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My Results and Lessons Learned From the Solo Ad Business

The Ultimate Success Formula has only four steps. That is it. If you want to succeed at anything in life you just follow these four simple steps. Step 3 is to evaluate the results you have experienced and make any changes if needed. With this post I am evaluating my results with the solo ad business and sharing the lessons I have learned.

Ultimate Success Formula

I am a follower of Tony Robbins. In fact my personal coach manages Tony Robbins 5 star resort in Fiji. Tony teaches his version of the Ultimate Success Formula. Here are the four steps:

  1. Know precisely your desired outcome
  2. Take massive action
  3. Evaluate your results
  4. Change your tactic if necessary

My desired outcome is to earn $250/day by August 31, 2013. My previous blog posts show the massive action that I am taking to achieve my outcome. Well today after a month of working on building a solo ad business I am evaluating my results.

The rule of thumb is that you need to have 2,500 subscribers on your list before you can start selling 50 click solo ads. Of course the bigger your list the more clicks you can sell and more money you can take in. If you look at all of my lists on Aweber as of this morning I have 2,376 total subscribers. I should be celebrating but I am going to temper this because I am not counting all of these subscribers in my solo ad business. This total includes people that have purchased my products and been a loyal reader of my website. I am not including them in the final results.  That said, I have managed to build a solo ad list of 1,664 subscribers in one month.

My Results: My goal was to add 500 subscribers per week and end up with 2,000 subscribers in a month. I fell short with only 1,664 subscribers.

Solo Ad Business is a Numbers Game

There is an old adage that you have to have money to make money. Well with solo ads that can be modified to say you have to get subscribers to make subscribers. Almost every solo ad seller worries about the rate of complaints they receive every time they send an email message. If you get too many complaints then companies like Aweber and GetResponse are known to completely shut down your account. If you do not have a backup of your email list then you just lost everything when this happens.

I use Aweber. Aweber prefers that you get no more than 1/10 of 1%. So doing the math that means if I send to all 1,664 subscribers then I cannot have no more than 1.6 complaints. And the round down. Basically that means if I send an email to my list and just one person complains then I have hit Awebers unacceptable complaint level.  These are pretty stringent levels if you ask me. Well I sent my first email and I got 4 people complaining so I hit the unacceptable level for the first time ever in over 2 years of having an Aweber account.

The other eye opening result I got from sending my first email list was how quickly so many people unsubscribed from the list. I was just amazed that I lost something like 60 subscribers in 2 days. Now granted most of these people that subscribe are tire kickers that just want something for free and do not want to put in the effort or money required to improve their lives. These are the ones that will unsubscribe the quickest from your list.

If you send out an email and you lose 60 subscribers then after sending enough emails you will have nobody remaining on your list. So you have to keep adding more and more subscribers to your list. I was not expecting this because the subscribers to my list from people that have purchased my products is very loyal. I rarely get anyone of them unsubscribing. I had the expectation that I would get the same results with solo ads.

My Results: I need to make sure that I prune out the tire kickers as quickly as possible from my list. Make sure that I keep under the complaint level at Aweber. Keep adding subscribers on a weekly basis to my list.

Split Test Everything

You may think you have a high converting squeeze page but how do you know if you never split test? The easiest way to split test is to change out your headline, modify your test, change the color of your button and use different fonts. I started with just one solo ad page that was converting in the mid 30% range. I then created a new squeeze page and for some solo ads I was getting over 65% conversion. Shazam the light bulbs went on and I started split testing.

This is how split testing works. I created 3 distinct squeeze pages. Then I purchased a 100 click solo ad and all traffic was evenly rotated between all 3 squeeze pages. I could see how each squeeze page was converting. In just my first solo ad it became pretty obvious that one squeeze page was not converting well at all. The other two were both converting better than my original squeeze page. Here are the 3 squeeze pages that I initially split tested with:

Squeeze Page 1Squeeze Page 2Squeeze Page 3

Vote on the one that you like the best below.

Which Squeeze Page did you prefer?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
My Results: Squeeze Page 1 converted at 47.62%, Squeeze Page 2 converted at 18.2% and Squeeze Page 3 converted at 54%. I then did a solo ad testing just squeeze page 1 and 3 and found 3 converted at a much higher rate. I then ran 4 solo ads just using Squeeze Page 3 and they converted at 50.35%, 41.35%, 61.49% and 67.54%. That is 15 to 30% BETTER than my initial squeeze page. So split test everything and improve your results.

You Must Ask These Questions

There are several questions that you should be asking of every solo ad seller. The answers to these questions will greatly improve the quality of the solo ad. Here are the questions I recommend you ask.

