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The Biggest Mistake Solo Ad Buyers Make

Have you ever invested your time and energy into running an ad with a huge list, only to get almost nothing in return?

Most of us have had this experience. And if this has been you, the problem may NOT have been with your ad or your sales funnel.

The problem may have been with the list you used.

It’s an unfortunate reality that not all lists produce great results online.

So how do you know which lists will drive fantastic traffic your way, and which lists will be duds?

The key is not in looking for the biggest list possible. The key is in looking for a quality list.

A quality list is made up of people who are already interested in your niche topic, people who are looking for more than just a quick freebie.

These are people who will be likely to buy the type of product you’re selling.

Let’s discuss what each of these three points could mean for you.

People who are already interested

It is MUCH too much work to try and get someone interested in something new and then sell them something.

That is actually like making four sales at once.

  1. Sell them on a new idea.
  2. Sell them on the idea being good for them.
  3. Sell them on buying it now.
  4. Sell them on buying it from you.

Much too much work to be sustainable.

The better way is to find people who already want what you are promoting.

This is what targeting (and re-targeting) is all about.

Whether you’re advertising with someone else’s list, or building your own, it’s a simple yet incredibly important thing to consider who your target market really is.

Are you selling an information product about business finance? If so, it’s a waste of your time and money to market to a list overrun with teenagers.

What you’d want instead is a list made up of business people, especially those who work in or have an interest in some aspect of the finance industry like merchant cash advance loans. Financial institutions operate in highly globalized, regulated markets, often competitively selling commoditized products. In ASX200, they require them to be agile to balance growth, efficiency and profitability. Consumers too are adopting new technology rapidly and their changing needs are driving banks to relook at ways they interact, purchase, and consume.

Read more at: https://www.concentrix.com/industries/banking-and-financial-services/

This is why those crazy deals out there offering ads to HUGE LISTS for an impossibly low price, are usually just what they sound like: too good to be true.

Even if you’re only spending $5, why waste five bucks on an enormous list populated with people who have no reason to be interested in your product?

And if you are doing safelists (a TOTAL waste of time) why waste your precious time on a failed strategy? Your time is worth money, even if you are not yet making money online.

It’s called opportunity cost – the cost of what you could have done with that time instead of posting endlessly to people who will never buy.

It’s better to spend more money on one ad to a quality list populated by your exact niche, than less money on twenty ads to lists full of people who don’t care about your product.

And if you’re building your list for yourself, it’s better to spend more time and energy building a list of people who are actually interested in your topic.

After all, why bother creating a list where most of the people will never even open, let alone read, anything you send them.

If they aren’t already interested in your topic, the email will get sent to the trash folder without so much as a second thought. You need an interested audience if you’re going to capture any quality leads at all.

A quality list is not overrun with freebie seekers.

A freebie seeker is that person online who will gather up every free item, product or promotion they can find, simply because it’s free.

They aren’t usually as interested in the product itself as they are in the thrill of getting something for free.

Using a lead magnet (giving something away for free in exchange for an opt-in) is a tried-and-true method of building a list. 

And it IS the right way to go.

But when you have a list built exclusively this way, with no sales resulting from the follow up emails (or worse, no follow up selling emails sent) you can end up with a list overrun with freebie seekers.

What you want to look for https://www.paydayloansnow.co.uk/, a list of people who are information seekers, not freebie seekers is what you need. Fast Loan UK are proud to be one of the pioneers of the online short term installment loan. These are generally lent over a period of 3-12 month with set monthly repayments. We are proud to be able to offer one of the most trusted UK short term loan lenders.

An information seeker is a person who signed up for the list willingly because of a genuine interest in the topic at hand.

So how can you know the difference between a freebie seeker and an information seeker?

It’s simple.

  • Freebie seekers never buy.
  • Information seekers will buy or take another meaningful action.

Information seekers are the people you want on your list because they have a genuine interest that opens the door for sales to take place naturally.

Information seekers are happy, active members of lists when those lists regularly provide them with the kind of info they want.

These are the people who open emails – be they newsletters or solo offers – because they’re engaged in what this list has to offer them.

While freebie seekers may occasionally open emails, many of them will never click through or be interested in buying anything unless what they’re clicking on is a new offer for something else for free.

And sadly, MOST list owners (especially solo ad click sellers) never clean their lists of these non-action-takers.

So how do you figure out whether the people on YOUR list are information seekers or freebie seekers?

It’s easy: look for their level of engagement after they sign up for your list.

An engaged list will usually take one of the following actions.

  • Leave a comment on your blog
  • Follow you on social media.
  • Open your emails and click the links. (Not always, but not never either)
  • Share things about you with friends via social media.
  • Write back to a newsletter to comment or ask a question.
  • Buy the products you sell or recommend.

In short, information seekers stay involved in one way or another because they’re here out of genuine interest while a freebie seeker will grab their free item and disappear.

A quality list will include PROVEN buyers

… but you need to know exactly what has been “proven” BEFORE you can know if it’s right for you.

Everyone these days seems to want a list of “proven buyers” – and it makes sense. If they’ve bought before, maybe they will buy again.

But this term can be thrown around so much that it has come to mean different things in different situations, and it can be misleading.

