20 replies
Most marketers think of the swipe file as a copywriter's tool... a place to keep samples of good copy to browse when inspiration runs low.

Think bigger. Much bigger.

The concept of the swipe file is brilliant and can be applied to so much more than copywriting...

I've got swipe file folders for everything from good copy to compelling design ideas to smart conversion models and business processes.

I have a master folder called "Swipe Files", and inside that, I have sub-folders for all the categories of "stuff" I like to keep for reference.

Here's a sample list of "swipeable" content*:

- Buy Buttons
- Product Covers
- Email - Subject Lines
- Email - Copy
- Web Graphics
- Logo Designs
- Squeeze Pages
- Conversion Models - OTOs
- Conversion Models - Upsells
- Conversion Models - Downsells
- Conversion Models - Back End
- Quotes
- Sales Funnels
- WP Themes
- Product Names
- Please Confirm Pages
- Thank You / Download Pages
- Branded Sites
- Etc.

Then, when I come across an eye-grabbing email subject line, a smokin' product cover, or an upsell process I haven't seen before...

I just copy it to the relevant folder.

For images, I copy and paste in the image file. For most everything else, I either take a screenshot, or I paste the URL with notes into a text file.

I've been doing this for over a year now, and it makes a HUGE difference in the quality of my marketing.

[* PLEASE REMEMBER that swipe files are meant to kick-start your OWN creative work and are NOT an excuse to plagiarize or transgress copyrights and trademarks.]

Bottom line, if you don't already have this kind of swipe file, you should start one today. You'll thank me later!

-Bryan
#bigger #file #nana #steal #swipe
  • Profile picture of the author Gary McCaffrey
    Yea I have swipes of many of the things you listed. I've often fired up ScreenFlow before making a purchase to record the entire process.

    I should really be as organized as you are about it though, I try to be but swipes always end up all over the place.
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    • Profile picture of the author dannyadams
      Banned
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      • Profile picture of the author BrittyBritt
        This is a great idea. Sometimes I'll have "designer's block" and will browse different sites to gain some inspiration. But I like the idea of just having folders and subfolders instead (If I'm understanding the concept right).

        Thanks again Bryan, going to start my swipe folder today.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexandre Valois
          @ Britt: Call me old-fashioned, but I always find it easier to keep my swipe in physical file folders. Print graphics in high-res and put them in a folder, do the same with sales letters, etc.

          When I get a creative block, I pull them out and spread them all over my place. Makes me feel like I'm 6 year old again, and usually gives me more ideas than I need.


          @ Western: I know this one is quite popular amongst copywriters:
          http://www.hardtofindads.com/home

          If not a favorite of mine (and a secret weapon I never shared before) is:
          http://www.vintageadbrowser.com/
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexandre Valois
      Originally Posted by Gary McCaffrey View Post

      Yea I have swipes of many of the things you listed. I've often fired up ScreenFlow before making a purchase to record the entire process.

      I should really be as organized as you are about it though, I try to be but swipes always end up all over the place.
      That is probably the best idea I got from the WF today. I'm kind of embarrassed I never thought of that myself...

      But yeah, back in my fashion design days we used to keep different folders of many different swipes.

      - Colors
      - Textiles
      - Cuts
      - Trends
      - Styles
      - Accessories

      So when I moved to internet marketing it's one of the first system I've put in place.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheMagicShow
    Having a swipe file makes life a lot easier and makes ya 100% more productive. No need to re-invent the wheel, all the tools and methods exist, in those swipe files already.
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    • Profile picture of the author JKing
      I have actually taken my swipe php snippets to job interviews with me to reference while be given any tests they throw at me.

      I also recommend grabbing Snippet Minder. It's a free utililty that saves all your snippets in one place for you and then lets you access all of them via the open snippets menu. Very handy. I have it open when ever I am coding. Then at the end of the day, I save the snippet file for referencing the next day or whenever I might need it again.

      Do a google search for "Snippet Minder".

