I was at a friend’s house this weekend and he was telling me that he was getting into the business of selling skateboards. As a kid, I used to skate. I was one of those that would ollie down big stairs, wax and grind on the ledges.. I was one of those that’d be slapping boards outside and bothering everyone inside. Haha, good times..
Anyway, he asks me what I think..I started talking about the sport itself, about how much I love it and how I can still get stuck watching YouTube videos and how amazed I am at how technical the sport is getting.. He stops me, “No man, I know you skate Jay, I’m asking what do you think I should do with the business?”
I don’t like giving advice when I’m not in a business setting, I told him we’d talk about it some other time if he was serious, but I caught onto something in the middle of his barrage of questions, “How do I grow on Facebook? Should I use Twitter? Should I get into solo ads?”
I thought to myself, “most people don’t even know what solo ads are”. This peaked my interest and I ended up digging into the topic quite a bit. So, there’s a tip for you. If you ever catch me in person, don’t ask me the typical questions about social media. To be honest, social media isn’t my favorite way to get traffic.. Anyway, I thought I’d share with all of you my take on solo ads.
First, let’s define solo ads by explaining what they’re not. Solo ads are nothing like the traditional ads you see online. They’re not banner ads that you find on websites, it’s not Pay Per Click (PPC), and it’s not found on Facebook or Twitter. According to the direct marketing glossary found at the Canadian Marketing Association, the definition is:
A one-time or single mailing as opposed to a continuing series of communications (also called Standalone mailing).
Part of building an online business is generating a big email list of people that have given us permission to send them content and offers. Internet marketers all have an email list, and some marketers will send your offer to their list if you pay them well enough. This is a great way to leverage someone else’s time and efforts because building a big list can take time. That e-mail that they send out to their list, on your behalf, is a solo ad. In other words, solo ads is a form of paid traffic where you pay the owner of a mailing list to send out one email to their list. Get it?
4 Benefits of Using Solo Ads
- Instant traffic – This is the obvious benefit of solo ads. You leverage someone else’s time and effort while also borrowing some of that credibility that they’ve already built with their list.
- Easy – Outside of doing the research to find a good provider, sending out solo ads is relatively easy. Some of the better solo ad providers understand that the email they send out on your behalf should be written in their voice, in other words, they’ll write your copy for you. Think about it for a second, if you’ve been emailing your list for awhile now, then the chances are the relationship is there and they know how you talk. If you let someone else come in and talk to your list (to push their offer), it won’t sound consistent. The better providers understand this and will take a look at your offer and write compelling enough copy on your behalf because they already know what their list is into and how to talk to them.
- Fast – Unlike doing Facebook or banner ads, where you need to create or buy graphics (banners), a solo ad is nothing but an email. The only real work comes in finding the right provider (see next section below).
- Cheap – Order the minimum number of clicks to see if it works. If it doesn’t, move on and try something else, for your and money and amount of time you saved, you’ve actually received a lot of value for a minimal investment. Now, if it does work, and the $30 bucks you sent brought you back $200, then everything else moving forward is profit and you have yourself an online money vending machine.
How to Find Solo Ad Providers
You want to spend a little time researching this because finding a solid solo ad provider isn’t as simple as Googling one. Reason being is because internet marketers hold their lists pretty close to the chest and there’s no real way to tell how many people are on their list – they’re simply not gonna give you access to it.
So the first and best place to find a reputable solo ad provider is within your immediate circle of friends who are also internet marketers. You know these people already so the trust is likely already there. You’ll also know what type of business they’re in so you’ll know if sending an email to his/her market will make sense for you.
If you don’t know any other internet marketers, then you should get to networking. Reach out to people you find in Facebook groups and online forums and introduce yourself. Tell them about any experience you have, what business you’re in, and what you’re struggling with.
Believe it or not, most internet marketers love helping each other out. Sure, there are a few unethical marketers online that give us a bad name, but I’d vouch and say that most people making money online are honest, hard working people that put in just as much amount of work in their home business as employees put in their job, if not more.
Once you have a few solo ad providers in your sights, look for reviews from people that they’ve worked with, but always take it one step further by contacting the reviewer yourself:
Let’s say Barbara posts a positive review on Paul’s solo ad service. You contact Barbara and she says that she stands behind Paul’s solo ads because they flat out work. Your next question should be, “What type of offer did you send? What market?” If she tells you she was offering weight loss products but you’re over here offering educational products on how to make money online, your conversions might be completely different. You might also want to ask if any of those clicks converted into subscribers/followers/buyers/etc.
Do your due diligence to make sure that:
- The provider has a solid reputation of delivering the number of clicks that they promise
- That the people on their list will actually be interested in your offering (the right market)
- Those clicks are actual people that will convert into subscribers/followers/buyers
When you do settle on a solo ad provider, always order the minimum number of clicks to test. Don’t just jump in and buy 1000 clicks right off the bat. Test small, order 200-300 clicks and see how many of those convert. If the conditions are right, then some of those clicks will convert, (if you’ve had a conversion rate of 40% then you should get 30%-50% of those clicks to convert). If you’re getting clicks but zero conversions, then that provider is likely sending you fake traffic.
As always and with everything, track your results!
Words of Encouragement
Be okay with accepting losses. With internet marketing, you have to be okay with taking punches along the way while still keeping up your enthusiasm, knowing that it’ll work out for you soon enough. So don’t be disappointed if you don’t get it right the first try, the most important thing is that you try.