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The Big Motivating Factor That You’re Probably Missing From Your Coupon Deals (FOMO)


The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a powerful motivator. It makes us look for the latest and greatest in technology, gadgets, and services. It drives us to buy the latest and greatest in smartphones, PCs, laptops, and tablets. And now, it’s come to WooCommerce shopping.

There are various reasons why someone is motivated to make a rush purchase. How about the everyday necessities you do your best to always have on hand? You think you have some in storage, only to realize you’re all out.

Depending on what we’re talking about, you’re either running out to the store or having someone pick some up on the way home. Because you can’t go a day without whatever it is.

Now, you could offer coupons for these items, and you probably should occasionally if your store sells them. But people are going to buy them anyway, right? Because they are necessities.

What about those nonessential items you have in your store? What about those things you may need to coax people to buy? Those things we want but don’t need? How can you play on that want and turn it into a must-have right now?

By now, you should know there’s a coupon marketing technique for just about anything.

Let’s Talk about FOMO – The Fear of Missing Out

No one likes being left out or left behind. That seems to be ingrained in us. For some reason, we need to be part of the crowd.

How do marketers use that knowledge to their benefit? They create scenarios where we’ll jump through hoops, line up at dawn on a cold, rainy morning, and gladly say, “Here! Just take my money!” for something we don’t need. But we want it.

Or at least we wanted it. Now they’ve made sure we want it right now.

How did they do this? If we break down the FOMO, it’s pretty easy to see how.

Create a Sense of Urgency

Some of the most prominent examples of creating urgency are Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While some sellers extend their sales past those days, many limit their deals to those 24-hour periods.

There’s your FOMO. If you don’t place your order before the end of the day, you miss out. This places a sense of urgency on you.

While your store may take advantage of these days, how can you create that sense of urgency at any time of the year?

Let’s visit The Store—who we introduced you to in our Coupon Deals to Subsets article—and see what its owner has on board for the year.

He doesn’t typically carry shoes but found an excellent wholesale deal on killer kicks. They’re a famous brand, and in the land of teenagers, one of the brands the in-crowd is wearing. How can he create some FOMO or a sense of urgency around them?

FOMO + Seasonal Marketing

He plans to wait until a few weeks before going back to school. Yes, our coupon marketing mastermind in the making is going to mesh two marketing strategies. FOMO, along with seasonal coupon marketing.

Since he doesn’t have the data on which of his customers has teens, he’s sending a coupon to his whole list. And you know what? It doesn’t matter if someone doesn’t have teens. I don’t have teens but a teenage niece and nephew. If I get a coupon that could be useful for them, I fire it off to their parents.

The Store’s owner is going to make this a heavy-hitting campaign. Not only does he have a limited quantity on hand, but there will also be a limited time frame to take advantage of the offer.

That’s a double-edged sword and likely to get a response faster than a campaign that targets just one of those two things—limited quantity and time.

What are the compelling factors if you’re a teen parent who might want those shoes? What’s inciting your fear of missing out and urging you to place your order immediately?

First, limited quantity. Once they are gone, they are gone. And since you aren’t privy to answers like how many are in stock or how many people got this coupon, you’re afraid to let too much time go before you place your order. Someone else could get the last pair because you hesitated one minute too long.

Limited time also creates a sense of urgency, but the FOMO is considerably lessened. Because you know the answer. You have until X date to make your purchase—unless the seller also stipulates limited quantities.

The Store’s owner is sure he’ll sell out of his stock on these shoes. And if he does, he plans to do something like this regularly.

Create Urgency by Offering a Sense of Exclusivity

A lot of people need to be exceptional at something. Be the first at something. And some people will go to great lengths to acquire that. Or, in this case, acquire whatever you’re offering.

I shake my head at those people I mentioned earlier. The people who will line up at the crack of dawn on a cold, rainy morning—or worse—to be the first. To be in that exclusive group of people saying, “I got product X the morning it was released! I’m one of the first to have this baby in my hands.”

Do you sell a product or service that you can create that feeling? Give your customer the sense that they are part of an exclusive group.

Maybe you sell a service that offers different levels of—whatever. You have a base package, a mid-range package, and the gold standard package. Sure, most of us go for the mid-range, and that’s the intent. But what if you send a coupon along with the purchase of the base or mid-range package? Some incentive that has your customer in a state of fear that they’re missing out on something.

Say they bought the base package. Your coupon is incentivized to upgrade—within a time limit, of course!—where they will get a discount, but you’ll also share some of your secret sauce with them. Something that you don’t offer in any of the packages but you will give them if they upgrade. They’ll be part of the inner circle—the people who know.

A lot of people can’t resist this type of marketing.

A psychological pull compels them to jump on offers like this.

The Stats

According to a study done by PR firm Citizen Relations in Canada in 2015 and referenced in Strategy, 60% of the Millennials surveyed said it took less than 24 hours for them to react to FOMO. I’m not saying that’s good, but markets should know it.


As a seller, you want to ensure that your coupons are engaging enough to make customers act. One way to do this is to create a sense of urgency using the “Fear Of Missing Out” (FOMO) in your coupons. FOMO is a powerful psychological principle that encourages customers to act quickly and take advantage of a limited-time offer before it is gone.

Using FOMO-based coupons increases the likelihood of customers taking advantage of your offer before it expires. You can create a sense of urgency with your coupons by setting a time limit or offering a limited number of coupons.

Additionally, you can use creative language and imagery to emphasize the limited nature of your offer and make customers feel like they need to act now to get the best deal. Implementing FOMO in your coupons can drive more sales and create a more successful marketing campaign.

author avatar
Josh Kohlbach CEO

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