Ben Settle

  • Book & Tabloid Newsletter Publisher
  • Email Supremacist
  • Alt-Copywriter
  • Software Investor
  • Pulp Novelist

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Your Daily Email Addiction

File under: Copywriting & Sales Letters, Email Marketing

Behold an email I got not long ago:

For someone reason, I’m blacklisted from your emails

I’ve tried to opt into your list multiple times and with different emails. Each time I get the welcome email but not your broadcasts (weird I know).

My coach and mentor says I need to get onto your list ASAP to learn from ya.

Hope you can help me out.

My response?


And the reason why is because of the email addresses he was using. For the last several years, I’ve instituted a policy for new website subscribers where whenever someone with an email address containing the word “swipe”, or “swipes” or anything related to that subscribes… I delete ’em on sight.


Because they’re most likely clueless.

And almost certainly subscribing for the wrong reasons.

Yes, I used to be a big fan of swiping, too.

But when I started doing copywriting assignments in the really competitive markets, I discovered I could only keep relying on swipe files for as long as I could afford to lose. And these One Swipe Suzies who can’t think or problem solve, and who infest the online marketing world are not only doing themselves a disservice, but they make for terrible customers for Yours Unruly, too.

I’m not saying to not have a swipe file.

But, for emails, they are especially overrated.

And, especially stupid.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • Ad appeals that worked before for an email (or for someone’s unique personality) may not work for you
  • Sometimes ads that “killed it” (supposedly) did so only because the other ads they competed against sucked
  • Market “awareness” often changes
  • Market sophistication often changes (See Gene Schwartz’s “Breakthrough Advertising” book for more on “awareness” and “sophistication”)
  • Possible copyright infringement
  • You simply cannot “swipe” a personality — and the best emails are heavily personality-based

Again, I’m not anti-swipe file.

I’m just anti swiping the way a lot of internet marketers and copywriters do it. Swipe files are great for idea generation, inspiration, and templates for headlines, opening paragraphs, bullets, etc.

But the ways most do it?

Stoopid on a stick.

Especially with emails, where it’s the mark of a loser to swipe them.

So that’s that.

A few of these idiots who put the word “swipe” in their emails slip through.

But I catch most of ‘em.

And am always on the lookout for any I missed.

All right, on to the business:

As far as people obsessed with swipe files go, I highly advise against those types being in my World at al. But this goes quadruple for the November “Email Players” issue which is about copywriting mastery, and will go completely over the head of anyone relying upon, looking for, or bragging about their swipe files. If that’s you, realize you are the opposite of the kind of customer this issue is intended for.

It ain’t personal.

It’s simply how it is.

On the other hand, if you want to work hard, and if you are the type to embrace hard work, then I believe this issue’ll probably be right up your alley.

To subscribe in time before I send it to the printer, go here:

Ben Settle

  • Book & Tabloid Newsletter Publisher
  • Email Supremacist
  • Alt-Copywriter
  • Software Investor
  • Pulp Novelist

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