Do Solo Ads Work

Solo Ads are difficult, it's no lie, and many people fail with them. When I first heard about them, I was told 'the only person who wins with solo ads, is the vendor'.

After seeing success stories from guys such as James Farcett, I wanted to learn more.  I wanted to see if solo ads work, and what the hidden secret was. 

I have always been interested in this marketing method. When I first got into affiliate marketing, I saw a lot of ads and offers that spoke about how amazing they where and how affiliates where making bank. 

As such, I decided to go through the Breakout Reloaded training, created by a guy who has achieved $500k+ in commissions using this method. Using his techniques, ideas and tips to really answer the question 'Do Solo Ads Work', or are they simply a scam that a few people get lucky with. 

A few caveats to this case study;

  • Always be prepared to spend/lose money. If you don't have money to spare, I would recommend looking at other methods 
  • I have been doing affiliate marketing for 5 Years - I will be trying to forget all that and only using James's methods in this course. So I won't be using my own email list or emails I know that convert. 
  • I will be using his funnels, emails and vendors provided by James within his training - As well as bonuses and upgrades if I feel they are worth it

Getting Started - Tools & Setup

There are going to be a number of tools, and platforms that I will be using for this case study. Mainly because I do already own them, so makes life a little easier. But you can get trials on all 3 of them, so this makes it reasonable for anyone trying to replicate this.  

  • ClickFunnels - I will be using James's DFY funnel. You can get a 14 day free trial here
  • GetResponse - They are affiliate friendly & have a free trial here
  • ClickMagick - I don't use it often, I will be using it with this. They offer a 14 day trial here

With the free trials, it offers me 14 days, or 2 weeks to implement the strategies shown. This should be a decent starting point to start understanding if we can make solo ads work. Of course, we may find that it takes longer than that to start seeing returns, but we will find out. 

ClickFunnels

For this case study, I have purchased a domain. Simply because sending someone to a ClickFunnels domain looks a bit naff. Though you can do it with a standard ClickFunnels URL if you so wish. 

It cost me $8.17 from NameCheap. This domain can be used for other things as well, such as your email address. 

Once again, I will be using the free funnel provided within Breakout Reloaded. It's a simple 2 step funnel with an optin page and thank you page. 

GetResponse

I have setup a new email list for this, just to ensure this is fair and only using signups and emails from this case study. 

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You can start with a 30 day free trial. This allows you to get started without costing you anything. I will also be creating additional lists later on as this case study goes on. 

ClickMagick

Once again, I will be using a fresh campaign and fresh links for this. That way we can keep things simple. 

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You get 14 days to test out the features, so the same amount of time you get with ClickFunnels. Handy. 

Finding The Best Solo Ads Provider

Within this case study, we will be using one of the most spoken about solo ad platforms. This is of course, Udimi. I have used them in the past and had success with some of the traffic. 

This time, we will be using a traffic source that Breakout Reloaded recommends. 

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We will be using people with at least 25%+ sales and a high recurring %. This seller had a higher 'success' %, and a slightly lower recurring %, but they do appear in the 'Little Black Book' upsells, so I decided to go for it. 

Month 1

I will be running this case study on 30 day blocks, breaking down the number of clicks purchased, the results we got an any money made. 

I expect to lose money in the first 30 days, because you are building up a list, building up trust and getting offers in front of people. But, we may be pleasantly surprised if we manage to get any full funnel purchases or something similar. 

Buying Clicks To The Offer - Month 1

We decided to purchase 150 clicks to start this case study out. This is the number that James recommends starting out with, though you will need to keep this amount every week. 

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We will of course be hoping to get around 50 - 80 or so new subscribers from this solo ad run. If all goes well with the sign up page and the traffic. The link being used is ClickMagic, so that we can track the clicks, signups and follow up. 

Each week we will purchase additional clicks, taking into account any sales, or understanding the open rates etc. This may change a little depending.

In total, for the first month, we have purchased 1450 clicks, across 5 different sellers.

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Costing roughly $760. This is slightly higher than James recommends, we did run 2 runs per week, so really we should have run just 1 run per week. We will keep that in mind for month 2.

Reviewing The Results - Month 1

Of course, this is the part that matters, understanding and reviewing the results after the last 30 days of buying traffic to these offers. 

What we really care about is how many people saw the offers or signed up the lists. We used ClickMagick to track everything. You will see that 2 sellers where a little lower on the actual signups, with one getting 8% and one getting 20% compared to the near 40% from the 3 others. 

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As you can see, we actually managed to get 1571, roughly 10% extra clicks. This resulted in 461 people actually signing up to the email list. 

Which costs me $1.60 per sign up. Of course, as James recommends within reloaded, you will want to be keeping those 461 emails clean, probably every couple of weeks. 

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After the clean-up, removing dud emails, we end up with 292 'clean' emails, but there are 88 emails in that me need to be removed. 

The next thing we care about is open rates, and clickthrough rates. According to CampaignMonitor, you should be aiming for 15 - 25% open rates, with a 2.5% clickthrough rate. With an average Click-To-Open Ratio of 20 - 30%.

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Checking through our own stats, we get the following;  

  • 11% Open Rate - We are slightly down on this (We need to be removing more dead weight)
  • 2.32% Clickthrough Rate - Again, I would want this to be 2.5 - 3%
  • 21.14% Clickthrough To Open Rate Ratio - I want to try and raise this. 

Of course, these are averages, with some emails you get 0.1% clickthrough rates or 1% open rates, others you manage to get a hell of a lot higher. As before, you want to keep cleaning emails to keep this higher, and GetResponse happy. 

Money Made - Month 1

All of the above stats, mean nothing, if you are not making money. So how much did we make from this 1st month of emails and putting products in front of people. 

Prepare yourself for this, as this may surprise a few people. 

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For the last 30 days, we have made $96 in commissions, and sold $168 worth of products. We didn't manage to get any funnel sales on any of the products we sold (we did manage 1 upsell). Which has impacted the total amount that we sold. 

With the tracking (using tags on all our links), you can see we got a mixture of different sales and of course where they have come from. 

Both rotator and special are from emails, depending on the type of email being sent. If we want to promote a certain product, we use the special tag. If it's just a generic email, then the rotator comes into play. 

Out of the 9 sales we have got so far, we got the following;

  • 3 Bridge Sales 
  • 5 Rotator Sales (Including 1 upsell)
  • 1 Special Sale

Month 1 conclusion 

Technically, we are now down roughly $600 for month one, which is something I had assumed would happen. Unless you get really lucky with upsells, or getting a full stack sale. 

I am a little, disappointed in the sales, and I had wished for at least a few more upsells, but that's the way it is. Let's see what month 2 offers now we have a baseline, and an email list built up. 

We will also be focusing on the sellers that looked to be getting us results. Which would have saved us roughly $200 from the 2 sellers that didn't perform very well.