Collating A Valuable Swipe File
How would you like to learn a simple strategy that not only keeps you from staring at a blank screen when you’re getting ready to write an email, but also makes you a better copywriter over time? Both can easily be accomplished with a swipe file.
A swipe file is a collection of other people’s emails and marketing message that you compile. When you come across an email message that’s grabbing your attention, save it in your swipe file. Start collecting good headlines, calls to actions and hooks. Put them all in a folder on your computer or even directly in your email program.
When it’s time to write an email and you need a little inspiration, look no further than your swipe file. Let me be clear, you’re not going to copy and plagiarize other people’s emails. Instead, you’re using them as a starting point, as a way to get ideas for your own mailings. The good thing about this strategy is that the topic doesn’t matter. You can save powerful emails with strong subject lines that you get in the weight loss niche and use them to craft an email about list building. For example, you may start by looking at an email subject line that says “5 Tips For Breaking Through Your Weight Loss Plateau” and change it to “3 Tips For Curing Writers Block” for example. You’re not copying the subject line at all, and certainly not the entire email. Instead, you’re reworking it for your own purposes and to work for your niche and your list.
And it’s not just subject lines you can repurpose. Look at how someone structures their emails. Take note of how often they combine content and offers and how they schedule their mailings. Pay attention to how their calls to action are crafted and where they are placed in the emails.
Over time you will find great examples of all sorts of different types of emails. Some will have great subject lines, others will have creative post scripts. Pick and choose the best of what hits your own inbox and start building your swipe file. Which reminds me…
By now you may be wondering where you’re going to get these emails that you can put in your swipe file. You get them by signing up for the lists of other smart marketers. Find some big names in the niche you’re promoting. Sign up for the lists of people that teach internet marketing and email marketing. Find other niches you’re interested in as a customer or student and sign up for their lists. Add to the list over time as you meet new people and come across interesting sites.
Spend some time each week combing through the emails you’ve received and add them to your swipe file. If you don’t want to clutter up your regular email account with all these sales and marketing messages, set up an email account specifically for capturing “swipe material”.