This Swipe will change your life (and make you lots of money)

by The Copy Nazi Banned
14 replies
"Beware the lollipop of mediocrity; lick it once and you'll suck forever." -- Brian Wilson.

Brian Wilson - who he? The genius behind The Beach Boys. Look it up.

Oh ok... I'll spell it out. If you're just going to swipe and clone some other dude's copy... sure - you'll probably have some results - plenty of bozos have done that (PM me and I'll give you a list) . But if you really want to kill it - be yourself - write your own damn copy. Your reader will appreciate it. And you'll go on to co-pilot Maxy's imaginary jet.
#change #life #lots #make #money #swipe
  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post

    But if you really want to kill it - be yourself - write your own damn copy. Your reader will appreciate it. And you'll go on to co-pilot Maxy's imaginary jet.
    Oh come on Mal...

    That is mediocrity at it's best.

    Compared to some of the things I've had said about me, that's mediocre.

    You must have been licking from the lollipop.

    Dude, you need to get original.

    P.M. me if you need some help...lol.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

      Oh come on Mal...

      That is mediocrity at it's best.

      Compared to some of the things I've had said about me, that's mediocre.

      You must have been licking from the lollipop.

      Dude, you need to get original.

      P.M. me if you need some help...lol.
      ORLY?

      I wonder how many people have no idea who the Beach Boys are.

      My dad's favorite group.
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      • Profile picture of the author max5ty
        Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

        ORLY?

        I wonder how many people have no idea who the Beach Boys are.

        My dad's favorite group.
        May I ask what ORLY means?
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        • Come on idea man figure it out. You got all the answers. You're almost there.

          Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

          May I ask what ORLY means?
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      • Holy Crap! I'm old. The 60's were "BITCHIN" and "BOSS". I saw the Beach Boys in concert growing up in Los Angles. That was before my Yellow Snow experience.



        Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

        ORLY?

        I wonder how many people have no idea who the Beach Boys are.

        My dad's favorite group.
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  • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
    Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post

    "Beware the lollipop of mediocrity; lick it once and you'll suck forever." -- Brian Wilson.

    Brian Wilson - who he? The genius behind The Beach Boys. Look it up.

    Oh ok... I'll spell it out. If you're just going to swipe and clone some other dude's copy... sure - you'll probably have some results - plenty of bozos have done that (PM me and I'll give you a list) . But if you really want to kill it - be yourself - write your own damn copy. Your reader will appreciate it. And you'll go on to co-pilot Maxy's imaginary jet.
    Something I've started doing with local clients who are on retainer is... I'll produce a direct mail package for them based on everything I've used in the past.

    Stuff that works. Proven templates, etc... like you said Mal, basically swiping some of the letters that have worked well in the past.

    But what I also do now is, do what Gary Bencivenga mentioned in his seminar.

    He'll deliver his client a package that's pretty much standard model for him... and written based on what he knows works.

    Then, he'll deliver a completely different, unique "out there in left field" letter and campaign that completely goes against the grain and most "direct response rules"

    And he said when those work... they work so well, they often double, triple the control.

    And it's all from just dropping the swipes, being yourself, and just writing from the gut... being who you are... not a clone of a swipe.

    A lot of times... swipes that are "safe" often produce "safe results".

    But clients don't want safe, mediocre results... and usually those are from writing that's SO different than what's based on past swipes.

    Good post Mal, I agree.
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  • Profile picture of the author lotsofsnow
    Most people don't get it.

    A swipe is something that you read and then you swipe it from the table!

    If you simply "swipe" somebody else's swipe you will get shitty results at best.

    Read what other people write and then let your creativity flow.

    Copy is like music. If a piece is just copied it's stale. If your piece takes inspirations from others and plays with it you may very well create a winner.
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  • Profile picture of the author Don Grace
    Totally agree. When I started I was told to play it safe my first year and just swipe. I did not listen and the results spoke for themselves.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jennie Heckel
    Hi All,

    Totally agree. Super insights here...

    Now what do you DO with a SWIPE FILE?

