Quick Tip:
How to Get "Seeded"
to Build Your Swipe File

Your swipe file can provide you with instant ideas for writing your own copy. And the bigger the swipe file, the more ideas you have at your fingertips.

The trick to building a big swipe file is getting your name "seeded" onto mailing lists.

The most common way to get seeded is to buy products from companies in the niches you're interested in … or, in the case of fundraising, to donate to at least one cause. The purchase or donation doesn't have to be big. Inquiries work too. But with an inquiry, you might not receive the same types of offers … and, most likely, not the same quantity of seed mail … as you would if you're considered to be a "buyer."

Here's a real Insider's Tip: Go to Google or Yahoo Advanced Search and enter the name of a company or organization you're interested in (Company X), followed by the words "data card."

If you aren't yet familiar with data cards, flip ahead to section 10 of your accelerated copywriting program and read about them. If you're past section 10 in the program, you know that (in addition to providing you with great insights into who your prospect is) data cards can tell you which other mailers are actively marketing their products to Company X's customers. You'll find a list of those mailers near the end of the data card under the heading "continuations." And if you get on Company X's mailing list, chances are you will receive mailings from those companies as well.

Another Insider's Tip for creating your own customized seed file: the Who's Mailing What! Archive: https://www.awai.com/whosmailing/

With just a few simple clicks, you can …

  • Access 10,000 winning controls – almost instantly. Sort by category, company, or even the date received.
  • Know exactly what the competition is mailing, almost as soon as it goes out.
  • Quickly identify dozens – maybe hundreds – of potential new clients.
  • Have it all right at your fingertips, 24/7/365.
The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: February 26, 2007

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