I don’t mean to start this article off on a down note, but I have to. The reality is that it’s too easy to lose money with solo ads. It really is. If you don’t know what you’re doing or you let the hype regarding this particular type of traffic get the better of you, you will lose money. It’s not a question of “if,” but “when.” The sad reality is that so many advertisers who are otherwise intelligent get into the solo ad game with both feet and they end up regretting it. I don’t want you to cry over the thousands of dollars that you will burn through just to get these in conversions with solo ads.
The best way to handle this game is to focus on finding the right solo ad providers. Notice my phrasing, I did not say, “Find solo ad providers.” There’s too many of them. If you’re looking for just solo ads, there are tons of people that are ready, willing and eager to take your money. That’s not the issue. The issue is finding the right people. Pay attention to the following, you will learn everything that you need to learn to find the right solo ad providers:
Avoid professional solo ad sellers
The first piece of advice I could give you is to avoid professional sellers of solo ads. I can’t emphasize this enough. If you forget everything else on this list, remember this tip. It’s going to save you a ton of money and headaches down the road.
The problem with the solo ad industry is that there are many professional solo ad sellers. They collect emails, not because they’re providing value to their list members, but because they want to sell solo ad space. That’s their primary motivation. What do you think the quality of that list will be?
You have to remember since their focus is on volume, chances are they will pull all sorts of tricks, tell all sorts of lies, engage in all sorts of shady or downright unethical activities just to increase their newsletter memberships. None of these practices will help your business.
I know that there are totally legitimate and scrupulous solo ads sellers out there. I know they exist. Unfortunately, they are outnumbered by the vast army of people who would employ all sorts of shady tactics just to take your money. It’s your best bet to just avoid professional ad sellers altogether.
Avoid email or list “farmers”
Even if you’re not dealing with somebody who makes his or her living selling solo ads, you might still be dealing with the wrong person. You see, since people know that there are many advertisers renting out space on mailing lists, there is no shortage of people who would just farm lists. They would create all sorts of websites to collect emails. Their hope is that somehow, someway, somebody would approach them to rent space on their email updates. While these people are not exactly at the same level as professional solo ad sellers, they are just as bad.
You see, if somebody is just farming lists or padding mailing lists, you run the risk of putting your brand in front of the wrong eyeballs. A lot of their list members are probably people who got tricked into joining their list. A lot of these people are not happy. Do you really want your brand to be associated with shady lists? I thought not.
Avoid off-niche solo ads
If you know how solo ads work you probably are excited. You probably are salivating at the prospect of high conversions. I really can’t blame you. The problem is if you let this get the better of you and you pull the trigger on putting out ads at off-niche solo ads, you might just be wasting your money. While I’m not at all saying that you shouldn’t do this, you have to do your homework first.
You see, just because solo ad provider tells you that they can sell you inventory at a cheap rate, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this off-niche list will convert for you. Even if it’s in a related niche to your target niche, that alone may not be enough to guarantee success. You still have to do your homework. You still have to look at other factors.
Avoid informational list providers
There are many list owners who generate lists by providing general information to niche audiences. There’s nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is when you buy a solo ad space at such a list and expect that the traffic will convert. You see, when people sign up for a mailing list, they often have different intents. And unfortunately, when you buy informational list traffic, a lot of these people do not have the intention of buying anything. They are way too early in the buying cycle to be of the buying frame of mind.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that this traffic is worthless. You still have to filter this traffic. The problem is if you factor in conversion costs you’re actually paying more money on a per click basis for this type of traffic than buyers’ list traffic.
Focus on buyers’ list
This is where the rubber meets the road. If you are really serious about finding the right solo ad providers, focus on providers who will give you lists of buyers. These are people who are ready, willing and able to buy whatever it is that you are selling. They should be your primary focus. Forget everything else. Otherwise, you are just going to be throwing good money after bad.
Focus on per-placement ad fees
One of the biggest scams in the world of solo ads is per-click charging. On a per-click basis, you can end up paying through the nose. We’re talking about 25 cents per click. That’s a lot of money. The good news is that there is a workaround. The good news is that there are quite a number of list owners that will pay you per placement. In other words, you just pay one flat fee for your solo ad to be sent to their mailing list. Whether 1,000 people click or nobody clicks, you still get charged the same amount.