How To Build Your Ultimate Advertising Swipe File

By Ross Goldberg |

Jul 31
Swipe File

Going into advertising blind is a worse mistake than waving a stack of $100 bills around in a strip club.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, advertising is basically gambling.  If you get lucky, you might make some money.

Since advertising has been around for a few hundred years, there is plenty of information out there to help you get the kind of results you need.

The single best thing you can do as a marketer is build up a “swipe file” of ads that caught your attention.

While great sales copy is worth adding to a swipe file, what we’re looking for here are specifically advertisements.  The more great ads you have access to, the easier it will be to find inspiration for your own.

Tools Of The Swipe File Master

A word processor – If your ad is text based, you can simply copy and paste it into a document.

A scree capture tool – Again, what you use doesn’t matter as long as it captures what you have on your screen.  Jing is free and easy to use, but feel free to use any tool you have.

The right interests – If you aren’t already doing it, find a few pages on Facebook, Tweeters on Twitter, Pinners on Pinterest, and Insta users on Instagram that are in your market.  This tells that social network that you’re interested in your topic and should have them showing you ads that you can swipe.

Last but not least, the camera on your phone can be useful, too.

What To Watch For

While you’re going to want to watch your market, you should pay attention to any ads that catch your eye, make you want to buy something, or steps outside of what you might normally see.

  • What makes you want to buy?
  • What grabs your attention and refuses to let go?
  • What do you think your audience will respond to?

Don’t be picky, grab it!  If you see something that may help you in the future, use whatever you’ve got Ad exampleand save it.

If you’re at your computer, either copy and paste it into a document or use Jing to take a screen grab of it.

If you’re on your phone, do a screen capture to save it.  Email it to yourself.

If you’re out and about, use the camera on your phone to save it.  Email it to yourself.

Even if you don’t end up using it later, it’s better to grab too many ads than to let a good one pass you by.

You’re a marketer and the more weapons you have in your arsenal, the better you’re going to market your products and services.

How To Organize It All

Obviously you’re going to want to cater to the way you organize things.  Whether you do this in folders or organize your swipes in a single document is up to you.

Here is how I separate my swipe file:

Headlines – Generally, I’ll just copy and paste headlines into the same document.  It’s called Headlines…

Banners – For this one, I’ll either save the image or do a screen grab.  They all go into their own folder.

Ads – I almost always do a screen capture of ads.  Usually, there are multiple pieces (headline, picture, body, etc…).  I have them in their own folder.

Emails – These are kept in a single document.  I copy and paste the email and the subject line.  Then, I post the date that I grabbed them.  Something that worked 5 years ago may not work today, but that doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be worth testing.

Sales Letters – Yes, entire sales letters.  For this, I try to save the entire page.  Your browser should have a “save page as” option under your file menu.  If not, you can screen grab individual screens.  It’s a pain in the butt, but a great sales letter is worth the trouble.

How it’s organized doesn’t really matter as long as you can navigate the file and get to what you need quickly.

How To Put It To Work

Once you have some files together, you’re going to want to use them.

ShortcutEvery shortcut that works is worth using, right?

The key with a swipe file is not to steal.  It’s to model.

Pay attention to the structure of an ad, email or sales letter.  Name the pieces and use those names to help you figure out what to put in their place to sell your own stuff.

The alternative way to use it is to “fill in the blanks”.

Remove key terms that relayed what their product is and replace it with one that accurately describes yours.

The Ultimate Shortcut?

You should have a swipe file if you want to sell more of what you sell.

Yet, there is an easy way to get the traffic you need.

To order traffic from us at TrafficForMe, all you have to do is select your market and give us your landing page.  We make it really easy.


About the Author

Ross is a best-selling author and world renowned traffic expert with a focus on helping you find your customers and reach them by being everywhere they're looking. With more than a decade of experience selling online, Ross is going to help you reach more people, faster.

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