Solo Ads…Talk to Me!
AAn often asked question is this: “Should I use solo ads to promote my business and make it more visible?” Or, “Is this all I should use, or should do something else, as well?” So, here’s the thing: Solo Ads are a very unique and powerful way of getting your message out in a very targeted manner. Yet, the simplicity of deploying them is often misunderstood and associated with skewed expectations – to say the least. The absolutely HUGE topic this is, a blog post might not cut it fully. It’ll likely require a little book to cover everything. Yet, and especially for those new to solo ads, what follows are some insights that you’ll find really helpful. Now, I will be covering this topic from a solo ads buyer’s perspective (not that of a solo ad vendor). And all you need to do to find out my experience on this topic is to…
… first really understand one very simple fact: Solo Ads are great, but they should NEVER be the one and only weapon in your marketing arsenal. I want to get this out of the way first because it is crucial!
Now let’s talk a bit more about what they are, what they do and do not do, procuring them, tracking results etc.
What a Solo Ad is
A solo ad is an email sent out by a person owning a list of email subscribers about a specific subject or offering. The email marketer owning the list is the solo ad vendor. And the one buying the ads (or clicks, as they are referred to) is the solo ad buyer.
From a buyer’s perspective, the buyer’s offer or content is being sent in a highly targeted manner to people on the solo ad vendor’s list. The idea is to not just present the content and possibly an offer to the email recipients. It is also to get them on the buyer’s email list (should the buyer have a list, that is).
What Solo Ads Do and Do Not Do
Obviously, getting your content in front of people who have never seen it is a great thing. And getting them on your list, should they be interested in your offer is even more of a motivation. Ultimately, email marketers do want to have a continuously growing list. It is to whom they can then also present value in the form of content and offers.
On the face of it, it looks pretty easy if you are interested in building a list: Just keep buying solo ads and you’re sorted. Well, it is more involved that that. Remember, that the new people signing to your list typically wouldn’t know you or your offer until they received the solo ad from the person who sent them the ad (or targeted email).
This essentially means that they are still “cold” to you and your message. And it would require consistent and congruent messaging AND relationship building from your side to “warm” them up to you and your message. So be sure that you have your messaging lined up (be it a series of emails in an autoresponder etc.) before embarking upon purchasing solo ads. Now, if you are not into list-building, then this obviously does not apply to you. Though in most cases, marketers engage in purchasing solo ads also to grow their own lists.
Types of Solo Ads
Standard Solo Ads
This is when traffic by the solo ad vendor using the link you provide. There are no commitments or guarantees on what the results of sending the traffic are – can be good or not so good. And while measured by some metrics, it is actually totally open.
Guaranteed Solo Ads
Something more measurable and reliable is this more widely used form of solo ads that guarantees that a visitor, to whom the link is sent, clicks on it and visits the site the link is pointing to. And you pay for the click and the guarantee that the site actually is visited. If the sale thereafter happens or not, or if the visitor does opt in to your list (if this is the intention) is usually not a part of the guarantee. The fact, however, is that the visit to the site happens (in what is terms as a “click” or “unique click”) is a part of this commitment. We’ll talk about this a bit further down here.
Procuring Solo Ads
There are literally thousands of solo ads vendors out there. The easiest way to find them, I have determined, is to join groups on social media (such as Facebook) that are all about solo ads, vendors, buyers, testimonials etc. These groups are free to join and are usually moderated by the ones who create them. The moderation ensures that only objective information and feedback gets shared in the community or group for the benefit of its members.
Here are links to the groups (bookmark this post right now and come back and use this list when you are taking action on this topic):
What I personally use is a list of vendors that I have access to given the part of an exclusive community of entrepreneurs that I am a part of. There are over 60 vendors contained in that list. They have been thoroughly checked, and I also use some other exclusive information and hidden solo vendor resources. If you want to find out more about this community, and for me to determine if you could potentially qualify to join the community, contact me using this link.
