What are Solo Ads: history, concept, advantages

Internet marketing is the new deal! There is a myriad of marketing strategies out there that you can use to get your company's name and products out there and at all price levels. It is only wise that you learn about all these strategies to be better able to make the best advertising decisions that will see your company reaping the best benefits.

Solo Ad is one cost-effective method of advertising which can be used to promote your business and attract new buyers. Today, we will be giving a holistic overview of the concept of solo ads, its history, and its advantages.

Basic Concept of Solo Ad

The concept of Solo Ad is simple, it is a single email promoting a particular product or service in an email blast to a targeted email list of recipients, prompting them to click to view or learn more about said products or services or to make a purchase.

What are Solo Ads?

As the name suggests, Solo Ad is a stand-alone, independent ad that goes out to a targeted audience online by using an email list. It is an email created for the sole purpose of advertising a specific brand, product, service, or organization. Solo ads provide an avenue for sellers to stand apart from their competitors as the mail is designed to focus their attention on what the particular solo ad has to offer.

What are Solo Ads used for?

Solo ads are used specifically for directing traffic to a targeted list of consumers via an email blast, these consumers would have already knowingly agreed to be apart of this list, wether by accepting a promotion in which they provide their contact information in return for some incentive, such as discounts. These ads work because generally a mailing list will be focused around a demographic or particular topic and that means the subscribers are a focused group of individuals who share common traits. This is ideal for advertisers because it means their message is getting in front of a defined audience.

Why people subscribe to mailing lists

A mail list is a special list of names, telephone, and email addresses of people who permitted you to send them updates and promotions from your business. Most people subscribe to an email list for the following reasons:

  • to earn or receive special gifts, discounts, and deals
  • stay up to date with the latest content from the company website
  • access special content not available on the website
  • recommended by family or friends

An email is a direct and personal tool, therefore if people are willing to subscribe to your mailing list they are extremely interested in what you have to offer

History of Solo Ads

Solo ads became popular with the rise of ezines or email magazines where consumers would be required to subscribe by providing their email address to gain access to the latest content of the email magazine and on their website. These were very popular as the primary means of communicating with others was via email rather than via social networks. Many e-magazines do still operate today however, the average size of their mailing list would be significantly less than it was ten years ago, owing to the evolution of technology and the introduction of social media.

What served as the prototype for Solo Ads

Solo ads predate the internet, it is a concept that marketers used to collect information about their customers and potential customers. Marketers collected the names and addresses of their customers and would mail them the latest updates of their products or services. It is basically the same the system used today in the Solo Ad industry, names, and emails (the virtual mail address) are collated on a list and the Ads sent out in an email blast, the difference is, it is much faster and it makes the tasks easier for marketers working online.

Difference between offline and online sales

Shopping options today are aplenty, you can shop online from the comfort of your bathroom or if you feel like it, visit a local store. When you think of the difference in your options, the quickest thought would perhaps be, the convenience of shopping whenever you like and get your item sent wherever you like. Whichever you choose, offline and online sales has great advantages for both buyers and sellers.

With offline sales, you get the opportunity to evaluate your prospective client, see them shop, determine what interests them by sparking conversations, reading their body language, and overall demeanor. This way you can make informed judgments based on your observations on whether invite them to leave their email address so that you can send them promos and discounts. You have the advantage as you interact with these customers every day and you get to build relationships with them Online sales, on the other hand, are a bit tricky, you have to be innovating to capture and hold your customers. Entrepreneurs know that e-commerce is only going to continue to grow, this means that they have to adapt to meet the needs of the online market. With online sales, you will most likely never meet potential clients in person, this means they have the advantage because you cannot read their emotions or body language and make your sales pitch. Potential customers usually have their minds, set on something even before reaching out by calling or messaging you on social media or making a purchase. They have read your website content, watched videos, followed your social media pages, and most likely read reviews of your product or service. With online sales, you are unable to pitch a sale, you are basically answering questions to help the potential client make their decision to purchase.

