A Beginner’s Guide to Solo Ads

If you are a marketing newbie, there’s a big chance that you’ll be hearing a lot about solo ads and wondering what these are all about. Since you’re new in this field, you’d probably want to get to know and explore all the options available to you.

But before you get into solo ads, it’s imperative to do your research. This complete guide to Solo Ads will help make sure that you’re able to come up with informed decisions regarding this advertisement format.

What is a Solo Ad?

For sure, this is your first question: what is a solo ad and how is it related to internet marketing?

In solo ad marketing, a person with a product pays a person with an email list to send a message to his subscribers.

So let’s say you have a weight loss product that you want to promote, you will look for a solo ad seller with a list of subscribers who are interested in losing weight. Then you will pay that person so he will send your email message to his subscribers. The email message will contain your offer and a link to your landing page.

If the seller’s subscribers like your offer, they will click your link, and will then become a part of your own email list. This is basically how solo ads work. It enables people with products or offers to reach a large audience without waiting for months to build their list.

Are Solo Ads Effective?

There is no single answer to this question because it varies depending on a number of factors. Although, yes solo ads definitely work, they’re not for everyone.

They are effective for some, but ineffective for others.

The right question to be asking is this: are solo ads right for you? This is what you should be asking yourself.

Solo ads are ideal for the following people:

  1. People who have enough budget to spend

Email lists don’t come for free. You can’t expect people with email lists to share their subscribers with you for free. You will need a few hundred dollars so you can get hold of their subscribers. You should have enough budget that you can comfortably afford for this purpose.

  1. People whose products belong to certain niches 

Solo ads are ideal for people whose products belong to niches that:

  • Have extremely expensive pay per click prices
  • Overly saturated with content such as weight loss, dieting, health and so on
  • With extremely stiff competition for search engine traffic

This gives you an idea on whether solo ads will work to your advantage or not.

Pros and Cons of Using Solo Ads

It’s also a good idea to know the benefits and drawbacks of using solo ads.

Benefits

  • You’ll get a large email list quickly. This saves you money as you know how long it can take for you to build your own email list.
  • Your new email list can be used for other purposes like SEO.
  • You’ll get more profit. The more people going to your landing page, the more leads and sales you will have, and the more earnings you’ll get.

Drawbacks

  • It costs money. Buying solo ads can cost anywhere from $20 to $100. You need to have a budget if you want to get into this type of advertising.
  • There is no guarantee of conversion. Sure, many subscribers are likely to sign up with your page. But will they all buy from you? Only time will tell. By the time you find out, you’ve already sent the seller your payment.
  • It also takes time. Yes, you get to save time because you no longer have to build the email list. But you will still need to invest plenty time building a relationship with the people in your list. If you don’t, all the money and efforts you’ve invested will be futile. Remember, people usually only buy from other people they trust and not from random strangers they’ve just met online.

How Do Solo Ads Work?

In order to make solo ads work for you, here are the five basic steps to follow:

  1. Create your landing page
  2. Write the email copy
  3. Find a list owner who works within your niche
  4. Set up the tracking system
  5. Make your payment

Creating the Landing Page

The main purpose of the solo ad is to drive traffic to your landing page. Just in case you don’t know yet, a landing page is a term used for lead generation and inbound marketing, in which a page helps convert visitors into leads by capturing their email address for you.

The landing page will usually allow visitors to download your content offer such as webinars or eBooks, or sign up for product demos or free trials. The main gist is that you offer your target audience something of high value in exchange for their email address.

Of course, you can’t just create a landing page. You need to develop a good one that will actually serve its purpose of converting visitors into leads.

A landing page should be able to address the following:

  • What is being offered? What will the visitor gain after providing his/her information?
  • What are the benefits from the offer? Why does the visitor need it badly?
  • Why does the viewer need to get the offer now?
  • How will the reader be able to get the offer?

Writing the Email Copy

Next, you will need to write the message to be sent out. Here are some tips on how to write a killer solo ad email campaign:

  • Write a catchy subject line. Keep it short, sweet but definitely worth clicking. Make sure that the subject will entice the reader to open your message. Of course, you have to keep it relevant so as not to earn the ire of your readers.
  • Make it fun and interesting to read. Again, keep it short but sweet—your email message should be direct to the point and simple. It should have a conversational tone, and at the same time, provide valuable information to your reader.
  • Inform the reader of your intention. Be specific with what you are offering or advertising.
  • Don’t forget to include the link of what you’re promoting.
  • Give your readers options. Some want to read text post, while others prefer to watch it in video form.
  • Give them what you offered. If they signed up because they were told that they will receive information about healthy cooking techniques, then this is what you should provide. Do not give them tips on how to manage their time better.

Finding a Solo Ad Provider

Now that you have a landing page and an email copy, the next step is for you to find a solo ad provider. Basically, there are three ways to do this:

  • Search for online directories – There are many websites that have solo ad provider directories. This is usually the route that most beginners take.
  • Search in online forums such as Warrior Forum – In this online forum, you can find a solo ad provider by posting an ad of what you are looking for. Another option is for you to directly approach the advertiser and inquire about working with them for a solo ad. This is more time consuming but it is a good way to find someone that you can get along with well.
  • Search Google for keywords that are relevant to your niche – This is an advanced method for looking for solo ad providers. But it can be effective especially if you already know your way around.

To make sure that you’re going with the right option, follow these three important steps:

  • Verify the list

First, ask the vendor how old the list is. If it is already a few years old, it’s not as valuable. Remember, people change email addresses all the time. Find out too how many people are added every month, and how they are collected. You need to make sure that the people in the list are those that are interested in products that are same or similar to what you offer.

