Solo ads are a highly contentious topic in the online marketing scene, especially in the MMO (make money online) niche.
While many experienced marketers look upon solo ads in disdain, there are many others who swear by them and say that this form of traffic works.
So which camp is right?
Well, they both are – and that’s what makes this such a tricky situation.
To get a balanced view of this issue, we’ll need to analzye the pros and cons of solo ads. From there, we’ll be able to decide if this form of traffic is worth our time.
- Quick results
This is probably the biggest advantage of solo ads. If you chose a vendor on a solo ads marketplace like Udimi, all you’d need to do is order 100 clicks or so and the vendor will have to deliver the clicks to fulfil the order. So your traffic is guaranteed.
No matter how bad your email swipe is, the vendor will do their best to get you the clicks. This is in stark contrast to other traffic methods such as Facebook ads where the onus is on you to make the ads convert into clicks.
So solo ads are a much easier form of traffic.
- Targeted audience
Most solo ad vendors target the ‘make money online’ niche, though a few vendors may offer ads for other niches such as health, etc.
Unlike Facebook which guesses who might be interested in your ads, solo ad leads are far more targeted. When you get a click from someone who saw a solo ad email, you can bet that the visitor is on some email list and they’re interested in making money online.
This is relatively warm traffic that’s opening an email, reading it and clicking on the link out of curiosity (and interest). It doesn’t get more targeted than that.
- Easy to set up
Solo ads are one of the easiest traffic methods to master. There’s a very short learning curve here.
All you’re doing is creating a landing page, ordering clicks, and monitoring your traffic and conversion rates. Your job becomes much easier when you use a tool like LeadsLeap to track your clicks.
Your page builder (or your autoresponder) will be able to show you the conversion rates of your landing page. A/B split testing is easy and you can keep improving your control so that your conversions are in the (30-40%) recommended range.
- Scalable and fast
Solo ads are also scalable. Once your landing page is converting well, it’s just a matter of ordering more clicks from multiple reputable vendors to build your list fast.
- Measurable results
When you’re ordering these ads, and you’ve set up a reliable tracking tool to monitor the clicks, you’ll be able to tell if and when you’re making a profit. This is key to knowing whether your solo ad is profitable or not… and you can measure your results here relatively easily.
- Most solo ad traffic is atrocious
There’s no easy way to say this… but no matter which vendor you purchase from, solo ad traffic more often than not is poor quality traffic.
Yes, the leads are targeted… but they’re also fickle and numb to the offers that inundate their email inboxes.
Subscribers on solo ad vendor lists are getting emails daily with some getting emails 4 times a day. The people on these lists get burned out fast.
List exhaustion and saturation are real problems.
The emails become a blur… and your landing page becomes one of the many they see… and it may get lost in the madness and cacophony of being on a solo ad vendor’s list.
But this is NOT your fault. It’s just the way things are.
- The costs can add up… fast
Depending on how much you’re paying for a click, you could pay anywhere from $49 all the way up to $120 (maybe more) for 100 clicks.
Usually, vendors charge more for ‘Tier 1’ traffic which is traffic sent to subscribers residing in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and recently, Singapore.
Ideally, tier 1 traffic is the type you want so that your conversions are better.
One downside to solo ad traffic is that no matter how efficient your funnel is, your ad costs usually stay the same. Whereas if you use Google or Facebook ads, your ad performance will be rewarded with lower ad costs and so on.
But with solo ads, the price never changes… unless you speak with the vendor and ask for a discount.
Whatever the case, the costs can add up fast. For this very reason, it’s imperative that you track your clicks so that you know when you make a sale/s. This will let you know when it’s safe to purchase more ads without going into debt.
- Disreputable vendors and fraudulent clicks
The solo ad space has its fair share of dodgy vendors who will send low quality traffic (even when you pay for tier 1 countries) or in a worst-case scenario, they may send fake traffic (bot clicks) to try and fool you.
This is why it’s imperative that you use a 3rd party tracking tool to assess the quality of the traffic you’ve ordered. Even if Udimi’s stats show that the vendor is legit, you still want to track your traffic.