To determine if a list is right for you, questions need to be asked about the “proven buyers” on a given list.

Consider these questions and how they might help you narrow down which lists really will work for you, and which lists might not be very profitable.

What did they buy? 

If they’ve been proven to buy makeup and you’re selling skiing equipment, there’s not much of a strong connection there.

However if they’ve been proven to buy books about fishing and you’re selling handmade lures, well… that list has more potential for you.

When did they buy it? 

This is vital to consider since a list that hasn’t bought anything in 3 years may not be very useful to you.

Did they buy any upsells? 

If so, the potential for your profit margin increases. If they bought upsells, this is a useful piece of information to you, and you might consider making sure your offer to them has an upsell available also.

What was the refund rate from the buying? 

If the refund rate was way above average every time this list bought something, that’s a red flag. On the other hand, a low refund rate can be a good leading indicator for your own offer to the same list.

Knowing the answers to those questions will help you figure out if a list of “proven buyers” will be a good fit for your advertising.

While it’s clear that not all lists create great results, it’s very easy to figure out which lists you really want to invest your time and money in, once you ask a few important questions.

Here again are the big three criteria …

  1. Lists of people within your niche or target market.
  2. Lists of people mostly comprised of actively engaged INFORMATION seekers.
  3. Lists of people who are proven to buy the type of product you are promoting.

A list that fits these criteria should do very well with an offer well suited to them.

I hope this info helps you think through which lists are the best for your business online. 

Sorting through the various list options and finding the ones that fit you best can be a rewarding, profitable, and fun endeavor. 

So get out there and find the captive audience that’s waiting for you!

Because when you find the right list you will have found a beautiful (and profitable) thing indeed!

Charlie Page Signature

Charlie Page
 

Happily married for 43 years, Charlie is the dad to two wonderful daughters. He is the author of 12 books on Internet marketing and creator of over 15 membership sites. You can see all Charlie offers using this link Click Here

  • Hi Charlie, another awesome blog post. I know that I’ll have to read this one several time over to get it all. All I need to do is write an ad. I’m sure I can do the other bits in the puzzle that is “Making Money Online”

    Thanks

    Mark M

  • Gordon Appleby says:

    Hi Charlie,

    Good article, as always. I absolutely agree that finding the right audience is the MOST important conversion factor, and I might add, the easiest to get right, especially with paid traffic. Writing persuasive copy has put a lot of money in my pocket, but the first order of business was ALWAYS to find the right audience.

    Yup, whether “only” $27 or 27 minutes, those Shiny Rocks that don’t actually work can really take their toll. Not only in Opportunity Cost, as you rightly pointed out, but also in Discouragement Cost. Just as there is a Momentum of Success, there is also a momentum to failure, so why start that ball rolling, just because it’s easy or cheap?

    Besides, the supply of “cheap and fast” is endless, isn’t it? They just keep coming, nipping at your wallet, your time and your hope. Ask me how I know that? :-).

    Thanks for the instruction on how to do it right and to get moving…and to avoid those Shiny Rocks!

    Gordon
    The Entrepreneur

  • Paul says:

    Thanks Charlie for this thought provoking take on solo ads.
    I recently bought your fantastic email marketing product so I’m now a big fan.

    I’d be very interested in hearing your views on this specifically as it relates to the online marketing/ make money online niche.

    Unless one can find a list built up by a product seller ( rather than a trader in solo ads) it seems very difficult to actually have these questions properly answered. The buyer tends to have to rely on Social proof through FB groups for instance. In the end it seems to boil down to carrying out one’s own testing and testing small before scaling up being essential.

    Of course its necessary to have a high converting funnel in place without which there is little point generating for traffic. There’s an old formula for success isn’t there? Traffic plus converting offer = Cash.

    Thanks again and all best,
    Paul

    • Charlie Page says:

      Thank you for your kind comments. The best cure for what you describe is buying ads from more reputable sources. Most click-sellers will not reveal the details you need but will rely on you to test their list with your money. Not acceptable.

      Charlie

      • Paul Guilfoyle says:

        Hi Charlie. Sorry for the delayed response. I must have missed your reply.
        Every solo ad seller I’ve ever known seems to tell you that single optin is best rather than double opt in, at least in the MMO niche. I’ve come to the conclusion that its only by using double optin that one can identify any kind of engagement. If a subscriber doesn’t even bother to confirm, how engaged or remotely interested can they be in the content? Looking at single optin probably only 35% max open even email 1.
        So single opt in flatters the performance of the solo ad seller but is actually falsely effective.

        As you imply much of the success boils down to engagement.I’m very glad I teach other methods of traffic generation and not just solo ads. Would you ever use single optin for MMO niche when buying traffic from a solo ad vendor? All best, Paul

      • Charlie Page says:

        Paul,

        I disagree a bit about the double vs. single opt in question. While the statement “If a subscriber doesn’t even bother to confirm, how engaged or remotely interested can they be in the content?” is the right sentiment, what happens when Gmail filters the ONE and only chance they have to get on your list?

        I prefer to not judge engagement quite that tightly.

        Would I use single opt in with ezines in the MMO niche? Sure, I do that all the time. But I’m not buying clicks from some click seller who is not accountable to advertisers but rather high quality sources.

        Charlie

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