  • Ask about the pricing option 

There are two ways vendors charge for their list: fixed price to send a one-time message to all the people in their list, and payment by click. Figure out which one will cost you more, and which one will benefit you more in the long run.

  • Do your research about the vendor

Go to online forums and read about the vendor’s reputation. See how well he/she works with others, and if there are any complaints against him/her. If there are too many complaints, take this as a sign that you should go find someone else.

Tracking the Solo Ad Campaign

As one expert internet marketer puts it, solo ad tracking is much like exercise—everyone knows it’s important and yet, only a very few actually do it.

Tracking the clicks on your solo ad campaign is one of the most important steps that you can’t afford to overlook. Yes, it’s tedious, taxing and even complicated. But you can’t be anywhere near success if you don’t take this step.

Contrary to what everyone thinks, solo ad tracking is not as difficult. For one, there are only a couple of things that you need to monitor:

  1. Total number of clicks that you have received– This is the number of people clicking the link to get to your landing page.
  2. Opt-in percent of each solo– This is quite simple to solve. Just divide the number of clicks bought by the number of optins that you received. So for example, if you buy 200 clicks from a solo provider, and then after traffic has landed to your page, you see 100 people have subscribed, then it means that you have 50 percent opt-in. The higher the opt-in percent, the better.
  3. Quality of traffic – Find out with the help of a tracking software where your traffic is coming from. It’s best that your traffic comes from the Tier 1 countries, which include United States, Great Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

To help you track your solo ad campaign, you might want to make use of any of these:

  • Clickmagick
  • QualityClickControl
  • AdTrackzGold

Paying for Solo Ads

As mentioned earlier, there are primary payment forms: fixed price and pay per click. But the pay per click can also be in the form of other performance based agreements. It could either be pay per open or pay per conversion or sale.

Some experts prefer the fixed price option as this gives you full control over the budget that you will have to spend on your solo ad campaign. Plus, you will be guaranteed a specific amount of traffic to your traffic page.

But of course, there are also certain advantages to pay per performance type of payment system. Take note though that this is only recommended for people who already know the ins and outs of solo ad marketing.

Solo ads have been proven as powerful tool in internet marketing. But before you can enjoy its benefits, you need to be able to do it right.

Here’s a question that has been bugging you for a long time now: are solo ads effective and do they make sales?

You’ve been looking for a solid answer to this question ever since you got into internet marketing. After all, it’s one of the most popular types of advertising that you should definitely consider. Unfortunately, you haven’t yet found the answer that you’ve been looking for.

So again, do solo ads work? Do they really make sales? It seems as if they do work as everyone can’t stop talking about solo ads. But then there are also some horror stories of those who have lost lots of money buying solo ads that did not work.

How to Ensure Your Solo Ads Work

Finally, solo ads will only work if you know how to do it right. Even if you’ve invested lots of money on your solo ads, if you don’t follow proper procedure or if you ended up working with the wrong seller, all your efforts will be futile.

When searching for a solo ad seller, he/she must be able to provide the following:

  • Subscribers in the right niche – It will be a complete waste of time and effort if you buy an email list from a solo ad seller who belongs to a different niche. If you are selling an ebook on personal development, the seller should have a list of subscribers who will be interested in building self-confidence and accelerating their career, and not those who are looking to lose weight.
  • Tier 1 traffic – Another crucial factor is the type of traffic to be sent your way. It should come from tier 1 countries, which include United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. It’s for the very simple reason that people who are from this country are more likely to buy your product. That is unless you are targeting a different country.
  • Prompt delivery – The seller should also be able to deliver what is promised within the given time period. For instance, you are launching your ebook from the first week to second week of June. If the clicks are delivered by the end of June or on July, these will be useless.
  • Quick response – It’s also a must for the seller to attend to your questions and issues right away. Do not work with a seller who takes weeks to get back to you. Time is always of the essence when it comes to solo ads. It’s best to work with someone who values your time and gives quick response, at least within 24 hours.

Where to Look for Solo Ad Sellers

  • Online directories – One of the easiest ways to find solo ad sellers is through online directories, which you’ll find plenty.
  • Online forums – A good place to look for solo ad sellers is forums such as the Warrior Forum.
  • Google – Yes, you can use Google to search for keywords relevant to your niche. Take note however that this route is good for those who are adept in solo advertising.

Additional Solo Ad Points to Keep in Mind

When looking for solo ad sellers, be sure to do the following:

  • Read online reviews – Don’t trust a solo ad seller right away. Always remember that there are many scammers out there that are out to take advantage of you. Read online reviews about the seller to find out if there have been any complaints made against him/her. Do not work with anyone who is plagued with negative feedback.
  • Verify the list – Even if the seller seems reputable, you must double check to ensure that the list being offered to you is what you need. Aside from being in the same niche as yours, it should also be new and updated. Find out how old the list is. Old email lists won’t do you any good. As you know, people change email addresses all the time. Your email might end up on emails that haven’t been opened up in ages.
  • Inquire about pricing – There are two ways of paying the seller. One is through a fixed price option, which gives you full control over your budget. Another is performance based, which means that you’ll be paying by click, open or conversion rate. While the latter seems more ideal as you’d be paying for the results, you should remember that you need to have an expert tracking system if you’re going for this route.

While this isn’t a comprehensive answer to your questions directly, you can see that solo ads have the potential to work for you if the odds are in your favor, particularly, if you’re willing and able to follow the process correctly and find the right seller to work with.