One of my favorite lines about swipe files comes from the great Dan Kennedy.
In his 7-Figure Academy course, he said:
If you use swipe files, that is fine, but don’t delude yourself into thinking you have any kind of mastery of copywriting if you have to use one.
See some copywriter ex-spurt blatantly swiping?
Especially large swaths of copy?
They’re straight-up amateurs.
And this is even more true with email.
In fact, one of the most foolish things anyone can do is “swipe” email copy. Not only because it’s illegal and plagiarism. But, also, because the best emails are heavily personality-based. You cannot “swipe” a personality. You can try, of course. And many dummies do just that with my emails all the time, despite me warning them of this very thing, and how it’s going to destroy their relationship with their lists. This was especially rampant with people on Twitter, from what I remember when I was on there.
On that note, some words of wisdom on swiping.
Not my words, but an A-list copywriter you may never heard of.
His name is Doug D’Anna.
And, here’s what this great man of copywriting told me over 10 years ago:
“When I first started out I had a swipe file too. You know what the first thing I discovered was when I realized who Gary Bencivenga was and the game I was in? I threw everybody else’s piece away. Why would I do that? Because I might have been thinking that I was swiping something that was good or using a model that was a winner when it wasn’t. That was the first thing. You need to have control pieces in your swipe file. But, you’ve got to remember that control piece worked for that piece at that time in that market in that environment. So it’s really more of a case study to look at.”
That advice has been worth everything to me over the years.
And, may it be just as valuable to you, too…
Speaking of A-list copywriters:
The January “Email Players” issue has many examples from A-list copywriters, and how I have “adapted” their genius to my own emails — without copy & pasting, plagiarizing, or compromising my personality in my copy.
The deadline to get it is in 5 short days.
Here’s the link: