So, What Is A Solo Ad, And Do They Work?

by Scott Dudley

So you wanna learn about solo ads hey…

Before I get stuck into it… I want to assure you that when solo ads are done correctly… they can produce amazing results. And they’re also a perfect marketing strategy for those who are just getting started with internet marketing.

In other words, it’s well worth putting in the time to master this skill.

OK, let’s dive in…

Introduction To Solo Ads

For those of you that have not heard of the term “solo ad”, lets start off by defining what is a solo ad… with a basic description.

So, what is a solo ad?

Solo ads are a popular way for internet marketers to get their message out to large numbers of targeted prospects for a relatively low cost. The basic idea is to find someone who owns a large list of subscribers which is closely related to your niche.

And to effectively “rent” their list by paying them to send out an email you’ve written to their subscribers.

The Different Payment Options

Like many forms of advertising you have a choice of either choosing a fixed price or a performance based agreement. The performance based agreement could be based on a number of variables – but the most common are to either:

[+] pay per click

[+] pay per open

[+] or pay per conversion/sale.

I certainly prefer the fixed price option which includes a minimum amount of clicks. This way you have full control over your budget. And you are guaranteed to definitely get a minimum amount of traffic reaching your landing page.

Usually the list owner will repeat sending out your email until the minimum amount of clicks are reached. Some of them even give you extra clicks for free as a bonus if you’re lucky…

Performance based agreements can have their advantages, but are only recommended for people who are experienced. And know what they’re doing. I strongly advise to stick to a fixed agreement unless you’re an expert with plenty of experience.

The 5 Steps To Placing A Solo Ad

There are 5 basic steps to sending out a solo ad which are as follows:

  1. Choose a congruent landing page (or create one if you don’t have one)
  2. Write the email copy to put in the email (the only goal here is to sell the CLICK)
  3. Find a list owner who has a large list which is congruent to your niche or offer
  4. Set up your tracking. And shorten your link by using the bit.ly shortener (is free and can be found at http://bit.ly)
  5. Pay for the ad and book your mailing with the list owner

Writing The Solo Ad

It’s extremely important to create a compelling subject line which attracts interest and attention. Don’t just decide on anything. Spend some time to think carefully about a subject line which would IMMEDIATELY stand out in your perfect prospects inbox.

Remember if the subject line is weak, not many will bother even opening the email. And if the email is not even opened you have zero chance of getting a click. Let alone a sale… Do some research on writing great email subject lines if you are not confident with this.

I would recommend to keep your email copy relatively short. And straight to the point. Don’t crap on about meaningless stuff here.

One common reason for failure is simply the email copy being poor.

I would advise to learn how to write emails which people like reading. You can’t just pepper people with obvious sales pitches.

Remember you’re not trying to sell products or make money from your solo ads. You are primarily trying to sell the click.

And you do this by showing empathy to the reader. By talking about their problems. And by providing solutions to these problems.

Somehow you need to get inside your perfect prospect’s head. And see things from their perspective. Remember, it’s not about you. It’s about THEM.

So with this in mind… here are some good resources to learn how to write in an engaging manner:

http://locostmarketing.com/emails-that-sell/ 

http://basicblogtips.com/highest-possible-return.html

Your Offer And Call To Action

It’s also important to make it easy for people to click on your link. The link should be visible when the email is opened. The person reading the email might not bother to scroll down and read the rest of the email.

And make sure you use some sort of call to action. You want to tell them what to do. It might be something like “click the link below”, “click here”, “go here for more info”, or something along those lines.

But… NEVER use a solo ad to send them straight to an order page to buy something. 99.99% of people will not buy. You’d be wasting your money. The purpose of the solo ad is to generate leads ONLY. You want subscribers you can follow up with in the future.

ALWAYS send them to a stand alone squeeze page designed to capture their email address. No menu bars. No content. No ads.

On this stand alone squeeze page you MUST offer them something of extreme value to motivate them to give you their email address.

The fact is, it’s a lot more difficult nowadays to generate leads online than it was a decade ago. People are much more skeptical and don’t like to give up their contact information easily.

So the point is…

Figure out exactly what it is you can provide to your target market which is going to WOW them. Usually it will be some form of free information which they will find useful.

Don’t just offer what everyone else is offering to generate leads. Stand out from the competition and treat your subscribers with respect. Remember the whole point of attracting subscribers is to follow up with them and build a strong relationship.

Only when they know, like and trust you, will they even consider buying from you.

As mentioned above, use a url shortener like bit.ly to make your link as attractive as possible. The beauty of this is you’ll to be able track clicks from your bit.ly acccount. If your link is extremely long (or if it’s obvious it’s an affiliate link) they might think twice clicking on it.

Don’t rely on the word of the list owner – you want to be 100% sure that people are clicking on your link.

How To Find A Solo Ad Provider

To find a suitable list owner you have three basic options.

1) You can search for websites that provide directories of solo ad providers. These websites will basically provide you with lists of solo ad providers. This is a great way to get started if you have never done this before.

2) Another option is to find someone in a forum such as the WarriorForum.com. You can either advertise what you are looking for, or you can approach advertisers and ask them about placing a solo ad. This is the most time consuming method. But if you have a good look around, you can easily find the right people you are looking for.

3. The most advanced (but the most effective method) is to search Google for keywords related to your niche.

Let me explain…

Start writing down the websites that have an opt-in form on the front page above the fold (without having to scroll down the page).

The idea is to find marketers with large lists in your niche, but are not advertising they’re running solo ads. Once you have written down your list of targeted people, you start contacting them to ask if you can place a solo ad with them.

This strategy is far better than searching for people that sell solo ads.

You see… those who advertise they offer solo ads, regularly hammer their list with offers. And obviously the list becomes less and less responsive over time because the subscribers get tired of being asked to check out another offer.

The key to this is…

…it’s more important to find list owners who have RESPONSIVE lists.

Not just large lists. A list of 300 responsive subscribers is far more valuable, than a list of 10,000 which is dead.

For more information on this strategy, you can read a blog post that I have written titled “2 List Building Secrets That You Probably Have Not Heard Of”.

In short…

Try something different to find a list owner who the masses  are not using. But the list must be congruent with your niche. This takes more time and needs a bit thought. But, If you just take the easy and obvious route, you’ll just be in competition with everyone else.

Particularly if your niche is very popular

You see… it pays to think outside the square sometimes…

Once you have found a list owner that you’re satisfied with, organise to book your ad with them. And if the results are impressive, you may consider repeat business with them.

Don’t Expect Instant Success

Keep in mind you will rarely be successful with this strategy on your very first ad. If I was you, I wouldn’t be expecting a home run with your first solo ad.

So, don’t give up if the first mailing is a massive failure.

The only way to learn is to make mistakes. Correct them. And to keep moving forward.

Trust me… this strategy works like gangbusters if you’re prepared to give it a chance. And be persistent.

Just keep tweaking and tracking your ads.

Remove what doesn’t work.

And stick with what does work.

As I mentioned earlier, if the writing part all sounds too hard for you, then you can contact me at http://scottdudley.net/blog/contact/ or on Skype. My username is Scott_Dudley

Best of luck,

Scott Dudley

 

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