The Recency Effect in Direct Respose Advertising

by Lou

In an earlier post, I showed you the importance of the Primacy Effect in advertising. Utilizing the Primacy Effect is an important method of making a great first impression, especially with your words.

Of course you need to make a great first impression AND you need to make that impression last. Otherwise, you’ll lose your reader’s interest. Using the Recency Effect will help keep your product in the top of your prospects’ minds if they don’t buy immediately after reading your ad.


When you see a list of items, the Primacy Effect is what gets you to remember the first few items. The Recency Effect is what gets you to remember the last few items.

So both the Primacy Effect AND the Recency Effect are necessary, especially if you’re using long sales copy. This is where you need to keep reminding your readers of your big promise, pile on benefits-on-top-of benefits, and answer objections all the way to leading them to take action.


What I like to do when I’m writing long sales copy is create a “three-way promise” towards the end to utilize the Recency Effect.

Here’s how I do it. And it only takes a paragraph or so:

I’ll sum up the promise and benefits (Copywriting 101), then I like to use a negative promise (“This is what you’ll avoid…” OR, “You won’t ever have to…” OR, “You’ll never have to…again.”) to appeal to the mis-matchers and the moving-away motivated person, and then I like to create a metaphor (“This product is like a…for your….”).

So for my NLP Language Patterns for Advertising , I’d write something like this…

“When you download this ebook and software package today, you’ll have at your fingertips all the language patterns successful business people use to sell whatever you want, from paid membership subscriptions to luxury yachts. You’ll never be at a loss for the right words to sell your products or services. It’s like having a team of master sales staff at your beck-and-call whenever you need them.”

And of course toward the end, you need to tell your readers about your offer and their call-to-action.

(Photo by Creative103)

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