Your Best Source For Email Marketing Brilliance

Here’s a professional secret: All the best copywriters cheat. Sort

Here’s a professional secret: All the best copywriters cheat. Sort of.

They look at what other writers and marketers have done well and swipe their ideas for future inspiration. They save ad copy and headlines that work to adapt them later for their own projects. It’s called a swipe file, and you can build one with your own brilliant ideas from your email marketing campaign.

Admit it: You’re good and you know it. Filling a swipe file with your best emails can give you an ego boost, but even more than that it provides a well of inspiration to draw from flowing with successful subject lines, content and calls to action that have resonated with your own subscribers.

Let’s talk about how to get started.

Save Your Best Work

Start stealing your own best work by signing up to your list collect and save the autoresponders and broadcast messages you receive. Create a separate folder in your email client for your messages that get the best response rates as you track your campaign.

To start building your file, you need to start tracking your emails’ performance. You can find information on open rates and click throughs under the “Messages” tab in your AWeber account. Log in, click on “Broadcasts” under “Messages,” and scroll down to the “Sent Broadcasts” table to see how your messages have performed.

As your broadcast messages hit your inbox, use this page to note which messages get the best responses. Click on the subject lines to dig deeper into open rates, clicks, sales stats and more on the QuickStats page. The additional insights can help you organize your swipe file by the most effective subject lines, calls to action and content.

Keep in mind that your swipe file is for saving your future awesome emails. Already have some messages that have out-performed the rest before you joined your own list? You can copy these messages and send a test to your email address to add them to your inbox folder. Just make sure to delete the copy from your AWeber account once you’ve saved the message to your swipe file.

Now it’s time to get organizing.

Make it Easy to Find

This post recommends organizing your swipe file for easy reference.

As you note emails with high open rates, the most click throughs and the best sales or feedback, organize them into separate inspiration folders within your swipe file. Designate folders for subject lines, calls to action and content that you can swipe when you need a surefire formula to get your subscribers clicking and buying.

Once you’re organized, it’s time to start mining for content to break through a creative block or elicit that perfect response.

Use Your Swipe File to Beat the System

Now you can cheat like the best copywriters do by mining for content in your swipe file the next time you’re feeling stuck. Beat the creative block system by referring back to your brilliant past.

  • When copywriters need a compelling headline, they draw from formulas that have already found wild success. When you need an irresistible subject line for your limited-time sale or big announcement, browse through the record of your own success for phrasing and structure that generated lots of opens in the past.
  • If you need to get your subscribers clicking through to your site, draw from calls to action in messages with a high click through rate. Use similar design, wording and placement as your previous top performing emails to build the response you’re looking for.
  • For killer content, look back at newsletter articles that inspired a lot of feedback or discussion from your subscribers. Use the same kind of format or write on a similar topic to keep your subscribers engaged.

Final Thoughts

Your best work can also be your best inspiration. Taking cues from other email marketers always helps, but nothing resonates with your subscribers more than your own material that got them responding in the past.

Have you used your own best emails as inspiration for great subject lines or content ideas? How has it helped to make your campaign successful?


  1. Randolph Roberts

    8/24/2011 9:38 am

    you’ve made my day with those ideas
    my eyes are definately open and I am going to contribute so other can learn from my writings

  2. The Email Content Hiding in Plain Sight

    10/12/2011 8:17 am

    […] your own office (or storefront). We talked earlier about saving your own best subject lines in an email swipe file for future […]