“I’ve always been shameless about stealing good ideas.”
Guess what iconic intellectual property thief said that?
The Mac Daddy of computing himself, Mr. Steve Jobs.
As much as you want to be intrinsically creativity on a daily basis, the truth is that your eureka moments are usually sparked by contact with external ideas.
If you’re an internet marketer or solo-preneur, "stealing" good ideas is just a crucial skill you must embrace to successfully promote your online business.
Show Me Your Swipe File
If you want to succeed at piercing through the digital background noise of the internet, don't try to reinvent the wheel every time you launch an online marketing campaign. Do yourself a favor and start building your own internet marketing swipe file.
A swipe file is basically your collection of advertisements, images, emails, headlines, subject lines and copy that caught your eye and make you go CLICK!
If you apply Steve Job’s shameless intellectual theft advice to marketing, your swipe file will soon become an invaluable resource of ideas you can reference and modify for your own purposes.
The only problem most new marketers find with cultivating one is that they take time and dedicated effort to create. But these days, even that burden is quickly disappearing. Modern software tools can help collect good ideas for you, even while you sleep!
In this week’s installment of The Silver Bulletin, I’m going to show you how to create an automated email swipe file system that not only captures great ideas for you, but also helps tidy up your Gmail inbox at the same time.
Let’s get started...
Overcoming Email Subscription Burnout
Email subscription burnout is a common affliction for anyone that uses the internet these days.
Eventually, the growing deluge of daily marketing emails becomes too much to handle and saps attention away from your more important tasks.
I’m sure you’ve already passed on some valuable opt-in offers just because you didn’t want to deal with the additional email overwhelm associated with subscribing to get "instant access".
But unfortunately, not signing up for these opt-in offers eventually shoots yourself in the foot as a marketer. Over time, you miss out on collecting email marketing strategies that could benefit your future campaigns.
In fact, the best marketing strategies from the greatest online marketers alive are waiting to make their way into your email inbox as we speak...for free! Why would you want to pass on that?
If you can subscribe to the right lists, you'll soon have multiple, money-making autoresponder examples at your fingertips in just a few short weeks.
Once you have these profit-generating email sets at your disposal, you’ll never lack inspiration for email campaigns ever again.
Instead of blindly guessing how many emails your sequence should be, you can just reference how the pros did it for their own products. If you’re lacking a catchy subject line idea, you’ll soon have several examples to browse through.
The same holds true for coming up with engaging hooks and tension-building cliffhangers. Just look through the email sequences of other online businesses and you'll hone your ability to get subscribers to open your emails.
If only you had a way to organize all those incoming emails into searchable swipe file sets that skip your inbox and free you from email clutter...
Well, it turns out that Gmail makes setting up this type of email swipe file super easy. Check out the system described below to do the same for yourself in just a few minutes.
Your New Gmail Swipe File System
To get started, inventory all the email subscriptions currently hitting your inbox. You can then organize them into a Gmail swipe file by following the instructions of the infographic below:
It’s that simple. Now all your past and future emails from that sender will skip your inbox and go straight to the labeled folder you created for them.
Repeat this process as many times as you need to make labels for your past and future email subscriptions.
Once you spend a few minutes running through this process with all of your subscriptions, the email marketing you've been targeted by will all be organized into the left label sidebar of your gmail account.
Just by opening one of these Gmail label folders, you’ll instantly see important details like email frequency, subject lines and content topics without even having to open any individual emails.
And when you have time to dig into the details of each email sequence you've collected, you’ll also get ideas for how to craft engaging storylines, hooks and cliffhangers to keep subscribers opening your emails every time they hit your inbox.
The Gmail Swipe File in Action
I use my Gmail swipe file every time I write an email or autoresponder series.
It’s so easy to glance through my label folders that it's now part of my normal brainstorming routine.
In fact, check out this subject line I swiped and modified from Ramit Sethi to use for a Silver Bulletin email I sent out a while ago:
Unsurprisingly, stealing a good idea from a copywriting genius like Ramit was rewarded with the best open rate I've seen yet for one of my emails. Not too shabby!
And with this automated swipe file system in place, I never have to worry about new email opt-ins overwhelming my Gmail inbox ever again. Instead, I give out my email like a crazy man to grow the swipe file trough competitor, relevant website and internet marketing specialist opt-ins.
Pretty sweet, right?
Spy On Your Competitors
It’s always a good idea to monitor what your competition is doing and this Gmail swipe file method is a good way to do just that. If you know who your competitors are, make sure to opt-in to their email lists to better understand how they're using email marketing.
- What's your competition's email on-boarding series look like?
- What sort of educational content are they providing to make subscribers understand their brand better?
- How do they drip emails to turn subscribers into paying customers?
If you have a swipe file on them, you'll gain am email marketing edge on your competition.
Subscribe To These Marketing Mentors Right Now
Studying successful copywriters and internet marketers is a great way to boost your skills and capture awesome ideas for your own content and email campaigns.
Most of these influencers charge hundreds to thousands of dollars for online courses to spoon feed knowledge to you, but if you're willing to backwards engineer their methods, you can learn many of the same things for free just by subscribing to their lists!
Below are my recommendations for who to get started following to build up your Gmail swipe file right away. As you find new online mentors, make sure to opt-in to their email lists as well. Create a new Gmail swipe file for each new subscription as soon as their first email hits your inbox.
Now It’s Your Turn
Do you have an automated email marketing swipe file system already?
If so, what's your setup look like? If not, how do you capture great email marketing examples when you come across them?
Post in the comments below to share your swipe file methods with us!
P.S. If you’re interested in more advanced swipe file tips and techniques, check out this in-depth post on the Thrive Themes blog covering all the clever ways you can spy on your competition.