What made you click on this article? The title? A sales secret that actually WORKS? And we claim it works EVERY time? Although you are likely at least somewhat skeptical, you really want to know. What is this secret? Here’s a hint: It’s right in front of you. And believe it or not, it just worked on YOU.
The secret in this case IS the title. It’s part of our swipe file.
What is a SWIPE FILE?
“A swipe file is a collection of tested and proven advertising and sales letters. Keeping a swipe file (templates) is a common practice used by advertising copywriters and creative directors as a ready reference of ideas for projects.”
It’s generally understood that items kept in your swipe file are tried and true headlines that you use to grab the attention of your audience.
Knowing which items to use in your swipe file isn’t rocket science especially now that this little thing called Google exists. A search of the term will supply more examples and suggestions than you can imagine. How do you know which ones will work? You try them. When one works, you use it again and again. Sure, you may tweak it some, but you’ll begin to see what type of headlines grabs your targeted audience. In our case, we often use swipe file headlines that pique interest, like the title of this article. Another go-to is a headline that makes the reader feel as though they aren’t doing something their competition is. For example, “Even if You Don’t Do This, Your Competition Will.”
So you may ask, “Isn’t this trickery?” Not at all. Because the point of the headline is just to grab attention. The world of marketing is, after all, just a battle field. Our readers (who we always hope to convert to clients) are inundated with articles and advertisements all the time. Literally. In the digital age, businesses are stepping all over each other to gain the attention of potential clients in the split second we have to do so. And if you only have a split second, you better make it count. The purpose of our chosen swipe file headlines are to make the reader feel they are missing out or behind the times if they don’t click. A swipe file headline is essentially a call-to-action (“CLICK ME!”) without coming right out and saying it. It’s an undercover CTA, if you will. Sleuth sales marketing. Gotta love it.
So What Works?
Examples of Swipe File Headlines
We’ve already established a couple effective headline tactics above, but here is a short list of others:
EXAMPLES IN ACTION
WHERE CAN I FIND MORE EXAMPLES?
As stated, Google is a tremendous resource for examples of swipe files in use. But even without explicitly searching for them, advertising headlines from swipe files are right in front of you every day. Next time you are on Facebook, pay attention to those ads on the sidebar. Many will have some headline that compels you to click to get more information. Sponsored ads on Facebook that run through your newsfeed often have prime examples, too. How many times have you passed (or clicked on) and article with some sort of bait like, “He Thought He Had A Happy Marriage Until He Came Home to This…”