11 vintage copywriting techniques only the best copywriters will know

11 vintage copywriting techniques only the best copywriters will know
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Whether you’re looking to improve your writing or searching for the perfect wordsmith, here are some persuasive copywriting techniques only the best copywriters should know.

Copywriting is a lot like exploring the vast world of wine. Just as there are countless varieties of grapes and regions producing them, there's an abundance of copywriters out there, each with their own vintage style and approach.

But much like a connoisseur can discern the nuances between a mediocre vintage and an exceptional one, there's a distinction between merely stringing words together and crafting captivating copy that resonates with your audience.

With this in mind, we’ve uncorked some tried and tested copywriting techniques which only the best copywriters in the business will consider and implement.

The best copywriting techniques

The “teddy bear” copywriting technique

Think about your favourite teddy bear from childhood, and you’ll uncover a critical marketing and copywriting hack called loss aversion.

It’s simple – people hate losing what they already have. (Especially when it meant giving up your favourite teddy.)

In a fascinating study by Daniel Kahneman, participants were offered mugs, chocolate, or nothing. In theory, you’d think that most people go for the sweet option if they had a choice.

However, 86% of those with mugs refused to trade them!

The lesson? Once people possess something, they’ll fiercely cling to it.

For your business, this knowledge is invaluable.

Take freemium products, for example. In your copywriting, try offering a taste, then hint at its removal. Whether it’s a product trial, training portal or free subscription, tap into loss aversion.

The “seven-heaven” copywriting technique

The number 7 isn’t just reserved for Becks. Did you know our brains have a limit which could be impacting the performance of your marketing content?

People have a limited amount of space in their short-term memory. In fact, most people can only remember seven pieces of information at a time.

To cope, people often cluster similar information. Imagine a random shopping list. Most would mentally group items into categories like dairy, grain, meat, etc.

So, when you create content, consider designing it for better memory retention.

Group similar topics under numbered bullet points or with varied header sizes for easier recall. It’s not just easier to scan but also memorable in the long run.

The “Inception” copywriting technique

Ever wonder why unfinished tasks or open-ended movies linger in your mind? (Inception springs to mind.)

Blame it on the Zeigarnik Effect!

This psychological phenomenon reveals that our brains fixate on incomplete tasks, creating a mental itch that demands resolution.

In copywriting, you can use this to your advantage.

For instance, if you’re creating paid social ad copy, don’t feel a need to include every detail. Leaving some questions unanswered will prompt curiosity and incentivise the click.

The “think long” copywriting technique

SEO is an integral part of digital marketing. But trying to rank your website higher than a massive global brand or an established organisation with authority can be far too competitive at times.

Another solution? Target the low-hanging fruit via long-tail keywords.

Think about it. When you buy a pair of shoes, are you more likely to search for “Shoes” or “Blue Nike men’s running shoes”?

Including these deeper, more descriptive keywords in your website content and blogs might not draw thousands of visitors every month. But it will attract more engaged prospects entering the “consideration” phase.

I.e. they are actively searching for something specific. So, they’re already thinking about placing an order.

The “F-off” copywriting technique

Is your website not fetching enough leads? Then it’s time to factor in the Verbatim Effect.

According to a study by Poppenk et al., people tend to remember the gist, not the specifics of what they read.

It’s also believed that many people read websites in an F-shaped pattern.

So, when you’re designing your online content, you need to front-load your keywords into headings and the very first sentences so that F-scanning readers will notice them and remember them.

Your audience might not recall every sentence from your site, but as long as the tone of your content leaves them with a positive impression and a clear understanding of what you can offer, they are more likely to take action.

The “look at me” copywriting technique

If you think talking about yourself in your social media content sounds self-indulgent, remember that you're tapping into a powerful psychological phenomenon known as the mere exposure effect.

This psychological principle suggests that people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them.

So, in the context of marketing and your copywriting, regularly sharing your authentic self makes your brand more familiar and comfortable to your audience.

Whether it's sharing industry insights, helpful tips, or behind-the-scenes glimpses, the key to using the mere exposure effect to your advantage is to put yourself out there and do it consistently. All the best copywriters and social media experts will know this and encourage you to do the same.

The “play catch” copywriting technique

An easy way to grab the attention of your readers is to throw ideas for them to catch.

In other words, starting a sentence that the audience can finish can encourage them to think and feel engaged.

Some of the best ways to do this are to:

  • Muddle up two expressions for the reader to untangle.
  • Use parallelism to get readers engaged in unpacking the patterns.
  • Include a puzzle or riddle.

Whatever you do, remember that readers remember more of your message when they get involved in its creation.

The “humour” copywriting technique

In case you didn’t know, humour in marketing is a serious business.

Keeping your content PG is a safe option. Comedy can be polarising and people experience it in different ways, which can scare the life out of business owners and copywriters.

But if there’s wriggle room to get a little bit playful with your content, don’t shy away from it. A recent study from the big dogs at Oracle revealed that about 91% of people prefer brands to be funny.

So, if you want to give your fans what they want, try:

  • Telling the truth – Make observations, and don’t be afraid to take the Michael out of yourself. Reality can actually be quite funny. It’s why millions of people love watching trashy reality TV.
  • Exaggerating the truth – Embellish your observations and make a silly story to hook people in.
  • Use obscure references – What do Panda Pops and Barry from Eastenders have in common? Nothing (to our knowledge). But now you’re probably sitting there confused, intrigued, smiling or reminiscing over those references.
  • Use colloquialisms – If your content is about as dry as a bone or you’re about as useful as a chocolate oven glove at writing, try using weird colloquialisms to create a story.

The “stay single” copywriting technique

Just because you have 100 things to write about, it doesn’t mean you have to include them all in one piece of content.

Focus your copy on a single message. It’ll be easier to understand and make your content naturally flow.

Trying to share too much information at once can overload your readers and detract from the primary message.

The “First, the Last, My Everything” copywriting technique

Here’s a fact that’ll blow your socks off; your audience is more likely to remember the first and last things they read.

It’s one of the reasons we put a 2-line synopsis at the start of our blogs and focus heavily on tying up the piece by reiterating a point or providing a moral to the story.

It’s known as the serial position effect.

The primary effect is the tendency to remember the first thing you read, while the recency effect is the tendency to remember the last.

So, if you remember anything from this blog, remember to make sure the important stuff comes at the start and the end (i.e. when we’re trying to sell our copywriting services 😉).

The “no I in sales” copywriting technique

The final technique all the best copywriters will know is a classic.

Unless you’re selling yourself as a personal brand, always prioritise the ‘You’ instead of ‘We’ or ‘I’.

Your content needs to reflect what the audience wants or needs. Not what you want. Even when you’re writing your website’s 'about us' page or a LinkedIn bio, always bring it back to the audience.

After all, they are the ones that keep your doors open.

Still wondering how to become the best copywriter?

Hopefully, you can take away some valuable nuggets from this article. However, if you’re still not 100% confident in how to implement these copywriting techniques, it might be time to call in the experts.

At Content Chef, we’re a team of English grads who turned our passion for language and storytelling into a unique recipe for content creation.

Whether it’s crafting compelling copy for the web or whipping up engaging social media content, words matter to us.

Get in touch to find out more about our copywriting services and social media packages. And if you fancy a Snoop Doggy Dog at the rest of our content, give us a follow on LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok.

Written by Daryl Charman
Best copywriters