Fomo Review: An Easy Way To Add Social Proof Marketing To Your Site

I think you’ll agree with me that adding social proof to any offer will increase your conversions.

But isn’t getting social proof like testimonials difficult? There must be an easier way to add social proof to your website, right?

It turns out there is.

And you are seeing them more and more on websites that are selling a product or service.

Fomo Review

Last updated: Jan 30, 2019
Initially published on: Jan 30, 2019
Product rating: 4.5 / 5.0

tl;dr Summary
Fomo allows you to add conversion boosting, real-time social proof notifications to your website with a minimal amount of effort.

Visit the website

I’m talking about those real-time social proof notifications that popup at the bottom of your screen.

The most popular of these social proof marketing software is Proof.

But in this review, we’re going to take a look at a popular alternative to Proof called Fomo.

We use it on this very site, and in this review I’m going to give you an in-depth look at how it works.

Fomo Logo
Here is what we’re going to cover:


What is Fomo?

Perhaps you’ve heard the term Fomo before. (it stands for ‘fear of missing out’)

But did you know it was a social proof marketing software as well?

This web app was created by Ryan Kulk, where it first started its life under the name “Notify” back in 2014.  2 years later it was rebranded into Fomo.

It has since grown into an established conversion marketing tool.

Here’s how Fomo works in a nutshell:

First, you add your website into your Fomo account.  You then take their javascript code and add it to the header of your site.

Once connected, you can then integrate Fomo with one of the many integrations it supports.

Connect it with your favorite email service and it will show real-time notifications whenever someone joins your email list.  This is how we’re showing the Viral Affiliate Marketing Funnel popup on this site.

Sell a product? Then you can integrate Fomo with your Stripe account and display a notification whenever someone buys something from you.

Showing these notifications to your visitors is an easy way to add social proof to your offer. Which will in turn boost your conversions and get you more leads and sales.

What are the best parts of  Fomo?

Best Feature #1: The design flexibility

fomo custom css

With so many plugins and tools to account for these days it’s becoming increasingly harder to maintain brand consistency.

Fortunately, Fomo wastes no time throwing you into their theme editor where you’ll quickly get a sense of the design flexibility this platform has to offer.

Not only do you have a bunch of pre-styled templates and style handles to play with, but you can also add your own styling with custom CSS.

Best Feature #2: Visitor tracking

You’ll find a few gems hidden away in the advanced settings of Fomo such as looping, randomization and positioning.

But one in particular is the ability to track and display the number of live visitors on your site at any one time.

fomo visitor tracking

Assuming you have the traffic numbers to back it up, a notification with the number of current users can add yet another level of social proof.

(Oh, and let’s not forget that booking sites LOVE this approach because it also doubles up as a scarcity marketing technique.)

Best Feature #3: Useful insights

This was another unusual but awesome perk I found under my Fomo dashboard; a list of relevant marketing insights powered by machine learning.

insights

These ‘Insights’ help you make key decisions about how to use Fomo in your marketing, and many of them boast surprising benefits as a result of seemingly small changes.

This post explains Insights in more detail.

What I don’t like about Fomo

Bad thing #1: No chat support on $39/month plan

It’s fair to say support is a crucial consideration when looking at any software solution for your business, right?

Well, Fomo seems to think otherwise. If you want live chat support you’ll need to bypass $39/month plan and essentially double your budget.

plans

Taking a key support channel away from paying customers is a risky strategy in any business, but doing so on a $39/month monthly rolling subscription? That’s not exactly pocket change.

Bad thing #2: No entry level pricing for smaller sites

Most social proof platforms like Fomo tend to price their services on “impressions”, meaning the number of times a notification is shown.

plan impressions limit

As shown above, Fomo starts at a rather large 50,000 impressions for $39 per month. While the dollar to impression ratio is respectable, not every website gets 50,000 impressions.

It would have been nice if Fomo offered a $19 a month plan with fewer impressions so more people with lower budgets could test the service out.

Bad thing #3: No native A/B testing

A/B testing is an important part of marketing optimization, so it’s unfortunate that split testing in Fomo is only available as part of their most expensive plan.

If you’re not on this plan, then you’ll need to use something like Optimizely or Visual Website Optimizer if you want to run split-tests with Fomo notifications.

Getting Started with Fomo

Once inside the software you’ll be greeted with a welcome page and a button to start the tutorial.

This is essentially an on-boarding process where you’ll be asked to tweak some basic settings and get everything synced up with your website.

fomo welcome

The first thing you’ll do is enter your website, or your root domain.

From there, you can browse through the different themes available for the notification that will ultimately display on your site.

You will be able to change this again later if you want.

themes

I’ll talk more about these customizations later, but one thing I was pleased to see here was the ability to fine tune the design, as well support for CSS which opens up almost limitless visual possibilities.

As I’m writing this review around Christmas, I was also impressed to see a more seasonal design option here.

seasonal themes

Moving on, Fomo will take you to an integrations screen with dozens of applications to choose from.

