How to Leverage the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) in Your Marketing

Nobody wants to feel left out, especially if it concerns something positive or valuable. Whether it's a great deal on a product, a limited-time offer, or a free trial, the feeling of exclusivity can encourage people to act quickly.

This is known as the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO), and it can be a powerful motivator in a person's decision-making process. If you can leverage this feeling in your marketing, you can create more effective linking campaigns across the board.

In this article, we’ll discuss how FOMO works and how it can affect your target audience. We’ll also show you some ways you can use FOMO strategies in your marketing efforts. Let’s get started!

An Introduction to Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) Marketing

Have you ever scrolled through Facebook, finding yourself jealous over all the cool things your friends are doing that you’re not? Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) is the feeling you get when you perceive that you might be left out of something positive.

FOMO can subtly affect your everyday life in a lot of ways. For example, if you see that your friends are going to a party, you’re more likely to RSVP. However, FOMO can also impact consumer behavior, and can be very effective if leveraged in a marketing context.

There’s a reason brands try to emphasize their products’ scarcity and popularity. If we think that Airbnb is running out of rooms, we are more likely to feel an urgency to book a trip now:

A travel site for places to stay in Rome.

This kind of tactic can also help to increase your conversions. For example, if you hold back an ‘exclusive' tip for your Facebook followers only, visitors may be inspired to follow your page in order to get the full scoop.

Of course, it’s important to use FOMO in marketing ethically. Research shows that individuals can burn out from overuse of this tactic. You may have experienced this yourself after a few too many hours on social media! While FOMO can be quite effective, therefore, make sure you’re using it in moderation and only for the most important initiatives.

How to Leverage FOMO in Your Marketing (3 Techniques)

Now that we've looked at the benefits of using FOMO in your marketing, let’s go over how to apply it effectively. The following three tips can help you make the most out of this valuable strategy.

1. Highlight Exclusivity

One of the central tenets of FOMO is that the more exclusive your brand or product is, the more customers will feel like they need to have it. This means that in order to activate the feeling of FOMO in your potential customers, you'll want to make it very clear how exclusive whatever you're offering is:

An exclusive coupon offer.

This can mean letting people know that a particular extra is only available to a specific segment of your audience, such as your Twitter followers or email list subscribers.

You can also make opportunities like sales more tempting by making customers feel as if these events are only available to them. Some examples include sending your top clients an exclusive link to preorder your new product before it hits the market, or creating a special discount code just for your loyalty card members. Again, it's vital to make it clear that no one else is receiving these special offers.

2. Create a Sense of Urgency

Along with exclusivity, it’s also important to stress timeliness. If customers feel like something is only available for a limited time, they’ll be more tempted to act quickly before it disappears. In other words, offering a deal that expires soon is a surefire way to activate the feeling of FOMO.

For example, you can create a special product or piece of content with a deliberately small run. Products like limited release records often become collectors items, after all, and customers may rush to purchase one before they’re all gone:

A collection of limited edition records.

The same principle works for almost anything you might sell or offer in exchange for something of value (such as an email list sign-up). Just avoid the temptation to bring the item back at a later date. If you do that, your audience will quickly pick up on the fact that your ‘limited' offers aren't really so time-sensitive, diminishing the FOMO they'll experience.

3. Drive Competition with View Stats

Finally, a little-used but effective technique is to let your potential customers see what everyone else is purchasing. You can create a sense of competition (and a resulting FOMO) by displaying stats on how many people are looking at a specific product right now, or by showcasing the most recent purchases.

For example, if your website shows that there are only three of a particular item left in stock and five other visitors have that item in their carts, anyone looking at the product will feel like they need to make a purchase quickly. In WordPress, you can implement this feature using the WooCommerce Live Sales Notification plugin:

The WooCommerce Live Sales Notification plugin.

Regardless of how you implement it, reminding visitors that they're ‘in competition' with everyone else looking to make a purchase on your site is one of the most useful FOMO techniques in your arsenal.


In order to persuade your users to convert, you need to make it clear how doing so could benefit them. A perfect method for doing this is to leverage their innate Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO), which can encourage them to strike now rather than putting off a purchase until later.

In this article, we’ve discussed the benefits of leveraging FOMO in your marketing. We also covered the following ways you can do it:

  1. Highlight exclusivity.
  2. Create a sense of urgency.
  3. Drive competition with view stats.

Do you have any questions about using FOMO in your marketing campaigns? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Categories: Marketing
About John Hughes

John is a blogging addict, WordPress fanatic, and staff writer.