween SMS and sync it with your social media accounts to engage prospects or customers across multiple channels.

Your message can sound something like this:

“Attn. all PUMPKIN CARVERS! 🎃 We at [brand name] seek the best pumpkin carving for 2023! Reply CARVE with your pic to enter. Winner takes a $500 shopping voucher home! 🎃”

Your social channels can have a similar message encouraging people to participate and showcase entries so far on your stories and posts.


Step 14: Turn your text message into a quiz or poll

We spoke briefly about polls and quizzes in the interactive tip. And this is a great marketing tactic to use if you’re looking to boost two-way messaging. This is an excellent way to build customer conversations and make Halloween more interactive and fun for everyone.

SMS quizzes or polls are designed to actively engage subscribers by prompting them to answer simple questions. Or vote for their preferred option. The true benefit is that it’s easy for subscribers to partake in, leading to higher engagement levels and increased sales.

It’s a sharp way to involve your customers – ultimately building relationships and loyalty.


  1. Why should I consider running an SMS campaign specifically for Halloween?

It’s an excellent time of year to engage with customers and talk about relevant and seasonal content. It’s also a good build-up time to the holiday season.

  1. How can I ensure that my Halloween SMS campaign stands out?

Use visuals such as GIFs, images, and short videos. Integrate your SMS campaign with social media channels and your website. Be sure to include exclusive and limited offers.

  1. What are some common mistakes to avoid when running Halloween SMS campaigns?

Don’t text too much – ensure you’re staying compliant.

Don’t have too many topics in one message.

Don’t be ambiguous – have a clear goal and CTA for every SMS.

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