“Do you offer a first time buyer discount?” The overwhelming majority of solo ad sellers will offer you a slight discount on their prices when you purchase from them the first time. You only get one shot of asking for this discount so make sure you do not waste it by not asking.

“Do you send traffic only from emails to your list?” You have to understand a seller’s funnel to understand why you need to ask this question. A seller could have their own squeeze page and when someone leaves the page they are presented with an exit popup that redirects them to another page. This could potentially be your page. Have you ever tried to close a page and experienced one of these popup blockers asking you to stay on the page or leave? 99.9% of the time you leave. Well the fact the page was displayed even though you were actively saying leave page then it counts as one of the 100 clicks in your solo ad purchase. It is a wasted click. You want all the traffic coming from emails sent to list and not from some other part of their funnel like a download page or a thank you page.

“What percentage of your traffic is premium traffic?” Premium traffic comes from US, UK, CA, AU and NZ. These are countries where people have money and are more inclined to purchase products. Traffic from other countries like India don’t have money and will not purchase anything. You want the overwhelming majority of your traffic to come from premium sources so ask what percentage of their list is premium traffic. NOTE: I have had very poor results from solo ad sellers that live in 3rd world countries because their list is predominately made up from subscribers in their area so take this with a grain of salt.

“Do you send to your buyers list” Some subscribers on a list are worth their weight in gold and they are people that have actually purchased something. If someone has purchased something online then they are much more likely to purchase again like when they get to your OTO offer. Tire kickers on the other hand just want freebie stuff and never purchase. You want to make sure the solo ad seller is sending to their buyers as well as to their tire kickers. Some sellers will charge more for sending just to their buyers list.

My Results with Purchasing Solo Ads

The one question most people have asked me is can I recommend quality solo ad sellers. You have to realize that every solo ad sellers list was built by offering them a freebie in exchange for their email. The freebie that got them on the solo ad sellers list may or may not respond well to your offer. So buying solo ads has to be taken in light of your mileage may vary. For most of my initial solo ad purchases I was using a squeeze page that was referring to making money as an Amazon affiliate. That is not for everyone. My second squeeze page was a generic report about banking $100/day on the Internet and I got more people interested in this offer. Just because I got a low conversion rate with one solo ad seller does not mean you will also.

That said the following table shows all the solo ads that I have purchased and my results. I have included a method to contact all the sellers in case you want to purchase a solo ad from them. Almost all of the solo ads that I have purchased were for 100 clicks. People over deliver which is shown in the # received column. The optin column is just that and shows the number of people that were added to my list. The conversion percentage is #of optins/# of clicks sent. The higher the number the better. You can click on any column to sort by ascending or descending values. Here are my results.

UPDATED: Here is my complete spreadsheet showing results, OTO and final cost per subscriber. You can download it as .csv, .xls or .pdf format. Just right click and select save as to download.

CSV Format      XLS Format     PDF Format

SellerWebsite# Clicks# clicks gotOpt InsOpt-in %
Brandon Pierce
Kalle Viidik
Calvin Ohara
Neil Moran
Alex Goodall
Cory Nemoto
Ed Newmanhttp://safe-solos.com1002099746.41%
Joe Walter
Bob Bastian
Thomas Kragsig
Barry Rodgersskype:barry-jenny50572238.60%
Doc "the coach"http://rocksolidsolos.com1001706538.24%
Duncan McNamarahttp://www.firstchoicesolos.com1001355137.78%
George Dwyer
Ian Wicks
Tainy Kone
Towhid Zaman
Galina St.
Steve Brodsky
Brian Douglas
Clayne Keegan
Isaiah Jackson
Louis Martel
Rin Otori
Peter Jones
Jeremy Uhhttp://rightwaymarketing.org1001153429.57%
Franky Chen
Tim Shrieves
Fredrik Holmboe
Hjalte Sofienfryd
Les Blythe
Bertus Engelbrechtsskype:barry-jenny (Barry Rodgers manages)1001022221.57%
Pat Selby
David Metzelskype:david.metzel11001152219.13%

Next Steps and the Bland Stamp of Approval

I will be adding a page on my website of approved solo ad sellers. This will be a permanent page that you can refer to at any time to get list of solo ad sellers. Any solo ad sellers appearing on this list will be given my “Bland Stamp of Approval”. I am currently working on a nice graphic for the stamp of approval. I am going to be dividing solo ad sellers into 3 distinct categories based on my conversion percentage that I received from a solo ad purchase from them. I am not sure the breakdown on the percentage levels but I am thinking 0-25%, 26-50% and 50%+. I might have a list of the top 3 sellers and any seller has the opportunity of knocking someone off the podium and taking their spot if their ad responds very, very well. This page will be a resource for anyone to use.

