Customers 39% more likely to engage with marketing that plays on fear-of-missing-out

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Efforts to allieve their customers' fear of missing out presents marketers with an enormous opportunity for engagement, according to new research. 

Fear-Of-Missing-Out (FOMO) is the worry that others are having more exciting experiences than you are. Characterised by a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing, it has been compounded by the rise of social media in recent years. 

But new research from email provider Mailjet reveals that this presents an opportunity for engagement for modern marketers, with the study finding that Brits are 39% more likely to engage with brand messages that promise to alleviate this social anxiety.

Conducted amongst Mailjet’s database of over 15,000 subscribers, the research found that email open rates rose significantly when the subject line of an email played to the recipient's sense of FOMO by offering insights and advice they “don't want to miss”.

The results compared favourably against other 'clickbait' marketing messages such as NSFW (not safe for work) content like swearing and nudity. 

The research found that 18% of respondents would open an email with a swear word in the subject line, whilst 1 in 10 admit to opening an email that explicitly mentions containing nudity.

Elsewhere, content types such as ‘fail’ compilations and funny memes (with subject lines promising ‘most embarrassing’ content) produced an 8% increase in open rates.

However, over and above these results, nearly a third (29%) of respondents said they will open an email that plays to their sense of FOMO.

Interestingly, the impact of FOMO differs around the world. 

Across the pond, US recipients are no more likely to open messages that employ FOMO than an email with a normative subject line. In Europe, French audiences are actually 9% less likely to engage with this sought of campaign.

Spanish respondents, meanwhile were 59% more likely to interact with brands playing on FOMO.

About Neil Davey


Neil Davey is the managing editor of MyCustomer. An experienced business journalist and editor, Neil has worked on a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites over the past 15 years, including Internet Works, CXO magazine and Business Management. He joined Sift Media in 2007.


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