A swipe file can be a lifesaver to copywriters.
Some days we just don’t feel ‘it’. Yes, even copywriters are human.
I don’t want to call it “copywriter’s block”, but sometimes our senses are dull and we can’t come up with that snappy headline phrase, or strong closing ‘call to action’.
As with many other types of writing jobs, copywriters need inspiration to make our words magically dance on the page which is where swipe files can provide us with the inspiration we need.
What is a swipe file?
A swipe file is a collection of appealing copywriting or advertising pieces that you keep ion file for reference at a later time.
Your swipe file can be made up of online ads you see (sales letters/emails) and offline (direct mail pieces like letters/postcards).
Online, I have a folder in my bookmarks (favorites) called “Copywriting Swipefile“) where I save each sales letter that catches my attention and one I feel I could use later for inspiration.
I can access my swipe file from the top of my browser so it really is ‘inspiration from above’.
So when I’m having one of those days where my brain activity is as low as the tide at dusk, I take a look at my collection of sample copywriting pieces for some ideas in my own work.
After all, if the copy in your swipe file intrigues you, it will most likely intrigue other readers, so not using it and borrowing some of it’s strength would be foolish.
*NOTE: Copying an ad word-for-word is a copyright offense. You must not use the exact wording for your copywriting but it is perfectly fine to use it for ideas. Mix the words around, copy the layout, capture the tone of wording.
Your swipefile can be a goldmine so start building it and treasure it like it is gold.
We know that split testing is the best way to refine our sales copy to find the best converting letter.
But what are the things we need to split test on our sales letters?
If you really wanted to, you could go on split testing every element of a sales letter forever.
It depends on how far you want to take it, but for the sake of time and energy, let’s take a look at some of the most common areas of a sales letter that are split tested:
Headlines – wording, color, font, size/length.
Video/audio – compare results with and without.
Testimonials – with or without, many or few.
Graphics – with header graphic, without header.
Bonuses – with or without, many or few
Price – some people prefer the magic “7” i.e. $17, $47 or the .95c option i.e. $19.95 $49.95
How many different versions of each you want to split test is up to you. Some marketers have experienced drastic results with just testing different headlines.
Most good website/affiliate scripts allow you to split test sales letters. If not, there are some stand alone split testing scripts and software available.
Some split testing software is cheap and some are expensive. But it’s a good idea to use split testing so you can constantly track and improve your sales letters’ conversion rates.
You’ll be leaving a lot of money on the table if you don’t.
It’s a well known fact about human nature that we don’t want to be left out or miss out on an opportunity.
That’s where scarcity in your offer can pay off to increase sales conversions and opt-ins rates etc.
In direct marketing and copy writing, there is no more powerful way to get prospects to buy now than to use scarcity.
Of course your offer has to have the right mix of desire, value and other key factors to get sales, but putting a cap on your offer can add that extra motivation to double or even triple sales.
Some examples of ways to use scarcity in your copy to increase conversions:
- Limited time discount offer
- Limit on the number of sales
- Low introductory price
- Limited time bonuses
Perhaps we could call these scare tactics, because people are afraid to miss out! If they act now they can get a better deal than if they put it off…or miss out completely.
That’s the psychology behind it.
That is why “one time offers” work so well.
You offer a special deal/discount that you normally wouldn’t offer but the catchis that they have to get it now or miss out forever.
This rule of scarcity is very powerful.
But remember that you don’t want to lie about it. If you’re going to raise the price tomorrow, make sure you do it. If the same prospect comes back to your offer tomorrow and sees the same thing, they will know you are a sham!
Scarcity based sales are what keeps many businesses, offline and on, in business. Just look at all the limited sales supermarkets and other stores have in your local shopping center.
Use scarcity wisely in your copy and you will see great sales conversions.