Never run out of ideas again (just keep a Swipe File)

published6 months ago
3 min read

Hello Reader,

Today’s article is written by guest author Corey Haines, founder of

Steve Jobs once said “good artists copy, great artists steal.”

And before that, Pablo Picasso said, “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.”

See the pattern? Everyone who publishes is standing on the shoulders of giants, and the more shoulders you have to stand on, the farther you can see.

Everyone who publishes content - newsletters, blogs, tweets, whatever - can benefit from keeping a swipe file. A swipe file is a collection of marketing and copywriting examples to use for inspiration.

With a swipe file, you’ll never run out of ideas again.

Don’t have one yet?

I’ll show you exactly how to build the most valuable resource you’ll have in your career.

How to Make a Swipe File

The first step is to get the right SOURCES of inspiration for your swipe file.

Anytime you come across something that leaves an impression on you, whether it’s a:

  • Landing page
  • Blog post
  • Website
  • Advertisement
  • Sales letter
  • Email it to review in the future. In just weeks, you'll have a library of killer material to emulate.

This will make your job 10x easier when you have to create a new piece of content.

Pay attention to what grabs your attention.

Every time:

  • An ad makes you click
  • An email makes you buy
  • A headline makes you read
  • A tweet makes you retweet

Add it to your swipe file.

Some people say don’t pay attention to your competitors.

I call B.S.

You should pay attention to what works and doesn’t work for your competitors.

Learn from them, but don’t copy them.

  • Set up Google Alerts for news about them
  • Sign up for their email lists
  • Follow their social accounts
  • Go through their funnels

You should also be studying other companies in your industry to pick out their best strategies.

  • Google the top 100 companies in your industry
  • Go through their checkout flow
  • Click through their retargeting ads
  • Screenshot their popups

Swipe These Resources

Here are some sites with tons of great marketing examples:

Here are some sites for email inspiration:

Here are some sites for ad inspiration:

Here are some sites for video inspiration:

Here are some sites for landing page inspiration:

Here are some sites for onboarding inspiration:

Here is a site for text/SMS inspiration:

Spend twenty minutes cruising through those websites, and copy/paste what you like into your own swipe file.

How do you make a swipe file?

These are the best 3 methods I’ve found to build a swipe file you’ll actually use:

  • Notion
  • Native platform bookmarks and labels
  • SwipeWell

Let’s take a look at each one.


You can make Notion as simple or as sophisticated as you'd like. I opt for simplicity.

First, create a table and name it something like “Swipe File.”

Drag in the media assets you want to add.

Install the Web Clipper browser extension to add links, text, and pages you want to save.

Now, you don’t need or even want a lot of columns. My suggestion is to only add one additional column for tags. Here, you can go crazy and add all the tags you want for each item you swipe. Too many filtering mechanisms and you end up not wanting to do any filtering.

You can also create a “Gallery” view that makes each item a card for more visual reference.

Notion also has a mobile app that allows you to quickly save items just like with the chrome extension.

If you want to save emails to Notion, there’s a handy Gmail add-on called “Save to Notion” you can find in the Google Workspace Marketplace.

Native platform bookmarks and labels

If you’re not keen on keeping a swipe file in just one place, you can leverage the native bookmarking and labeling features of most platforms.

I’ll show you a few.

In Gmail, any email that you receive can be tagged with labels like “swipe file” or additionally “ad,” “email,” “landing page” etc.

In Twitter, you can bookmark tweets, or if you’re a Twitter Blue subscriber, you can even create a bookmark folder called “Swipe File” for a dedicated Twitter swipe file.

In Instagram, you can save posts to a collection.


SwipeWell has a one-click chrome extension that allows you to take a screenshot of any website and then title, tag, and annotate right from the extension.

A unique forwardable address makes it super easy to swipe emails straight from your inbox.

And for anything swipe-worthy that you come across on your phone, a mobile app makes it just one tap away from swiping to your account.

Try Swipewell

SwipeWell is the only tool dedicated to helping you save, organize, and reference marketing examples. With a Swipewell account, you will have::

  • One-click screenshots from the Chrome extension
  • A unique SwipeWell email address to forward swipe-worthy emails
  • Bulk imports to migrate an existing swipe file

Start building your swipe file in under 5 minutes. To get a free account and start swiping, go here:

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