Masooma Memon

7 FOMO Marketing Ideas You Can Start Using Today For More Conversions

The fear of missing out on incredible opportunities can nudge website visitors into a desired action—whether it’s shopping on your store or joining your mailing list.

Except, executing FOMO marketing ideas effectively requires more than just throwing out "X% off over the weekend" offers.

There are several moving pieces involved. So, you can’t simply create any offer and hope it fits with your customers—doing so comes with the risk of losing their trust and attention. 

Instead:

You need to think through each offer, carefully time it, write compelling copy, and ensure everything’s authentic enough to be convincing before serving it to your customers.

So to make it easy for you, we’ve put together this post. We dig into what makes FOMO marketing effective and look at real-life FOMO marketing examples of how other brands put all the working principles into action.

Let’s go 👇

<what>What is FOMO marketing?<what>

As its name indicates, FOMO marketing involves leveraging the anxiety-ridden feeling people experience due to their fear of missing something. It nudges people into taking action on your offer now, rather than waiting and potentially missing out on it altogether.

This could be:

  • A limited-time deal
  • An exclusive product collection
  • A newsletter that everyone’s reading
  • A Netflix series that everybody’s watching

Done right, FOMO puts your consumers’ minds into overdrive as they start thinking up "what if" scenarios that could occur if they miss the offer.

The result? People take action now: undecided shoppers click "buy" and on-the-fence prospects click "subscribe."

Note: Like many marketing/sales tactics, it is possible to use FOMO in an underhanded, dishonest way. It's, therefore, important to make sure you're using any FOMO marketing ideas in this post to persuade people, rather than deceive them 👊

<why>Why use FOMO in your marketing?<why>

The short answer: because it works. Both data and science confirm this.

To begin with, 69% of millennials have experienced FOMO. And 60% even make reactive purchases within 24 hours—that’s well over half of the consumers.

Psychologically speaking, FOMO works because of a handful of motivators:

FOMO marketing motivators

  1. The scarcity principle. Or the fact that we value items in limited quantity far more than those available in abundance. Example: "Only five left in stock."
  2. The principle of urgency. It suspends deliberate thought, pushing you to act quickly. Example: "Offer ends in 7 minutes, 54 seconds."
  3. Social pressure. Commonly the thought: "if that person’s buying it, then I also need to have it." Put another way, we’re likely to follow others’ actions. Example: "19 people just ordered this” or “as worn by Kim K."
  4. Loss aversion. The desire to not lose something is always more significant than the desire to gain. This means loss aversion instills the classic "what if" scenarios at the heart of FOMO marketing. Example: Literally saying, "Don’t miss out."

Now that you can see how various psychological triggers instill FOMO, let’s show you how to put all this theory into action.

<warning>Quick warning: Make your FOMO believable<warning>

But, first, a heads-up: Make sure your FOMO-fueled offer is believable.

How? By ensuring you keep your promise.

For example:

If you say “this is a once-in-a-lifetime offer” or a scarce product, make sure that it actually is. Nothing breaks your customers’ trust more than if a similar offer resurfaces the following weekend.

Nectar’s FOMO-based offer is believable for this very reason—it’s tied to the Labor Day Weekend:

Nectar Labor Day sale popup

Yes, it may seem pedantic. But, tying your FOMO offers to specific marketing dates in the calendar like this helps create a feeling of exclusivity.

One more thing: never overuse FOMO

Since the tactic is rooted in negative feelings, it’s best to limit its use, or you risk overwhelming people. Besides, your customers are likely to tune out if you have the same FOMO-triggered offer all the time.

<examples>7 FOMO marketing examples from top brands (and how you can use them too)<examples>

On to the meaty part now.

Here's a quick run down of the seven FOMO marketing examples and ideas we're going to talk about:

FOMO marketing ideas

  1. Offer an exclusive deal
  2. Use free shipping
  3. Leverage scarcity
  4. Use urgency
  5. Lean on social proof
  6. Influencer or authority quote
  7. Free gift for first purchasers

Let's take a look at each one in more detail 👇

1. Offer an exclusive deal

Exclusive deals make consumers feel special.

Their exclusivity suggests customers are getting offers that no one else is, which can significantly move the needle in your favor.

For example, women’s fashion store, Witchery, leverages this trick to get people to sign up for member-only promotions. Here's what the offer looks like when Witchery promotes it in the site footer:

FOMO Marketing Examples: Witchery website footer

It works because not only do subscribers get an offer on signing up, but they also get lifetime value in terms of the members' only access to promotions and new collections.

Exclusivity isn’t limited to ecommerce, though.

The SaaS industry and bloggers also use the tactic to get target visitors to download exclusive content, buy from them, and also subscribe to their newsletter. 

Case in point:

Backlinko encourages people to subscribe to its newsletter by saying they’d get "exclusive tips" in the emails that aren't available anywhere else:

Backlinko FOMO marketing

One thing to bear in mind here: when you say the content is subscribers-only, make sure to keep it that way. Promising exclusivity, then going about sharing the same content on social media or your blog is a sure-fire recipe for turning off customers.

