When it comes to creating marketing copy, you don’t have to start from scratch.
You can find inspiration from your own past marketing efforts.
And you can borrow ideas from others.
The most common method is by creating a swipe file.
Let me give you a simple example. Have you ever been to a trade show, gotten a bag and then filled it with marketing collateral such as flyers, postcards and forms?
Well, that is a good start for a swipe file. You can take all of the postcards you picked up and put them in a manila folder. That is a swipe file.
How to Use a Swipe File
Let’s say you want to create a postcard. Pull out your swipe file. Take out all of the postcards you have collected over the years and lay them out. Then, look at the designs and look at the copy. Pick a few you like and put the rest away. Now, with the remaining postcards in front of you, take a blank sheet of paper and start sketching out a design for your postcard.
Remember to design both the front and back of the postcard.
Instead of starting with a blank page, you can draw inspiration from the designs of others.
This is a great technique to get a marketing project started.
Let Swipe Files Inspire You
A good marketing project is an iterative effort. In other words, it may take a few revisions before you get exactly what you want. If you are working with a graphic designer, be sure to share your design as well as the swipe examples for inspiration. Tell them what you like about each.
Once you have the first design done, you can make more edits.
You can create swipe files for:
- Website designs
- Email copy
- Direct mail sales letters
- Newspaper ads
- Magazine ads
- Website banner ads
- Facebook ads
- LinkedIn ads
- Twitter ads
- Google Adwords
- Lead Capture Pages
- Online Sales Pages
- Opt in forms
Remember to save samples of your own work. That can be added to your swipe file too.
You can create swipe files by:
- Adding physical samples
- Printing hardcopy
- Saving files to pdf
- Copy and paste text into a notepad file
Tips to Use Swipe Files
A swipe file can take on many forms depending on what you are using.
You might be interested in the design or the copy (words).
You can also save links to web pages to use for swipe copy. Just be aware that the web page might disappear one day. That’s why I prefer to save to pdf. You will likely lose some of the formatting but at least you will have the web copy.
Now keep in mind I am not suggesting that you plagiarize someone else’s copy.
I am suggesting that you analyze the format and design to inspire your own work.
I am suggesting that you look at the length of the copy, keywords and structure of the words for inspiration.
Swipe files give you a jumping off point.
Getting Started with Swipe Files
What kind of swipe files should you create? It depends on what projects you plan to work over the next few months or next few years.
Just get started in collecting samples both online and offline.
Then, whenever you start a new marketing project, pull out your swipe file and get started.
What is the next marketing project you plan to work on?
Why not take 15 minutes to start a swipe file now?
Please comment below to let me know what kind of swipe file you want to create.
Online Marketing and Social Media Trainer