11 Techniques Of FOMO Marketing Used To Increase Internet Sales

11 Techniques Of FOMO Marketing Used To Increase Internet Sales

Do you know how to use the FOMO factor to your advantage? Here’s how your business can improve marketing techniques and increase conversion rates.

Growing up, you might have been jealous of a best friend that had the latest bicycle. As an adult, you probably felt left out when you watched a friend's Instagram Reel of a night out that you couldn’t go on. 

Today, it’s called the FOMO factor – or Fear of Missing Out – and it’s changing the business landscape. FOMO causes people to make impulse decisions, which explains why so many companies have incorporated it into their marketing techniques.

Some of the world’s most successful brands draw on FOMO to sell their products. For instance, McDonald’s and KFC often have limited-edition menu items or bring back old dishes for a limited time. With the fear of missing out, customers flock to their nearest branch to try the new or nostalgic item before it’s too late. 

But it’s not only global franchises that can benefit from FOMO. Through a few simple tweaks to your campaigns, you can promote a sense of urgency, encouraging customers to purchase from your online store. 

This article will explore 11 FOMO marketing techniques to increase your internet sales. 

Benefits of FOMO marketing techniques

FOMO is a psychological persuasion tactic used in modern marketing strategies that increases the likelihood of customers making a purchase from your online store. 

The FOMO technique can be used alongside other marketing tactics to build a more extensive customer base, drive visitors to your website or social media platforms, and increase revenue. 

image showing online sale on website


11 FOMO marketing tactics to try

To use FOMO marketing, it’s crucial to tap into social trends and highlight the scarcity of products. More critically, the concept of urgency can drive conversions and deliver quick results. Without a sense of urgency, customers will visit your website to browse but won’t necessarily buy anything. 

Remember, people are more likely to want something when they believe there’s an expiration date. In psychology, this is called Mere Urgency Effect (MUE). By setting a deadline on a product or creating a sale event that expires within a few days, you foster a sense of urgency and increase the likelihood that someone will purchase your products. 

Below are a few ways to promote a sense of urgency among online shoppers while tapping into the FOMO factor.

1. Free shipping/delivery

Imagine this: a customer begins browsing your online shop before a limited-time-only free shipping message pops up on the home page. Suddenly, ‘just browsing’ turns into a sense of urgency, leading that customer to complete a purchase. This is the power of FOMO. 

If lowering the price of your products isn’t feasible, a limited-time free shipping or delivery offer is a fantastic tactic. Customers are also more likely to spend more when they don’t need to worry about shipping costs. 

For the best results, this tactic should go hand-in-hand with excellent customer service. This is particularly vital if you offer international shipping and customers are likely to have questions about overseas delivery methods and schedules. 

Look into the different types of phone systems that will allow your business to offer 24/7 support to customers. Even a small business can benefit from these to improve customer relations and retention. 

half yearly sales on website


2. Flash sales

Psychologists often talk about how FOMO plays a vital role in sales. Nobody wants to miss a big discount or flash sale, so when faced with a time limit, we are more likely to make a snap decision to purchase something. By understanding the thought process behind it, you can see how this tactic works so effectively. 

Most businesses use flash sales as a marketing tactic. Flash sales can be extremely helpful for improving conversion rates and driving sales. Adding a time limit to a sale or discount can increase those conversions even faster. 

Of course, there’s not much use in creating a flash sale that nobody knows about. So start by creating adverts on social media or informing loyal customers via email. Remember to highlight how long the flash sale is for, as that time limit is what drives FOMO. 

3. Countdown timers

Countdown timers are a simple and easy marketing technique to promote a greater sense of urgency. When a customer scrolls through your online store, a countdown timer gives them that final push to add items to the basket and finalize their purchase before time runs out.

In psychology, countdown timers are used as an incentive, leaving people with a sense of accomplishment if you finish before time’s up. Add a countdown timer alongside your free shipping or flash sale to use this principle to your advantage. This will provide yet another incentive for customers to buy something. 

When using countdown timers, ensure there are no glitches or bugs in your website that could cause customers to be unable to check out in time. Nothing is more frustrating than missing out on a deal because of a broken link or web page. 

Take advantage of modern technology and platforms in this case. Consider utilizing tools like timers that integrate with your CMS and phone solutions like interactive voice response (IVR) that allow customers experiencing technical difficulties to get immediate support. 

With IVR technology, a customer that wants to speak to a customer service representative can use a voice-driven menu system that quickly directs them to the correct department to solve their problem. Moreover, you can programme the system to answer simple questions and enable self-service options, letting customers troubleshoot on their own.

