Affiliate marketing is a word game.
It's all about selling your product or service through powerful words, encouraging actions, and proven techniques. The most successful affiliate marketers know their audience and what their product or service can do to help that audience. They can convince the right people that what they're promoting is what they need through any medium available. Successful affiliates are experts on what they're selling, or they're at least skilled in conveying an aura of expertise.
How do affiliate marketers convey expertise? Through their copy, whether it be on a website, via social media, email, or video scripts. For this to work, there needs to be a base of knowledge for affiliates to pull from. That's where swipe files and swipe copy come into play.
What are the Benefits of Creating Swipe Copy
Speaking to your target audience in a way that they resonate with is half the battle, if not more than half. If you're not a strong copywriter, or if you don't know as much about the topic as you'd need, swipe copy is your best friend. It's your lifeboat in a massive ocean of better enthusiasm, better descriptions, and more power words than you'll ever remember.
If you want to ensure success in your affiliate marketing plans, you need to offer a good amount of resources to any affiliates who will follow them. That's where marketing techniques like ‘swipe copy' come in, and that's where you all breathe a collective (branded) sigh of relief.
What is Swipe Copy?
Most copywriters have a treasure chest of resources around, and they call this the ‘swipe file.' It holds examples of winning copywriting and marketing that conveys emotions, moves readers to action, and is overall fantastic in its effectiveness. This swipe file might contain award-winning copy from 1945, ads, radio spots, etc. It's a collection of marketing and copywriting done right, and it's inspiration and direction in a time of need.
A swipe file can contain many marketing examples, including swipe copy. For affiliate marketers, swipe copy is a crucial piece to that puzzle.
Swipe copy is ‘copy-and-paste' copywriting that you provide to your affiliates to make marketing your product much more straightforward. There are many methods and reasons to create copy for your affiliates. We're going to focus on swipe copy written for seamless branding amongst multiple affiliate marketers.
While the copy often gets described as copy-and-paste, it's important to encourage your affiliates to adjust and rewrite it in their own words. You don't want your marketers to use the same exact wording, the same exact messaging, and assume they are speaking to the exact same audience as you! Personality sells, and it's also the first thing to be watered down when someone aimlessly uses another's words.
What you want to give affiliate marketers is a guide. Photos, bullet lists, and the general overview of the audience they're marketing to (and what moves them). At the very least, your swipe file should include a few examples of successful copy for your product, main points of interest, and statistics, or any other information that would improve marketing.
Should I Use Swipe Copy?
Swipe copy helps you keep messaging in line when it comes to your product. It also gives your affiliate marketers an added bit of help so they're not scrambling to promote a product without enough information. Think of it like a press kit, or a template.
With that being said, the answer is yes. You should absolutely have a guideline or example for anyone promoting your product.
The Best Ways to Use Swipe Copy
Use swipe copy when you need to:
- Highlight certain features of the product or service every time
- Promote aspects of your product that bring in more cash
- Keep branding consistent and uniform across marketers
- Give marketers example of how to market your product, and what has worked for you in the past
- Keep marketers from mentioning certain competitors or concepts
There are also different types of swipe copy. Social swipe is for social media posting, video swipe, etc. Try to add as much to the swipe file as possible to give your affiliates the material they need to convert.
How Do I Write Swipe Copy?
There are a few best practices to remember when you're writing swipe copy for affiliates. You should consider these practices before you pick up a pencil, start up a computer, or save any examples:
- Your target audience is more important than you
- Write multiple versions
- Have rules and guidelines clearly listed
Think of the Audience
Your target audience will always be more important than you, and all content should be geared towards them. What do your customers believe in, align with, and what moves them? You'll never write marketing copy that convinces anyone to buy if you don't know those three things. Speak to your audience in a way that is comfortable (not cringy), and bring up emotional connections that will snag their interest.
What moves your audience? Facts and stats, or anecdotes and stories? Are they looking for a human connection, testimonials, and copy that assures them? Or are they looking for the next cool thing, something modern, something new?
The way you approach your marketing copy should fit directly into what the audience is looking for, and your swipe copy should reflect this.
When writing for others, be sure to include examples of the type of audience they are editing the swipe copy to convince. Never leave it up to chance!
Write Multiple Versions
While you have to know your target audience, it's essential to give your affiliates more than one choice in tone and language. Show them how they can reach the same audience or an audience they think would fit by giving them multiple versions of the swipe copy.
If you're not a strong copywriter and you're worried about writing effective copy for your affiliates, hiring an actual writer to make the swipe copy is a great move.
Have Clear Guidelines (or Rules)
We'll expand on this in a second, but you should always have clear guidelines on how and where your copy should be used. If there are words or associations they should stay away from, include that in the swipe file!
How Do I Use Swipe Copy?
When you're thinking about the affiliate on the receiving end of swipe copy, there's a straightforward rule to remember:
Swipe copy is a guideline, not a script!
That's not to say that you shouldn't write a script, mind you. It's to say that you should encourage affiliate marketers to use their own words, not copy-and-paste yours. Creating duplicate content is a mistake in itself when it comes to SEO, but it's also a red flag for your audience.
There's a lot of good that can come from affiliates writing by your example instead of just using what you wrote. It gives their marketing efforts a unique voice while still keeping the overall soul of your product or service. Your affiliates should write emails, blogs, ads, and more with their specific audience in mind, and they should use your swipe copy as a sort of template for success.
Consider also including other types of swipe in your affiliate swipe file. Swipe copy is important, but you can show marketers proven techniques for showcasing your product or service with:
- swipe social posts
- lists of power words
- email subjects and emails
- video scripts
Swipe copy is a vital asset to affiliate marketing. It can keep your marketing campaigns tight and productive. Give your affiliate marketers a leg up by showing them the way to market your product, and you'll increase conversions and sales across the board!
Do you use swipe copy for your affiliate marketing? Does your swipe file include something we didn't mention? Let us know why in the comments!