Boo! Summer is over and the winter holidays are creeping in. But don’t let that scare you! Take advantage of the festive fall season while it lasts by implementing some trendy marketing tactics for your small business.

Email marketing is perfect for small businesses because it can be a low-cost option to keep on top of seasonal shifts. We’ll show how your business can take on email marketing this October by answering the following:

  • Why should my small business run an email marketing campaign in October?
  • How can I write a catchy email subject line for October?
  • What should I put as the subject in my October emails?

By the end of this post, you’ll have everything you need for scary-good October emails faster than you can say “trick-or-treat.”

email subject lines - small business in october


Is running email marketing in October a good idea?

Absolutely! Although, email marketing can be a fit for small businesses year-round. In October, though, you can use your email marketing to:

  • Build awareness for any fall promotions or sales
  • Let your customers know how you’re celebrating Halloween
  • Share tips to help your customers prepare for winter
  • Get customers ready to close out their year
  • Share a fun autumn contest or giveaway

Now, you don’t always have to have a special reason to run an email marketing campaign. However, having a goal in mind for each email can help your subject lines stay on track.


Email subject line tips to remember this October

October is a great month for email marketing because people are settling down from back-to-school and end-of-summer excitement. Since this month can be more festive, here are some email copywriting tips to keep in mind:

1. Be sure to try out emojis

October is the perfect month to introduce emojis into your email subject line strategy. Between the jack-o-lantern, fall leaves, or ghost emojis, there are plenty of safe emojis to choose from that will draw attention while maintaining professionalism.

56% of brands that use emojis in their email subject lines saw higher open rates. It’s clear emojis aren’t just for a casual text but can be fitting for small business marketing too!

email subject lines - example of using emojis

2. Get creative

We’re now entering the time of year where brands are starting to let loose and include festive messaging to match the mood of their audience. Spice things up and get creative in your fall marketing.

To start, try a rhyming or colorful email subject line. 33% of recipients will open an email simply because it had a catchy subject line. October is a great month to just have fun with it when writing your email subject lines.

email subject lines - example of creative october subject line

3. Keep it personal

If you’re struggling to come up with email promotion ideas for your small business this fall, try to think about your target audience. What is it that they might need from your business during this time of year? Your answer can help you frame an offer that will appeal to them.

Related: Read our quick guide to targeted email marketing.

If you can, try using a personalized marketing strategy when sending out your emails. For example, subject lines that include the recipient’s first name historically have higher click-through rates. If you don’t have the time to plug a bunch of names into your email subject lines, leverage a marketing partner that will have the technology to do the personalization for you!

email subject lines - example of a personalized email

4. Keep it quick

As always with our email subject line series, we want to remind you of the importance of a concise subject line. Your subject line is the first impression your email imposes on your audience. With 47% of people using mobile apps to check their email, you don’t want that first impression to get cut short. Check out these email subject line specifications across devices:

email subject line ideas - email subject line copywriting character count

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October email subject lines by industry

To give a terrifyingly terrific twist to our subject line series, we organized this first brainstorm by industry:

Email subject line ideas for automotive

Whether you’re a multi-location car dealer or a local repair shop, here are a few ideas to get your automotive email gears in motion:

  1. When Roads Get Frosty, Tim’s Auto Can Help.
  2. Heated Seats Sound Nice Right About Now…
  3. Initiate the Tailgate

email subject line ideas - automotive industry october email example

October email subject line ideas for restaurants

Pumpkin spice, caramel apples, maple flavoring… Enough said! October is your industry’s time to shine:

  1. Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice!
  2. Jackie, Try Our New Autumn Harvest Specials.
  3. Spice Up Your October Nights.
  4. Terry, Join Us for Oktoberfest.
  5. Spooky Showdown: Apple vs. Pumpkin

Related: Learn how to bring back diners with our 15 restaurant marketing ideas.

October email subject line ideas for education

If you work in higher-education marketing, you know October is a big part of one of your busiest seasons. These ideas may help save you time this month:

  1. Class is in Session! 5 Ways We Can Help You.
  2. New Semester = New You
  3. Daniel, Don’t Miss Homecoming at Our University!

Related: Watch our education marketing video series.

October email subject line ideas for healthcare

Defrost your cold-weather healthcare marketing efforts with these subject lines:

  1. Getting Chills? 3 Ways to Avoid Colds This Fall
  2. Fact or Fiction? Health Tips to Fall for This Fall
  3. Get in Scary Good Health Before Winter

Related: Check out our healthcare industry benchmarks and marketing tips.

October email subject line ideas for home services

Home service businesses need to be nimble during this time to adapt to ever-changing consumer needs. Here are a few email subject lines that do just that:

  1. Sam, Is Your Lawn Ready for Snow?
  2. Weatherize Your Gutters Before It’s Too Late!
  3. New Pests Getting Cozy in the Fall?
  4. Don’t Be Left in the Cold! Maury’s HVAC
  5. What to Do if Your Pipes Freeze (Yes, It Can Happen!)
  6. Job Done Before You Can Say Trick-or-Treat

Related: Check out our home services industry benchmarks and marketing tips.

