The Do’s and Don’ts of Great FOMO Marketing

Written by
Ivan Lishchuk

Imagine you’re offered to pick a cookie from one of two jars: one is full and another – nearly empty. According to psychologists A. Adewole, S. Worschel and J. Lee, you’re more likely to take a sweet from the second jar. When things are in demand, most other factors become irrelevant as the psychological pain of losing is twice as strong as the pleasure of winning. Psychologists define this phenomenon as loss aversion or what is more popularly known as the fear of missing out (FOMO).

FOMO marketing is a powerful tool for driving practically any sales campaign. The danger of using traditional FOMO signals is that they can come across as spammy. In this article, we will consider how to apply this type of marketing for your advantage without crossing that subtle line dividing customers’ love from hate.

FOMO marketing triggers your audience’s innate fear of missing out and, thus, moves them closer to taking actions.


FOMO has won ground due to the influence of social media on modern lifestyles. Today it’s practically impossible to find a person not posting their life on the internet. According to Pew Research Centre, three-quarters of Facebook users check their accounts daily, and one of the most critical drivers of this engagement is the anxiety associated with missing out. True, whilst FOMO may sometimes negatively affect consumers, it can also inspire them to try new things while in search of new opportunities. Marketers use this positive side of FOMO to increase demand and, thus, sell the latest trends. You can make the product irresistible by highlighting its popularity and limiting availability. Apple does that just perfectly. Alongside this, such strategy can shorten the duration of an average customer journey, reducing their overall CPA.


Olga Velgus GMS
Olha Velhus,
Chief Marketing Officer

FOMO Marketing combines three psychological effects: social proof, urgency, and scarcity. And the use of messaging is key when it comes to fulfilling all these aspects. Show the consumer that other people like your product, offer fast and smooth service, demonstrate the items available are in demand, then communicate these messages via convenient channels – a constant increase in customer base and revenues is guaranteed.


Together with messaging, FOMO marketing can bring a lot to the table. But there is a fine line between inducing unnecessary anxiety among your customers and keeping your brand at the top of their minds. The following practical tricks will help you avoid this common mistake.

1. Being “the most popular guy at school.”

FOMO marketing, by definition, is about motivating clients to make a purchase by showing goods or services that are in demand. What if you try to display something that just needs to be sold as popular? Millennials are easily drawn to such tactics as nearly 7 in 10 of them regularly experience FOMO. But is this truly the best way forward? For long lasting success and customer loyalty, honesty is essential.

Don’t: Pass off unwanted products as popular, use unethical advertising like stereotypes and sexualisation, place countdown timers wherever you can, offer fake time-limited offers.

Do: Be honest with your customers, show goods that are indeed in demand, deliver limited-time offers on special occasions via SMS, utilise Viber chat list ads for proper targeting (according to Rakuten Viber, in 2020, the number of direct advertisers grew by 115% worldwide).

2. Highlighting missed opportunities

As mentioned before, the psychological pain of losing is twice as intense as the pleasure of winning. We never know the value of water till the well is dry. Let’s suppose you’re a watch reseller. Show your consumers that not every model will be there for an unlimited time. The clock is ticking – ba dum tss!

Don’t: Spam clients with dozens of similar messages like “Don’t miss this fantastic deal,” “Don’t be like the rest of the crowd,” “Buy now.”

Do: Try geofencing that allows for sending automated messages to target users passing within a certain radius. When a client is near your store, send them a special offer that they would not want to miss out on. They may not have considered visiting you, but the well-timed SMS can tilt the balance to your advantage.

3. Triggering FOMO with visuals

Hubspot reports that people following directions with text and illustrations do 323% better than people following directions without illustrations. So, the right image will sure move a customer down the funnel towards a purchasing decision. Luckily, RCS and messengers like Viber, WhatsApp and Telegram allow for empowering ad messages with visuals.

sms from shop
Good Visual Example




Don’t: Use too many generic stock images, combine too many colours, or overload customers with non-critical information.

Do: Select visuals associated with your brand to set a unique tone of voice, ensure visuals are of high quality, and include an eye-catching call for action.

4. Crafting clever messaging

Work smart, not hard. There is no reason for writing poems prising your business. Laconic but informative messages will do you a favour. You should also expand the room for honesty here. Most consumers are savvy, and they don’t like feeling like you’re manipulating them.



Don’t: Hide uncomfortable truths, use vague statements, ignore negative feedback, think that CAPS LOCK SOUNDS PERSUASIVE.

Do: Less water – more value, personalise mobile messaging, be transparent about pricing and deadlines, collect both positive and negative feedback.

sms
Clever Message Example

5. Long live multichannel!

Multichannel marketing gives you more control over your audience and adds more flavours to your communication. For instance, you’re an online book reseller. You can sell not only through your main website but also advertise on Facebook and Instagram, send promotional messages via SMS or OTTs like Viber and WhatsApp, or inform clients about novelties via push notifications in your app. Multichannel marketing allows for a balanced combination of different channels to develop an efficient FOMO campaign.

Don’t: Send the same materials through all channels, not schedule your messages, overuse psychological hooks.

Do: Be holistic about the channels applied, use different messaging tools for various tasks, try our multichannel messaging platform to optimise your efforts.

Smart FOMO marketing

The main stumbling block that FOMO marketing brings is the risk of burying the entire campaign by annoying your customers instead of engaging them. To prevent an early demise, always adhere to these three simple steps while developing your FOMO campaign.

How to use FOMO without being spammy?

Interested in developing effective a FOMO messaging campaign? Contact our experts today to find out more.

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