5 ways to use FOMO in email subject lines for guaranteed opens
Written by
Jasmine Handa

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5 ways to use FOMO in email subject lines for guaranteed opens

Published : May 12, 2023 | Updated : May 22, 2024

A popular maxim says, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

While it’s true for most things in the world, there is one significant exception – emails.

No matter how well-written your email is, it will never get a chance to work its magic if nobody opens it in the first place. And what makes people want to open an email?

The subject line, of course!

It needs first to grab eyeballs and then draw people into the body of the email.

There are many (a little too many) ways to add flair, panache, and interest to your subject line, but few of them work as well as the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO).

Everyone’s got a bit of FOMO in them. Few things are as disappointing as knowing you could have got a great deal but missed it because you didn’t act in time. The disappointment sundae gets an extra dollop of frustration on top when you realize that others like you got what you missed because they took prompt action.

No one likes to end up as the last man on the totem pole. Mystify your subject line with an elusive feel, and you can be sure that people will be curious enough to open your emails.

This article discusses five ways you can use FOMO to supercharge your email subject lines to increase open and engagement rates.

Offer a limited-time reward

Use social proofing

Make offers exclusive

Send reminders for expiring deals

Use the right words

Offer a limited-time reward

A 30% discount is great, but what if the 30% discount is about to go away in three days? You’ll have people scrambling to buy and get their favorite goodies at a lower price. And this will be especially true for expensive items.

By setting a time limit on a reward, you’re making your users take an immediate decision. When was the last time you met someone who would willingly give up a great deal on their favorite product or service?

Use social proofing

Remember that bit about how people hate it when someone else got something, which they could have but didn’t? You can play on that in your email subject line.

Use customer testimonials to showcase the popularity and excellence of your products/services. Don’t forget to include direct quotes. Extra points if you have customers who are well-known in their domain for some reason.

Instances like these are why your brand should always have robust feedback collection mechanisms in place. If you have positive customer testimonials, there’s nothing like it to convince others to give you a shot. If most testimonials are negative, you’ll have perfect clarity into what needs improvement and fixing.

Make offers exclusive

Everyone likes to feel special. Your high CLV customers are no exception. Why not make such customers know they are inside the velvet rope and getting an offer that most others are not privy to?

You can build this into your loyalty programs, where customers with large purchases (over a period of time) get an exclusive offer that makes their eyes pop (perhaps a one-time 40% discount on their next purchase?).

You can also segment your audiences and target each group with an exclusive offer that caters positively to their sensibilities (based on their age, gender, location, browsing/purchase history, and other demographic data).

Send reminders for expiring deals

Only one day left before that delectable discount goes away? Make sure that your customers know that too!

AMP emails are especially useful for cases like these. You can configure the email so that every time a user  opens it, it displays the real-time duration left before the offer expires. In other words, the email is updated live, with current data from your system backend.

Customers will have a literal ticking clock in their inbox, reminding them that they must act fast or lose out on serious savings or a memorable reward.

Use the right words

Research has shown that certain words trigger FOMO and prompt action among customers more reliably and frequently than others. These words signal to folks that they’re about to miss out on something highly desirable if they don’t act soon.

Some of these words (this is certainly not a comprehensive list) are listed below:

  • Now
  • Fast
  • Hurry
  • Instant
  • Approaching
  • Rapidly
  • Close
  • Never
  • Quick
  • Again
  • Seconds
  • Over

Don’t forget to address email recipients directly. Your email needs to talk to them rather than just be read. Use their first name in the email, as well as the word “you.” Make your customers feel that you care enough to speak to them and their needs in particular.

Emphasize the usage of words that encourage action – “Buy Now,” “Start Shopping,” and “Enjoy your discount.” Focus on wording your CTA right; give customers every reason to click on it.

Make FOMO your best friend

Give people what they want. You can offer all the discounts in the world, but if you’re not selling something customers actually want, you will get nowhere. To leverage the power of FOMO, start by offering a useful, value-driven product.

Once you’ve got something great to sell, you can use FOMO in the email subject lines to guide customers into a desired user journey – a funnel that (hopefully) ends with them clicking “Buy Now.” Your FOMO-laced subject line is the first step in this journey. It gets them curious enough to open the email and feast their eyes on great deals, items, and value.

If you need a little help getting the FOMO in those subject lines just right, why not give Netcore a call? We can help you supercharge your subject lines and get unprecedented open rates and engagement numbers.

G2 Reports have recognized Netcore as a ‘Leader’ 10 consecutive times. For the second year in a row, Netcore received the highest rating as a ‘Customers’ Choice for Email Marketing’ in Gartner’s Peer Insights ‘Voice of the Customer’ 2022 Report.

Additionally, 50+ globally recognized brands, such as YourStory, Axis Securities, CaratLane, and 99 Group, partner with Netcore’s AI-powered email platform to roll out AMP emails and boost their ROI. We have sent more than a billion AMP emails across 200+ highly successful Campaigns.

Netcore serves over 6,500 clients across 20 countries, delivers over 20 billion emails a month, and tracks upwards of 120 trillion marketing events every year.

Connect with us to understand how you can benefit from our expertise and experience.

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Written By: Jasmine Handa