Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

Using the Internet to attract clients was supposed to make our lives easier wasn’t it? Instead, it’s made us nutty as we work hard to continuously create content.

You’ve got blog posts, LinkedIn posts, Twitter and Facebook and Google+ updates to share.

And of course there are the web pages you ‘ve got to create, including sales pages and offers to make.

It’s exhausting.

And it’s no wonder we get writer’s block and feel frustrated and overwhelmed.

I want to share a big secret with you.

Copywriters get writer’s block too.

The difference is we have a tool we turn to during those times that helps us get focused and have the breakthrough we want.

It’s a swipe file.

The video below explains what a swipe file is and what to do with it.


Here are some additional tips for you that I didn’t share in the video.

Store it. I use a file pocket like I showed you in the video and then I save the swipe file where I keep my project files so I can grab it when I need it.

Look at the layout. The organization of information is important. It helps the reader to process it. I like to study the layout and pieces of a swipe piece to see what inspiration I get.

What to save. As I said in the video, I save great direct mail pieces from the big name companies. I save things that are in the B2B environment since my Great Clients are other business owners, but I also save direct to consumer materials because every now and then I work with someone in that segment. I also like to get inspiration from other industry segments.

Headline formulas. There are structures to headlines that work. The headline and any image you have are the two most important elements of your writing. The image grabs attention first and then they read the headline. So the headline is critical to drawing someone in. The original Mad Man himself, David Ogilvy said that headlines are the most valuable part of the copy.

3 cautions…

1. Don’t truly “swipe” the copy. That’s called plagerism. Not only is it not nice, it’s illegal. A swipe file is really an inspiration file.

2. Don’t just blindly follow a format. That piece was created with a specific audience in mind. Your audience is likely to be different so — again — use swipe pieces as inspiration.

3. Build an offline and online swipe file too. Save direct mail pieces, magazines, order forms…but also have two online swipe files — an email swipe and a website swipe. Save autoresponder series you like, process steps, whole websites, and individual landing pages and sales pages.

Have you used a swipe file as inspiration? Are there projects you tend to use a swipe file more fore than others?

About the author 

Winnie Anderson

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