Sales Letters Examples
& Swipe File

sales letters examples business slide

Create a swipe file full of sales letters examples that help you improve your copywriting and marketing skill set.

Did you know you have a huge copywriting resource there for the taking? The same resource professional copywriters constantly use.

I’m talking about a swipe file. You may have come across the term before, especially if you have read advice from marketing and copywriting professionals about how to improve your sales letters / webpages.

In case you haven’t come across the term before, let me explain what it is, what it can do for you and how to create your own.

Sales Letters Examples & Swipe File

A swipe file is a collection of sales letters examples, adverts, webcopy – in fact anything that contains a strong marketing message.

When you start a swipe file, it is important to make sure the examples you collect (or swipe ) contain good copy. Preferably ones you know – or are confident – have generated results (I’ll explain how you can check that in a little while).

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Benefits of a Swipe File

You can use a good swipe file to:

  • improve your own copywriting skill. Simply copying out a good advert or sales letters examples, in your own hand, helps you to absorb the flow of the copy and start to recognize the techniques used. Your understanding may be unconscious rather than a deliberate “oh, I can see why that particular phrase or wording was used here” but the important point is you are learning about what works.
  • gather a collection of powerful headlines. Re-writing these for your product or service, following the same structure, is an easy way to create eye-appealing headlines for your adverts, sales letters and webpages.
  • give inspiration when you get ‘writer’s block’. When you sit down to write new marketing material sometimes the ideas just won’t come. A blank page or blank screen can be an amazing block to creativity. Browsing through your swipe file often sparks ideas for you.


The companies that put out these marketing messages have paid their copywriters good money – in many cases thousands of pounds (or $s). You are effectively getting these great copywriting insights for free!

Be careful; when you use your swipe file to inspire your writing creativity you must never plagiarize someone else’s work. An exact copy of an advert or sales letter content is not only frowned upon it is breaking copyright law.

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Recognizing Good Swipe Copy

  • Take a look at your junk mail.
  • And take a look at the adverts in your local and national newspapers.
  • Check the adverts in your trade or professional magazines or the publications your target audience read.

For the adverts I’d strongly advise you only consider the direct response style advert – those are the adverts that ask you to take some sort of action. Visit a website; make a phone call; place an order or fill out a request coupon.

Does it appeal to you? If the headline or body copy of the sales letters examples or advert appeals to you – and especially if you are tempted to respond – then it is probably worth keeping in your swipe file – but check the following points first.

Look for frequent or repetitive examples. It is a fairly safe bet that the company sending the same letter or placing the same advert is not going to constantly spend their marketing budget on it if it is not pulling an acceptable response.

Check for coding. With direct response style marketing the originating company measures the response they get from each advert or sales letter. It is the only way they can be sure their marketing is generating revenue for them.

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So look for a code in the address or in a corner of the response coupon. A code in a repeated advert or sales letter is a good indication of a results generating marketing piece – one that is worth swiping for reference.

Don’t limit your examples. You may be tempted to only keep marketing examples from your own industry or profession. Don’t! Powerful copy from other, unrelated industries can often be adapted very successfully for your own business. Try re-writing good examples to promote your goods or services.

If you haven’t already got a swipe file I suggest you get one started and let it help your creative juices flow for your marketing material.

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