Using FOMO to Create a Successful Marketing Strategy

Using FOMO to Create a Successful Marketing Strategy

When it comes to creating an effective marketing plan for e-commerce, there are a plethora of routes a business can take. They work better when intertwined, communicating with each other - and reaching out to customers in the most powerful way.

In the social media era, one of the most successful marketing tactics is to use FOMO. FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is a powerful psychological phenomenon that can be harnessed to boost sales and encourage customers to take action.

But, first of all, what is FOMO?

FOMO is an acronym for “fear of missing out”. It taps into our innate desire to avoid feeling left out or missing out on something good. This could be an opportunity, an experience or an exclusive or discounted purchase when talking about sales.

By creating a sense of urgency and highlighting the potential benefits of taking action, businesses could encourage customers to buy now rather than wait.

How can it be used in marketing?

Customers who feel like they might miss out on a good deal are more likely to make a purchase, even if they don’t necessarily need it. A time-bound sales campaign, for example, drives potential shoppers to the store, and an item sitting on a client’s wish list may be finally purchased. After all, the customer does not know when - and if - they will have the chance to get such a good bargain again.


Additionally, FOMO can be used to increase brand awareness and create a sense of community around a product or service. If everyone on social media posts about how they found out about that deal and how crazy good the product is, other customers will follow suit to be part of the conversation.


Tips for how to use FOMO effectively 

1. Define your target audience

Who are you trying to reach with your marketing? What are their needs and wants? Once you clearly understand your target audience, you can start tailoring your marketing messages to appeal to them. Such research is valid throughout a marketing plan and is especially important in this case. For millennials, for example, FOMO is a real phenomenon. They grew up with social media and the constant need to be connected, so they want to stay ahead of the curve. When it comes to e-commerce, they’re always on the lookout for the latest trends and the best deals. They’re also more likely to make impulse purchases.

2. Use social media - and social proof - to your advantage.

Social media is an excellent platform for creating FOMO and urging people to act immediately. Be clear about why people should take advantage of your offer sooner rather than later. And social proof shows that other people have already taken advantage of your offer, helping encourage others to do the same.

3. Leverage the use of Push Notifications

Push notifications are a great way to create a sense of urgency and encourage customers to buy before products sell out. As push notifications go directly to a user’s phone screen, a simple click brings them to the app. You can inform them when a sale is starting - or about to end!

4. Create a sense of urgency with time-bound offers

One of the best ways to create FOMO is to develop a sense of urgency around your products or services. Offer limited-time discounts or promotions, and make sure to advertise them prominently on your website, mobile app, and social media channels. You can also use countdown timers to create a sense of urgency and encourage people to take action quickly.

5. Use scarcity tactics: Letting people know that an item is in limited supply can also create a sense of urgency

Amazon does both of the above during Prime Day. New products go on sale every hour, and the countdown timer triggers the feeling of urgency. The information on how many people have claimed the products (and how many are left) shows how scarce they are, making them look more desirable.

Amazon's lightning deals trigger sense of scarcity and urgency. Image source: Insider


6. Be exclusive.

People are more likely to experience FOMO if they feel like they’re missing out on something that is exclusive or hard to come by. You can create this feeling by offering VIP access to products or events, like pop-up stores, or by creating limited-edition items that are only available for a short period of time.

7. Keep it positive.

It’s essential to keep your marketing messages positive when using FOMO as a marketing strategy. No one wants to feel like they’re being pressured into buying something, so make sure that your messages come across as friendly and helpful, not pushy or sales-y


What are some potential risks of using FOMO?


Overall, FOMO can be a helpful marketing tool when used sparingly and appropriately. While it can be a powerful tool for boosting sales, some risks are associated with using it in marketing. One of the biggest ones is that people will tune out your messages if you overuse FOMO tactics. People do not like to be bombarded with sales messages. 


Another risk is that you could damage your reputation by making false claims or creating a sense of urgency that doesn’t exist. One good example is when stores offer a percentage off a price, and later people realise the business actually increased the cost beforehand. It will backfire if customers feel like they’ve been tricked or manipulated into buying something. 


Be transparent with your customers, letting them know if an offer is time-bound or if supplies are limited.


In conclusion


FOMO can be an effective way to boost sales and clear inventory. However, it’s important not to overuse it, or customers will feel frustrated and anxious, potentially abandoning the brand altogether. It is essential to remember that the objective of using it is to create an air of urgency and excitement around your products, driving more buyers to complete their purchase before it’s too late. 

Used sparingly and ethically,  FOMO can be a powerful tool for e-commerce businesses.