Sunday, September 12, 2004

Swipe Files

Swipe Files: every smart marketer uses them, whether it's for copywriting, subject lines, writing ads... or even Adwords. Basically, it is a collection of materials that you can refer back to for inspiration and great ideas - and to help you emulate the success of others who have gone before you.

Most people will grab up famous sales letters, or pick apart emails of the "master list builders" or even analyze their competition. All good methods. However, I have a unique advantage... as I *am* my target market. I'm constantly learning new marketing strategies, growing my business to the next level, testing out various methods of building traffic and building lists, etc. I then simply pass on what I learn and find through my newsletter and forum.

From this perspective, I am able to study the "buying habits" of my target market - very closely. For example, if I buy and use a certain product... I can pretty much count on it being of interest to my subscribers or website visitors. If something 'turns me off', it's a definite no-go. Sure there are varying degrees of experience and individuality to consider, but as a whole and in general - this is what tends to work best.

So, for my own personal Swipe File, it would make sense to look specifically at the products/services I've purchased online - and analyze those ads, ezines and sales letters to determine what it was that made me ORDER. And equally important, to take a second look at the offers I have passed up, and determine why it is that I was not interested enough to buy.

Interesting, too, would be to look back on the ezines/newsletters I've subscribed to. Anymore, my Inbox is prime real estate... so those emails that I do request, I've requested for a reason. Perhaps there is something there to learn on what makes people join a list (willingly, without being coerced in any way).

How about: Why did I sign up for that affiliate program? Why did I download this free ebook? What compelled me to advertise with this site over that one? Why did I join this forum, or why do I participate more on certain forums than others? There is no end to the useful information to be gathered, here!

Emotions, associations, logic - lots of things to analyze. For example, I signed up for Frank Garon's newsletter on a personal recommendation from a friend. I read the first few issues, and then filtered it out into a file after that (which I rarely look at). That said, I have taken a recent interest in him again, as he is the one that pointed me to Order Button Triggers and because he is speaking with Ken McCarthy right now - but both of those came to my attention through someone else's list. And... it's more of a 'guarded interest' - as I am wary of "hype & sales" associated with his name. Then there's Rosalind Gardner. I loved The Super Affiliate Handbook, and still refer to it from time to time. In the beginning, I was reading her every email from top to bottom. But then - it ended up filtered just like Mr Garon's. Why? She mentioned Corey Rudl one too many times for my taste. I used to be a HUGE fan of Corey's - - until he turned from "great info" to "buy buy buy!!" (and products I felt were a scam, at that).

So you see? These are interesting points! Especially for any online marketer that is interested in building their list... and building a solid relationship with their readers.

What about the emails that I DO read? The ones that I drop everything to read start-to-finish when they come in... Right now, that would be: Perry Marshall, Ken Evoy, Dr Mani, Allan Gardyne, Andre Chaperon, Becky Hagel, Michael Green, Mike Merz, Henrik Flensborg, Ken McCarthy, Brad Fallon, Mike Litman, Alice Seba, Jim Edwards, Michael Nicholas... to name a few.

There's much to analyze there: Is it because of their subject lines? Is it the information - the content? Is it because I own and use their product? Is it because I know them? It would certainly pay to sit down and do a thorough study of each of the lists I am subscribed to, and my reaction to them.

Back to Products, Sales Letters & Swipe Files - I've decided to compile a list of everything I have ordered so far this year (2004) and analyze the promotional material, the sales copy, and work on coming up with my own conclusions as to why I pulled out my credit card for certain products over others. It will become my ultimate Swipe File.