The more third-party applications you connect to, the more possibilities become available to you from a marketing perspective.

fomo integrations

The most common example would be an integration with Stripe, giving Fomo access to your transactional data.

This data can then be shown on your website—or a specific page, such a sales page—in the form of recent order notifications.

Finally, the last step is to set up communication between Fomo and your website.

embed code

While this step can be a little technical for some folks, Fomo does a great job at breaking down the steps for each individual platform.

In fact, they even link to dedicated guides further down the page:

fomo ecommerce instructions

Since most of us use WordPress these days, you can boil it down to a simple copy/paste job using a header and footer plugin.

I used the Embed Code plugin and copied the Fomo script into my head section and pressing “Save Changes” as you can see below:

embed code plugin

Assuming you executed the last step correctly, Fomo will detect the website integration and direct you to the main dashboard.

Of course, you won’t have any data… yet. 🙂

fomo dashboard

Templates & Customizations

We already touched on the theme during the setup process, but templates allow you to customize the contents of your notifications as opposed to their appearance.

First, you can access the template options from the navigation:

templates

After naming your template, you can choose whether to enable ‘Markdown’ or leave it off by default.

This allows you to add some basic formatting such as bold, italic or underline to your notifications.

Where the real magic happens, however, is in the use of variable data:

data variables

These variables allow you to create dynamic notifications, including things like your customers name, city, country and how long ago they purchased your product.

Fomo also gives you a cheeky preview of what that might look like:

notification preview

This is just the first page of the template setup process.

Next up is the image settings, which dictates the thumbnail shown in the example screenshot above.

Here you can use the same static image for all notifications, a dynamic image based on variable data, and even a fallback for when your integration fails to provide an image for any reason:

image settings

Interestingly, you can also opt to use a map of the customers location which I thought was a great touch.

Moving on, you have the advanced tab for things like default link URL, location data and capture ratio.

advanced settings

Thankfully, each of these are explained below the field — something I’ve come to appreciate about this platform.

The last tab in the template options is called ‘Rules’, and this shouldn’t be confused with the navigational item of the same name.

template rules

I must admit being slightly confused by this at first, but I quickly realized rules created here are specific to this template.

For example, you can use this to change variable data if it matches (or doesn’t match) a specified value, or even disable notifications based on that data.

For example, you can create a rule to prevent any customers from Germany being shown in this template:

country rule

For the record, I have nothing against Germans. 😉

Overall, despite a few technical aspects to setting up a template with Fomo, I felt everything was clearly laid out and explained throughout.

Events & Integrations

The ‘Events’ page is essentially a log of all activity in relation to an integrated service.

In other words, it tells you what data is being passed to Fomo from your email provider, social network, payment processor, or any other possible integration.

If you haven’t connected any service, you’ll need to do so before any event data can be collected:

add event

Clicking the ‘add event’ button will redirect you to the integrations page where you can see every possible integration.

integrations page

These supply data to Fomo, which can the be used to display in a notification.

As you can see, not every app is sales-based, meaning you can display notifications about everything from email sign-ups to Instagram followers.

Speaking of integrations, it’s worth pointing out that Fomo works with over 60 applications including almost all popular shopping carts, payment processors, learning platforms, email marketing tools and the almighty Zapier.

Here’s what the Facebook event integration looks like once it’s synced up:

Facebook event

This settings panel allows you to choose which information is used by Fomo. In this case I’ve selected Fan insights which shows the number of users who liked my Facebook page recently.

Once you’re at this screen, Fomo will have already created an accompanying template for this event.

Clicking on the ‘Edit Template’ button will take you to that template settings, at which point you can make changes to it like you would with any other template.

edit template

The key difference in creating templates via events in the additional variable data that’s included.

Since this is a Facebook event, we’re now able to use unique data such as “count likes” and “time ago” to pull in that information.

The image tab also uses pulls in dynamic image data when possible, such as the Facebook page profile image as shown below:

dynamic image

And of course, all the usual template settings can be found here as well, including advanced settings and rules.

Finally, once someone liked my page, Fomo registers that as an event and displays the notification on my site like so:

like notificiation

Conditions & Rules

Unlike the template-specific rules I covered earlier, Fomo allows you to create a broader set of rules for even more control over how and when notifications are displayed

This can be found under ‘Rules’ in the main navigation, though technically this section is called “Conditions & Rules” since a rule is defined by one or more conditions.

conditions and rules

Once again, Fomo makes quick work of explaining what a rule is and how you might begin to use it.

To set one up, you start by naming your rule and giving it a description. This is for your eyes only.

rule description

Next, enter one or more conditions.

These are the circumstances required to “activate” the rule, such as when a user visits a particular page on your website, or browses on mobile.

rule conditions

As for the rules themselves?

