Harness the Power of a Swipe File for Your Small Business Marketing

One of the greatest things about small business marketing is you get to do it all: email, social, SMS, brochures, etc. But this requires knowing about all the marketing channels, which is impossible, so there’s a growing movement of marketers who use a swipe file. A swipe file is simply a place where you store different marketing elements (copy, landing pages, images, campaigns, etc.) that work so you can learn from them in your own efforts. It’s so simple that you’re probably already doing it on some level, so let’s look at a few ways to use a swipe file more consistently to support your small business marketing.

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Content Inspiration

If your small business has a blog, then you know how difficult it can be to think of new ideas to write about. Use a swipe file to inspire your content creation, centralizing articles, Tweets, etc. that piqued your interest or you’d like to explore further. Flipboard magazines are a great way to not only store but also share and easily reference articles that trigger a blog post idea.

Learning New Social Platforms

By the time a new social platform becomes the “it” site, many marketers are lost on how to use it. Using a swipe file can help you reduce the learning curve of exploiting new social media platforms that are being created all the time. Think about how helpful a swipe file, or pin board, would have been when you first started dabbling on Pinterest, for example, learning from others what pins worked in making you click, buy, or even come up in searches.

Improving Email Marketing

Email remains one of the most powerful tools for marketers and we’ve all seen email marketing messages that worked, or didn’t and thought, “I would never do that!” or, “I’ve got to try that.” Without a swipe file however, the chances of you remembering the lesson is slim.

Soma Water, for example, sent an email on Thanksgiving with the subject line, “Don’t buy a Soma today.” It was so different than everything else in my inbox that I opened it, read it, and made note of their “special upcoming announcement” before adding it to my swipe folder so I can reference it when I’m creating next year’s Thanksgiving campaign.

To take the email swipe folder to the next level, forward the email to yourself and edit the subject line to include what you liked, or didn’t like, so you can quickly identify it later on.

Inspiration can hit at any moment, so creating a swipe file for every channel may be a little cumbersome especially for tracking things like SMS messages, a multi-channel campaign you like, or even a color you want to use. Your trusty Evernote easily solves this and it’s free so there’s no excuse to not start your own swipe file today.

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