2. Use free shipping

If you’ve seen offers that say "buy two and get free shipping" or "spend $xxx for free shipping," then you know what this is about.

Essentially, nine out of 10 buyers say free shipping is the top incentive for online shopping. This makes it a compelling incentive to push folks to buy from you.

So, why not dangle this persuasive tactic as a carrot beyond a certain spend threshold? The fear of missing out is likely to drive higher average spend and order values.

To this end, create an offer that makes shipping free for:

  • A particular time, say the weekend
  • After spending a specific amount

The Journal Shop encourages consumers to spend £100 to get free delivery:

The Journal Shop free shipping example

You can easily set up a similar offer as a popup or sticky bar using this free shipping template in ConvertFlow:

Just be sure to be specific about when visitors can avail free delivery.

Once they start shopping, retain their attention using this sticky bar that displays a buyer’s cart status to show when they’re eligible for free shipping.

3. Leverage scarcity 

If you’ve ever put aside all second thoughts of getting a product and instantly bought it by seeing only X number remaining in stock, you already know how scarcity works.

Scarcity sends a loud and clear message to consumers: you can only get the product if you hurry. Otherwise, it’d be out of stock anytime.

Here are three ways to put scarcity into action:

Firstly, tell consumers the product is running out fast.

Either communicate this with exact numbers of the product left in stock as The Journal Shop does:

The Journal Shop scarcity FOMO example

Note how this scarcity FOMO marketing is believable because some of the other products genuinely do go out of stock:

The Journal Shop OOS product

Alternatively, don’t use numbers—use urgent messaging instead.

Such a message tends to be short and reads something like "selling fast" as Frank Body does here:

Frank Body selling fast example

Secondly, create a limited edition product line.

Scarcity, when introduced this way, makes consumers view the collection as exclusive. In fact, they’re often ready to pay more for it as they do for a bottle of the scarce Pappy Van Winkle bourbon.

The handcrafted rings store, Secret Woods, takes the same approach with its limited edition collection, instilling FOMO by writing "before it’s gone forever."

Secret Woods limited edition rings

Witchery, on the other hand, runs a carousel on its limited edition page that announces the collection’s limited availability:

Witchery limited edition carousel

Thirdly, offer flash sales and discounts.

In other words, you can offer deals that last for a short time.

Amazon’s Lightning Deals, for instance, are centered around this FOMO marketing idea as they last for a day only:

Amazon Lightning Deals

So, anyone who’s interested in the discount has to place their order right away.

FOMO copywriting tip: Always use time-related words like 'fast,' 'hurry,' 'now,' 'quickly,' etc. to push people to take action. 

4. Use urgency 

Setting a specific deadline to an offer, discount, or deal is another way to push sales and conversions by triggering FOMO.

With urgency at play, double-minded buyers know they can’t waste time thinking about whether to buy something or not. Once the deal is gone, they know there’s no way to get it again—which tips the scales in your favor.

Now, there are a few ways to build urgency into an offer.

Firstly, you could literally just state the specific deadline.

You can even set a countdown timer as Nectar does here:

Nectar countdown timers

Since the timer is in a sticky bar and overlaying the hero image, no one’s likely to miss it. Plus, the visual clock enhances the sense of urgency—reminding shoppers of the time left.

PRO TIP:

You can use countdown timer elements in ConvertFlow to drive urgency on your landing pages and calls-to-action. Once the timer is up, you can have a configured action happen:

Learn more about timer elements in ConvertFlow

Secondly, you could set up an exit-intent popup offering a limited-time discount to people about to abandon your site. Close the popup and you lose the offer—in other words, you have to act now!

This can quickly turn an on-the-fence lead into a paying customer 🔥

Here's a popup template you can use to make this happen:

You can also get the most of both the strategies by pairing them—an exit-intent popup with a timer counting the time left to avail the offer.

Lastly, you can run expiring offers like Examine did using ConvertFlow’s Broadcast Campaigns feature. Their team celebrated the nutrition and supplementation encyclopedia’s 3-year anniversary with a 24-hour flash sale on their Examine Research Digest.

To do so, they broadcasted a targeted CTA across their site by overriding all other CTAs:

Examine expiring offers broadcast campaign

Meaning: The marketing team ran the entire campaign singlehandedly without any advanced coding know-how and outside help—all from a single campaign dashboard in ConvertFlow that let them track conversions too. Sweet, isn’t it?

NOTE: Broadcast Campaigns is a feature only on ConvertFlow’s Business Plan—start a 14-day free trial of the Business Plan to test this out today.

5. Lean on social proof

Online reviews sharing negative experiences of a product/service convince 94% to avoid a business. But seeing a whole host of social proof and activity around a product can also create that "FOMO feeling" for people who are yet to purchase.

So, it’s safe to say that social proof can make your brand both sink or swim.

To achieve the latter, gather anything from the following sources to use strategically on your site and product pages:

  • Product reviews
  • App or product ratings
  • G2, Capterra, etc. reviews (for SaaS)
  • Positive social media posts

Note that you’ve got to be strategic with using social proof.