E-commerce email subject lines for October

Don’t forget to take advantage of the month at hand while you gear up for the November and December holiday marketing push!

  1. Fall Fashion! Boots, Tops, & More for Guys & Ghouls
  2. Free Fall Shipping Bonanza
  3. Get it in time for Halloween!
  4. Scary Good Sales Happening Now
  5. A Treat from Us, No Tricks!
  6. New Autumn Arrivals + Fall Favorites!

email subject line ideas - ecommerce october email example

B2B email subject lines for October

The B2B world buzzes in October as business professionals prepare to close out the year and plan for 2021. Play off that with these subject line ideas:

  1. Almost Q4?! Spooky. Here’s How We Can Help
  2. Reach Your 2021 Goals with Time to Spare
  3. 6 Frighteningly Good Tips to Make Q3 Matter
  4. How October Impacts Your 2021 KPIs

Related: Read our guide on killer B2B social media marketing.

email subject line ideas - b2b industry email example


October holiday email subject line ideas for any business

Don’t worry, we’ll get into Halloween next. But did you know there are tons of other holidays you can capitalize on this October? Here are some unique October holiday and email subject line pairings:

  1. Helena, Enjoy a Coffee on Us. (International Coffee Day, October 1)
  2. Province Hospital Thanks Their Custodial Workers (National Custodial Worker Day, October 2)
  3. Name Your Car Contest (Name Your Car Day, October 2)
  4. A Great Gift for a Great Guy (National Boyfriends Day, October 3)
  5. Ghoulish Golf at Simmons Golf Course (National Golf Day, October 4)
  6. How Deb’s B&B Is Giving Back This October (National Do Something Nice Day, October 5)
  7. Teacher’s Discount! Thank You, Teachers. (World Teacher’s Day, October 5)
  8. 8 Ways to Prevent Frightening Fires This Fall (Fire Prevention Day, October 9)
  9. Join Us at the Autumn Harvest Food Drive (World Food Day, October 16)
  10. A Harvest Pasta Recipe, From Our Family to Yours (National Pasta Day, October 17)
  11. Wicked Good Dessert Samples at The Bakery (National Boston Cream Pie Day, October 23)
  12. 5 Ways to Carve Creativity into Your Work Plan (International Artist Day, October 25)
  13. Get Pumped About This Pumpkin Recipe (National Pumpkin Day, October 26)
  14. Don’t Let Your Project Turn into Frankenstein (National Frankenstein Day, October 29)
  15. An Offer Sweeter Than Candy Corn (National Candy Corn Day, October 30)

october email subject line ideas - holiday email subject lines example


Halloween email subject line ideas

We felt this treat-filled holiday deserves its very own section! Here are some spooky Halloween email subject line ideas for you to try out:

  1. Deals to Make You Jump!
  2. Scared Yet? This Discount is a Spook!
  3. Boo! Savings Jumping Out of Nowhere!
  4. Pumpkin Carved. Candy Bought. What’s Missing?
  5. Trick-or-Treat, Save Your Seat!
  6. We’re Kicking Off Halloween Early!
  7. For Guys & Ghouls, Try Our Scary Good Services
  8. Scared Silly Contest: Funniest Costume Wins!
  9. We’re Casting a Spell for Chilling Results
  10. A Witch’s 10 Secrets to Buying Software
  11. $5 Off? Halloween Magic!
  12. Creep Up to Our Halloween Costume Party
  13. Devilish Deals: Halloween Weekend Only
  14. Wicked Discounts Coming This Halloween
  15. Our Statistics Might Give You a Fright!

october email subject lines - halloween email example


October newsletter subject line ideas

Email newsletters are a great way to stay in front of customers all season long, but it can be tough to showcase your October content while also increasing open rates. Here are some subject lines that are sure to be a treat to your October readers:

  1. Don’t Miss Out! Learn Our October Secrets
  2. Share with The Fam! Fun & Freakish Halloween Facts
  3. ICYMI: September Roundup
  4. How Kris’s Kandy Shop Is Celebrating Fall
  5. We Have Spooktacular News

newsletter subject line ideas - example of october email newsletter


Even more October email subject line ideas

To end our list with a sprinkle of spice (pumpkin spice, that is), here are a few more email subject lines to use this October:

  1. Fall into Fall Savings
  2. Leaves Aren’t the Only Thing That’s Changing…
  3. Should You Do Holiday Prep Now? We Have the Answer
  4. Let’s Spice Things Up This October
  5. Savings That’ll Give You a Chill
  6. Marissa, 10% All October long

email subject lines - october email subject line idea example

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Try these terrifyingly terrific subject lines today

Squeeze all you can out of the fall season with a strong email marketing campaign. Small business owners don’t have time to constantly brainstorm. Take advantage of these email subject lines and apply them to your next email campaign. The results just might give you a spook—in a good way!

Want more October-centric marketing ideas? Check these out: 

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