Have you ever been writing sales copy and hit the proverbial wall for ideas and felt that no matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t think of the right word or hook to capture your audience?
Have you been developing your writing style and looking for ways to further develop it and take it to the next level?
In either of these scenarios, a good copywriting swipe file is the perfect solution. In this article, I share with you some tips to use them efficiently from my experience as website copywriter.
Copywriting swipe files sound amazing, right? But the question is, how do we use them?
In order to understand how to use copywriting swipe files, let’s talk about what they are and how they work.
Copywriting swipe files allow the writer to swipe and mimic certain aspects of the copywriting work of others, while ideally, making it their own. Besides helping you overcome writers block, copywriting swipe files can also help you improve your writing skills and make you a better writer. They can also improve the value of your content to your target customer and increase your closing of sales.
Files could be created by saving pages of material you find interesting or that caught your attention by someone else. These could be full ads, pages, words, phrases, hooks, headlines, etc. It is easiest if you can categorize these in a way that makes sense for you so that you can go back and review them anytime you need.
While there are many different ways to create and use swipe files, one of the most effective ways is to use a program like Evernote.
Evernote allows you to compile collections of files in notebooks and works best by using tags and names of writers to help you create files that are easy to review. Another option is creating a file folder on your computer desktop and saving screenshots and files of your favorite copy for further review.
Once you have compiled some copy written by others that interests you, and you are ready to start writing your own copy, think about the style that will fit your audience best.
Think of the demographic of the potential customers that will be reading your copy. You want to “speak their language” and use copy that fits with the way they communicate. Age, sex, ethnicity, location, socioeconomic background and education are all factors to consider.
Another important factor to consider in terms of your style is the buying temperature of these potential customers. Are these customers cold, warm, or hot? Try to find power words in swipe files that match the style and buying temperature to match your potential customer.
Now that you have established the style you are looking to emulate, and the language and buying temperature of your customer, the next thing to look for in your copywriting swipe file is a great headline that will speak to your consumer. Look at other headlines that grab your attention and think if it would potentially grab the attention of your target customer and arouse their curiosity.
Great! You have your style, language, keywords, and headline. The next thing to look at in your copywriting swipe file is the structure of the copy you are using for inspiration. Notice how they detail the product, how they demonstrate the benefits of the product, how they put forth the offer in an appealing way, blow through all potential objections, and build credibility in the product. Most importantly, look at the structure in which they close the sale.
Compare and contrast a few different files and the structure of each one of the above elements. I guarantee you will see similarities and slight differences in each and every one. Look at the how the writer “hooks” the reader. Find ways to incorporate these hooks while making them your own.
You’ve started strong and hooked your customer, now it’s time to look at your swipe files for great closing paragraphs to close the sale. Look at words, phrases, and structure to help you see the best way you can incorporate these strong final paragraphs into sealing the deal and ensuring your copy is irresistible to your target customer.
If you’ve looked at several swipe files and are still feeling stuck, here are a few other tips:
Look inside your own industry, at the copy of your direct competitors. But do not be afraid to take a chance and use copywriting swipe files from outside your industry! Taking a chance and trying something new may ignite your consumer base and result in massive success!
Take words and structure from swipe files here and there, but don’t copy-cat. One person can take inspiration from the work of another, and mold it to their own product, creating their own authentic copy that resonates with their audience. Your copy works best if your customer feels like you are speaking directly to them.
Anytime there is a massive news story that relates to your target customer, something that has affected the lives of many people in countries all over the world, this is an enormous opportunity to find excellent copy to add to your swipe file that you can use, as many companies are doing specials and writing excellent copy that could be imitated and use in almost any industry effectively. The key is that you are using the news to relate directly to your target customer.
Following these guidelines and tips should allow you to unleash the power of the copywriting swipe file on your customer base. If done right, you could and should see results in customer response and close rate. Just remember, once you have compiled your copywriting swipe file, to take the words, structure, headlines and all other aspects and make them your own. Doing it your way and writing in your authentic voice will guarantee you the most success.