FOMO in Marketing

Written by WordPress Enthusiast & Technology Writer

May 15, 2024
FOMO in Marketing

We need to capture our audience’s attention to make a sale, but that’s often not enough. Sometimes we have to provide extra encouragement to get them to purchase. That’s where FOMO comes in handy. FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out, is one of the most important and effective marketing techniques. It provides a sense of urgency and scarcity that encourages the customer to purchase. In this post, we’ll look at FOMO in marketing to help you utilize this marketing technique ethically and successfully.

What is FOMO in Marketing?

We have a fear of missing out on a good deal or missing out on a product that’s limited in availability. While the word “fear” may be too strong in most cases, we strongly desire to not miss out on something that others are enjoying. This concept is known as FOMO or Fear of Missing Out.

FOMO in Marketing can be applied to marketing to take advantage of this fear. FOMO Marketing urges buyers to purchase quickly so they don’t miss the opportunity. This helps increase sales by avoiding the apprehension of taking a risk. Without FOMO, buyers are likely to take their time and weigh the benefits. This often gives them the time to talk themselves out of the purchase.

By stressing FOMO, buyers don’t feel they have the time to analyze their purchase. They must make a decision quickly. If they take too long to decide, the opportunity passes them by and someone else will get the deal.



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How to Utilize FOMO in Marketing

FOMO uses regular marketing tools such as banners, sales badges, email, social media, headlines, sales copy, etc. These strategies can be incorporated into online shops utilizing WooCommerce, websites that show your services, or other sales platforms.

For more information about WooCommerce and other sales platforms, see the articles Easy Digital Downloads vs WooCommerce and WooCommerce vs Magento: How to Choose? For more information about WooCommerce hosting, see the article WooCommerce Hosting: Popular Ecommerce Solution Explained.

Have a Fixed Deadline


The image above shows a countdown timer from the free WordPress plugin NotificationX.

A fixed deadline makes the buyer aware that they must make a decision. Provide a date and time on the sale’s page, banner, or any location that mentions the sale. Be careful in determining the deadline as some deadlines are less effective.

Make the deadline real and stick to it. Visitors will realize when the deadline is fake. If visitors believe a deadline is fake, it can make them less likely to purchase. They’ll believe they have more time to make a decision.

Don’t extend the deadline. If every deadline gets extended, they won’t believe it’s an actual deadline. They will always expect it to be extended.

If the deadline resets every time the visitors open the page, they will realize it’s fake. If the deadline is too soon, they might not even notice.

Common examples include lightning deals, flash sales, deals of the day, special events, and seasonal sales. These are often posted on websites with a banner, a countdown timer, or a dated coupon.

Build Urgency with Scarcity


The image above shows the number of buyers online. It’s from the WordPress plugin WiserNotify.

Limiting the number of products that are available and then showing that number builds a sense of urgency in making a purchase. This builds urgency and scarcity. This works best if you show both numbers.

By creating scarcity, the buyer feels a strong sense of urgency to make the purchase. Potential buyers will see that the product is selling, and they shouldn’t wait. Waiting to make the purchase could result in missing out on the sale.

Create an Atmosphere for Competition

A competitive atmosphere pushes buyers to purchase as soon as possible. Create competition by limiting the number of sales available at the discounted price.

One of the best ways to provoke competition is to show the number of products that have sold and the number that are still available. Buyers will see that there were more available before than there are now, and they’re selling. This shows that others are interested in buying the product and buyers need to make the purchase sooner than later if they want the product. This method works with or without a sale price.

Lightning deals and flash sales are good examples of creating an atmosphere for competition. They include the sale price, a short deadline that’s usually within a few hours, and the number of products available. A countdown timer shows when the sale will end. A product counter shows the number of products remaining. These are often accompanied by a bar counter to visually show the amount available.

Create Bundles

Product Bundle Builder

The image above shows a WooCommerce product bundle using the WordPress plugin Product Bundle Builder for WooCommerce.

Creating bundles allows you to sell related products together at higher savings to the customer. Bundles are a great way to create FOMO. They’re also great for upselling related products.

The bundle could be an option when purchasing a product. For example, product A could be on sale with a certain percentage off. Product B could be listed as an upsell, which also has a certain percentage off. You can also show that both products are available in a bundle with an even greater percentage off.

Another option is to offer buy one get one free (BOGO). The price for the bundle could be the regular price for the first product, or you could have a sale price as well as a free product.

Rather than saving a small percentage, the buyer is enticed to save more for a limited time even if they were not originally interested in purchasing both products. The fear of missing out on the greater savings pushes them to buy the bundle. This works best with a countdown timer or showing the sale’s end date for the deadline.

Show the Previously Missed Opportunities

Showing missed opportunities is a great way to raise the stakes for a product. Showing products that are no longer available or sales that have ended is a great way to make the buyer realize they can miss out on a product or a deal. This can encourage them to make the purchase quickly, so they don’t miss out on the current deals.

Use Social Proof


The image above shows a social proof notification from the WordPress plugin FOMO & Social Proof Notifications by TrustPulse.

Social proof is one of the most important factors in marketing. Social proof provides a powerful message to the buyer. It informs them of the product’s popularity, which can provide some comfort and peace of mind in their choices.

It shows that others have already used your products successfully. Customers want to be a part of that success. They also want to be a part of the story. They want to be a part of the community and share the experience. This gives them a strong connection with your brand, which builds brand loyalty.