The next step in my solo ad business is to create my email funnel. As I mentioned I have only sent one email to my list. I will be putting together a series of emails that will be sent to the list like every 3-4 days. I will be providing valuable content and sharing insights about myself. By about the 5th, 6th or 7th email I might include links to a click banking partners website.

Also I will talk about my results with click banking and how I got 200 clicks for free!

Thanks for reading and be sure to leave a comment below. I would appreciate it if you would share this post with all friends, family co-workers and random strangers that you meet. Feel free to click on any of the social share buttons below to share.

UPDATED: Here are the answers to some questions that I have received recently.

Q. How did I create squeeze page #3?

A. I used a graphics template found in Max’s monthly graphic membership site that costs $9.95/month. Here is a link (not an affiliate link):

Q. Do you calculate the total cost of subscriber in your worksheet?

A. YES. I subtract out any OTO sales from purchase price and divide by number of subscribers to get the total cost of subscribers. If you look above table you will see where I have put copies of my spreadsheet in .csv format, .xls format and .pdf format. Just right clicks and select save as to download.


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by Jennifer Bland

I am an Entrepreneur. Mountain Climber. Neil Diamond fanatic. World traveler. MBA grad. Soon to be permanently retired from the ratrace.My website is a diary of strategies that I have used to make money online. I share what I have learned to help others.

38 comments… add one
  1. Hi Jen,

    Awesome post again.

    1, Mind sharing the squeeze page plugin you are using?
    2. How did you insert the table (of solo sellers) in WP?

    Thanks again… good post that helps folks like me.

    1. Randy,

      The plugin is epic squeeze. I will post up a link to it when I get home this evening. The table was created from a plugin called tablepress. Just saved my Excel spreadsheet as a .csv file and imported it directly into a new table in tablepress. Then you just insert the shortcode for the table in your post.

      Glad you enjoyed my post and thanks for reading.


  2. Thanks for sharing you stats Jennifer.
    I tend to look at the cost per sub which is helped by people who over delivers – which you have a good number of, as well as the optin rate and of course the price of the solo and the number of upsells sold.


    1. Keith,

      My actual;Excel spreadsheet has the amount I paid, any OTO sales and the total cost per subscriber for every solo ad. I had to omit these columns simply because of real estate issues that the table would not display in the width for content. But when I get home this evening I will attach the complete spreadsheet with all the information and everyone can download it if they want. And yes you would be wise to use cost per sub as a valid indicator to measure the effectiveness of a solo ad that you purchase.


  3. Super interesting and very valuable info here. Thanks for being so open. I plan to follow this path too when I have the cash.

    1. Alex,

      Glad you found the information to be valuable. I always thought with you selling solo ads, you would already be way down that path already.


  4. Hi Jennifer

    It’s good to follow an actual process. We just always read about how to or how it should be done. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Herman,

      You are so welcome. My goal with my blog is to share as much information as I possibly can to help others out. If you ever have any question about what I post, feel free to ask.


  5. Hi Jennifer,

    Didn’t know if you had seen this new site for deals on solo ads. It might benefit you and your readers. I’m gonna give it a try.

    Yes this is an affiliate link but if anyone objects they can go straight to the site no worries. Hope that is OK; it looks very promising.


    1. Kimberly,

      Thanks for sharing.


  6. Thank you Jennifer.
    I used your results to order my solo ads.
    Also, your comments helped me a lot to improve my blog ( and enhance my squeeze page. I really appreciate that you took the time to review my site. You’re awesome :)

    1. Mohamed,

      Hope you have great results with your solo ads. Glad to help you out with your website. We all need input for others to improve and grow. If you have any more questions, just email me. I answer all emails that I get.


  7. Great post Jennifer.

    I love your stats, your very open thank you for sharing

    What was your OTO?

    Was it some Amazon WSO?

    my first visit here and I bookmarked your site next to Pat Flyn and co…



    1. Nigel,

      I am so glad that you found my website. My OTO was my Amazon Affiliate Bible product that has sold over 600 copies.


  8. Hi Jen,

    Where do you find solo ad buyers at? I’m a seller, looking for buyers, not sure where to look besides facebook and Safe-Swaps.

    1. Lou,

      Skype and Facebook are the best places that I know off. Do you have a website that people can see your prices and order? You can also place an ad on WarriorForum.

      I am not sure how to post links to skype groups but here are some Facebook groups I am in that you can ask to join.

