Solo Ads – The Good Horrible Traffic Source [Case Study]
Solo Ads are one of those great, horrible….exciting, scary…expensive, economical….good, bad ways of getting traffic.
Everyone has an opinion about solo ads and whether they are a serious option for getting good traffic. There are enough marketers and products out there that say solo ads are a good way to build a list, so I decided to buy some solo ads and test things for myself. My results are below.
I first educated myself by buying some products. Some were good and some were not. Here’s a couple of good ones:
Paul Nicholls’ Solo Ad Professor – The eight videos explained solo ads and how to buy them. The OTO (one time offer) has a rolodex of solo ad sellers Paul recommends. The videos are great but the rolodex is just a list of sellers. It doesn’t tell you how they performed.
Rob Stafford’s Inner Circle Solo Ads 4.0 – Rob’s product is less about teaching what solo ads are and more about providing resources for getting the most out of solo ads. He discusses resources to optimize conversion, track solo ad buys, squeeze page templates and other such resources. The great thing about this product is he gives you a spreadsheet that shows his top 10 solo ad sellers that he’s used and how he did with each of them. Great Resource.
Matt Bacak’s Solo Ad Black book – This is a rolodex of about 80 solo ad sellers Matt has used and about the same number of people he’s worked with for safe swaps. Each seller is listed and Matt has scored them based on how they performed. Another great resource.
I also educated myself on email marketing… but that discussion is for another post.
First Big Mistake
OK, so I had a squeeze page to collect name and email. I was offering a free gift. I used free Clixtrac to track impressions and clicks on my download page. Solo ad sellers provided me with the of clicks on squeeze page.
I had AWeber, my auto responder, setup as double opt-in. HUGE MISTAKE. DO NOT DO DOUBLE OPT-IN if you are buying solo ads. I had 49 opt-ins with my first solo ad purchase with Kirill. Only 9 did the confirmation on the opt-in!
So although in my table above, I show 49 opt-ins, only 9 people were added to my list. OUCH!
Kirill gave me additional clicks to see if we could get any more to confirm but it was all for nothing. Kirill was great to work with.
My download page also had an affiliate offer on it, but I received no sales.
Changes For My Opt-Ins
So, based on what I learned with this first solo ad purchase and some discussions I had with people on Facebook, I made one change before I bought my second solo.
I changed my auto responder to single opt-in and then…
Both Kirill and Zach were on Matt Bacak’s and Rob Stafford’s rolodex of solo ad sellers. They were both rated high. I also knew of Zach from a Facebook group. So that is how I decided to buy from Kirill and Zach.
I did not ask any questions, I just bought from them. Now on any training you see on Solo Ads, they talk about the questions you should ask. I didn’t… I went with referrals from people I trusted.
My experience with Zach was very good…added 50 people to my list but still made no sales of my affiliate offer.
Another Big Mistake
I changed my sales funnel to make my affiliate offer more prominent. I was trying to figure out why I was getting no sales. Based on something I read, I had people that opted in go directly to my offer. I removed it from my download page.
My next solo ad buy was from Ed and it was a complete disaster.
I only received 12 subscribers. Ed gave me some additional clicks, so I ended up with 21 people added to my list.
After having a discussion with Ed, he mentioned that most of his list was MLM and probably not interested in blogging (my free gift). WHAAAAAAT!
Here is where those questions I should have asked come in. It definitely gives you a piece of mind when you get a solo ad seller from someone you know and trust. BUT…you still need to know what you are getting from them. ASK QUESTIONS!
I had the same offer all 3 solo ad purchases and did not make a sale. Good product from John Thornhill on getting traffic. Not sure why it didn’t convert but yes, I’ll be changing my offer going forward and see if it makes a difference.
So there you have it…my adventure with the great, horrible….exciting, scary…expensive, economical….good, bad solo ads. My opinion? I think they are definitely worth doing. I did get some people on my list, so I’ll probably do them again taking into account what I learned.
As for the three sellers… I’d recommend all of them (remember Ed is more MLM). They were all great guys to work with. All three of them did my swipe file. I thought that was better since they knew their list. Maybe that should change on my next go round?
Big Tip: Mike From Maine has a list of solo ads he bought with his results. Now the results are from the end of 2013 but they are FREE on his blog. Click here to see his results!
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Filed under: List Building
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