Writing An Effective Sales Letter Part 6: The Best Copywriting Advice Is Free (No Really It Is)

So, you are sitting at your keyboard not sure how to attack your latest sales letter. Blank screen stares back at you. If only you had something you could use as a ‘model.’

The best copywriters in the world have a bit of an inside joke. It’s called “copywriting” because you copy the writing that is already proven to be working. (It’s untrue, the first copywriters were newspaper copywriters who ended up having to write advertisers ads for them… )

But the point remains. If you can take what is already working for someone else and model, not steal from it, your sales letter will be a far better place to start than your imagination. Yes, I have heard imagination called far more demeaning things.

The point of having a jumping off point or even better a proven proprietary copy platform that can be adapted to the current project, is that you aren’t starting from scratch every time.

Starting from scratch is where all the problems you’ll ever have writing copy will arise from. Too many ideas. Not enough good ideas. Not focusing on the task at hand. Procrastination.

This is a big part of the reason why copywriters amass very large swipe files. Mine could fill a book case after you factor in all the digital versions of promotions I have that sit on my hard drive.

I can always and I do mean always, find a good sales letter or three that I can use to help me get a platform together to create a sales letter. A swipe file allows you to look at how your competition is handling the same problem.

Generally, the bigger the swipe file the longer the copywriter has been at it and the better the copywriter. It is that simple. The best copywriters are the best students, the best students are not the ones forever spending money on courses. They are the ones who are staying abreast of what is happening right now and how to make that work for them and their clients.

If you don’t have a very large or comprehensive swipe file you are at a considerable disadvantage when you write copy compared to those who do. Building up a swipe file from different times, yes – I have ads all the way back to the turn of the 20th century and from multiple industries. I have swipe files for many different industries and niches within those industries for a reason.

Those promotions can provide your jumping off point for multiple promotions. So do yourself a favour and either build yourself a big swipe file or else make sure you hire a copywriter who has built a large swipe file.