Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Put some fear into your online marketing

No one likes to feel like they will be missing out on something, even more so social media addicts. So how can your successful online marketing strategy put this anxiety to good use?

In short, you need to structure your messages to harness the power of this psychological construct. Learn to address your potential or current customers in a way that encourages them to take action better than with any common call-to-action prompt.

The secret is this: people would gladly jump at an opportunity to buy a product if they feel they would be otherwise losing something hugely important, but they’re not as likely to buy a product with definite advantages. That’s because we prefer to invest more energy and resources into avoiding risk rather than following a sure gain.

Therefore, you will need to make your product or service look like a great opportunity people can miss if they’re not careful. For instance, let’s say someone is looking to buy a robotic vacuum cleaner. They’ve done their homework, know what they would like and their estimated budget, but they postpone actually purchasing one.

This is where the fear of missing out comes in: a social media ad strategically placed that announces a huge promotion. Even if they haven’t committed to buying a robotic vacuum yet, now this fear is telling them that they risk spending more money if they don’t decide on the spot.

A viral campaign is another important tool for online marketing. If all your friends are buying robotic vacuums, chances are you’ll want one too. Otherwise, you risk being left out – which, let’s face it, is one of people’s biggest fears since kindergarten. However, to know which type of post will go viral, you’ll need to understand your target audience which is is after all one of the components that all successful online marketing strategies need.

So, to help you launch a successful online marketing campaign, here are 10 awesome techniques you can use in order to attract more buyers. What’s more, the possibilities of combining them for your online marketing campaign are endless!

Time limits are money

Setting time limits conditions people. We’ve learned from toddlerhood that deadlines exist, so we need to get things according to a certain time frame.

Placing a time limit acts like the Pavlovian bell: each time we see it, we feel the impulse of acting. In the world of online marketing, a ticking clock brings in more conversions.

However, remember to be honest. Even if you think you’ll bring in more customers by extending that time limit, don’t do it, at least not more than once. Customers will feel betrayed, and you’ll lose reputation points.

Lead magnets

An effective lead magnet can be a limited edition, in other words your audience can get them only if they do so before a certain deadline. For instance, you can create a detailed video or infographic about how to use a certain product, but make it available only for a limited time.

In this case, you’re not using fear to sell more products, but instead to get more leads. If people subscribe because of fear in order to get their hands on a useful tutorial, you can use their contact info for future online marketing campaigns.

Fame rubs off on you

This means you can use any celebrity figure talking about your brand, services or your products in the context of your online marketing campaign. Your target audience will be afraid that, if they’re not using your brand, they won’t be as glamorous as that star.

You can also use influencers as well, even if they’re not celebrities per se. In this case, you’re tapping into the fear of people missing out on being part of a group or an “in thing”.

In the future the role that influencers can play in online marketing will become more significant.  So, don’t be afraid to quote influencers anywhere you can, from your landing page and social media profile to your sales pages or even in direct emails.

User-generated content

If people are talking about your brand, they can influence their friends and family. As a matter of fact, user-generated content from peers can produce more fear than celebrity endorsements.

People already know that they’ll never be as popular as movie stars or lead the same glamorous lifestyles, but they want to at least have the same stuff as their friends and families. The fear that you could be missing out is bigger if your friends have something that you don’t have.

You can make people talk about your brand in the context of a contest, so they create the content for you which you can then later use for your online marketing campaign.


It’s a good idea to use more online channels to boost sales or to build your brand’s reputation.

However, if you’re seeing more activity on one channel than the others, you can use your online marketing campaign to get more people there. For instance, if you don’t have a lot of Facebook activity, but there are lots of people following you on Twitter, you can tweet the time and date for a live Facebook video. Remind people that they’ll only be able to see that video on Facebook and that you won’t record it for later. In short, with this technique, you’re building brand recognition as well as a very loyal online community.

Testimonials show quality

The technique of using testimonials in your online marketing campaign is almost as old as advertising itself, but you need to choose the right moment to use your testimonials. Think about it for a moment… Why are some venues always booked while others are always struggling to get enough patrons? It’s because of the fear of missing out.

People never want to miss out on a great meal, show, or a chance to be seen mingling with high society, and that’s why they’ll always make reservations for the restaurant where everyone’s going.

In the world of online marketing, you can publish all sorts of testimonials on the sales page or on your different social media pages, along with photos of happy customers or maybe even videos.

If your potential customers see how many happy customers your business already boasts, they’ll think, “Hey, I want a piece of that pie.” In short, potential customers will fear losing out on the benefits other people are getting.

Special offers

While discounts are one sort of special offer, you can always give your potential customers other perks too, such as free returns during March or a bonus gift during December.

When opting to make use of a special offer, don’t forget to establish a timeline and stick to it. The special offer will go away when the time expires, so potential customers will be scared that they’ll be missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.


Most companies offer discounts if you buy more products from them. For instance, if you use the same provider for your cable, phone and Internet, you pay less than you would, were you to use different providers. Some online retailers offer free shipping if you purchase products that cost a minimum amount established by them. By instilling a fear that they’ll miss out on something great, you can harness the true power of these techniques. So, be sure to offer huge bundle discounts within a certain time frame from time to time.


The right words can make people fear that they need to act fast before losing an awesome offer which they’ll never get back. Some examples are: “don’t miss this great opportunity” or “we have a limited amount of…”, but you can be even more creative than that! So, take the time to find the perfect words which will enable you to instil the fear of potential regret. To make it even more effective, you’ll also need to adopt your target’s jargon when making the irresistible offer.

The exit deal

When people want to close your page, you can use a popup notification which offers them a last-chance opportunity for a discount or a special offer. To make it effective, use persuasive language and images to emphasise this amazing deal which they’ll get if they don’t close the tab and stay on your page.

Final thoughts

The fear of possibly missing out is a real thing. So, why not use it to your own advantage? Create a context in which your online visitors have to act fast to get their hands on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity so that you can get more leads and conversions.

It’s important to make the right offer, though. People on a budget want discounts, but your target might prefer buying high-end, expensive products. In short, you need to offer different chances to different people. For instance, your Insta followers might get something else than the people on your email list.

This article was contributed by Magicdust, one of Australia’s leading web design agencies.