best email subject lines in October

Seasonal Email and Subject Line Inspiration for Fall

Fall marks the beginning of a quarter-long marketing push for many brands. The holidays are just around the corner and it’s prime time to start spreading a little seasonal love to subscribers before the onslaught of holiday promotions and specials. We’ve seen a plethora of fall and Halloween-themed emails come across our inboxes over the last month. Here are some of our favorites from brands with the best email subject lines!

Earthbound Trading

SL: BOGO is about to ghost 👻

  Earthbound Trading's "ghosting" email Why we 😍it: This was the final email in the series for this particular promotion. Earthbound Trading's ability to communicate that without resorting to 'final hours' or 'ends at midnight'  language was particularly refreshing. This is the time of year when customers are going to be seeing cliché phrases for sales saturate their inboxes. If there's another on-brand way for you to phrase your subject line without having to resort to tired ones, your email will be sure to stand out from the rest.
Related: Subject Line Best Practices of 2019


SL: Be the 👻 with the most and take 35% off

Winc's Halloween email Why we 😍it: You know the marketer behind this email has been waiting allllll year to whip out both the subject line AND headline for this beaut. The subject line's clever take on a rhyme while keeping it seasonally relevant was certainly a fun encounter in the inbox. Pairing that with the "booozy" headline and notes of cheekiness in the body gives this email a lovely finish.

Manly Bands

SL: Trick or Treat Yo'self to Our Spooky New Ring 👻

Manly Bands' Halloween email Why we 😍it: It takes guts to promote your product on a severed digit. For their Halloween email, Manly Bands walked up to the line, gave it a friendly nod and stepped right over it. But really, we have to give kudos where kudos are due when a brand takes a risk. And what better time to do that than the time of year when everyone is at their weirdest? Manly Bands got us to open their email by hinting at their Halloween-themed offering and let the shock value do the rest. Sometimes, if it's on brand, adding a little shock value during a seasonally relevant time of year can reap great rewards. But tread carefully, otherwise the results can be grim.


SL: EEK! Check Out These Fa-BOO-lous Deals

Chewy's Halloween email Why we 😍it: Obviously, you never want to go overboard with exclamations and capitalization since those are both spam triggers. But that’s not to say you still can’t sprinkle some in here and there. It's all about balance. They still go a long way to draw attention, and when done in a non-spammy way, can be beneficial for driving engagement.

Lastly, a few more examples from Really Good Emails. Because why the fall not?

Land O Lakes

SL: 👻 Ghoul, treat yourself with these recipes

Land-O-Lakes' Halloween email Why we 😍it: Frankly, this one stood out because we had never been referred to as a "ghoul" before... and we kinda liked it. It's not personalization per se, but it still makes the subject line feel a little sweeter than if it wasn't there at all.


SL: Pumpkin spice and all things (not) nice

WeTransfer's Halloween email Why we 😍it: Whether you love or hate the words pumpkin spice, they still draw attention in the inbox.  By the time you reach the end of this subject line, you're already humming the tune. WeTransfer took it one step further with (not) nice hinting to readers that the content inside is of the doom-and-gloom variety. Perfectly fitting for the season when nightfall starts to hit at about 4 p.m.

Taylor Stitch

SL: A little treat to go with all the tricks this weekend!

Taylor Stitch's Halloween email Why we 😍it: Simplicity. Taylor Stitch didn't overthink this one and it paid off. A quick reference to Halloween was all that was needed to spice up their promotion and land them on our list of best email subject lines. We also love it when brands get creative with their promo codes, like they did here with DEADSTOCK instead of something generic.

Advice on Emojis in Subject Lines

Emojis in subject lines likely won't cause deliverability issues, but that doesn't mean they should be used with reckless abandon. The only thing we caution is to be careful when replacing entire words with emojis anywhere in email. On some clients or devices, an emoji could render as a rectangular box or question mark. Had that been the case with Winc's email, the rhyme in their subject line would have made far less of an impact. Use emojis strategically and they certainly have the potential to pay off.
Related: Deliverability FAQs: How to Land in More Inboxes

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