Every successful direct mail expert has one. Same with online experts who continually pull in big numbers.
What is it? The infamous 'swipe file.' Have you started yours?
Every so often, you're faced with a blank computer screen and a deadline - your ezine is due, your sales letter needs to be posted, your ad needs to be submitted.
And your mental batteries are completely dead. You're suffering from total and complete writers block. But clock keeps ticking.
This is when you turn to your trusty 'swipe' file for inspiration. For a killer headline idea or theme. For a power word or two.
Now, I'm not saying steal someone else's work, word for word. That's plagiarism, and can get you in a lot of hot water. What you use a swipe file for is inspiration - catalyst to help jump start your brain.
In offline world, for those in know, 'junk' mail is really treasure in disguise. You receive free, every day, new ideas for future pitches. Look through and pull out offers, headlines, pieces that really catch your eye, engage your emotions and make you want to buy.
Then file them away for that mental rainy day.
Dan Kennedy, I understand, has rows of file cabinets full of these treasures, just waiting to be used.
The online world has equivalent in spam. Yes, a silver lining for spam! As with junk mail, look at headlines, look at offers. Save ones you feel most powerful.
I have files called 'solo ads,' 'great headlines,' 'new product pitches,' 'pitches for affiliate programs' ... you get idea.
A Word About Headline Inspiration...
Your headline swipe file is worth its weight in gold. Start building this resource immediately if you've not already done so. The headline is key to unlocking an email, and some could argue it is most important part of your offer.