Roving Report: How to Build a Winning Swipe File


As a copywriter, you’ve probably heard about Swipe Files. You know a Swipe File is a useful collection of copy, and that you should save sales letters you like to your Swipe File.

Yes, it’s that — and it’s so much more!

Properly used, your Swipe File will provide you with inspiration, and give your efforts to land new clients a big boost.

Managing Editor of Wealthy Web Writer Heather Robson interviewed AWAI’s Copy Chief, Sandy Franks, in a teleconference to find out more about Swipe Files. If you missed it live, you’ll find their entire discussion HERE.

Heather told us that Sandy has a great sense of humor and is fun to be around. More importantly, “She knows good copy when she sees it.” That’s because Sandy’s been working with “A-list” copywriters for years.

Sandy spent 28 years at Agora Publishing. She didn’t start out in copywriting, though. She began her career as a print buyer. (Back in the dark age before the internet, direct-response copywriting was all direct mail and printed pieces.)

In the pre-internet days, marketers didn’t have the tools we use today to figure out their audience, either.

“I’m a curious person,” Sandy told us, “and I got curious about why one mailing worked and another didn’t.”

So she started learning about mailing lists, how to figure out why one list worked and another one didn’t and developing mail plans.

From learning about the lists, Sandy got curious about the copy.

At that time, Bill Bonner, owner of Agora Publishing and a talented copywriter himself, “took the time to explain copy to me, and that launched my career into the copywriting side of the business,” Sandy told us.

“I just consumed it,” she continued. “I wanted to understand it and be able to write it.”

Later, when Bonner invited AWAI Co-Founder Mark Ford, another brilliant copywriter, to join Agora as a partner, they both became mentors to Sandy.

“I was very fortunate to work with two men of that caliber,” she told us.

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Susanna Perkins

Susanna was dragged back, kicking and screaming, into freelancing after losing her job in the banking meltdown in March, '09. One 3-month stint in an appalling temp job persuaded her to get serious about establishing herself as web writer. In March, 2012, she moved to a small town in Panama with her husband and three small dogs. After enjoying the writer's life in the culture of "buenas" and "mañana" for 2-1/2 years, she's returned to the US. At least for now.

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