Why entrepreneurs should consider Solo Ads

If you are an entrepreneur wanting to generate high traffic with potential buyers to your webpage, a Solo ad is an excellent marketing strategy that you can use for directing traffic to your landing page or website. Think about it! Solo ads are promotional email ads that you send to a niche email list that you do not own, In a sense, you are renting the email lists from someone who has a large list so that you can send your promotional ads. With a Solo ad you are able to obtain access to this list of potential buyers in your niche market, at a small price compared to running a large campaign ad that might not get to the people you want it to reach, Solo ads are direct and it is guaranteed that the information will reach your intended target audience. Solo ads are an investment you make for increasing your traffic and, ultimately, your list of emails and success rates, you basically find a solo ad list you’re interested in you then contact the owner or buy access to the list from their site. You have the option of buying how many subscribers your email message will be sent to, or by how many clicks your email will get. The ad is successful when subscribers click, and those clicks are converted into sales or referrals. ultimately, you’ll end up with solo ad conversions that cost less than other types of advertising. Solo Ads work best for marketers who:

  • have a small budget working with
  • are in a niche where pay per click prices are through the roof. In this case, cost per click from solo ads may be so much less than what you’d get on Ad-words or Bing that solo ads are worth a test.
  • are in a niche that is oversaturated with content (like affiliate marketing or weight loss).
  • are in a niche with intense competition for search engine traffic.
  • are about to launch a product, or need traffic sent to a page quickly
  • have no time to write guest posts, build an audience, or do anything that takes more than a few days to see results.

Advantages of Solo Ads over other types of advertising

It is quite obvious that Solo ads are one of the leading online marketing strategies. Since it is an effective way of reaching hundreds of target audiences in a short period of time, many companies that are engaged in the marketing of products and services use Solo ads to reach their prospective buyers. This is a cost-effective method to reach hundreds of target audiences. For companies, solo ads offer a chance to get their message out and expose their brand to niche audiences. Some companies serve more than one niche market and solo ads can be a low-cost way for them to reach more people, these companies normally have larger budgets, so they may be able to run solo ads through various mediums such as ezines or publications, thus generating high volumes of traffic.

Some of the prime reasons behind the popularity of Solo ads are that they are highly economical, It is no brainer that solo ads are much more economical than other print and electronic mediums of advertising. It is evident that the success of a solo ad is based on factors such as the low cost and the fact that the ads will be exposed to a tightly focused list of consumers. Most solo entrepreneurs operate on a small budget and they can leverage solo ads to bring them high-quality traffic. For those involved in affiliate marketing, this can be a great way to go, as well, because the low costs to obtain visitors to a medium to high commission product or service could pay off. Additionally, solo entrepreneurs may not have highly developed websites that will be approved by pay-per-click (PPC) ad networks and those sites may not be particularly suited to obtaining organic search traffic from search engines. With solo ads, none of this is a concern because it is up to the list owner to decide whether or not they are willing to place an ad. Fewer rules and policies often mean it is easier for entry-level entrepreneurs to get a foothold, grow their list, and hopefully make some sales and keep on building their business. The only limitation that remains with this tool is that a sender of the promotional mail can send the email. But a sender does not enjoy the luxury to track whether it is read or cannot crack a conversation if the receiver does not click to respond to you.

Direct response from the target audience

Direct response is a type of marketing designed to elicit an instant response by encouraging prospects to take a specific action. The key in any kind of advertising is the fact that the solo ad is going directly into the subscriber’s email inbox, the solo ad must trigger immediate action from prospects since the goal is to generate leads quickly.

Getting your own mailing list

While on your solo ad campaign, If the email lists are created, owned, and maintained by the person or company you are paying. This means, emails are sent by the person or company who owns it and you have no control as you do not have access to their lists. This may be frustrating and you may feel the need to start building your own email lists, The following lists various ways you can get a visitor to give you his email address for your list building using solo ads.

Make Sure You Have a Well-Optimized Squeeze Page

A Squeeze Page as a specialized type of Landing Page. These pages contain an opt-in form that asks the visitor to provide their email address and sometimes their name in return for something. That might be to sign up for a mailing list, to receive a free gift, or to register for a webinar.

