Online marketing

What Are Solo Ads & How They Make Money

When we want to direct traffic to our sites, there are different ways both organic and paid. For paid advertising, it can be social media ads, Google ads, mobile ads, native ads, and also solo ads. Solo ads might be less popular compared to social media ads as it is less known among all of them. But it does work as well if you get the right seller.

A solo ad is nothing more than an email marketing campaign. Someone builds a huge email list and is letting you tap into their list to promote your products. All you need to do is tell the ad provider what you want to promote on their list. And they will send emails to their list to convince the recipients of their email list to buy your products or services. Typically, anyone can build an email list through a lead funnel. It’s a 2-page funnel to present your offer in exchange for their contact details.

The thing is, when you’re just starting out, you might not have a list already or you want to tap into new lists of buyers. This is why you would pay someone to send email to their list.

Options to Run Solo Ads

Typically the open rate of an email is around 30-50% and the conversion rate will be around 3-5%. Which means, from 1000 people in your list, 500 people will open and read your email. And out of the 500 people, it’s likely that only 15 people will buy.

So, if you already have your list, they just go ahead to design your graphic art and craft your sales email and blast it to your list.

But if you don’t have a list, or just starting out. There is always a shortcut to make this work. We call this solo ad platforms. This is a platform where people with huge email list join and sell services to send your email campaign to their email list. You will be charge by the audience size, open rate or by contract price depends on the deal. Some will charge as low as $0.30 per click.

Where should I direct the traffic?

Like I always say, the end goal here is not selling to the customers once, but to collect their email addresses and sell them again in the future. Here is why, in the solo ad campaign, you want to direct people to your sales funnel.

Build your own sales process and convert the visitors. For this, we always use platforms like ClickFunnels to build out our entire sales process and GetResponse for email marketing. With these 2 platforms, you can create your lead funnel to convince a visitor to sign-up to your email list by giving them something free. It can be a cheatsheet, training course, or free video that they can benefit from it instantly. Forget about a long ebook, not many people will take time to read the long ebook.

Why Using Solo Ad Platforms?

Compared to Google or other social media ad platform, you’ll need to set your audience target and let the algorithm to test it out to find the best group of audience. It’s all depends on how fast the algorithm can pick the right group of people to show your ads.

We need to know where our target customers congregate. For example, someone might already build an email list full of your potential buyers where you can directly tap into it. The list owner knows everything about their list, their interest, and geo-location. This is something your can leverage.

How to pick good solo ads provider?

You see, these people make money by renting their lists. Which also means they will be promoting other’s offer as well. Before closing the deal with them, you need to always look into these 2 aspects.

  1. How often they email their list, what is the typical open rate and conversion rate.
  2. Had they promote the similar or same product to their list before this.

These are 2 things you want to ask before choosing the ad provider to ensure a higher conversion rate of the email marketing campaign.

How much do solo ads cost?

There are a few factors affecting this. The quality of the lists, the spending power of the lists, and so on. Typically, a solo ad platform charges by open-rate or click-through rate. This means you only pay for emails that are seen. Not emails sent. This is very important as it helps to save your money. At least you know, your email is not sent to the trash box.

For most companies, the price per click is around $0.35 or $0.55 and of course, the more your purchase, the cheaper will be the cost per click. The location of the buyers is definitely one of the key factors as you pay more to tap into high-value customers with a higher conversion rate. That’s natural.

Is it worth it?

Definitely. Like all other ad platforms, getting the traffic is the easiest part of the campaign. You pay for it, and the platforms show your contents to the target audiences. The work of an ad platform is just to show your ads to the audience. How the audience react, will they click or will it catch their eye is all your ad creatives.

Generally, there is no ineffective ad platform, unless you went for a shady one. All you need for it to works is to get the right targeting audience and right ad creatives to the audience. Like what my mentor said, you need to know your audience and test out different ad creatives to convert better. There is no one ads that will convert for everyone.


Solo ads are tapping into others list to promote your campaigns. You can always build your own list, promote your offer or renting the list. Or you can pay for the platform that already have hundred of thousands of email that you can leverage. This is the power of leverage. Instead of building everything from scratch, you leverage on what others already built and buy your way in.

Here I would like to mention again, focus on 2 things in all your ad campaigns. Targeting and ad creatives. Target the right audience and get the right ad creatives to make the most successful campaigns.

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