An alternative to organizing an ad swap is to place a solo ad, or solo mailing. This also utilizes email marketing but instead of two partners swapping ads for equal run time, the advertiser pays the list owner a fee for running a solo ad in their newsletter or other broadcast emails.
The biggest benefit to a solo mailing is the fact that YOUR ad will be the ONLY one broadcast. You don’t have to fight with other ads or snazzy logos in a newsletter. Yours will be the only ad those readers see which puts your company into the spotlight.
The look and format of solo ads could be very different, depending on the list owners’ preferences. Some solo ads are simply a few lines of text with a link at the top of a standard email message. Or the solo ad could be an entire email message written just about you and sending the readers to your opt-in squeeze page. These are all questions worth asking the list owner because you want your ad portrayed in the best way possible.
Why choose a solo mailing?
The reasons are the same as why you would choose an ad swap: you want to expand your reach to a new part of your target market who hasn’t heard of you before. You want to introduce yourself to this new segment of the market and entice them to sign up for your list.
Compared to ad swaps, solo ads are popular from an advertiser’s perspective because all that is expected is payment for running an ad. The advertiser doesn’t have to worry about whether his email list is similar in size or if the swap deal is equitable for the list owner, which is a common concern to new businesses that don’t have large lists.
From the list owner’s perspective, this is easy money. They’ve already done the work to build their list and they work diligently to continue building that relationship by writing regular emails anyway; the only difference now is someone is offering them payment.
For an advertiser, the number of prospects for solo mailings is significantly greater since you no longer have to provide anything more than payment. Now is the chance for a small business to approach a guru or a larger list owner to gain access to their list with thousands of names.
Be prepared, however, to go through a vetting of sorts, where the list owner may want more information about you and your business. Even though you’re willing to pay good money for an ad, you need to remember that email marketing is all about trust and building relationships with your readers. If a list owner doesn’t ask questions or check out their solo advertisers’ websites, then a questionable ad or website could slip through and they in turn will hear complaints from their readers, questioning why they would bother to allow such advertising.
A savvy list owner will not take the risk of tarnishing their own reputation just for your solo ad.
Do your research.
Internet research will be involved to find those list owners who allow solo advertising. First, explore your contacts within your own niche. Search your favorite forums, mastermind groups, or ask on your social network platforms and create a list of names and contact numbers or emails.
Second, investigate those people you like to learn from; they might have solo mailing opportunities. Of course, be sure that your mentors are part of the niche you’re trying to reach. It’s always better to send out 500 very targeted emails to members of your niche than 5,000 emails to a random group who probably have no interest in joining your list. Even if your mentors do not offer this option, this is an important networking opportunity so ask them if they’re aware of anyone in your niche you could contact.
Next, take this list and take a look at their website for more information about solo advertising opportunities. Look for pricing and a schedule or calendar of when solo ads run. Sometimes this information is added to a media page on a website or they might have a physical media kit to send you. If you don’t find the information easily on their site, send an email or make a phone call.
If you do a Google search for “solo mailing” or “how to find solo mailings” you will see many listings for directory-type sites that claim to do the research for you. As with the ad swaps, doing your own research about these services is imperative. I don’t have any personal experience using these types of services and some of them may certainly be legitimate but if any are shady or if others have had a bad experience, that’s information you want prior to making payments.
Once you have a list of possible advertising spots, you need to ask questions about the payments and timing of the ads. If the price is significantly more than what you expected, you will need to analyze what exactly you get for that higher price. For instance, will one high priced ezine run your ad multiple times as compared to a one time deal from a less expensive ezine? Is the price determined by the size of the list? How big is the list? Ask all your questions before making payment and submitting your copy.
Does your ad design measure up?
Your ad copy needs to be compelling whether it’s to recruit new list subscribers or to sell a product. You have a very short amount of time to grab the readers’ attention, so keep your copy short and to the point. (This is especially true of those solo ads that run near the beginning or the middle of a standard length email.)
Avoid using all capital letters for every word (that indicates shouting) but you can certainly place emphasis on your name or other phrase you want to emphasize with bolding or capitalizing. Remember, most readers skim emails so grabbing their attention is important.
Always include a call to action in your solo ad. Don’t leave your readers guessing about what they should do next. Spell it out for them, tell them exactly what to do. For example, instead of saying, “visit our website” try, “subscribe to get your free report,” followed by the link to your site.
Table of contents for 7 Ways To Build Your List (and Traffic!)
- 7 Ways to Build Your List (And Your Traffic!) in 30 Days: Ad Swapping
- 7 Ways to Build Your List (And Your Traffic!) in 30 Days: Solo Ads
- 7 Ways to Build Your List (And Your Traffic!) in 30 Days: Ezine Directories
- 7 Ways to Build Your List (And Your Traffic!) in 30 Days: Guest Blogging with a Special Offer
- 7 Ways to Build Your List (And Your Traffic!) in 30 Days: Teleseminars & Webinars
- 7 Ways to Build Your List (And Your Traffic!) in 30 Days: Popups
- 7 Ways to Build Your List (And Your Traffic!) in 30 Days: Affiliates
- 7 Ways to Build Your List (And Your Traffic!) in 30 Days: How to Implement These Ideas in 30 Days