Build Your List By Using These Opt-In Incentives

People receive loads of emails and there should be a really good reason for them to sign up on your list. Simply making a proposal to email a subscriber every time you have a sale is not going entice the user to opt-into your list. The need for a solo ads opt-in incentive is the prospect of an additional advantage so that it will persuade subscribers to divulge their contact details so that they get emails from you. The best kind of opt-in incentive in solo ads will attract a prospect’s attention, and that attractiveness will overcome their apprehensiveness to give out their personal information.

Launch A Newsletter

Start an online newsletter that people can subscribe to. An online newsletter can truly be a profitable tool in your business. Through an online newsletter, you can make yourself seem like an expert in your field, especially by your prospective customers and subscribers. Besides which, an online newsletter will help you build your opt-in list with solo ads. A newsletter will build credibility and that will attract people to you. This in turn will make you seem more professional than your fellow competitors who offer similar products using just solo ads. Developing a relationship with your prospective clients will help you make sales, and the consumer will feel more comfortable buying from you than from your competitor who doesn’t give them anything. After all, it is easier to buy a product from someone you know than someone you have absolutely no relationship with. This is one of the reasons people buy solo ads with high prices.

Allow A Free Download in solo ads

If your product is software then providing a free download through solo ads is a great option to offer your prospects, and get them to give you their email address. If you offer a free trial period, say of about 30 days, then you will get your prospective user to try your product, and they may want to purchase the full version. Because they have downloaded the trial version and you got their email address in the process, you can send them solo ads offering a discount on the full version. This makes your offer seem even more appealing.

It is not as difficult as you might think, making people buy a full version of a software program after having downloaded a trial version through solo ads. You can install a registration feature that comes up after the trial period has expired, where the user needs to insert the registration code in order to continue using the program, or the trial version can lack certain features that only the full version has, etc.

Offer A Free Course

A great way to get prospective subscribers to give you their email address is to offer them a free e-course on an interesting subject. After all, people love it, when they are given free items. If it is right for your business you can give the customer the first course right on the website before the opt-in to establish trust and give value right away. By offering a free e-course you will also become an expert in your field, which will make people believe in you and your product. For those who are want to spend less money, creating your own list can help to ease the burden and save some extra cash. There is also an opportunity to make money by selling your list and become a solo ad vendor.

Easy testing and scaling

Building your own list gives you the ultimate power to make money. After building your list for free without wasting weeks and months trying “free traffic sources” that probably won’t work, Now it is time to test and scale. It’s important to test a list before you run a full ad campaign. With that being said, do not test the maximum! Test the smallest amount that the list owner will let you test to see what kind of results you get. This way, you keep the risk low and avoid blowing money on a campaign that gets you nowhere. By buying a smaller Solo Ad (especially when dealing with a new vendor) to test their list, test your offer, test your follow-up and see if your system is worth investing more time and money into.

Scaling Your Opt-in Rate

If you’re going for a good opt-in conversion rate from your solo ad, 30 percent is ideal. 20 percent is good, and 40 percent is outstanding. Anything over a 35% conversion rate is a good conversion rate for any decent solo ad run. While opt-ins are good, you want better – you want sales. What good are opt-ins if you don’t make a sale? It is time to scale your empire and grow your business. You’ll know what is and what isn’t working in your market and for your niche and that's when you should scale. When it comes to solo ads, you may have to contend with several issues:

  • Freebiers - These are the people who are on an opt-in list but are broke
  • Cynical Subscribers - A person who is repeatedly subjected to “come buy me” emails tend to be cynical
Fraud solo ad traffic
  • Old Offers- an offer that’s been around for five minutes or more have already seen the ad
  • Incorrect Offer- You may be offering something new, but if it isn’t relevant to the solo ad audience, then you can’t turn traffic into leads then into subscribers and buyers. You need to present the offer to the right people to see anything good come from your efforts.