One of the single most important keys to a successful affiliate program is great swipe copy. Done right, it’s a powerful tool that will help your affiliates succeed. Yet, I see so many affiliate programs get it wrong.

Writing swipe copy for affiliate program tips

Want to Help Your Affiliates Use Swipe Copy Better?

If you run an affiliate program, I highly recommend teaching your affiliates HOW to use swipe copy. Check out my post, “How to use Swipe Copy as an Affiliate” and share it with your affiliates.

Here are the five mistakes I most often see with affiliate swipe copy. Later I’ll share what to do instead.

5 Mistakes Not to Make on Affiliate Swipe Copy

1. Writing it Yourself

As the product owner, you are too close to the product to write great swipe copy.

Remember, swipe copy is a guide for your affiliates to use. It should be written from the perspective of an outsider, not someone who put their blood, sweat, and tears into the product.

2. You Don’t Include Images

While rare, some people do use images in their emails, often very effectively.

We, for example, rarely use them, but when we do, our click through rates skyrocket. Hmmmm, perhaps that should be a lesson to us.

3. You Only Write One Version

This mistake is so frustrating because it assumes that every affiliate has the exact same audience.

Often, your product reaches different demographics and avatars. Each group is at a different place in life and has different struggles, needs, and desires.

4. You Only Write Long (or Short) Emails

Like #3, this assumes that every affiliate wants the same kind of copy.

Some affiliates prefer longer form copy, while others prefer short, too-the-point copy.

5. You Expect Them to Copy/Paste (And Even Encourage It)

This is a BIG no-no.

We always tell affiliates not to copy/paste swipe copy. It’s unoriginal, ineffective, and often backfires.

Just imagine a world where everyone is sending the exact same emails…seems kind of lame, doesn’t it?

RELATED POST: How to use Swipe Copy as an Affiliate

So, what do you do instead? Here are five best practices to make the most of your swipe copy.

5 MUSTS to Creating Killer Swipe Copy

1. Hire Someone to Write It

Unless you are a professional copywriter, you should hire a professional copywriter. Even if you are a professional copywriter, hire an outsider.

You are simply too close to the product to write great swipe copy for your affiliates. An outsider will be able to easily relate to your affiliates and write copy for them.

2. Include Images

Make sure to at least give your affiliates the option of some good images for their emails.

Here are four that work particularly well:

  • Video screen captures. We personally prefer goofy ones like the one below. It seems that images of me looking like I smelled a fart convert slightly higher, but anything with a picture and a play button works great.

Matt Video Still

  • Sale graphics. If you are running a sale, graphics work great.
  • Stat screenshots. If you mention any statistics, a screenshot can increase the validity and believability. Here is an example:

Screenshot of Google Analytics report

  • Countdown timers. If you have a countdown timer (like the one below), give your affiliates the code to use it in their emails. We recommend MotionMail.

Outtatimr Email Countdown

3. Write Different Versions for Different Audiences

Let’s look at a real-life example here.

When we were working with Jeff Goins on his book launch for The Art of Work, we identified four core audiences:

  • Entrepreneurs
  • “Dreamers”
  • Faith-based
  • Stay-at-home parents

So we wrote specific swipe copy for each of those core audiences. And affiliates loved it!

4. Write Different Lengths of Swipe Copy

Make sure to include different lengths of copy, especially for the following times:

  • Introduction (Pre-Launch Content #1)
  • Open Cart
  • Day Before Cart Close (I suggest a short “reminder” and a long “FAQ” version)
  • Close Cart Day

You’ll find that your affiliates love you for this.

5. Make it Clear That Swipe Copy is a Guide Only

Make sure you encourage your affiliates to only use the swipe copy as a guide or for inspiration.

Tell them to make their emails personal and specific for their audience.

If you need to, you can refer them to this post which shows them the best practices for using swipe copy.

BONUS TIP: Don’t Forget About Social Swipe

This is an often overlooked piece of content in affiliate programs.

We’ve found that 12-18% of all optins come from social media, so it is a big deal.

Make sure to include versions for the major social media networks at the time, as well as images and videos sized for those platforms.

This is easier than ever, using AI. With affiliates often using social media schedulers, I like to give them hundreds (yes, hundreds) of pre-written social media messages that they can schedule. If they use a scheduler, they can upload a CSV of hundreds of posts specifically for X (AKA Twitter).

They then schedule these to run over a period of years…that means one post every 3-4 days for YEARS featuring your product or lead magnet. That’s powerful!

Here’s how we do it for our affiliate program and our clients:

STEP 1: Create a chat in ChatGPT or other AI program.

STEP 2: Train the chat using at least 50 messages that you like. I usually provide it with 200+. These range from posts that I’ve seen others write and like to my own. If you have an existing program, find the ones from your top affiliates and use those as well. The idea is to train the chat on what works.

STEP 3: Provide detailed instructions on what you want. Here’s an example:

I’d like to write some tweets promoting a tool called “MockUp Shots”

Below I will provide some information about the product and the offer, the target audience, and a few suggested tweets. I’d like you to then write 10 more.

After that, I will review the first 10 and provide feedback on the ones I like and don’t like as well as words and phrases to avoid. Then I’ll have you write 10 more.

We will continue this until you’ve written approximately 200. Sound good?

STEP 4: Review the first batch of 10 messages and provide feedback. This is an iterative process.

Now before you freak out that this is going to take all day, it doesn’t. After you’ve done about 30-40, it usually starts to provide 10 good messages each time. I then ask it to provide 20 at a time. To generate 200 tweets, for example, takes only about 10 minutes. Imagine how long it would take to WRITE that many on your own!

STEP 5: Give it specific instructions periodically such as:

Now write 20 tweets in a more lighthearted and fun style.

Now write 20 tweets focused more on the discount and the offer.

Now write 20 tweets that focus on how easy it is to use this.

Now write 10 tweets that are written in the style of the comedian Mitch Hedberg.

STEP 6: Repeat until you’ve got as many messages as you want.

STEP 7: Load them into a spreadsheet and give the sheet to your affiliates.

BONUS TIP: Teach Your Affiliates

It is absolutely critical that you teach your affiliates how to use swipe copy.

Your swipe copy can be perfect, but if they don’t know how to use it, it won’t work.

Check out my post on how to use swipe copy as an affiliate and share it with your affiliates.

How to use affiliate marketing swipe copy

What is your best tip for making the most of affiliate swipe copy?


Text me anytime at (260) 217-4619.

Or…check out some of my free reports to help you get on the right track:

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