The fear of missing out (FOMO) has now become a universal social proof marketing trend. Brands are using FOMO marketing strategies to drive word-of-mouth marketing and increase their brand awareness.

But this fear of missing out doesn’t just occur when we make purchasing decisions. It’s all too common in our day-to-day life.

Let me exemplify.

It’s Friday night. You decided to stay in and catch up on some reading, even though your friends called you to go out for drinks at the newest bar in town.

At first, you’re feeling chill and content with your decision for some me-time. You pour yourself a cup of tea and settle into your favorite armchair with a good book. But as the night unfolds, you start getting this feeling in the pit of your stomach. You think to yourself: “Maybe my friends are having the time of their lives, and here I am, missing out on everything”.

You try to shake the feeling, but it doesn’t go away. The more you think about it, the more you convince yourself that you are missing out. So you give in. You go to the bar.

Turns out – your friends were having fun, but it was just a regular Friday night out.

Sound familiar?

Well, that’s FOMO – and today, we’ll show you how to leverage FOMO in marketing.

What is FOMO Marketing?

What is FOMO Marketing? Source

FOMO is …‘‘the uneasy and sometimes all-consuming feeling that you’re missing out – that your peers are doing, in the know about, or in possession of more or something better than you’’, according to a study published in the journal “Computers in Human Behavior” in 2013.

FOMO marketing is a strategy that capitalizes on our fear of missing an opportunity or being left out. While it may not work for everyone, it’s a way of creating buzz and excitement around your products.

In marketing, FOMO is all about creating a sense of urgency! Now, why does it work?

FOMO-based marketing strategies are successful because they capitalize on our human tendency to avoid loss and minimize risk. We are more likely to make impulsive purchases when we feel like we might miss out on a good deal because the alternative of not acting and potentially regretting it later is much worse.

I’m sure you’ve been through this. Let’s say you were really mulling over the idea of investing in a first-class digital marketing course. As luck would have it, a Facebook ad for a well-rated course popped up in your feed. And it’s a limited-time sale!

You click on the ad and are tempted to buy the course. Who knows when you’ll come across such a good deal?

Well, that’s FOMO in action!

Challenges of Using FOMO in Marketing

Challenges of Using FOMO in Marketing Source

Despite its potential, FOMO marketing is not without its challenges.

Firstly, FOMO can trigger anxiety, burnout, and fatigue. Use the fear of missing out too much and incorrectly, and you will lose leads.

Think about it.

People take vacations from social media due to this fear of missing out. Why would they stick around for your brand if you constantly push urgency messaging? Any marketing technique should be ethical and mindful of the customer’s needs and pains.

Another challenge when capitalizing on FOMO in marketing is doing so in a dishonest way. When creating FOMO marketing campaigns, you need to make sure that it’s authentic and not gimmicky.

Is Ethical FOMO Possible?

A marketer who is passionate about their craft will always consider the needs of their customers first. So this poses a question.

Can FOMO marketing be ethical?

Well, it depends. FOMO is rooted in fear and insecurity. It may lead to unhealthy behaviors but can also bring about reflection and novelty. FOMO can tell us that it’s time to step out of our comfort zone.

It could be a sign that we wish to change something in our lives. For instance, you don’t want to miss out on the flash sale of that marketing course because you know it could help you evolve.

But FOMO can also stem from a deep-seated fear of not belonging. For instance, you might want to get your hands on the latest iPhone, not because of its features but because everyone has it.

We have to view FOMO contextually. Although it may sound odd, FOMO can also be about hope, value alignment, and connection. The right amount of FOMO can bring positive changes. And that’s what we need to bring out in our customers. That’s the root of ethical marketing.

Conventional marketing techniques, such as pressuring people to buy from you regardless of their uncertainty, work sometimes. However, it’s best to use FOMO when you know it will bring about positive value for customers.

15 Ways To Use FOMO in Marketing Without Being Spammy

Sure – fear of missing out can come back to haunt you. But there are also ways to use it in a positive way that brings value to people’s lives AND boosts your B2C or B2B sales. So, let’s explore 15 ways that you can use FOMO in marketing!

1. Gain Subscribers with an Awesome Offer

Gain Subscribers with an Awesome Offer Source

To build a nice mailing list, you have to come up with an awesome offer. Something that’s actually inbox-worthy.

It could be a voucher, a free guide, or access to a free webinar. Either way, if you want to convert site visitors into subscribers, you have to make them an offer they can’t refuse.

2. Give Exclusive Deals To The Most Loyal Segment

Give Exclusive Deals To The Most Loyal Segment Source

Your subscribers and loyal customers are genuinely interested in what you have to offer. You have to give back.

Make them feel like they are truly a part of your community and might miss out on something awesome that you have to share.

How do you do that? Give exclusive deals that are only available to your most loyal and committed customers.