These allow you to control the behaviour of your notifications, whether it be disabling a specific template, setting a notification cap, or even adjusting the display delay and positioning.

rules

For example, I can set up a rule here to delay the first notification by 30 seconds, but only on my about page:

initial delay rule

Also note that you can apply these rules to your entire website, effectively making changes to every template in your library.

Overall, despite the initial confusion around two separate ‘Rules’ functions, I felt this was both a useful and necessary addition to the software.

Tracking & Reporting

No marketing software is complete without some form of built-in tracking and reporting.

As you may have seen earlier in the review, Fomo’s dashboard collects statistics across all notifications, including impressions, clicks and engagements.

Fomo reporting

Unfortunately, there’s currently no way to drill down further into this data. What you see is what you get, and it isn’t much.

This flaw becomes more obvious when compared to alternatives like Proof, which gives you both campaign and goal-based reporting dashboards.

Also, in order to gain access to conversions and sales data, you’ll need to once gain integrate with a third-party app.

In this case, it’s good ol’ Google Analytics.

connect with Google Analytics

While I’m a huge fan of Google Analytics, it’s a shame Fomo relies so heavily on a separate tracking platform for what is essentially a very simple reporting dashboard.

Another tracking feature worth mentioning is the ‘Scorecard’, allowing you to set simple goals based on page visits.

ScoreCard

A common use-case for this is to create a goal for your thank you page which lets Fomo know a conversion has taken place.

Here’s an example using the ‘Scorecard’ feature:

ScoreCard example

Overall, Fomo manages to cover the basics here but the reliance on Google Analytics and the lack of granular data is a little disappointing.

Documentation & Support

Like most modern software companies, Fomo runs on the popular Intercom service. (Yes, we love Intercom!)

Starting with the knowledge-base, Fomo has over 110 entries though most of these are to help in setting up integrations.

knowledge base

This is somewhat understandable given the nature of this software, but the focus on integrations means some areas were left uncovered.

For example, I wasn’t able to return a single support article that mentioned Fomo’s ‘Scorecard’ feature:

search for ScoreCard

If you need to talk to a human, the fastest and most efficient option is to use the live chat feature.

Clicking the bubble in the corner of any Fomo page will open the chat window, at which point you can submit your question to the agent.

live chat support

I tested this a couple times throughout the day to see if this was a 24/7 support channel, but it is in fact governed by regular working hours.

Still, Arnold got back to me in good time:

testing live chat

At this point I’d normally think up some technical questions to see how the chat agent responds, but I actually did have an issue I needed help with.

For some reason, my integration with Facebook wasn’t working properly even though I set it up from the integrations page.

So, I asked him to look into it for me:

live chat test

Arnold was patient enough to troubleshoot the situation. It turns out my Facebook page was set to inactive, so with a flick of a switch I was back up and running.

What about other support channels?

Well, the dedicated support page had no mention of phone, email or social media as a possible contact method, but I was able to find that information in the footer of the website.

other support channels

I’m told by Fomo support that these channels are mainly for sales, and that live chat is always the fastest, most efficient way to get help with the product.

Overall though, the live chat worked reasonably well in terms of solving my issue even without the sense of urgency. Not the best support experience I’ve ever had, but certainly good enough.

Fomo Pricing

Let’s be real here, social proof software isn’t known for being affordable. (Anyone who’s looked at Proof’s pricing page knows that)

As for Fomo, you’re looking at a starting price of $39/month for 50,000 impressions:

pricing

You’ll also be able to kick-start your plan with a 7-day free trial, after which point your card will be automatically charged. There’s also no refund window which is understandable given the free trial.

As I mentioned earlier, my biggest complaint is the lack of live chat support on the $39/month plan, it just feels like a very unnecessary way to penalize paying customers.

Final Thoughts

Adding real-time social proof to your website seems to be a very popular trend these days.  I see these types of popups all the time now.

The reason why is that they work.  It’s just  like how people prefer going to a busy restaurant versus and empty one.  The busy restaurant is going to always attract more business.

Overall, Fomo delivers a quality product that does what it says.  I really like the customization options and integrations it provides which makes it useful in a variety of situations.  Give it a shot if you want to improve your conversions.

Take the Fomo 7-Day Free Trial

Fomo Pros

  • Modern, easy-to-use interface
  • Fast setup and flexible design builder
  • Variable data for dynamic templates + app-specific variables
  • Flexible conditions and rules to control notification behaviour
  • Integrates with many popular apps and services
  • 7-day free trial
  • Good value for larger websites with more traffic

Fomo Cons

  • Very basic tracking and reporting
  • Weak knowledge-base and somewhat limited support channels
  • No live chat support on lowest paid plan
  • A/B testing functionality only in highest plan
  • Expensive for smaller websites with less traffic
  • No refunds
Affiliate Disclaimer: I hope you enjoyed this Fomo review. Please note that any links inside this article may be affiliate links to Fomo. That means that if you click on one of the links and sign up, I may be compensated for it. If you do happen to click, thanks! Any money we make keeps this site running and allows us to keep producing high-quality reviews.
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