Are you looking for FOMO marketing examples you can use to drive more sales? FOMO marketing is a great technique to make your visitors eager to buy from you. However, if you’re not implementing it correctly, it can appear to be manipulative and might even alienate your more savvy shoppers.
“FOMO” stands for the fear of missing out, a psychological trigger humans can’t help responding to. According to a study of the phenomenon, FOMO is “a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent.”
Let’s face it; nobody likes feeling they’ve been left behind.
So what about using FOMO in marketing? FOMO marketing is messaging that triggers your audience’s innate fear of missing out in order to make them more likely to take action.
In this guide, we’re going to share some effective FOMO marketing examples that’ll help you to use this important marketing strategy the RIGHT way.
Why Use FOMO in Marketing?
Let’s take a look at some FOMO statistics, as this’ll help you understand why FOMO marketing campaigns are so effective, especially with certain demographics.
A lot of data suggests that FOMO is most prevalent among millennials. Around 69% of millennials experience the phenomenon, and according to Strategy Online, 60% of millennials make reactive purchases because of FOMO. In other words, they’ll buy something just because they feel they might miss out.
However, it’s not just millennials who suffer from FOMO. According to other data, more than half of people using social networks suffer from FOMO.
With more than 3 billion active social media users worldwide, according to We are Social, that’s a huge potential audience.
The bottom line: it’s essential to learn how to use FOMO in marketing, no matter what age group or location you’re targeting. So now, let’s look at some FOMO marketing examples and tactics.
Here’s a table of contents for easy navigation:
- Show That People are Buying
- Highlight Missed Opportunities in your Messaging
- Show Stock Levels
- Make Your Visitors Watch the Clock
- Stir Their Competitive Spirit
- Offer a One-Shot Deal with Exit-Intent®
- Limit Free Shipping
- Be Explicit about FOMO
- Let Your Content Expire
- Use a Content Upgrade
- Trigger FOMO with Images
- Make Your Offer Exclusive
- Show Social Proof
- Promote Experiences
- Offer Rewards for Early Decisions
- Boost FOMO Marketing with Email
1. Show That People are Buying
Some of the most effective examples of FOMO trigger the feeling without even making a sales pitch.
These days, it’s not unusual to see live information on sales when you visit a website, as in this example from MonsterInsights:
This shows the first name and location of a recent purchaser, so it’s clear it’s a real person. If visitors to your site know other people are buying, then they’ll want to buy, too.
2. Highlight Missed Opportunities in your Messaging
One site that’s great at using these tactics is Booking.com, which has multiple examples of FOMO on every page. In this tip, we’re focusing on ramping up FOMO by showing that visitors have actually missed out on a great deal.
Booking.com shows this with messaging showing when the property you’re looking at is sold out in big red letters:
As you’ll see, Booking.com also uses some of the other FOMO marketing examples we’ll share in this article.
3. Show Stock Levels
Scarcity is a big component of FOMO marketing, because if something’s about to run out, there’s a huge incentive to get it now. There are many ways to highlight scarcity.
For example, if you’re running an online store, you can show stock levels, as Amazon does:
Or, if you’re in the travel business, you could show the number of spaces left, as Booking.com does:
And you can ramp up the FOMO advertising with “while stocks last” messaging, that suggests that your product or service is about to run out or disappear:
For more inspiration, check out our article on scarcity examples.
4. Make Your Visitors Watch the Clock
When thinking about how to create FOMO, you can also look into urgency in marketing. It’s another tactic that triggers loss aversion – a fancy term for FOMO. If your visitors think they’ll miss out by running out of time, they’re more likely to reach for their virtual wallets and commit to a purchase.
You can do this with messaging about when deals end, like in this FOMO marketing example on Amazon:
Or by offering different discount levels on different days, like the Chemical Guys:
Or by creating a countdown popup like this one:
Read How to Create Urgency in Marketing for more help with implementing this tactic.
5. Stir Their Competitive Spirit
Not only do we not like missing out, but we hate the thought that others might get something great before we do. That’s why good FOMO campaigns play on this feeling to inspire action. Here are a couple of examples.
Booking.com shows how many people are viewing a property. The underlying message is that if you don’t move fast, you’ll end up missing out:
Or you could show the number of people who’ve already taken a deal, as Amazon does:
If you’re in the software business, you could even show the number of users. Software companies often use FOMO with beta trials, where accepting limited numbers makes those few spaces seem very desirable.
6. Offer a One-Shot Deal with Exit-Intent®
OptinMonster’s Exit-Intent Technology® is a great way to deliver FOMO marketing campaigns. This powerful feature detects when people are about to leave your site, and triggers a campaign just before they do.
It’s proven to work:
- Rich Page used exit-intent to boost conversions by 316%
- Ryan Robinson engineered a 500% increase in subscribers with exit-intent
- Podcast Insights combined exit-intent with our onsite retargeting feature to get a 1099% boost in conversions
To use exit-intent for FOMO marketing, follow our instructions for creating your first campaign, and create your discount offer. Enable exit-intent in the display rules section of the OptinMonster campaign builder:
Enable an additional display rule to specify which visitors should see the campaign. For example, you can show the campaign only to visitors on certain pages with page-level targeting.
