Are you sick and tired of trying to come up with copy that converts?
You feel you’re banging your head against a wall.
Wouldn’t it be great if you would be able to talk in the same language of your customers?
And wouldn’t it be awesome if you could peek into their brain to see what they worry about, what they want from your solution?
Then you are right where you need to be right now. There’s actually a way, and I’m going to reveal it to you now.
By building up a solid swipe file, you can quickly
write construct copy that talks to your readers and converts them into leads and sales.
Before we start, I want to tell you what swiping copy is not: mindlessly copying someone else’s writing. We’re not talking about grabbing someone’s sales letter and calling it our own. That’s stealing.
You are going to get inspiration from other sales letter, sure. But you’ll also listen to the language your customer uses and possibly use some of their messaging. As you’ll see, swiping copy makes the process of writing a lot easier.
Are you ready? Let’s get down to business…
Always Start With Your
Trying to write persuasive copy if you don’t know who you’re selling to, is a little like playing darts with your eyes closed. You’re throwing something on your website and hope you hit the bullseye.
Some businesses have another interesting approach: every visitor is a potential client. So they write for everyone — and lose all their persuasive power in the process.
Do you think Apple writes to an audience that doesn’t love their products? No, they don’t target the Microsoft audience.
They write to the 15-20% of the people who are already interested in their products because that’s where the money is.
I’m not going to go into the nuts and bolts of defining your target audience in this article, but these 2 remarkable resources will help you out:
- How To Define Your Target Audience
- How to Write Content That Will Guarantee Results (within this fantastic article by Adrienne Smith, you’ll find a downloadable resource that will help you to define your target audience)
The Amazon Kindle Swiping Strategy
I learned this strategy from Joanna at Copy Hackers. It’s a powerful way to score some fantastic copy. You’re literally mining the minds of people who have the problems you’re solving.
How does this process work, you ask? Simple:
- Go to the Amazon Kindle store
- Find a book on a topic you’re selling
- Look for solid reviews that contain golden nuggets
That’s not hard at all, right? A 3-year old child can do this nowadays (alright then, except for his ability to judge the golden nuggets…)
Your excuse for horrible copy is about to get a lot worse, because I’m about to show you how to write copy, without actually….ya know, write.
Time for an example, don’t you think?
Selling a self-help book on creativity
Let’s just imagine you and I have just written a book on how to use your creative mind. We plan to make a bunch of money of it. How? By selling boatloads of copies, of course.
But what do people who want to learn about creativity expect to learn? What are their underlying reasons for wanting to get better at using their creative mind? It’s questions like these we’re about to find answers to, my friend.
So we just go to the Amazon Store and type in “creativity”.
This is the first book we come across:
81 reviews with an average of 4 stars. Not bad, eh? Let’s see if we can find some gold nuggets…
This is the first result, and a “Top Costumer Review” on Amazon…
First impression: a lot of information, but from a swiping perspective, this is a crappy review. We don’t get to hear interesting things this person has learned from this, or what kind of challenges this person was facing.
There’s a lesson here: not every review will be swipe-worthy. Be selective. We’re looking for humans sharing their perspective, letting us in on their challenges, what they did to overcome them, why it matters so much…
Trust me, you’ll never have to look very far to find something insightful on Amazon, once you can recognize the information that gets to their why.
Look for sentences like these:
- I bought this book because…
- This book helps me…
- …is important to me.
- I wanted to learn…
- If you are looking for…
- If you are interested in…
Take a look at this example:
This is a very short review, but it does give us some insightful information. We could use these statements as questions, to grab the attention in your copy.
Is creativity important to you?
Do you want to understand what creative people are like? Do you want to know how to be creative, and discover the source of creativity? Then read on…
See? We are already on to something!
Here’s some more insightful information, although I wouldn’t recommend swiping the title of the review. 😉
The example below is what us marketers drool. There’s so much juicy information we can extract from this review that it’s almost a crime to use, at least, some of it.
This person gave us real insight into the way his mind operates. How wonderful is that? Not only did he like the book, he learned more about how and why he thinks the way he does….
How could we use some of this information in our copy? Here are some examples:
If you want to discover how the creative process works in easy to understand terms, then you’ll like this book…
Are you someone who is inclined towards creative solutions?
- Learn how representing reality through various mental images will lead you to creative solutions (even if you and others think these images are absurd or odd).