4. Final calls and last chance to ship

When last calls are made at the bar, thirsty patrons often rush to get their final drinks in. Similarly, final calls drive eager shoppers to complete a purchase knowing they only have a short time left to buy. 

A ‘final call’ or ‘last chance to ship’ reminder can also boost last-minute sales. This is an excellent technique to use just before a special event, such as Father’s Day, Easter, or Christmas. 

When people are searching for last-minute gifts, this gives them a gentle nudge to make the purchase and get something before it’s too late. It also serves as a reminder to customers who are forgetful or procrastinate, which can improve customer relations. 

What customer wouldn’t be glad of a reminder to get a last-minute Mother’s Day gift before shipping ends?

5. Cart abandonment emails

One of the most frustrating experiences in online sales is when a customer navigates the whole sales process only to abandon their basket just before check-out. To alleviate this, create automated cart abandonment emails. Automated emails are behavior-driven messages sent in response to a customer's actions. 

Automated emails are behavior-driven messages sent in response to a customer's actions. 


Consider messaging such as ‘Don’t miss out on this product. Reclaim your basket within the next 24 hours for 10% off’. Setting a short time limit makes the customer more likely to purchase before time runs out. 

Alternatively, highlight how many pieces remain in stock to further the sense of urgency. Reminding a customer about an unmade purchase can improve conversion rates and increase that FOMO feeling.

6. User-generated content

User-generated content (UGC) is a win-win situation for businesses. Not only do you get to interact with customers and build better relationships, but you can also utilize the content in your FOMO messaging. After all, what is more inspiring than seeing someone you admire or relate to using a particular product or service?

When potential customers can relate to a social media post and see the product used in a real-life setting, they want it for themselves. You can get user-generated content by asking followers to send pictures and videos using your products. If you have a large social media following, customers will jump at the chance to be featured on your page. 

Alternatively, introduce yourself to influencers on Instagram and TikTok and start an influencer marketing campaign. Influencer marketing combines many of these FOMO tactics to make a product seem desirable. 

7. Spotlighting sales stats

Many companies highlight their sales stats as a way to encourage more sales. As soon as our brain becomes aware that a product has been sold to thousands or even millions of people, FOMO kicks in. Highlighting these stats also improves customer trust, as they can see that a high number of people have already purchased the product. 

8. Limited supply

Customers react differently when a product, service, or resource is rare. Just look at Prime. In the UK, the energy drink became limited, so everyone wanted to own a bottle. Prices then increased at an astonishing rate as people’s perception of their value increased while stock decreased.

You can easily increase conversion rates by stating that the product or service you’re offering, or the price you are offering it at, is in limited supply. Incorporate this into ads, social media posts, or email marketing strategies. 

If a customer is already considering the product, finding out it’s in limited supply is often all the encouragement they need. 

9. Inventory trackers

Many companies use an inventory tracker to seal the deal with potential customers. Sites such as Booking.com let travelers know how many rooms are available at the current price. Trainline uses a similar tactic, telling customers how many seats are left for an upcoming train. Instead of shopping around, customers will purchase before stock runs out. 

companies like booking.com use an inventory tracker to seal the deal with potential customers


Using an inventory tracker on your website allows customers to see how many items are left. FOMO hits when they see the numbers go down, increasing the likelihood of a purchase. You can also use this strategy by letting customers know how many people have this product in their basket or how many have purchased it in the last 24 hours. 

10. Upselling products

When we believe something is scarce, we seek a way to cure that anxiety. The cure for scarcity is abundance, which makes upselling easier. Creating an appealing upsell and using words like ‘limited supply’ or ‘limited edition’ makes the customer more likely to want the recommended product. Just ensure you offer something relevant to the customer, such as a bundle instead of one product. 

Alternatively, look at upselling your most sold or reviewed product. Incorporate captions like ‘people who bought this also bought’, or ‘items that go well with this’. As the customer knows other people have bought the product, they are more likely to want it for themselves.

11. Gift with purchase

Your product or service doesn’t always need to be in limited supply to utilize this technique. You can also offer a gift with any purchase, a marketing tactic companies use worldwide. Offering a free gift with a purchase has many benefits, including instigating FOMO in your customers. 

With a limited supply of free gifts, customers want to make the purchase quickly to get the offer before it expires. Using this tactic in another way, you can offer a free gift to the next 100 customers who purchase something from your shop. Giving a free gift to your customers can help build a community around your brand. 

FOMO: Digital marketing at its finest

Whether you want to promote a sense of urgency through a countdown timer, highlight the scarcity of a product with an inventory tracker, or make your product the social norm with the help of user-generated content, these marketing techniques can help create a sense of FOMO in your customers. 

Using this modern marketing tactic, your business can increase online sales and drive revenue growth.

Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.

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