5 Autumn Email Marketing Campaign Ideas That Don’t Involve Pumpkin Spice

By Rob Zaleski
Sep 26, 2018
autumn email marketing campaigns

Summer’s over, the nights are getting longer, and people are starting to wear their favorite hooded sweatshirts again. If you wander into the mall or a department store, you might even see Christmas decorations. That can only mean one thing – autumn is upon us and it’s time to talk about autumn email marketing campaigns.

Autumn is an underrated season when it comes to marketing. Summer is abundant with opportunities and winter is focused entirely around the holiday season. It’s easy to want to take a break as summer winds down and rest up for the holiday season, overlooking fall completely. It’s just as easy to throw pumpkin spice on something, call it a fall promotion, and move on. Don’t do that! There are plenty of great reasons to reach out to your customers for an autumn email marketing campaign. Here are five ideas to get you started:

1. Starting the Holiday Season Early

Everybody knows that Christmas comes earlier each year. This is definitely true for consumers. According to an Epsilon survey, half of all U.S. consumers start their holiday shopping during or before October. That means fall is actually the perfect time to get your customers ready for the holiday season.

One way to do that is by giving your customers a sneak peek at what’s to come. You don’t need to give away all the details of your holiday promotions, just give away enough juicy details to excite them. It’ll make your subscribers feel like they’re ahead of the game and being given an edge on the rest of the holiday shoppers. It also gives you a chance to start gauging the popularity of your planned promotions and tweak them ahead of time, if need be.

You’ll also want to consider actually running some early holiday promotions. If people are beginning their shopping early, you want to earn their pre-Thanksgiving spend. Consumers are shopping early, and retailers are starting to send promotions earlier as a result. By the time the actual holiday season comes around, it’ll be near impossible to break through all the other offers hitting their inbox.

holiday email marketing earlier

2. Celebrating Columbus Day

Many people actually have off on Columbus Day, which is actually a federal holiday. This year, Columbus Day falls on Monday, October 8th. You can run a weekend-long autumn email marketing campaign that coincides with a special Columbus Day promotion. If you’re focused on a local market, make sure to see if there are any parades or festivities that you can tie into your promotion. If you want to kill two birds with one stone, Columbus Day is the perfect time to kick off your holiday sale sneak peaks.

An important note here: know your audience. There is certainly some cultural sensitivity around Columbus Day, and you don’t want to alienate your customers. If there’s any inclination that it might not be a good idea to do a Columbus Day promotion, skip it (or merely shift the focus to your pre-holiday promotion).

3. Taking Advantage of Halloween

Don’t ignore Halloween just because it’s low-hanging fruit. When people think of autumn, they think of Halloween. Make sure to use that to your advantage. There are plenty of different ways to include Halloween in your autumn email marketing campaigns:

  • Content – write some blog posts that are sure to scare some interest up. If you’re a restaurant, run a garlic-based special to ward off vampires. A travel agency can talk about the most haunted local places to visit. You get the idea.
  • Sales – you can run a “scarily good sale” and offer “monstrous discounts”. If nothing else, simply emailing your list to wish them a Happy Halloween will be reason enough to reach out.
  • Contests – Halloween is the perfect time to run contests. Ask your audience to send pictures of their Halloween costumes and give the very best one a prize.

autumn email marketing campaigns

Suggested reading: Halloween Customer Retention Strategies

4. Enjoying the Great Outdoors

One of the best parts about fall in many places across the U.S. is the great weather. Forests and parks are breathtaking as leaves begin to change color. The weather is crisp enough to enjoy without sweating but not cold enough to drive people indoors.

Are there any ways you can leverage the great weather and beautiful landscape? If you’re a photographer or an artist, for example, remind your audience that fall is the very best time for a gorgeous family photo shoot or to pick up that autumn-inspired piece. At the very least, aim to capture this fall feeling in your emails with shots of foliage and warm, homey colors like orange.

Take a look at these email headers, found in ShippingEasy’s Customer Marketing tool. We have loads of imagery and icons, as well as full templates, that can be used to spice up your autumn email marketing campaigns.

autumn email marketing fall in love

autumn email marketing fall sale

5. Focusing on Sports

Fall is perhaps the most critical season in the sporting world. Take a look at everything that happens during the fall:

  • The NFL, NBA, and NHL all kick off their seasons.
  • MLB concludes their season with the playoffs and the World Series.
  • College and high school football swing into full gear.
  • The PGA Tour and NASCAR both hold their championships.
  • EPL continues, and MLS finishes their regular season, starting their playoffs.

Every single major sport is represented at some level in the fall. Use this to your advantage by capitalizing on sports that your audience is interested in. If you’re running national campaigns, run promotions around the World Series or football Saturdays and Sundays. Ask your audience to pick their favorite team and reward them with a discount coupon if they win their next game. These types of campaigns work exceptionally well for businesses selling sports or outdoor supplies, but can still work for many other business types as well.

Now is the perfect time to embrace some autumn email marketing, without having to default to pumpkins and candy. Take some chances and find out what works so you can use it to maximize your holiday email campaigns.

No matter what you decide to roll with this season, our Customer Marketing tool makes sending beautiful, effective emails easy. Design your own emails or use a pre-designed template to create the perfect autumn message. Just click below.

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Rob Zaleski

Head of Brand at ShippingEasy
I'm a digital content and social media nerd with a passion for telling stories, helping connect people, and finding joy in the details.

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