Do you see how you can leverage reviews to extract high converting copy now? Go ahead and try it out!
Save Good Emails You Come Across
You are an entrepreneur, so you’ll need to be inventive. I’m sure you are on multiple e-mail lists related to your business, am I right? I urge you to get into the habit of saving the emails that truly resonate with you.
If a successful entrepreneur in your niche is launching a course or new product, it’s also not a bad idea to save all their promotional emails for that launch. Study the structure. You’ll learn things like how the anticipation gets built up and how urgency get increased near the deadline of the launch.
One of the most prominent people in my inbox is a copywriter called Ben Settle. He continues to come up with interesting subject lines that make me want to open his emails (he sends daily emails.) Here are some examples:
- The crude difference between winners and whiners
- It’s not his fault he’s stoopid
- Manipulation mind tricks I use on my best friends
- How to pick the perfect coach for dat azz
Now, these emails are not something a big corporation would send you. Agree? But they do have some very
But I almost always open his emails because they stop me dead in my tracks when scanning my emails.
Take a look at some of Neville Medhora’s email subject lines.
Here’s a secret about people: at any moment of the day, we crave mental engagement. We want to be so engaged in something, anything, that we forget time. Like I am right now, muting the world because I am so engaged in writing this.
This is why we love movies and TV shows. It’s why a lot of people compulsively check social media even though there’s nothing urgent going on.
So write your emails with this need for mental engagement in mind. Second, have the mindset of writing to a friend. And last, sign up for some e-mail lists in your niche to get an inside look into their promotional emails and product launch sequences.
Remember to save good emails to your swipe file, because that will become your secret weapon when you need the inspiration…
The One Secret Copywriters
Use To Dramatically Increase Their Copywriting Skills
Disclaimer: if you have no interest in increasing your selling skills whatsoever, but just wanna take the lazy route…you might want to skip this. If you are willing to take the effort, invest the time and endure the hand cramps to seriously increase your writing skills…this is definitely for you.
So, what is it? It’s not a shiny object or a secret formula that will instantly 10X your copy.
As a matter of fact, it’s actually one of the most old-fashioned ways to learn the skill of copywriting…
You sit on your chair, grab yourself a successful sales letter from one of the best copywriters on earth — and write them out by hand.
When you do this, you internalize all the information on a deeper lever. You are forced to go a lot slower than your reading speed and might read every sentence up to 3 times while writing it down.
This was a fantastic Gary Halbert advertisement on weight loss. It was a so-called “blind sell” — which means the advertisement does not reveal what is in the product. Gary’s storytelling skills created a powerful curiosity that made me want to know the secret, and I don’t even have weight problems!
If you also want to swipe one of Gary’s sales letters (known as THE best copywriter), you can find 21 of them here.
However, you might benefit a lot more from picking an online sales letter from products in your niche. Write them word for word and you’ll get a powerful feel for writing persuasive copy (in a good way….)
Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid To Be Persuasive
Something a lot of small companies do wrong (and some of you big ones, too) is trying to please everyone. Their copy ends up being so timid that it almost fades into the background. You don’t have to follow their path. When you take these methods to find out what your customers problems and desires are, you can powerfully relate it back to them.
Persuasiveness isn’t icky, even though some people claim they hate persuasion. But then, when it’s time to decide what’s for dinner, they might persuade their partner to go to a restaurant they like by asking them “if we were to eat at [favorite restaurant], what would you have?”…
Persuasion is knowing exactly what a person wants, relating to them, telling them stories, getting them to feel what it’s like if they lost those 35 pounds, how much energy they would have, or what it would mean for them to be able to play with their grandchildren.
When you solve a problem, it’s your obligation to tell it to the world in a way that relates to them. If you ask me, I’m much rather persuaded than blatantly sold to.
Consider these headlines:
CHECK OUT MY PRODUCT ON WEIGHT LOSS!
Do You Remember What It’s Like To Feel Fit and Energetic?
I would say that the persuasive headline is a lot more human and in touch with the person they’re helping….don’t you think?
As you can see, the best messages do not come from your mind. Take a deep breath of relief, and acknowledge the fact that you do not have to create successful copy out of thin air. With the power of the internet and these tactics, now you can, too, create copy that is more effective than that of most online businesses.
Are you excited and planning to use these techniques, or have you used them before? I’d love to know your thoughts below in the comments section!