      Hope that helps.


  9. Hello Jennifer,

    this is really great post. learned alot.
    thanks for putting effort to write and share your efforts.

    Actually i have a question, how to get as less complaint as we can ?
    if you have more advice about this subject i really glad to hear,



    1. Engin,

      There are 2 suggestions I can give you based on my experience on how to reduce complaints with your list. The first suggestion is to include a sentence as the very first line telling the user that they signed up for your list and if they don’t want to get any more emails then they should click the unsubscribe button. The second suggestion is not to use crappy subject lines.


      1. Thanks For your reply Jennifer it helps. i started doing that, another question how to make adead list alive? if they dont know you well how to approach them to know you and stay connected is there any approach for this? (for example your friend wanted to quiet list building and he gave you his list, or you managed wrong and didnt send any email for weeks…)


        1. Engin,

          Don’t sell yourself short. You never know someone until you approach them for the first time. If you show interest in them and provide them with valuable information then they will want to interact with you. You have complete control of how well or how poorly your list will communicate with you based on what you provide to them. It doesn’t matter if you inherit a list or not. If you add value then they will want to interact with you. There is no rule that says you have to email your list daily or multi times a day or once a week. So don’t worry if you don’t send emails to them on a regular basis. It is quality of content of quantity that counts.


  10. Hey Jennifer,

    Great posts, love your blog.

    Btw, I was looking for steady click bank partner to add to my funnel, I was wondering if you’d be interested?

    Let me know.


    1. Amir,

      I am going in a different way than the traditional path with solo ads. I am providing valuable information to my list and not spamming them with daily solo ads. For that reason I am not using click banking partners. But thanks for asking.


      1. Thanks Jennifer. Does that mean you’re doing selling solo ads? You’re just doing traditional email marketing?

        1. oops, missed a ‘not’.

          Does that mean you’re *not* selling solo ads?

  11. A very well thought out post. Thanks for sharing!
    The important thing that many people know about
    but don’t do is tracking their results. You covered it

    1. Gary,

      Yes tracking is very important. It tells you exactly what is working and what is not working.


  12. Wow – Jennifer! I stumbled onto your site when researching how to sell solos. I never dreamed I’d find such a great article. Thank you!! I’m definitely going to give some of your bland-seal-of-approval providers a shot. And although I know full well that I need to split test, I still have not really done it. So, thanks to you, I’m going to start that right now.

    And what did you use to rotate your 100 clicks between the three LCP’s? I’ve seen a lot of different WSO’s, but would love to have your opinion on a good one to purchase :)

    1. Hey Barry,

      Glad you stumbled upon my website and I hope you stay! I use a product called Quality Click Control or QCC to rotate between different landing pages. it is extremely easy to configure and setup. It takes me less than 2 minutes to setup a new campaign where I have it rotate between different landing pages. The biggest competitor to QCC is AdTrackzGold. Between the two QCC is much better in my opinion.


      1. I was just looking at ATG…. I’ll check out QCC. Thanks for the input!

        1. My pleasure!

  13. Great article here Jennifer, and I must commend you on being so comprehensive. I just stumbled across this site searching on what to use to track clicks. Will definitely be reading through the rest of your site.


    1. Alex,

      Glad you found my website. I hope this information helps you out.


  14. Hi Jennifer,

    Thanks for this Blog. Kudos!

    Q: What do think of solo ads coaching? As more and more people become sellers, wouldn’t it over saturate the seller’s market and bring prices down?

  15. Hey Jennifer,

    I just wanted to let you know that I have a new website if you want to update mine in your seller list.

    New site –



  16. Hi Jennifer,

    Last night I had a conference call with a guy that is starting up a business based on epic squeeze and Solo Ads (using facebook)..the guys charges 12,000 USD in order to set up all the tracking software and related tools in order to track your results…after doing my own research I couldnt believe that I almost got properly F.%^@$@#$.

    Although there is some “weight lifting” to do at the beginning (i.e, set up your squeeze page, start your list, start selling and buying adds) it is not impossible if you have some basic math and web designing/management skills.

    Anyways, thank you very much for your comprehensive explanation. I will start my squeeze page very soon using facebook. Will get back to you soon after I post my first results in order to share my experience with your readers.

    Very kind regards,


  17. Joe,

    Glad you didn’t get taken advantage of and pay that amount to get you setup. Why don’t you share who that person was and their website so that others know not to get involved?


  18. Hi jenn last attempt i guess ur busy. I would really appreciate if you can call me or tell me if we can start. And the answer to some of the questions i sent


    1. Alex,

      I will get back with you today.



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