So-called ‘exclusives’ can be anything from early-bird access to product launches or content to members-only content or prices.

And exclusivity triggers FOMO.

People will want to be a part of your community – as long as you provide valuable content or products. To spark some FOMO around exclusivity, make sure to study your target audience and deliver accordingly.

3. Create Valuable Content, So They Don’t Want to Miss Out

Create Valuable Content So They Don’t Want to Miss Out Source

You can use FOMO marketing around your content as well. The trick is to create content that is valuable to your audience and relevant to what they are interested in.

Once you nail it down, you can use urgency messaging or set time limits around the availability of the content.

For instance, you can tell people when to expect the next article. If your content is that good, they won’t want to miss out. Or you can set up a flash discount on your guides or e-books.

4. Use Social Proof Tools to Automate The Process

If you want to use FOMO marketing techniques, there are plenty of social proof tools that will help you automate social proof notifications.

These tools allow you to send real-time notifications to site visitors – such as flash sales, the number of site visitors, stock levels, or even a countdown to a new product launch.

However, use these notifications sparingly, or it might backfire. Spammy social proof notifications will only drive people away from your website.

5. Show Off Some Social Proof

Show Off Some Social Proof Source

One of the best ways to leverage FOMO in marketing is through customer social proof. When people see that others love and value a brand, a product, or a service, they’ll want to get in on the action as well.

That is why user-generated content works so well.

This is an honest approach that business owners can use to boost conversions and sales. To do this, you can set up a review system on your site, add testimonials, or send your products to experts and influencers in the field and have them give you feedback.

Xara Cloud allows you to design stunning testimonials and customer review layouts that you can add to your website. Just choose a template and customize it how you see fit! Try it out for free!

6. Use Multiple Channels

Use Multiple Channels Source

An omnichannel marketing strategy is a must for brands today because it helps marketers reach more people and it also creates a positive experience for your customers.

To capitalize on FOMO using multiple channels, you can release content or deals on certain channels only.

And since they might not want to miss out on what you release, they will be enticed to follow you on others channels as well. It’s a great marketing strategy if you want to attract people to other social media platforms and increase your subscriber base.

7. Offer Free Shipping With a Time Limit

Offer Free Shipping With a Time Limit Source

The free-shipping train is one that everybody loves to ride. Consumers love free shipping so much that 93% of them would shop online more if they would get free shipping!

How about time-limited free shipping?

Whoa. 🤯

You might want to use this FOMO marketing strategy periodically if you want your product stocks to run low and your sales to soar.

8. Write FOMO-Inducing Email Subject Lines

Write FOMO Inducing Email Subject Lines Source

An email’s subject line is crucial. It’s the first thing people see!

So make sure you’re cooking an irresistible subject line. If you want to induce FOMO, use words that signal urgency and exclusivity – like “today only”,; “you’ll miss out”,; “members only”.

9. Reduce Cart Abandonment with Urgency or Stock Levels

Reduce Cart Abandonment with Urgency or Stock Levels Source

7 out of 10 people will not complete a sale after adding products to their cart.

So, if you want people to reconsider, leverage a FOMO marketing strategy. A.k.a tell them that the product might be gone soon.

Or, if stock levels are low, let them know. It might be the little push they need to make the purchase.

10. Promote a One-Shot Deal

One-shot deals are another FOMO tactic that you can use to get people to subscribe to your mailing list, register for your course, or buy one of your products.

To implement it, you can use exit-intent widgets. However, be picky about the deal. These work best for impulse purchases or risk-free deals.

11. Use Influencer Marketing

Use Influencer Marketing Source

No one sparks FOMO quite like influencers. As long as you hire authentic influencers that your target audience resonates with and admires, your sale radar will go crazy.

12. Show Off The Crowd

Do you host awesome live events?

Well, show off the vibe. This is a sure way of persuading people to come. Especially those that have considered it but are on the fence about it.

This could also boost sales. Let’s say you were recently a speaker at a conference or event. After seeing your talk, people might be enticed to buy your book or invest in your product or services.

13. Create a Members-Only Discussion Page

Create a Members-Only Discussion Page Source

Groups and forums accessible only to members are great for igniting FOMO. More so, it’s an opportunity for people to meet each other, form connections, and find out more about your products.

14. Create Fun and Engaging Challenges

Challenges with incentives are a fun way of engaging your community while also boosting engagement and brand awareness.

The trick is to know what would work for your target audience.

15. Use Hashtags!

Use Hashtags! Source

Create hashtags around your products to soar engagement rates and boost sales. More and more people will want to get featured on your page.

As a result, you might end up trending.

FOMO Marketing Examples From Brands That Do It Right

When it comes to using FOMO in marketing, balance and honesty are key. It’s easy to overdo it on the urgency messaging – while it may work in the short-term, it might push people in the long run.