How so, you ask? Try these tactics:

Firstly, simply share testimonials on your product/service.

Testimonials come in various shapes and sizes: reviews, social comments, star-based ratings, and logos of other businesses who’ve worked with you.

Gong, for instance, threads together most of these in a clever, convincing manner on its home page.

To start, they share a written testimonial from a leading industry name, Shopify Plus:

Gong.io home page social proof

Note how even the quote itself drives FOMO among readers. If the team at a company like Shopify Plus is so passionate about Gong, it might cause others to wonder what they've been missing out on.

Just below that, you can see a running list of top brands that use Gong—social proof success number two:

Gong trusted logos

Go further down, and you’ll see Gong shares even more social proof. But, this time backed by quantifiable results they’ve driven for customers:

Gong quantifiable results social proof

This section is backed up with a library of three customer case studies with a link to visit more:

Gong customer case studies example

Finally, it's all tied together with G2 ratings—social proof that's made that little bit more authentic by being on a third-party review site:

Gong G2 ratings

Second way to use social proof, is to spell out how many people are buying or signing up to a product.

Sharing how many customers have "added product X to their cart" or "signed up in the last X days" is a smart way to tell consumers that others love your product. This inclines them to take action.

Ahrefs does this well by showing off a live number of marketers signing up to the software:

Ahrefs home page social proof

Again, this causes that FOMO feeling: "If all these people are signing up for the product, I must be missing out on something if I don't join them!"

Another example: ConvertFlow's own newsletter 🙌

We share how many marketers are enjoying the content—telling interested folks they’re missing out on what 20,000+ others like them are loving:

ConvertFlow newsletter signup page hero

The message is drilled home further with a testimonial from another marketer calling the newsletter "a gem."

You can use the same strategy for not just your newsletter but any lead magnet you create.

P.S. You can sign up here, if you've not done so already 😉

Thirdly, add social proof FOMO by trying out a "best seller" or "most popular" tag.

If you are looking for something other than numbers-based data to make your case, go for something subtler like a "best seller" tag.

This is another thing that Amazon does well. It adds a super compelling adjectives to get people to buy a product, such as this book:

Amazon best seller tag

Its rating and the "#1 Best Seller" tag are strong motivators to signal an interested person that the book is a worthy purchase.

Pair that with reviews from other publications and readers, and there’s no reason anyone into the book’s subject won’t buy it.

6. Influencer or authority quote

Quotes from influencers, well, influence quite well.

They tell an influential story (pun intended) of how even influencers are liking a product or service, triggering FOMO at its best.

You’ll find the book industry leveraging this tactic a lot.

Almost every book comes with a cover page boasting a quote from an influential publication, industry authority figure, or another famed author.

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, uses social proof with influencer quotes on his book landing page.

FOMO marketing via influencer quote example

These FOMO triggers help the author make sure interested readers don’t miss out on his work.

Think about influencers in your space. Getting them to review or give a quote about your work/product/service/business can be a powerful FOMO marketing tactic to use.

7. Free gift for first purchasers

Lastly, try offering freebies. These could be a free product (digital or physical), a free trial, or even a cash amount.

You've most likely seen this used on typical infomercials where if you "call now" you get a free gift:

The gift beefs up the perceived value of your overall offer. But, the FOMO is instilled via more of that precious urgency, by suggesting that you need to act now or lose out.

A more modern (and less cringey) version of this could simply be a discount code, as Banana Republic offers:

Banana Republic free discount

But, you can also create added value that people will be fearful of missing out on by bundling products or services together.

Here's how Nectar Sleep bundles $399 worth of "Free Gifts" into its overall offer:

Nectar Sleep free gifts

The idea works because the lure of "free" encourages people to shop, allowing them to get something for nothing—and making the offer super irresistible.

In fact:

Psychologists say free stuff makes people happy, which, in turn, affects their ability to make decisions. Translation: they’re less likely to think rationally and more likely to buy because, well, they’re getting "an extra 15% off" on their purchase.

Not to mention, 80% of consumers say they’re motivated to buy from a brand that’s new to them if they offer a discount.

<start>Start using FOMO marketing today<start>

Done well, and paired with other fundamentals like good copywriting and visual merchandising, there's no doubt these FOMO marketing examples can increase your conversion rates 🚀

Just be sure to:

  1. Make an authentic offer;
  2. that’s not overused.

This way, you'll maintain your customers’ trust throughout—and increase the likelihood of them being satisfied and willing to come back for more.

As for the popups, sticky bars, and other ways to broadcast your FOMO-based offers, sign up for a free ConvertFlow account and you'll have all the templates and functionality needed to get started today.

About the author

Masooma Memon

Contributor, ConvertFlow
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Masooma is a B2B writer for SaaS who has worked with awesome publications like Hootsuite, Vimeo, Trello, Sendinblue, and Databox among others. You’ll usually find her writing in-depth content, making to-do lists, or reading a fantasy novel.