7. Limit Free Shipping
Did you know that around 90% of shoppers list free shipping as their prime incentive for buying online? That’s one reason why FOMO marketing campaigns that limit free shipping can be really effective.
C’mon, we’ve all bought something extra on Amazon so we can get free delivery, haven’t we? If people feel they’ll miss out on free shipping by not making a purchase, they’ll likely make it, especially if the additional expenditure is relatively small.
Let your customers know how much more they have to spend to get free shipping, or simply place a banner at the top of your page, showing what the threshold is for getting that benefit. You can easily do this with one of OptinMonster’s floating bar campaigns.
8. Be Explicit about FOMO
You don’t have to hide the fact that you’re using FOMO marketing. You can come right out and say it, as Rue La La does in this campaign:
This works because the explicit FOMO messaging resonates with the brand’s key audience of millennials.
9. Let Your Content Expire
As a business, a lot of your content marketing strategy is about creating content that’ll stick around so you can use it to build authority, get inbound links, improve your search ranking, and win customers.
But there’s another way to pique visitors’ interest by using a FOMO marketing tactic: expiring content. Expiring content mixes urgency, scarcity and exclusivity to ramp up that FOMO vibe.
Snapchat is the ultimate example of expiring content. One of the reasons Snapchat is so successful – and why teenagers can never leave their phones – is because if you don’t see the content while it’s there, you’ll lose your chance forever.
And here’s a thought: those early Snapchat users (the site launched in 2011) will soon be in their 20s and they’ve grown up with this FOMO mindset.
Software companies use this same principle when they’re about to change their pricing plans, giving users an option to lock in the old price before it’s too late. Here’s an example from Iconica:
10. Use a Content Upgrade
While we’re on the subject of content, an opt-in content upgrade is a great FOMO marketing content. That’s because gating content means there’s scarcity, in our minds at least, and scarcity triggers FOMO.
11. Trigger FOMO with Images
People respond to visuals, so when creating FOMO marketing campaigns, it’s essential to get the images right. A good example of this comes from Express, which is offering a rewards program.
As Stephan Brady points out, along with the “don’t miss out” messaging, the background image suggests that opting in will ensure you have a great time, which means you’re missing the party if you don’t opt in.
To find the right images for your FOMO marketing campaigns, check out our guide to finding free images online.
12. Make Your Offer Exclusive
There’s nothing to trigger FOMO like exclusivity. As human beings, we love the thought of getting our hands on an opportunity very few people have. Don’t believe us? Check out any airport boarding gate and see how happy the people with priority access are.
Or think about how many people have signed up for Amazon Prime (80 million at last count) so they can get deals other Amazon shoppers can’t get.
While those are great FOMO marketing examples, you can also use exclusivity by creating a limited edition product or service. In the example below, Heinz combines this with time-based scarcity to make a compelling FOMO marketing offer:
13. Show Social Proof
Social proof is an extremely effective marketing tactic, and not just for FOMO marketing campaigns. That’s because, in addition to the FOMO factor, social proof ties into our need to be part of a group.
If other people like us are sharing, engaging, or buying, we want to do it too, so we’ll feel a sense of belonging and won’t miss out.
You can do this by showing the number of reviews a product has:
Or by showing huge numbers of people you’ve helped, as we do on our own site:
To use social proof as a FOMO marketing tactic, check out these social proof tips and examples.
14. Promote Experiences
Another way to use FOMO tactics is to let your users help. Using user-generated content (UGC) lets visitors and potential customers vicariously share in the experience of using your products and services, so they want to do it too. After all, real proof from real people is going to be much more compelling than any of your FOMO advertising campaigns.
Here’s an example of UGC from Wayfair, under the #wayfairathome social media hashtag.
15. Offer Rewards for Early Decisions
Giving a freebie is a good way to attract customers. However, you can make it even more effective by limiting that freebie. Offline, you see this tactic when stores offer a gift or special discount to the first 100 customers, and that usually makes hundreds of people line up.
Online, you can follow the example of Huawei, and offer a gift for the first 100 purchasers:
16. Boost FOMO Marketing with Email
You can use email marketing effectively with any of the other FOMO marketing examples we’ve listed here. For example, you can send emails to:
- Let subscribers know about exclusive deals or rewards
- Tell them when items they’ve saved are about to run out
- Remind them about items in their shopping cart with cart abandonment messages
You can also combine FOMO email messaging with onsite retargeting, to offer subscribers who follow a link a special deal via a popup marketing campaign.
Here’s how you can enable onsite behavioral retargeting with OptinMonster.
That’s it! Now you can use these easy-to-implement FOMO marketing examples to get more sales from visitors and customers. Next, see how to boost sales on Shopify, and to increase average order value with upselling examples.