Swipe files are all the rage among copywriters and direct response marketers. The question is, how do you go about building one?
I mean, not every letter is a winner. So how do you separate the winners from the losers… and put together an enviable collection of tried, true, and proven direct mail letters?
That is the question, and I’m going to answer it here.
But first, I’m going to tell you right off the bat, never swipe a letter that’s been used in a product launch. My good friend Ben Settle first put this into words, and I’m in total agreement.
The reason you don’t want to do this is because the success of a launch depends on much more than the sales letter. For instance, many people are already sold on the product long before they ever get to the sales letter.
Perhaps they were sold by the free premiums they received during the pre-launch. Perhaps they were sold by the emails they got prior to launch day. Or perhaps they were sold by an affiliate’s endorsement.
Whatever the reason, you don’t know for sure if the sales letter was really doing the selling — or something else in the launch process.
And if this is not enough to persuade you, consider the words of Jeff Walker, the man who invented Product Launch Formula in the first place.
He says the goal of every launch is to make the sales letter irrelevant. He wants people mentally committed to buying long before they reach the sales letter.
The bottom line is this: Sales letters that are used during a launch are not necessarily good sales letters to study. And you should probably avoid swiping them altogether.
Which brings me to the main point of this post: how to build a swipe file of profitable direct mail letters…