Fomo Review: Convert browsers into buyers with friendly social proof notifications

15th May 2020

TL;DR

Fomo taps into the power of personal recommendations to boost your website’s conversions, whatever your goal may be. The service integrates with hundreds of popular apps in order to capture and showcase actual visitor activity as slide-out notifications. Something Fomo calls ‘Honest Marketing’.



Loved

  • Spam-free slideout suggestions
  • 100+ integrations
  • Genuine ROI
  • All-round personality

Loathed

  • Advanced feature setup
  • Slow on some browsers

The Story

What is Fomo?

Fomo is social proof on steroids.

Since launching in 2016 Fomo has served up millions of visitor actions, views, purchases and reviews as multipliers for new business. In an age when trust is rare in marketing, these mini seals of approval seem to resonate, typically delivering a 2-20% increase in conversion rate.

As Fomo is highly customisable, it’s really up to you what social proof looks like on your site and under what conditions it appears. Fomo’s pop-up nods from the community can help ecommerce sites to reassure with Trustpilot reviews, ramp up order values with new product discovery and generate excitement in newsletters and events. However, there’s no massaging the figures. Fomo only promotes your products and services based on actual customer actions.

Oh and it does all this with a number of one-click integrations and a single line of code.


Meet the Maker:
Ryan Kulp

Fomo’s founder and figurehead is Ryan Kulp, a prolific maker and marketer. After acquiring Fomo from its creators he’s built it into the social proof mecca it is today - ooozing with personality and arguably making the category its own.

It’s fair to say Ryan has strong opinions on a number of matters, no more so than marketing hyperbole. To quote Ryan: “Consumers are smarter than ever and they’re tired of marketers. Nobody cares what you have to say about you, they care what other people say about you.”

Fomo’s self-proclaimed focus is therefore “honest entrepreneurs” - individuals growing long-term businesses built on trust. Principles he’s also keen to bake into his growing portfolio of investments and courses.

Read Ryan’s full story in his interview with Surges.

Read the interview

The Product

How we tested Fomo

An ‘honest’ tool demands honest assessment. If you haven’t noticed, Fomo is installed on Surges. We’re happy customers as it goes, using Fomo to help our readers discover interviews and reviews that might otherwise get lost on the site, nudge them in the direction of the newsletter sign-up, and celebrate out loud when a new tool is signed-up to. To do so, we’ve relied on integrations with MailChimp, XXX and XXX, plus some additional rules. We’ve incorporated all of that firsthand experience into this review.

For added context, we also interviewed the maker behind Fomo, Ryan Kulp.


Getting started with Fomo

Copy and paste a single line of code onto your site and rudimental events should start queuing within Fomo in seconds. You’re good to go. However, Fomo’s inspection tool is also on hand to confirm setup and troubleshoot if need be.

What next? Well you’ll want your notifications to have meaning. The real magic happens in the integrations library, offering one-click integration to 100+ apps, including Google Analytics, Shopify, Striple, WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, Magento, WooCommerce, Eventbrite, HubSpot, Trustpilot, Zapier and lots more.

Advance goals need advance setup via Webhooks, but we’re not talking about a lot of extra effort. You also have a decent amount of control about what shows and when. For example, Fomo let’s you set minimum thresholds, choose to display every order, some orders, or only sales from a certain time period. You can go as granular as you like with template rules and markdown.

You can also edit the look and feel of alerts to match your branding. Customise until your heart’s content: pick a template, and play with the colours, avatars and messaging.

Features you’ll love

  • Events to shout about

    Events occur any time a notification is triggered. It’s all of the views, leads, signups, purchases and reviews from your favourite apps. Without these you’ve have no social proof on your site. And if Fomo doesn’t integrated with your favourite app you can showcase realtime notifications via its REST API.

    📣
  • Unlimited sites

    You can add unlimited sites to a single Fomo account, for no additional cost. Of course, they all count towards your pricing plan’s notification count but Fomo gets two thumbs up for simple, transparent pricing.

    💯
  • Customisable themes

    You have full control over the content and style of your Fomo notification. In addition to crafting the words shown and their position on screen, you can also fine tune the container by altering colours, padding, shadows etc in the theme editor – again, all without code.

    🔏
  • Customisable rules

    Your ticket to customising what notifications appear where and when. You might want to hide notifications on specific pages (e.g. shopping cart, purchase confirmation page), disable them altogether on mobile, or tailor them according to the page they’re on. You can also set thresholds for minimum visitor numbers, loop notifications and remove timestamps – handy in the early days when numbers are low.

    🚩
  • 26 languages

    Multilingual social proof! Fomo is able automatically translate notifications based on the default language set in their browser (not their location). Does anybody know the Danish for ‘killer feature’?