Choosing the vendor and Procuring the solo ads
Once you have chosen which vendor after reading about their track record of performance, checking out their testimonials page, if they have one, you need to contact them with a brief private message. Indicate to them that you’d be interested in a test package and they should get in touch if they’re interested.
When they get back, indicate that you are interested in starting with a small test package (start small, i.e. 100-300 clicks and then you can always scale up if the vendor works well for you). Don’t be afraid to ask questions, which could be (but not limited to):
- What is the source of their email addresses?
- Does the list actually buy products?
- How often do they refresh their list?
The list above is not in any way comprehensive and not intended to replace a training on this topic. Yet it gives you the major pointers you need to get started with this process. Incidentally, I learned a lot about this and all other aspects of owning and running an online business in a great program called the Big Commission Blueprint.
After you and the solo ad vendor are in agreement about how to proceed, you’d need to pay them (they all accept major payment methods). They’d then get started after receiving the payment. There is not much more to the ”procuring the ads” part than this. After this, you wait for the traffic to roll in – and to one more CRUCIAL thing. We’ll talk about this next.
Tracking Campaign Performance
If there is the one and only thing you’d want to take away from the diary of an experienced marketer, it’s this: If you don’t track your solo ad campaign’s performance, you’re roasted. Especially as an affiliate marketer, totally roasted.
If your solo ad vendor does not provide tracking results or is not open to working with the ones you’d provide, then it is NOT the vendor to work with – find another one. As simple as that. Either one of you – or preferably both – has to be tracking the stats of the campaign.
Metrics to Track
The metrics to be tracked mainly are (but not limited to):
- Total Clicks: Total number of clicks that landed on the page you provided the link for
- Unique Clicks: The number of unique persons (or computers, essentially) that actually visited the page. This is the number of clicks that you also agree upon and pay for
- Traffic origin: Depending on the country where the person clicking the link is located, the traffic is classified in what are called tiers (for example, Tier 1 includes US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand).
- Opt-in rate (if applicable): Whether or not the traffic sent to the link also opted- in to your list, provided they were giving the option to do so based on the page’s content
- Sales (if applicable): This is self-explanatory and something you’d track to determine the overall profitability of your solo ad campaign. You’d typically want the Return on Investment (RoI) of your campaign to be positive, in that you get a higher return than what you paid to drive the traffic to the link.
The Unique Clicks (and possibly also the traffic source) is what you’d definitely need to agree upon with the vendor prior to placing the order.
An Easy Way to Track Metrics
Tracking these statistics is actually quite easy as there are several very user-friendly and affordable solutions out there to do this. I personally really like and use ClickMagick, as I find it really easy to use with my moderate(ly low) techie skills. Just by the way, I also made use of the free 14-day trial before deciding to go for it. There are other solutions out there, too, so look around and go with what suits you best.
Remember, without tracking results, you’re wasting your time and money. Not much more to add to that.
A Source of Knowledge
I mentioned the source from where I have learned a lot earlier in this post. Now, if you have been an online entrepreneur for a while or just getting started off, you surely know the value of being as targeted in your efforts as you possibly can. The best approach to getting results by being focused and targeted is by deploying a system that has worked for others in the past. If you are on the lookout for such a system, I’d like to recommend something to you. It is called the Big Commission Blueprint.
This system has allowed even complete newbies not just put in practical a new online business in place but also generate 4-figure paydays in some cases. Even experienced marketers have used it to expand their online presence. It is called the Big Commission Blueprint. You can find out more about it absolutely free by clicking here. The guy who created it is my friend and partner, so I have no problems recommending it to you. You’ll not regret having taken the few minutes – they might well prove to be life-changing.
Over To You
I’d love to hear your experience with solo ads. Irrespective of whether you are a total newbie or have been using solo ads as a means of traffic in the past, please share your experience. In closing, I’d like to repeat what I said right at the beginning. Solo ads is a great way to drive targeted traffic to whatever you have to offer. Yet, it is not prudent to use it as the one and only source of traffic to your business. With some experience and once you know what you are doing, it surely is one very powerful and easy-to-use weapon in your arsenal.
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