The Performer's Notebook
by Dennis Regling


The Magician's "Swipe File"

When I first started out selling though direct mail, many of the books and courses I studied would talk about "Swipe Files". Unfortunately, many of today's modern marketing courses either fail to mention this simple concept at all, or downplay the important role it has in improving your sales copy writing skills.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "A swipe file is a collection of tested and proven ads and sales letters. Keeping a swipe file is a common practice used by advertising copywriters and creative directors as a ready reference of ideas for projects."

You as a professional entertainer should collect the marketing pieces of other successful entertainers. These are not examples meant to be plagiarized. You aren't copying work here; you're adapting it to your own copywriting needs.

"Most writers, when they start out, mimic their favorite authors.
Eventually, we developed our own styles, which were richer for having first gone through this mimic stage.
The point is this: part of any effective learning process is to mimic what has been successful before you.
This is true of copywriting, too. And it's the reason you need to start a "swipe" file if you want to become a successful copywriter." David Silva

By comparing David Copperfield's posters with Lance Burton's and other magicians. you can find the common elements that make them work. Collecting headlines from sales letters, advertisements and press releases, you will get ideas you can adapt to your own use.

Too many new business peolpe try to re-invent the wheel. It is much better to see what works and highlight, change, and improve on that.

How do you decide what to put in your swipe file?

Whenever you come across a piece of sales copy, whether it's on the web, in your email, in a newspaper or it arrives in your postal mail, you need to take a couple of moments to look it over. If the headline grabs your attention and the letter draws you in then the chances are you are holding a good piece of copy in your hands. It may be for a totally unrelated product than your show, but study it to see why it grabbed you.

Having a swipe file is vital to become a master copywriter. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Do not copy the exact same words, but copy the ideas and gain inspiration!

Are you interested in starting your swipe file? You've read my articles on marketing at BellaOnline, Visions Online and several other websites. Perhaps you've even been a special client of mine and I've helped design marketing promotions for you in the past

Now, 25 years of marketing expertise is combined in one super CD to help you. Go to

Dennis Regling


Dennis Regling is a professional magician, author and lecturer. He performs educational programs at over 250 elementary and junior high schools every year. Additionally, he performs gospel magic programs at church camps, Vacation Bible Schools and other church events. Dennis has authored over 12 books for magicians. Dennis currently resides in Freeport, Ohio and performs throughout the east and midwest. Contact Dennis


Becoming a Magician: Get Rich Quick
Real Magic: The Mentalist
Sound Systems for Magicians
Classified Ad Prediction
Developing Business Referrals For Magicians
Postcard Marketing Audience Warm-ups
The Wedding Magician Targeted Marketing
The Magician is the Solution Internet Marketing Secrets
Show Posters That Sell Tickets Magic at the County Fair

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Disclaimer:The opinions expressed in this or any of our columns represent the opinions of the writers, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Magic Web Channel or it's Esteemed Panel of Magic Advisors. (The lawyers made us say that.)

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