FOMO: Using Fear Of Missing Out To Drive More Sales


In marketing, evoking FOMO means triggering your prospective customers’ innate fear of missing out and inspiring them to convert faster.

It’s not a phenomenon.

It’s a practice we see every day by all major players in the offline and online market like Amazon, Netflix, Ebay, Walmart… You name it are they are doing it.

Sure, when implementing FOMO marketing, remember that there is no uniform approach to apply. There are many techniques to use and their choice depends on your business’ objectives and its target audiences.

Here are a few FOMO marketing techniques that may serve as your solid starting point in driving more sales for your product/services.

1. Show that People are Buying your Product

Did you know you can evoke FOMO without making a sales pitch? That is exactly where real-time website data step in.

If you look at this example from Reportz, you will see that they use a social proof tool to show who is creating trial accounts on their website. This tiny, but powerful popup shows the name and location of a user that is signing up.

You can also use social poof tools to inform users about your recent leads, tell how many people are viewing a page, or show the total number of conversions in the last week or month. This data can build trust with your visitors.

The greatest benefit of tools lies in the fact that they are fully customizable. You can choose the right popup design and position and write a message text to grab your website visitors’ attention and encourage them to convert faster.

2. Emphasize that the Offer won’t Last forever

One of the most powerful ways to evoke FOMO is to insert urgency into your marketing tactics.

From an early age, humans are taught to respect deadlines. When hearing a ticking clock, many customers will be afraid of running out of time and missing out on a great deal. This will inspire them to make impulse shopping decisions.

Many brands rely on urgency marketing. For example, when presenting their Deals of the day, Amazon uses the countdown timer to show when the deal expires. You could also create a countdown popup that will grab your audience’s attention immediately.

This is especially important during peak sales periods, such as Black Friday, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, etc.

Once you set your time limits, stick to them. You should create persuasive calls-to-action and design attention-grabbing popups.

The next step is the promotion of your deals. Generate hype around the offer across multiple channels, including email, social media marketing, push notifications, IM apps, and so forth.

3. Limit Free Shipping

According to Marketing Land, 90% of online buyers list free shipping as the most significant incentive for making buying more from your brand.

Precisely because of that, you should consider limiting free shipping to evoke FOMO and boost conversions.

Knowing that they could get free shipping that would otherwise cost them, customers will be more likely to make a purchase faster. Just like I have mentioned above, you will need to set clear deadlines and stick to them.

When there is a strict time limit, customers are more inclined to convert than when there is no deadline.

4. Offer Discounts for Early Buyers

Giving out freebies is always a powerful way to attract customers and earn their loyalty.

You can take this tactic to a whole new level by limiting your free products. For example, you could offer a special discount or a gift to the first 100 customers. Knowing that the offer is only available to the fastest customers, people will make shopping decisions faster.

Sure, to increase their fear of missing out, you first need to make sure that your offers are relevant and valuable enough to boost your audiences’ excitement and engage them.

5. Share User-Generated Content

Watching Video Content

If you are encouraging customer reviews and testimonials, that is great. Unfortunately, it is not enough to evoke FOMO in your prospective customers.

To do that, you need to promote your existing customers’ positive experiences. And, that is exactly where sharing user-generated content steps in.

Research says that almost 80% of online buyers claim UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions.

Photos and videos of your products created by your customers are the strongest validation of your brand’s quality and trustworthiness. UGC gives your prospective customers an opportunity to see how your products work in real-life situations, when used by “ordinary” consumers.

Moreover, knowing that people with preferences, problems, and needs similar to theirs have already bought your products, your prospective customers will want to do that, too.

Many popular brands like Isla Ida or GoPro have already elicited a plethora of UGC on their Instagram channels to build trust with visitors and encourage sales.

To encourage customers to create user-generated content, consider rewarding them with freebies or discounts. Better yet, host a photo contest. A customer needs to share a creative photo of your product to compete and win valuable rewards.

To make UGC more visible, encourage users to use your brand’s dedicated hashtag and, of course, repost content on your social accounts or website.

6. Use an Exit-Intent Popup

This is yet another powerful way to grab people’s attention and inspire FOMO. Namely, exit-intent popups show up when a visitor decides to close your page.

They give a user a powerful, one-time opportunity to save up. If you offer a relevant deal and combine it with a convincing call-to-action and catchy design, you may convert your uninterested visitors into paying customers.

As exit-intent popups don’t resonate with everyone, the key is to A/B test different copies until you find the most converting one.

7. Add a Pinch of Exclusivity

As customers, we love to be a part of something exclusive. There is something about receiving deals that others cannot get that makes us feel special.

Exclusive deals often indicate that a customer has a strong relationship with your brand and are often an amazing way to maximize sales and inspire brand loyalty.

Given that, it is not surprising at all that exclusivity is one of the foundations of FOMO marketing.

For example, you could create a popup to inspire customers to sign up for your newsletter. Apart from receiving a discount for registering, you could emphasize that they will start receiving your exclusive offers.

Such exclusive offers will make your leads thankful for deals that are not available to the public, which may inspire them to buy from you faster and keep coming back.

The example of Amazon Prime, which now has 101 million subscribers, backs me up on that.

One of the main reasons why people decide to sign up for it lies in the fact that they will get benefits other Amazon customers cannot get (unlimited reading, unlimited music streaming, free unlimited photo storing, prime early access, etc.)

8. Create Ephemeral Content

For any business, content marketing is the most effective way to boost industry authority, get quality backlinks, boost search rankings and, of course, deliver value to their target audiences.

However, there is yet another powerful way to intrigue your target audiences and evoke their fear of missing out. Yes, I am talking about ephemeral content. Expiring content forms combine the urgency and exclusivity to grab audiences’ attention and inspire them to act fast.

Facebook or Instagram stories prove how effective content that lasts for a very short time may be.

Apart from using stories on social networks to promote your time-sensitive offers, you can also insert urgency and scarcity into your website. For example, if you are planning to change your pricing plan, why not give your existing clients the opportunity to lock in your current prices.

Many prospects will see this as an opportunity to save up and sign up for your services before it is too late.

9. Use Email to Enhance FOMO Marketing

Email marketing is one of the oldest and yet, most effective marketing forms.

As most of your customers are using it to get notified about brand updates and news, this is a perfect chance for you to evoke FOMO.

For example, you could send emails to notify your leads about your exclusive deals, tell them that the items they viewed or saved are now on a sale, and inform them that the item they added to the shopping cart is about to run out.

To maximize the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns, consider segmenting your email lists.

In other words, you will segment your leads based on their geolocation, needs, problems, and preferences and, in this way, send them deals and offers that are relevant to them.

This is one of the most effective ways to evoke their fear of missing out and getting them to convert faster.

Over to You

When investing in FOMO marketing, your goal is to offer a unique, one-time offer a customer cannot afford to ignore.

Knowing that they are getting an opportunity they might not receive again, they will be more likely to convert.

However, when planned and executed strategically, FOMO marketing also lets you take customer experiences to the next level. This is a chance to retain customers, increase their engagement, and inspire their brand loyalty in the long-run.

Sure, you will need to experiment with different FOMO marketing tactics and A/B test them continuously to see what works for your target audiences.

How do you inspire FOMO in your marketing campaigns? Are there any additional FOMO marketing tactics you have already implemented? We’d like to hear from you!

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