- You might have limited control over the email swipe
Some solo ad vendors insist on sending their own email to their list instead of using your email swipe. You have 2 options here:
- Let the vendor use their swipe
- Choose another vendor who will use yours
That’s really all there is to it and there are pros and cons to each option.
For the first option, the vendor just might have a better email swipe than you… and they have an innate understanding of how their list responds. So their emails will have better conversions.
If you choose option #2, your email swipe will be used and it will be more congruent with your landing page and any offer that may be in your funnel. However, your tone of writing may not resonate with the solo ad vendor’s list – and your conversion rate may suffer.
Are solo ads worth your time… and money?
This is the question on everyone’s mind before they buy a solo ad.
“Am I wasting my money?”
The answer is both… yes and no.
If you know what you’re doing, you can make solo ads work… and if you don’t, you’ll end up spending money and seeing no results.
We’ve already established that almost all solo ad quality is sub-par traffic, even if it’s tier one traffic. That means getting the leads to convert is your job.
Most beginners make a crucial mistake here. They judge the profitability of the solo ad based on the immediate sales it generates.
If you judge the success of your solo ad based on this metric, you’ll inevitably be disappointed.
A lead generated from a solo ad barely knows who you are. You don’t have a relationship with them… and they neither know, like or trust you.
So it’s extremely difficult to make sales initially… though you may occasionally get a sale or two from the solo ad. But this is not the norm.
The most important point to understand is that your goal should be to make your solo ad leads profitable over time.
Once the subscriber is on your list, your emails should be personable, engaging and deliver value. If you do that, your subscribers will sit up and take notice.
Your email marketing game must be on point!
They’ll soon realize that you’re not just another money-chasing marketer, but a positive and helpful authority in the niche. Now they’ll look forward to your emails because they trust you… and they’ll be far more likely to buy the products you’re selling or promoting.
Realistically speaking, a lead generated from a solo ad today may only buy from you 3 weeks to a month later. But if they keep buying from you after that, the lifetime value from that buyer will far exceed the cost of the solo ad run you paid for.
Do you get it now?
We’re trying to separate the wheat from the chaff – trying to distil the leads we get down to the few real buyers.
Like famous marketing advisor, Dan Kennedy, once said, “A buyer is a buyer is a buyer.”
And even if all you got from 100 clicks was just one buyer, in the long run, their repeat purchases will cover the cost of your solo ad and more.
Which means that to succeed with solo ads, you MUST play the long game.
Most beginner marketers are too myopic and dismiss solo ads too fast without ever giving them time to work. They expect to be in profit from the get-go. This is hardly ever the case.
The next thing you’ll need to do is track your clicks and your leads.
Use a tracking tool to make sure the traffic you paid for is genuine. This is a cornerstone principle that you absolutely must adhere to.
A few more pointers to note:
Always purchase only 100 clicks at a time. Usually, solo ad vendors overdeliver by about 10 to 20 clicks. So if you ordered 100 clicks, you’d might get 120 clicks.
If you plan on buying 300 clicks, it’ll be better to purchase 100 clicks over 3 separate orders. This will mean that that you get anywhere for 30 to 60 extra clicks, whereas if you bought all 300 at one go, you might still only get 10 to 20 clicks extra.
You’d also do well not to purchase more than 1000 clicks from any one vendor. Very often, they’ll be hammering their lists hard to meet your order requirements, and though you might get clicks to your landing page, the visitors might not be interested in opting in.
Try different vendors so that you know whose lists have fresh and responsive leads. Not all solo ad vendors and leads are made equal.
Finally, keep an excel sheet with a list of the subscribers you added after each solo. Whenever you make a sale down the line (for your own products), you can check against this list to see if it was one of your solo ad leads.
This will tell you if your solo ad has paid for itself, and it’ll also give you an idea of time frame it takes you to cover the cost of the ad.
For example, if your solo ad turns a profit after 4 weeks, in future, you can order solo ads every 4 weeks or so… and assess how they perform.
All in all, solo ads can be profitable if you think long term and are great at email marketing.
It’ll also help to email your list regularly… and you must have reputable products that you can sell/promote in your emails. You’ll build your list, make sales and cover your ad costs at the same time.
Solo ads work, if you work them.