    Swipes are to be used for 'brain fodder' to give you IDEAS of great hooks, pre-heads, headlines, lead ins, deck copy, bullets, product offer ideas, bonus ideas, guarantees, closes and much more...

    Swipes are stuff you RIP APART AND YOU 'RE-ENGINNER' -- that means CHANGE to your needs -- but you DON'T CLONE IT.

    What I mean by this is...

    Don't just look at dating niche swipes -- (if you are writing a dating sales letter) be sure to look at similar markets for ideas for headlines, layout, BIG IDEAS, product ideas, offers, guarantees, etc.

    FOR EXAMPLE:

    You really CAN use a weight loss copy headline and change it around for a dating niche...IF the hook and ideas fit what the main 'grabber (hook) is you want.

    For instance...

    Let's say you like a Weight Loss Sales Letter Headline that is similar to this:

    "New Weight Loss Method Guaranteed To Lose Weight! Get Ready To Attract More Men With A Slimmer and Sexier Figure in Only 21 Days or Less".

    So you take that headline, switch some of the words around and put in your niche subject and Viola! You have a super headline which is new and exciting to split test.

    Something like this...

    "New Attraction Method Women Use For Getting A Date With Sexy Men! Read All About This Sure-Fire Flirting Tactic That Works In 5 Minutes or Less".

    See how closely this is SWIPED and yet it is NOT A WORD FOR WORD CLONE!

    You are swiping the IDEAS for the layout of the headline, switching in your own keywords and your target niche's emotions and desires and giving them a benefit and a time line (how long it will take to see results); you do all this in order to give them an idea of how long it will take for them to accomplish it.

    All that STUFF NEEDS to be in a good headline.

    Now this is just a SIMPLE AND SUPER QUICK EXAMPLE I wrote to show new copywriters how to properly swipe to give you an idea of how it is done.

    This is not a headline I would use -- it is just an example I typed out for a quick post.

    There are whole BOOKS and Copywriting programs written on "How To Ethically Swipe" so buy one of those if you want more in depth info.

    (Of course you will split test several headlines of different styles in order to find the highest converting ones...)

    Yes, that's how you swipe and it EASILY CAN be done.

    More thoughts on swiping...

    You are swiping (siphoning off) brilliant ideas, themes for the hook, (the exciting grabber to snag their attention), ideas from the subheads, and you may use ideas from the way the copy flows, the cadence, rhythum, and meter -- NOT just COPY THE WORDS AND SWITCH THINGS AROUND A LITTLE... (THAT IS PLAGERISM!)

    (**Important** If you do ILLEGALLY SWIPE stuff and it is too close a 'clone' (like many of the people who want to 'clone' a competitor's website) well then... DON'T be too surprised when you receive a little piece of 'legalize in your mail box' that says...

    'CEASE AND DESIST WITH A TAKE DOWN DEMAND NOTICE' -- AND THAT COMES WITH A BIG FAT FINE!

    Don't let yourself think that won't happen.

    Because if you UNETHICALLY SWIPE copy another copywriter wrote (and they are smart enough to use Copyscape to track illegal rip offs of their copy) A BIG MAN IN BLACK -- will come knocking on your door...

    Please swipe ethically, be a copywriter with good ethics -- and overall be safe so that BIG MAN in BLACK won't darken your door.

    Here's what's real and what I feel good copywriters need to take to heart...

    MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE:

    I don't know how many times I've when searching for information online for new data on clinical trials for a new supplement sales letter I have to write... and I find my OWN SUPPLEMENT COPY I recently wrote for a Client -- TOTALLY RIPPED OFF!

    When I DO you can be sure the client is immediately contacted and told to take appropriate measures - and THEY WILL.

    PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR COPY AND YOUR CLIENT'S COPY.

    I recommend you check out Copyscape and what it can do for your business if you are a Copywriter. (And no I am not an affiliate for Copyscape - just a smart Copywriter who protects my own business, my rep and that of my clients.)

    Copyscape can be used to report to you similar versions of your copy that are online...and then you can take appropriate action to have those illegal copies taken down.

    It can happen and it does!

