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Most readers now appreciate the importance of building a great swipe file. I’ve been asked many times to send readers a copy of my personal swipe file. I’m reluctant to do that as, I regret to say, I’m not the most organised person in the world and I prefer hard copies of ads, letters and emails to the digital versions. I probably have more than a dozen files haphazardly filed in no logical order in loads of places.
However, even if I did have them all filed and indexed in one place I feel that sending them to others would defeat the object. Everyone needs to do their own filtering rather than have a swipe file handed to them on a plate. But where do you start?
Over the years I’ve been impressed and inspired by promotions from several companies and I would suggest the best way for anyone to start their own swipe file is to study their output. In the past we bought products to get on lists, now it’s much easier.
Simply log on to these websites and register for one or more of their online newsletters. Not only are the newsletters interesting you’ll discover how their business model works. They will give you great content then, every so often, will link that content to a product or service they are selling. When you click for more info you’ll find one brilliantly crafted sales letter for your file. On top of that they will be promoting other companies products and you’ll see their promotions too.
Rather than give you too many in one go I suggest you start with these 2:
Remember that you will not be using the promotions you “swipe” to swipe the total concept of their products. I find that I tend to use 3 or 4 letters from my file to inspire me to produce my own unique promotion. One might help me with the structure of the letter. Another might give me a headline idea and I might “borrow” the close structure from another. And most of the time the product or service I am promoting is nowhere near the market area of the swipe letters. The financial companies shown above spend millions on marketing and they are often the leaders in knowing what works and what doesn’t, so it’s worth studying their output carefully.
Rather than clog your inbox with emails I suggest you open a new gmail account with a fictitious name and then get Outlook, or whatever you use to sort your emails, to file it away in a special “Swipe File”. Then perhaps once a week take an hour or so to filter your replies, placing the best ones in another file “No1Promos” or similar.