Great news for businesses! In return for very little work, solo ads can build subscribers to your email list, increase traffic to your website, and ultimately drive sales. However, solo ads do cost money. And they’re not right for every business. To stand the best chance of success with solo ads, read on for everything you need to know.
What Are Solo Ads?
Solo ads are sent by businesses as dedicated emails to promote another business’s special offer or promotion in return for a fee. The way it works is that businesses pay other businesses to send their ad to addresses on their email list. The word ‘solo’ refers to the fact that the paying business’s ad is the only ad featured on that email.
How It Works
Let’s say a marketer from a business (person A) wants more subscribers to their site; perhaps they’re a new start-up and have only a few customers or followers. Person A approaches a business that offers a similar product or service to them (person B). The reason for this is simple: person B has lots of subscribers, and person A wants to access them to attract those customers to their site. Person A pays person B for person B to email their own list of subscribers with person A’s ad.
Paying for Solo Ads
There are several different ways to pay for a solo ad. You can be charged per email sent or according to cost per thousand impressions (CPM) or cost-per-click (CPC). It’s worth noting that an impression is how many times a unique person sees an ad and doesn’t guarantee an actual click-through.
You can get started with some basic testing with solo ads for a couple hundred dollars. So, if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, you could start with 200-500 clicks for around $150. It’s not a good idea to go for less than 500 clicks since this is a good amount for you to judge the metrics and success of your campaign.
Are solo ads worth it? Well, the answer to that all depends on your area of business and what you generally pay per click.
To decide whether it’s worth paying for solo ads or not, take a look at the channels available to you for pay-per-click advertising and what you can expect to pay according to your niche. If all goes well with your solo ad, subscribers click, and those clicks convert, you could end up paying far less for those conversions than you would with pay-per-click platforms like AdWords or Bing. This is especially true in niches where pay-per-click prices are through the roof.
How to Write a Great Solo Ad
It’s better if you write the ad yourself because you know your product, service, and website best. However, if the person who owns the email list wants to write the ad for you, make sure to discuss it with them. What they say and how they say it will make or break the ad for which you are paying, so your input is crucial.
Here are some tips:
- Write your ad for a cold customer or someone who isn’t ready to buy.
- Make the subject line catchy.
- Keep your ad short and simple.
- Include a call to action and a link to your landing page or website.
- If you’re not sure what to write or what wording to use, employ a good copywriter to write your ad for you.
- Include an irresistible offer.
- Check out similar solo ads in your niche for inspiration — but always write unique copy.
- Have a copywriter craft a video sales letter (VSL) and encourage your email recipient to click on a link to view it.
- Remember, the overall aim of your solo ad is to get your recipient to click on a link to your site to drive traffic.
Consider giving away free products or a free download that brings something of value to your audience. The reason for this is that you’ll stand a much better chance of making money from the backend — what people buy from your website after their initial purchase.
Finding a Genuine Email List for Your Solo Ad
As you’d expect, there’s always going to be some risk involved when you’re dealing with someone else’s email list. The fact is, there’s no real way of knowing how genuine those email addresses are and how they were obtained. To stand the best chance of getting value for money, work with someone you trust. If you don’t have someone you know of in your contacts list, ask around in forums in your niche to see if anyone has had success with solo ads; ask them who they used.
When you find someone you’re interested in, ask them if you can test a small amount of the list to see what response you get. You could also inquire which type of offers do well with their list so you can target your ad accordingly. For example, if their list likes free trials or free ebooks, you can craft your ad to offer those.
Another option is to Google ‘solo ads’ and find a marketplace that sells lists in your field of work. If you do this, it’s best to go with a reputable company — and start small to avoid any risk.
5 Advantages of Solo Ads
- Your ad is less likely to end up straight in an email recipient’s spam folder.
- You can get started for a couple hundred dollars.
- Where competition is fierce, it can be easier to reach customers with a solo ad than to appear at the top of a search engine.
- When you need to reach customers fast, solo ads can be more effective than other marketing routes.
- In some areas, there is so much content that you’re unlikely to get noticed, no matter how high quality your content is. This is where solo ads come into their own.
Solo ads can be an excellent investment for a business, and many companies swear by them. However, they’re not suitable for every market, and you may not be able to access an email list for your niche. Your best chance at success lies in picking a list suited to your business and what you’re offering. Even so, you still might need to try three to five lists before you see results. Bear in mind that just because your ad didn’t work on one list, it doesn’t mean it won’t work on another list. Perhaps that list just wasn’t interested in your particular offer. Or maybe your ad missed the mark and you need to tweak it. Solo ads are certainly worth trying since you can benefit from a great marketing channel for very little effort.