    And the fines, and headaches (not to mention the flack from the bad press you get) from unethically ripping off someone else's copy can ruin a business.

    Be sure the copy you receive from the copywriters you hire (if you are a business owner) is copyscape checked too -- BEFORE YOU PAY FOR IT.

    So please swipe responsibly!

    And good luck to all in 2014!

    Jennie Heckel
    Sales Letter Copywriter
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    @Jennie Heckel

    Thanks for the interesting post. I always enjoy your info.

    You know your stuff and it's obvious by your record.

    Not surprising you're the go-to person for so many on the forum.

    Thanks again.
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    • Profile picture of the author melonsmusic
      Just wanted to say thanks to Jennie for great insight there delivered in a friendly manner. Im pretty new around here and there are a lot of moody people with huge ego's, why is that? Im sure there are people who ask the same old inane questions but everybodys gotta start somewhere, no?
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott McKinstry
    I have nothing to add, so I'll swipe what someone else said about the subject a few decades back. (From Eugene Schwartz's masterpiece Breakthrough Advertising, Chapter 5, "Summary: The Art of Creative Planning", pp.59-61, 2004 Boardroom edition. Note: bracketed comments in italics are my commentary, not from the original.)

    Something should be said here about the various approaches copy writers use to dig up a new headline. As far as I can tell, there are three of them:
    The first, the shallowest, and the most widespread and ineffective, is the Word-Substitute Technique. Here the copy writer consults a list of proven and successful headlines. He then pulls out the original product name and substitutes his own; or his own product's performance, etc. he usually comes up with something like this:
    "I'D WALK A MILE FOR A CUP OF BLANK COFFEE!" [Direct "swipe" of Camel's long-running "I'd walk a mile for a camel" headline]
    ...
    If these ads are copied from a similar product, in the same market, at the same time, then their chance of success is good - especially if they embellish the promise in any way. But if the product, or the market, or the timing is different, then the chances of success diminish proportionately. They become Echo Ads - ads that remind people of some other product ... They are the kind of ads that clients write, rather than copy writers.
    ...
    The second, deeper and more difficult approach is through formulas. Here the copy writer has memorized a list of rules or principles, and tries to pour his headline into them like he'd pour hot lead into a mold. [for example: "Give your headline a 'news' appeal by using words like 'new', 'announcing', and 'introducing.']
    ...
    But the idea for an ad or a headline demands its own shape. It cannot be fitted into someone else's solution. The problem defies a formula. And the third, analytical approach that we have outlined above - with no answers; only guide-posts and questions - offers the only way. [Here Schwartz refers to the first three chapters of Breakthrough Advertising, in which he discusses how to probe your product and its unique market (including the market's awareness of your product and your competitors' products) so you know where your headline should start.]
    This is a hard fact to accept. It means that a solution which has cost you days and weeks of painful effort, and which has done its job perfectly - can be used only once.
    ...
    Copying can be done by any cub. All this process does is bring talent down to the level of file-cabinet mediocrity. The true copy writer must argue with success - he must push on past it every time he faces a new product. In advertising, as well as in science and in art, the solution to the unique lies only in itself.
    What's great about Schwartz's analysis is that it explains why some copy swipes are effective ... and some aren't.

    But even when direct swiping can be effective, you get the sense that Schwartz wrinkles his nose at the smell of it -- because of the way he viewed his profession: as an art and a science, with creativity at its core.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    Some of you just-don't-get-it. I'm not advocating swiping. I'm saying find-your-own-voice. Any idiot can change a word or two... or rearrange a sentence - a headline. That's easy. But that's the Lazy Man's Way of Copywriting.

    What I'm suggesting is that you write from the heart - forget what the other chumps are doing. Write like you're talking to your best mate/buddy.

    Would you say "New Attraction Method Women Use For Getting A Date With Sexy Men! Read All About This Sure-Fire Flirting Tactic That Works In 5 Minutes or Less".

    I think not.

    But you might say "Check this out. You think YOUR flirting gets results? Ha-ha-ha. This bitch has it down. Have a look at this. Respect."
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