Want to build your email list fast, or get the word out about next week’s product launch? Some marketers swear by solo ads. And while solo ads can work, they’re not for every business, and they can be a risky investment. Keep reading to see if they’re right for you.
Any individual who's been in associate showcasing for some time will have known about independent advertisements. Be that as it may, if that is not your business, here's the inside scoop: Solo promotions are email-based ads you purchase from other email list proprietors. They're normally sent as devoted messages – so the whole message is about your advancement.
They work this way: You locate a performance advertisement rundown you're keen on. You contact the proprietor or purchase access to the rundown from their site. You purchase either by what number of supporters your email message will be sent to, or by what number of snaps your email will get.
If all goes well, those subscribers will click, and those clicks will convert well. In the end, you’ll end up with solo ad conversions that cost less than other types of advertising.
But it’s far from perfect. Solo ads, in all honesty, have a hazy reputation. Many companies don’t touch them. They typically work best for affiliates and information marketers.
All things considered, there's additionally a ton of advertisers who state they owe their business to solo promotions, that independent promotions were the means by which they got their beginning. So it merits your opportunity to at any rate know how they work.
Who solo ads would work best for
Marketers who have a bit of budget. Got a couple hundred dollars? That’s enough to do some basic testing with solo ads.
If you’re in a niche where pay per click prices are through the roof. In this case, your cost per click from solo ads may be so much less than what you’d get on AdWords or Bing that solo ads are worth a test.
If you’re in a niche that’s completely oversaturated with content (like affiliate marketing or weight loss).
If you’re in a niche with intense competition for search engine traffic.
If you’re about to launch a product, or if you need traffic sent to a page quickly. You’ve got no time to write guest posts, build an audience, or do anything that takes more than a few days to see results.
A big, fat warning
Solo ads are typically offered by one-guy (or one-gal) sellers. In other words, you’re dealing with the list owner directly. Because of this, there’s some risk involved.
There’s even more risk involved because some solo ad lists were built with less-than-ideal methods. In a best-case scenario, the list might have been built by converting traffic from a website that’s in your niche. Or maybe the list owner bought advertising and converted it with a squeeze page.
But it’s also possible the email addresses on the list you’re about to use were acquired with “scraping” software. That’s a program that just goes from website to website, gathering any email address it comes across. As you can guess, those email addresses tend to convert poorly.
It’s likely the list you mail to will be somewhere between those two poles of good and awful. But consider yourself warned: There are a few shady people in the world of solo ads.
Fortunately, there are ways to tell if you’re dealing with a good list owner and a good list:
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Avoid people who make big promises.
Use forums, friends and any online resource you can find to verify that the list owner and their list are worth your money. Do a couple of careful searches for the list owner’s name and website. Check out their social media accounts. Check forums to see if anyone’s complained about them.
Start small. DO NOT drop $1,000 on a list the first time out. Start smaller – preferably as small as the list owner will let you. Expect to test 3-5 lists in a limited way before you move ahead with a bigger investment.
Not every testimonial you read online is true. Sad to say, but some sites are still posting fake testimonials. Don’t think everything’s fine just because you read 10-20 glowing reports on somebody’s site.
Ask the owner how their list was built. Of course, they may not tell you the truth, but at least you’ve asked. And hopefully you’ll get a realistic answer back, like “I build this list by buying Facebook ads and sending them to a squeeze page”. If that’s the answer you get, consider asking to see the squeeze page. Try to hit the sweet spot between asking enough questions to be confident, and asking so many questions that it becomes obvious you think they’re a scammer.
Ask them how often they mail to that list. They may say every day. That’s not a total red flag, as some lists as used to being mailed to that often. But if I was buying a solo ad, I’d want to hear that they mail to that list no more than 2-3 times a week.
Ask them which type of offers do well with their list. Is this a list that’s great for capturing email addresses, but not so great for high-ticket items? Is this a list that likes free trials, or free ebooks? Do they tend to like video tutorials, or text autoresponders? If you have time and the will to do it, consider crafting the email message you send so that it appeals to what this list responds to.
Ask them how they process hard bounces. Well-managed email lists remove subscribers after one hard bounce. Some will stretch that to two hard bounces. If you get an answer like “we don’t track bounces,” move on.
Ask them what their spam complaint rate is. Any more than 0.2% and you’ve got a red flag. An “average” spam complaint rate is roughly 0.1%.
And finally – ask them what their list’s average response rate is. You want to know what the average open rate is and what the average click-through rate is. If you can, try to find out what the typical conversion rate is for, say an email opt-in squeeze page. They may say “Hey – every landing page is different. Every email is different. I can’t help it if yours is terrible.” And that’s true.
Some of the friendlier list owners might point you to landing pages that recent buyers have used and say “this converted at 8%”. They might even show you the email creative that was sent to their list. The more information you can get the better… just don’t go crazy trying the copy the email or the landing page.
Where to look for solo ads?
There are several places you can purchase solo ads from, including individual vendors, Facebook, forums and marketplaces.
When you are first getting started, I would personally go with a marketplace because you can choose from a number of vendors and also see what feedback they are getting from other buyers. You can do that on Facebook as well, but with Facebook you don’t have the protection of your funds being held in any type of escrow until the traffic you have paid for has been delivered.
I have purchased traffic both inside and outside of marketplaces. Now while it’s true that most sellers are honest, if you are dealing with vendors individually you are going to run across the occasional bad one who may not necessarily fail to deliver any traffic, but may send you a bunch of useless clicks. This does happen on occasion and I’ve had it happen to me. This is why it’s important to build up your own personal ‘rolodex’ of sellers over time that you buy from on a repeated basis.
Now nothing is perfect and results are going to vary by seller, but at least with a service like Udimi the junk/useless traffic gets filtered out so you don’t have to pay for it and the vendor is effectively forced to send you traffic to deliver what you have paid for. They offer protection which is especially useful and important if you are buying larger solo orders, although I would always recommend starting relatively small anyway at the 100–200 clicks level. Also if a seller fails to deliver what you have ordered, you will get refunded the difference automatically. You can then re-allocate those funds towards another solo ad order or you can withdraw it back to your paypal account.
One mistake people often make is placing a large order with an individual vendor before they really know that they are going to deliver as promised.
To an extent you do have to dig your own well. On an individual basis you will find excellent solo ad vendors over time. What I would have is a two-tier approach by starting off buying on a marketplace like Udimi which I still use to this day and then also adding solo ad buys from other sources over time.
You can see how Udimi works in this video including some insights on this marketplace from a users/buyers perspective.
What sets Udimi apart?
Udimi not only sets itself apart from other competitors, it also has a strong competitive advantage over those companies in the same industry.
We have a state of the art protection and security system, we stop on average of 15 scams per day of fake selling and fake buying. This will ensure that your leads and sales are more authentic than using cheaper lists or other automated methods.
Udimi also provides you with a suite of analytics, which is completely uncommon in this field. Udimi makes your data meaningful, gives you the geolocation of the users another demographic data which make your sales efforts more fine tuned and effective.
Udimi gives you access to other entrepreneurs, so you can share industry secrets and expand your network. You also have direct access to the list owner, and you can message them at any time.
With Udimi, you have more than just a email list. You have an entire community and experience at your disposal. Sign up today!