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

fear of missing out

There are a variety of 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 types of items, and you probably should from time to time, 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 the crack of dawn on a cold, rainy morning, and gladly say, “Here! Just take my money!” for something we don’t really need. But we really want it.

Or at least we wanted it. Now they’ve made sure we really 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 biggest examples of creating urgency are Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While there are some sellers that extend their sales past those days, a lot of them 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 it’s owner has on board for the year.

He doesn’t typically carry shoes but managed to find an awesome wholesale deal on some killer kicks. They’re a popular 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?

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

Since he doesn’t have the data on who 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 I have 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, there is also going to 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.

If you’re a parent of a teen that might want those shoes, what are the compelling factors? What’s inciting your fear of missing out and urging you to place your order right away?

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 actually 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 obviously creates a sense of urgency as well, 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 on a regular basis.

So we’ve discussed invoking FOMO by creating a sense of urgency in two ways.
• Limited quantity
• Limited time

Each is effective. One may be more effective than the other. If you can, use the two together.

Remember we mentioned the in-crowd above? Let’s talk about another FOMO strategy.

Create Urgency by Offering a Sense of Exclusivity

A lot of people have a need to be special at something. Be the first at something. And some people will go to great lengths 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 who can say “I got product X the morning it was released! I’m one of the first people to have this baby in my hands.”

Do you sell a product or service that you can create that feeling? Provide your customer with 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 frankly, that’s the intent. But what if you send a coupon along with the purchase of the base or mid-range package. Some sort of 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 has an incentive 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. There’s a psychological pull that 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 a good thing, but it’s definitely something markets should be aware of.


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