Nobody likes being bombarded with urgent messages and push notifications. If you’re wondering what a successful FOMO marketing campaign looks like, here are a few FOMO marketing examples:

1. Limited Seat Events

Limited Seat Events Source

Create scarcity by limiting how many people can access a certain product or service at one time, then encourage customers to purchase or sign up before their chance disappears forever!

That’s exactly what Jenna Kutcher is doing with these free events.

Free webinars, courses, and events with limited seats and a time countdown are great at triggering FOMO and boosting sales in the long run!

2. Show Off Results

Excellent results. Clients won’t want to miss out on that.

By showing your customers the benefits of your product, they will feel compelled to try it for themselves. And that is how you trigger FOMO efficiently.

Show Off Results Source

3. Free Shipping and Discounts

Another great way of growing your email list while also encouraging sales is by using exclusive deals for those who subscribe through email.

Levi’s offers 20% off + free shipping for those who are on their first order. Plus, subscribers get to find out about deals and offers early on.

With this method, you also make people feel included in your club!

Free Shipping and Discounts Source

4. Email Marketing Centered Around Urgency

Wondering how to prevent people from abandoning their carts? Email marketing is your answer.

And one way to go about it is to create a sense of urgency in your copy, just like Victoria’s Secret did.

Email Marketing Centered Around Urgency Source

5. Social Proof Notifications

Book Depository uses live sales popups to showcase what customers are buying. Not only does this method create FOMO, but it also introduces the audience to book titles they might not have known about before.

Social Proof Notifications Source

6. Influencer Marketing

Colour Pop Cosmetics features influencers using their products in the most creative ways. And this works – it inspires others to create more funky looks with their products.

Influencer Marketing Source

7. The Hashtag Frenzy

Here’s an example from a software company. Adobe Illustrator challenges customers to use the hashtags #MadeWithIllustrator and #Illustration when they post illustrations made using their software.

Not only does it generate interest in their software, but it’s also a subtle FOMO marketing strategy. Why wouldn’t one take a shot at being featured on Adobe’s Instagram feed?

The Hashtag Frenzy Source

8. The Ice Bucket Challenge

If you haven’t been living under a rock, I’m pretty sure you heard about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. This social media campaign took the world by storm. Loved by some and dreaded by others – it was on everyone’s lips for a couple of months in 2014.

Surely – some did it just for fun, without donating. But the hype got so massive that even Bill Gates and David Lynch participated.

The Ice Bucket Challenge Source

9. Limited Edition Products

Do you know what generates FOMO like crazy? Scarcity.

Surely, we’ve all seen that playing out with NFTs. But you don’t have to create the next CryptoPunk to boost sales.

But you can launch limited edition products as Watches does. There are only a few of their Super Sea Wolf watches worldwide. For a watch enthusiast, that’s like kryptonite.

Limited Edition Products Source

10. FOMO-Inducing Subject Lines

To instil FOMO in your copy, show the recipients what they will miss out on if they don’t act now. Believe it or not – urgency-injected phrases such as “ends tonight” or “24 hours only” work like wonders.

In this example, Rad Power Bikes also makes use of the header to appeal to the recipient’s wants and needs: bikes.

FOMO-Inducing Subject Lines Source

11. “Most Popular”

Like it or not, we check any site’s “most popular” section. You can use this as a FOMO marketing strategy to drive sales among certain customer segments.

“Most Popular” FOMO Source

12. “Today’s Only” – Sephora

Another email example – this time from Sephora. Not only do they use urgency, but they also offer free exclusive shipping for subscribers!

“Today’s Only” - Sephora Source

13. Discussion Groups

On their homepage, Salesforce offers a list of groups and topics that customers can check out to get started with their platform or get some of their questions answered.

This creates a sense of community and shows that they care about their customers. More so, it might give people the security they need to invest in their platform.

Discussion Groups Source

14. Exclusive Quality Content Loved by Many

Rather than drowning in nonsense, Clarke Scott’s newsletter presents quick and concise tips on how to meditate. To lure readers in, the writer displays the number of subscribers. More so, he makes a promise: “No spam. Just the quality ideas.”

Exclusive Quality Content Loved by Many Source

15. Benefits for Loyal Customers

Bitdefender offers exclusive discounts and other benefits for loyal customers. Not only does this strengthen the relationship between customers and the brand, but it also encourages customers to renew their subscriptions.

Benefits for Loyal Customers Source

Add Social Proof With Xara Cloud’s Predesigned Templates

By using customer social proof, such as customer reviews and testimonials, you can leverage FOMO to enhance conversions.

If you’re looking for easy ways to add social proof to your website or social media platforms – Xara Cloud is the way to go!

To get started, use one of our social proof templates. Our designers created these with care – so you don’t have to worry if design isn’t your strong suit. All you have to do is customize the templates with your own text, photos, and brand elements!

Sign up today for a free trial!