Guest Author - Dennis Regling
When I first started out selling though direct mail, many of the books and courses I studied would talk about "Swipe Files". Unfortunately, many of today's modern marketing courses either fail to mention this simple concept at all, or downplay the important role it has in improving your sales copy writing skills.
What is a "swipe file?"
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "A swipe file is a collection of tested and proven ads and sales letters. Keeping a swipe file is a common practice used by advertising copywriters and creative directors as a ready reference of ideas for projects."
You as a professional entertainer should collect the marketing pieces of other successful entertainers. These are not examples meant to be plagiarized. You aren't copying work here; you're adapting it to your own copywriting needs.
"Most writers, when they start out, mimic their favorite authors.
Eventually, we developed our own styles, which were richer for having first gone through this mimic stage.
The point is this: part of any effective learning process is to mimic what has been successful before you. This is true of copywriting, too. And it's the reason you need to start a "swipe" file if you want to become a successful copywriter." David Silva
By comparing David Copperfield's posters with Lance Burton's and other magicians. you can find the common elements that make them work. Collecting headlines from sales letters, advertisements and press releases, you will get ideas you can adapt to your own use.
Too many new business peolpe try to re-invent the wheel. It is much better to see what works and highlight, change, and improve on that.
How do you decide what to put in your swipe file?
Whenever you come across a piece of sales copy, whether it's on the web, in your email, in a newspaper or it arrives in your postal mail, you need to take a couple of moments to look it over. If the headline grabs your attention and the letter draws you in then the chances are you are holding a good piece of copy in your hands. It may be for a totally unrelated product than your show, but study it to see why it grabbed you.
Having a swipe file is vital to become a master copywriter. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Do not copy the exact same words, but copy the ideas and gain inspiration!
Are you interested in starting your swipe file? You've read my articles on marketing at BellaOnline, Visions Online and several other websites. Perhaps you've even been a special client of mine and I've helped design marketing promotions for you in the past.
Now, 25 years of marketing expertise is combined in one super CD to help you. Go to SWIPE FILE. This CD contains a swipe file of my marketing letters, forms, brochures and more. You will get plenty of ideas to improve your materials.