FOMO as a WordPress weapon? Let’s think about this before others do

In the ongoing battle to get in front of clients or customers and then close the deal, it can be tempting to ponder FOMO as a WordPress weapon.

FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, is a succinct way of capturing all the keep-up-with-the-Joneses anxieties inside many of us that compel us to make hasty decisions or make bolder decision for fear of being the last one on board with a new trend.

Salespeople fan these flames when working one-on-one with customers but it can be harder to recreate such persuasion on our WordPress websites.

Until now, thanks to a new web app launched this month.

Why is FOMO powerful?

Before I reveal the app, let’s take a few minutes to remember why FOMO is so powerful.

FOMO in the form of notifications telling me what others are doing delivers a double whammy of persuasion.

On one hand, I am learning that others are already taking action which plays the scarcity card (there might be no apples left). On the other hand, it delivers social proof, evidence that other people, possibly my peers, have already judged this offer to be worthwhile (not many people like going first, so this brings comfort).

The master of the psychology of persuasion, Dr Robert Cialdini, has a story about this power in action, when it comes to those little cards in hotels that urge us to reuse our towels for the environment.

At the 53 and a half minute mark in the video, below, he expands on this story with a great example of how we can become motivated by competing against others to prove we are smarter, more engaged, etc.

If you don’t have time to watch the video, here is what Dr Cialdini says about the mistake hotels make with their “reuse your towel” notices:

The card in my room says, The Park Plaza’s on a quest for a sustainable future and we’d like you to join us in this regardInstead of saying, we’d like you to join us in this regard, it should say, we’d like you to join your fellow guests in this regardAnd if it said that, we’d get a 29% increase in willingness to hang up your towels. And if we said, join the other people who’ve stayed in this room in the past, room 215, just like you…not room 214 across the hall, we’d get a 41% increase in compliance. 

Hopefully, that piques your interest in thinking about ways to incorporate FOMO in your marketing communication and sales process.

FOMO as a WordPress weapon. You’re in its sights.

I am trialling a brand new tool called Fomo, on this website right now.

Fomo is monitoring the activity of visitors and when anybody clicks through to sign up to our newsletters, a little box pops up briefly to tell other visitors that someone else has seen the value of our writings and subscribed.

This is FOMO in action.

It is that subtle (okay, not so subtle) action of letting visitors know that other people have been getting on board, posing the question, why haven’t you?

You might have seen a message while reading this article.

The Fomo app

In short, the Fomo app has a range of services available for small, medium and large businesses, including a free, hobby version which I am using on this site while I run some tests.

It involves creating a Fomo account, selecting what type of notification you want to give visitors (subscription, purchase, etc), and then inserting a little piece of code on your website to tie this all together.

For the paid versions, Fomo can integrate directly with your Woocommerce shop and prompt visitors with “subtle hints” that other people have purchased similar or other products recently, directly using your Orders information.

One of the creators of Fomo, Justin Mares, argues that intelligent, data-based notifications are more powerful in persuading visitors to become buyers or subscribers, than generic “sign up to our newsletter” pop ups.

Will this translate into success when using FOMO as a WordPress weapon?

Time will tell.


Image: The last piece of cake by With Associates via Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0




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