Social proof is especially useful if they don’t have long to make a decision. There are several ways to use social proof. Include customer reviews. These could also include what others have said on social platforms. Also, be sure to use testimonials, reviews, and social media mentions in your content on your social media platforms.

Use a number counter to show the number of products that have already been sold. This shows the buyer that they’re considering a popular product. It’s best utilized near the end of the sales funnel, as this will help encourage anyone who has fully decided on their purchase.

Use Influencers

ProveSource Social Proof

This image is from the WordPress plugin ProveSource Social Proof. It shows lots of features including one that would work well for showing product reviews by influencers.

When possible, use influencers to promote the products. Influencers are great for marketing in several ways. First, they bring their audience to your brand. Second, they can provide lots of marketing clips in the form of videos, reviews, and more. All of these can be used on your website to show that the influencer uses your product.

Anyone familiar with the influencer might use the product even if they wouldn’t have used it before. Those who were considering purchasing might be pushed a little more knowing that influencers also use the product. The FOMO could influence them to purchase and share the news of their purchase, which can result in more sales. Use their videos, written reviews, testimonials, etc., from influencers in your marketing efforts.

For more information about using influencers to increase sales, see the article Leveraging Micro-Influencers for Business Success.

Show Exclusivity

Customers want to feel like they’re part of something special. Creating exclusivity sets your customers apart from the others, making them feel special. There are several ways to create exclusivity. Exclusivity can also build brand loyalty.

Create limited edition products so customers can feel that they’ve joined an exclusive group. Make your product only available to an exclusive group, such as your best customers. Create a program, such as a membership, for VIPs only.

Influencers and social proof can also make the buyer feel that they’ve joined an exclusive club. Customers want to feel that they’re in the same group and run in the same circles as their idols or VIPs. This gives them a feeling of being a part of an exclusive club.

Create Persuasive Sales Copy

Create persuasive copy for your titles, headlines, descriptions, banner text, thumbnails, images, etc. Encourage your audience to purchase by highlighting the urgency in your text. Use text such as:

  • Sale ends soon!
  • Don’t wait!
  • Last chance!
  • Only a few left!

This helps your audience to understand they need to act fast or they could miss out on the sale.

Keep Your FOMO in Marketing Ethical

FOMO should be used ethically. FOMO is a powerful tool. It deals with persuasion and emotions and it’s easy to misuse or abuse it. We need to be careful how we use it. Misusing can come across as dishonest and disrespectful. The customer experience should be positive, and the products should add value.

FOMO that’s used irresponsibly can hurt a website’s credibility. Once a website has lost the respect of its customers, it’s hard to get it back. Loyal customers will move on to the next brand. Some customers will see it as manipulative.

It shouldn’t push the sale of a bad product or trick customers into misunderstanding what they’re purchasing. It should provide value and a positive experience. Customers should feel good about their purchase and the brand family they’ve joined.

It would be irresponsible to leave out information about the product, misuse social proof by applying comments and reviews to a different product, or raising the price while calling it a sale.

Even too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. If customers are enticed to buy beyond their means, this can cause financial problems and create unhealthy purchase habits. It can contribute to shopping therapy, which has a negative impact on certain customers.

Don’t Rely on FOMO Marketing Alone

FOMO in marketing is powerful, but it’s only one piece of the marketing pie. It should be a part of your marketing strategy, not the entirety of your marketing strategy. If FOMO is the only strategy used, then customers can tire of the fear and ignore the deadlines. This can push them away and onto the next website.

Too much FOMO gives customers a negative experience. This is especially true if the product is overhyped and doesn’t live up to expectations. This can cause bad reviews, bad publicity, and loss of trust.

Your marketing efforts should also include content marketing, email newsletters, social media content, search engine marketing, etc. For more information about marketing, see the articles Social Media Marketing in the 2020s and Mastering WooCommerce Email Marketing: Unlocking Success in eCommerce.



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Ending Thoughts on FOMO in Marketing

That’s our look at FOMO in marketing. FOMO is an important part of any marketing strategy. Unfortunately, can be used irresponsibly. To use FOMO responsibly, look for the balance between creating a sense of urgency and providing real value. Used incorrectly, it can drive customers away. Used correctly, it can drive sales and build a loyal customer base. The tips we’ve discussed here will help you successfully and ethically use FOMO in your marketing efforts.

We want to hear from you. Do you use FOMO in marketing for your website? Let us know about your experience in the comments.

Frequently Asked Questions

What role does storytelling play in B2B marketing?

Storytelling is a powerful element in B2B marketing as it humanises businesses and creates emotional connections with the audience. Narratives that highlight company values, success stories, and the journey of overcoming challenges resonate with B2B clients.

What distinguishes successful B2B marketing strategies from conventional tactics?

Successful B2B marketing strategies go beyond conventional tactics by prioritising the establishment of enduring relationships and the consistent delivery of value. This approach, combined with a proactive response to changing market dynamics, sets successful strategies apart in the competitive B2B landscape.

What role does customer segmentation play in targeted marketing?

Customer segmentation enables you to tailor marketing efforts to specific audience segments, improving the relevance and effectiveness of your campaigns.

Are there specific considerations for international B2B marketing strategies?

Yes, international B2B marketing strategies require careful consideration of cultural nuances, regional preferences, and varying market dynamics. Businesses should adapt their messaging, content, and approach to align with the cultural norms of each target market. Understanding local regulations, languages, and business practices is crucial for building successful B2B relationships on a global scale.



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