    🌎
  • Dashboard

    Some measures (Impressions, Clicks, Engagements) come as standard. Connecting to Google Analytics will also track click-through conversions and sales metrics. Another method is Fomo’s Scorecard, that uses any URL path you input to track ongoing performance against your goals. All of this feeds into Fomo’s dashboard and you can even celebrate milestones with achievement badges. The super keen can even choose to import Fomo’s social proof events into Slack for real-time notifications.

    📈

Things to consider

  • Round-up events

    A wonderful new addition to Fomo since our original review. Takes individual actions, rounds them up and turns them into trends for added oomph. An example would be ’20 people in the last hour have downloaded this eBook.’ Fomo’s round-up events can be automatically configured via a number of ecommerce integrations, including Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce.

  • Speedy snippets

    When it comes to embeddable social proof tools, features are only half the battle. Plugins always risk slowing down the websites they appear on, resulting in a frustrating user experience and poor conversion – talk about pop-ups shooting themselves in the foot! Fomo knows this and keeps its load light, ranking ahead of its competitor set in terms of snippet size.

  • You set the limits

    We all hope that our sites take off, but when they do we’re normally unprepared. Costs spiral and server outage looms. Fomo’s Limit Protection allows you to set a ceiling for the monthly notifications of your website(s). But rather than crudely cutting off at that number, Fomo will monitor performance and slow down notifications if need be.

  • Fomo and GDPR

    A lot of people are asking: Are social proof pop-ups GDPR complaint? Thankfully Fomo have thought this through – check out this post outlining their compliance with the EU’s GDPR regulations. That said, it’s probably wise to ensure your Privacy Policy wording covers you for every marketing eventuality, such as analytics, personalisation and retargeting. Fomo have some handy advice on that too.

  • Social proof for stores

    As we mentioned earlier, Ryan is an entrepreneurial machine. Knowing social proof could be as equally persuasive in person, he’s launched a bricks and mortar version of Fomo: Storefront. Costing a reasonable $99 a month, it allows you to connect your POS or website to a screen in-store. Far better than a pushy sales assistant.

    Find out more

Fomo Pricing

from $19 per month

Basic-Intermediate

Free trial? Yes!

Once your free 14-day trial is over monthly fees start at $19. It’s a generous starter package, restricting you to only self-help support and 25,000 notifications. You get more of both with each tier up you go.

Plus save 30% when billed annually.

Special offer: 1 month free

Double your free trial with Surges!


Fomo Alternatives

Social proof has its good guys and bad apples. New Fomo copycats pop up all the time, however many fall into the ‘dishonest marketing’ camp, using dummy data in their notifications to trick visitors. Honest marketers use honest tools. Period.

Fomo Support   👍  or   👎

A lot of services boast about being easy to use and think it eliminates the need for human-to-human customer support. Fomo is incredibly accessible as a company and their support chat response times are very fast – this isn’t one solopreneur getting round to support in-between naps! Onboarding assistance also comes in the form of video guides, a walkthrough and a cheatsheet.

Fomo have ramped up their support articles and blog posts in recent years, addressing frequently asked questions head on and building new features on-demand when needed. It’s still relatively early days for the tool but the team behind Fomo recognise their continued success depends on helping their customers grow their businesses too.

The Verdict

Surges score

89%

I’ll admit it. My time using Fomo has turned me into a bit of a fanboy. Look at their testimonials and it’s clear I’m not the only one.

We’ve integrated Fomo with some of our favourite apps in order to capture actions on surges.co and turn them into mini-endorsements. The great news, is they work. Without Fomo’s social proof, visitors would find it a lot harder to jump to the best tools or know whether it’s worth signing-up for a free trial.

As a company Fomo oozes personality. Honest copy. Humorous illustrations. Candid blog posts. It’s impossible to say the same for most SaaS companies, which mimic each other into brand oblivion.

As a marketing tool, its beauty is in its simplicity. Showcasing other visitor and buyer behaviour as social proof gently nudges those on the edge of converting. It doesn’t shout at you. It doesn’t beg for you not to leave the site. It doesn’t follow you around the web when you do. It’s just passing by to offer a passing word of advice.

There’s no denying the obvious use case for Fomo is an ecommerce site showing off product purchases. However, with a bit of creative thinking it could transform conversion on all manner of websites, from charities seeking donations or volunteers, bands booking gigs, to consultancies seeking clients, conferences selling tickets or course builders promoting early access. Whatever your marketing goals, it can be an easy and effective means of achieving them.

Setup is straightforward as Fomo seamlessly integrates with your existing marketing stack. If I can make it work, then so can you.

At $19 per month for the cheapest plan, Fomo is pretty accessible. Given its impact on conversion it should pay for itself many times over. Try it for yourself with a free 14-day trial.

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