One of the most interesting things about being a marketer is that we’re not only doing marketing but we’re also being marketed to. Constantly.

And because we’re naturally subjected to other companies’ marketing on a daily basis, we’ve been able to create what we call “swipe files” — these secret stashes of screenshots, links and screen recordings that we store in Trello, Evernote or Google Docs for inspiration.

Sometimes it’s great copy or an email, and other times it’s a cool animated GIF that caught our attention — but the common denominator is that it’s something we’d like to apply to our marketing.

Because as Dave likes to remind us, there’s no point in reinventing something if you can just add on top of something that already exists. And it’s something we talk about a lot: Instead of inventing something from scratch, go out and look for well known patterns that you can copy and innovate on.

Now, this doesn’t mean actually copy something — but it means learn from what worked and what didn’t.

For example, if we’re creating a new set of ads, we’d go and study other brands and find things that they have done that have worked and then create the Drift version of them. Of course there are times when we need to invent something completely new, but most of the time, what we’re trying to do already exists.

This way, when we’re getting ready to write a blog post, shoot a video or design a new landing page, we don’t have to start from zero — we can just go check out our swipe files to see if there’s anything we could use as a starting point.

By constantly “swiping” what we see, we’re able to write better copy, create better experiences and start more conversations. All because we’re constantly taking in all these different examples from different industries.

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