      John
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      • Profile picture of the author deertrail
        This is great stuff. Glad to see I'm not the only one filling up my folders...
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        • Profile picture of the author sirtom
          This is definitely a great idea. My own folder is relatively new, but it fills up fast.

          I'd recommend creating a new email address (solely for this) and opting into every person's list you can find in your niche. Every day, you're going to get around 100+ emails, so stay on top of it lol.

          What I do is scan through them all each day and notate the headlines that make me open them. Everyone is trying to get you to open their email knowing you probably get massive amounts each day, and if that worked ON you, it can definitely work FOR you. So, I swipe those headlines for my file
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  • Thank you deertrail, very helpful tips

    I used to bookmark all of the sites that I found interesting on the net and later organize them into folders. However, I think I should expand more into images, screen captures and so on, not just links
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  • Profile picture of the author TheNightOwl
    If you have Microsoft Office suite on your machine, then crack open OneNote. It's a program that lots of people seem to leave lying around dormant for some reason.

    But it is absolutely killer for all kinds of things, including this.

    It has a simple little "clip" tool (much like SnagIt) built in and autosaves your work. You can organise Notebooks with all different kinds of tabs and subcategories.

    And all sorts of other cool stuff.

    It's not hard to learn how to use and once you start using it, you'll see exactly how powerful it is. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (especially if you already have it just sitting there doing nothing)!

    P.S. @OP... nice list, btw!

    @Gary McCaffrey... very nice idea, too! Particularly from marketers whom you know love a bit of the ole upsell, downsell, cross-sell-o-rama.
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  • Profile picture of the author michael_dans
    Originally Posted by JoesMillion View Post

    I have two 1TB drives of video I've done and photos I took.
    Its good but what he is saying is also informative and useful, swipe files are really a handy tool for such backups.
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesM
    I bookmark loads of sites, but actual screens would be sooo much more useful. My only challenge now is finding a way to sync such a collection across different PCs, as most of the stuff I currently bookmark I find while at my day job.

    Any suggestions?
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    • Profile picture of the author deertrail
      Originally Posted by JamesM View Post

      I bookmark loads of sites, but actual screens would be sooo much more useful. My only challenge now is finding a way to sync such a collection across different PCs, as most of the stuff I currently bookmark I find while at my day job.

      Any suggestions?
      I've heard good things about dropbox, but no personal experience. Here's the link: Dropbox - Home - Online backup, file sync and sharing made easy.
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  • Profile picture of the author socialbookmark
    I have about 200,000 files in my PC and i can not orgnize them at all. I have some desktop search tools too in my PC but still they can not help me.
    Any one has a goos suggestion for me?
    I have about 15,000 files in each folder on my PC and each files is related to something.
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    • Profile picture of the author Blogmudgeon
      Originally Posted by socialbookmark View Post

      I have about 200,000 files in my PC and i can not orgnize them at all. I have some desktop search tools too in my PC but still they can not help me.
      Any one has a goos suggestion for me?
      I have about 15,000 files in each folder on my PC and each files is related to something.
      It's time you invested in a database to catalog your new entries...
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  • Profile picture of the author oneplusone
    My best swipe files are actually my own material.

    If some copy for example works in one market, it often works in another market.

    So I always keep all my work in swipe files, along with the conversion rates etc
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  • Profile picture of the author sparrow
    Is screen flow similar to camtasia?

    I use duck capture to scroll long sales pages as a image, this works well for me

    Ed
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  • Does anyone know of a website that aggregates or links to great marketing content. A swipefile.com kind of site?
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  • Profile picture of the author kevinw1
    Evernote is good for clipping, saving URLs and screenshots, tagging and filing them with your own notes, etc. Basic version is free. Windows, Mac, iPhone etc versions: syncs across all of them.
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  • Profile picture of the author dk1
    i agree with the op
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    Investing in document management services is a smart move for any type of business. It ensures that documents are handled in the correct manner and that your documents will be safe when using certain document destruction services, like secure destruction.

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