A Beginner’s Guide To Buying Solo Ads

Every business owner knows the importance of advertising to promote the business. It does not matter if you are an affiliate marketer, a product creator or a service provider (or even a bit of all three) you need to get eyes on your offerings if you are to sell anything at all. We all know that we do this by driving traffic to our websites. As the Internet continues to evolve and new technologies develop there are more and more options available to use to bring visitors to our sites.

I guess that many of us, indeed most of us, start out driving traffic using techniques that cost us nothing. However the downside to many free traffic techniques is that they are slow to show results or simply don’t deliver the quantity or quality of visitor we need. When I use the word quality I mean traffic that is targeted to our offer as opposed to just any old visitor. A targeted lead is much more likely to buy from us than one who is not qualified.

The result is that we naturally begin to add some techniques that are not free to our arsenal. The big problem with these so-called paid advertising tactics is that they can be a real minefield and, if we are not careful, can cost some quite serious money. One such paid advertising technique that many will try is solo ads. This strategy works well but also has pitfalls for the unwary. So let’s explore the world of solo ads…

The Solo Ad Strategy

The first thing is to define just what a solo ad actually is just in case you have never heard of them. A solo ad is a one time mail out (or e-mail blast) that you buy from someone who has a suitable list that they have created. This person is called the vendor. Put another way, some marketers will accept payment from you in exchange for sending an e-mail that you have written to their mailing list. Normally you pay in advance for a specific number of clicks at a cost for each click defined at the time you purchase.

The advantages are obvious. If you have a small list a solo ad can broaden your reach. The cost is defined before you commit to an ad so there are no nasty surprises and, if you do it correctly, the people who get to see your ad are highly targeted to your offer.

There are disadvantages as well. You are at the mercy of the vendor so you need to choose carefully. Will they deliver the clicks you have paid for? Will the clicks be from suitably qualified leads? Also remember that this is a one time mailing and so this technique is not suitable for a campaign – even if you bought subsequent mailings it is highly unlikely they will go to the same individuals.

Here are some tips to help you see success from your solo ad efforts.

Find A Reliable Vendor

Finding a reliable and honest vendor is the critical first step in order for any solo ad strategy to be successful. What you are looking for is a vendor with a good reputation and a superb track record earned from previous solos they have provided. The temptation for a beginner is to look for a ‘cheap’ deal to try the technique with.

Such a deal is cheap for a reason. It might be the vendor is new to providing solo ads and so is offering a good deal to begin earning a reputation. That makes that vendor a risk in that they are an unknown quantity and, if you are just starting out with solo ads, you would be advised to pass. The offer might also be priced lower than others because their list is not made up of ‘Tier 1’ and buyer leads. In other words they are selling clicks from a lower quality list and, in that case, your results will be less than you hoped for. It may even be that the vendor does not have a good reputation and so has to price themself to reflect that.

Finding a reliable vendor can be quite difficult when you are first starting out with solo ads so to help you here is a link to a website that I use to find suitable vendors. The site is maintained by a marketer by the name of Reed Floren and his reviews on the vendors he uses are very helpful and quite unbiased.

Establish A Working Relationship

The next consideration you should be making is to establish a working relationship with the vendor. It is the exact same thing we do with our own customers in order to win their trust and confidence. In this case we are the customer but the relationship is just as important.

Let the vendor know what you are looking for and what your expectations are. A good vendor will also let you know if, in their opinion, you could be doing some things better. For example they might suggest small changes to your e-mail swipe or sales/squeeze page to increase the results you could see based on their own experience. It pays to bear in mind that your success is important to their own success as they make their money from selling solo ads.

Niches – Like For Like

Before engaging any vendor make sure that the list to which they are going to send your message to actually matches your niche. This follows on from my point about establishing a relationship with the vendor. A vendor may have a huge list of red hot buyers from tier 1 countries but if they are all interested in dog training and your offer is aimed at the weight loss niche then obviously you have wasted your money because your results will be zero!

Unfortunately there are some fly-by-night operators who are without conscience and will supply stale or bad leads. Their list could be impressive but if their leads don’t match your offer it would be a waste of money, time and effort on your part so out of that relationship we have been talking about simply ask the question.

Pricing

I briefly mentioned the price of solo ads earlier in this article and I want to concentrate on it a little more here. You need to set a budget and stick to it. Obviously you will want to get the best deal for your money but the cheapest option may not be the best option. What I am trying to say here is that there are more considerations than just price.

If, for example, a vendor is able to provide 30 clicks to a tier 1 buyers list in your exact niche you will probably find you will get a better end result than a campaign with a vendor who can supply 60 clicks to a lesser qualified list. So, you need to weigh up all the options. After all if you do see success you can always set up another campaign because you will have the funds available to scale up your efforts.

This, of course, assumes that you are measuring the results of each campaign with each vendor you are using. You need to analyse each campaign in order to be able to measure its success and the suitability of the vendor for future campaigns.

Conclusion

When everything is boiled down solo ads work. They offer a good option for any marketer irrespective of experience. With due care and diligence you can see very satisfactory results, whether you are sending the traffic to an offer or a squeeze page in order to build your own list. While you will most likely have some failures if you are analysing things as you should, even they can be of benefit in the long run as you will have learnt what not to do.

The key is to start small and learn as you go. By starting small any failures you might have will not really hurt anything but your pride. On the flip side you will also see success as well and there is nothing like success to breed success.

Have you ever done any advertising using solo ads? If you have please share your experiences by leaving a comment. As always please share this post if you have found it useful.

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