A Swipe File for Association Marketers: Marketing Copy Ideas for Education Programs

Lots of posts, including ours, provide advice on marketing strategies and tactics, but when it’s time to do the work, you’re on your own. This post is different. We’re giving you the goods.

Many marketers have a swipe file—a collection of marketing copy swiped from other sources. When they see a clever headline or message, they copy and paste it into their swipe file. One day, when trying to come up with email copy to promote a new program, their blank screen taunting them, they remember their swipe file and find inspiration there.

As busy association professionals, you don’t always have time to sit around and think of brilliant ways to market your online course or virtual conference, so consider this post a head start on your own swipe file.

Perhaps a few of these suggestions rise to the level of brilliant, if not, they’re at least a step in the right (or different) direction. Many of them came from an old conference marketing swipe file of mine. If one of these gems is yours, nice work.

What to look for in a good swipe

I geared some swipes below to courses, some to conferences, and some to credentialing programs. You know your audience best and what would hit home with them and motivate them to action. Remember, emotions drive purchasing decisions. We feel something, make a decision, and then find the facts to validate that decision. When choosing emotions to trigger, avoid defaulting to fear, if possible, that’s a tough one to sustain.

Answer the unasked (and perhaps unformed) questions in the prospect’s mind:

•    Will this program really make a difference to my career?
•    Is it worth my money or my employer’s money?
•    Will I learn enough?
•    Will I use what I learn? How?
•    Whom will I meet?
•    How will it change me?

Be careful how you swipe. Don’t swipe from the competition. Swiping is best for inspiration and tweaking, not outright copying. Anything you see on the internet is protected by copyright, so swiper beware. However, you’re free to swipe the tweaked swipes below.

A man at his laptop finding a great swipe - swipe file for association marketers

48 blurbs to start a swipe file for association marketers

We categorized these swipes by benefits and emotional drivers. Some of these are more fleshed out than others, but it’s a place to start.


Sessions make you think. Conferences make you think together.

One-of-a-kind collaborative environment designed to inspire innovations in…

Share ideas and build relationships with [professionals] from around the world.

Come for the content, leave with something far more elusive… community.

Share ideas and talk shop with people who get you.

Work on your vision with the sharpest minds in the business.

The place where leaders, innovators, and people who make things happen gather to learn about the latest in [topic] and share the secrets to success

Bringing together the smartest people we know

You think you have problems? You’re not alone. Come get answers, advice, solutions and inspiration from your peers and our stellar cast of [industry] thought-leaders.

Collective wisdom

Where the magic happens


Practical solutions you can’t wait to share with your team—or, if you’re a one-person shop, your cat

You can increase your knowledge by reading articles on your own. This course will transform how you think, see, and understand what’s happening in our industry.

In a few days, get a year’s worth of insights and ideas.

Get the know-how and resources to propel your career.

Delve into the trends that will impact your business in the next few years.

This is a no-fluff zone. No fluff. No sales pitches. No hidden agendas.

Three powerful days featuring a line-up of industry disruptors, seasoned entrepreneurs, and respected thought-leaders.

Reignite your passion for the [fill in the blank] profession

It's a conversation about how to [fill in the blank]. It's a conversation about how [something] changes the way [fill in the blank]. But it's a conversation that's not complete without your voice.

Get sage advice, creative ideas, and workable business solutions.

What sets this event apart from all the others? [tell them]

Hands searching a file folder - swipe file for association marketers


Why stay in a holding pattern?

It’s even more critical to prepare yourself for tomorrow with tools that will help you get stronger professionally today.

How are you preparing yourself to lead the inevitable change ahead?

Do you want to lead change or be led by it?

Better version of themselves

Moving up

On the path to the C-suite

People like you [do things like this].

Life happens. Keep learning.

Resume booster in a competitive marketplace

Market value of having those three letters beside your name

Out-learn and out-think the competition

Many claim to have X skills, but few can prove it. The best way to prove yours? Industry-recognized credentials that show your employer [clients, customers] that you know your stuff better than anyone.


No regrets! Don’t miss your chance to see old friends and meet new ones—plus hear the idea that will transform your business.

Just because you missed it, doesn’t mean you missed out.

Social proof

It’s all about the company you keep. Executives at these firms know not to let this opportunity pass them by—neither should you. [followed by a list of firms]

Join 652 of your peers, register today.

X reasons why [influencer company] sends X of their people to our event

Quote from happy customer, someone like them: “What I learned in X changed the way I do business and sales have risen X%.

Affordability and convenience

Cheaper and easier than getting a degree

Go at your own pace on your own schedule

Learn whenever you wish, wherever you wish.


Plan and [do something] in less than 90 days

Struggle with X? Can’t [do this]? [Make a promise to them].

Validate or change your perspective

Transform your thinking

Guaranteed to inspire you to think differently

The next steps to a stellar swipe file

Maybe this list was a bust, maybe you found a promising nugget. In either case, copy and paste this list into your new swipe file—the one you’ll start today and tap into whenever you need marketing inspiration. Delete the dogs and add the winners you come across in your travels across the web.

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