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One of the hardest things an online marketer has to do in order to get an online business up and running is to build a list – a list where people will buy from you, not just visit and go away.

There are a number of ways to build a list, some free or cheap, some expensive – for example Pay Per Click can be expensive if it’s not done correctly as keywords can be very expensive to buy and you have to know exactly what you’re doing or your budget WILL get burned… quickly!

Here’s two free or relatively cheap ways of growing lists that buy from you:

Solo Ads:

What are Solo Ads?

A solo ad is when you pay somebody else (we’ll call them a Joint Venture partner or JV) to email their list, on your behalf, with a personal recommendation from the JV owner to visit your website squeeze page… one that is dedicated to asking your visitors to give you their email address so you can send them your free offer. Once the reader has subscribed this way they become a legitimate prospect on your list.

The solo ad itself is nothing more than an advert written in the form of an email, so you prepare the email for the product or service you want to promote and send it to your JV.

You do this for the JV because:

  1. You know the benefits of your product or service; they don’t.

  2. The JV has more important things to do than write your advert for you!

Once you have written the solo ad email you send it to the JV requesting they send out your email to their list. The main advantage of finding a JV to email their list is that the JV is already known and trusted by the prospective readers of your email (solo ad).

The major benefit of that is simple: The JV’s customers already trust the JV. That is a MAJOR benefit to you because they will trust the JV’s recommendation far more easily than if they found you via a PPC campaign… remember: They have no idea who you are or what you stand for… but they know the JV!

How to Write the Solo Ad Email

The solo ad email is a short sales letter so all the elements you would use in a normal sales letter have to be in your solo ad email as well. For example:

  1. Make sure your subject line grabs the attention of the reader. Make it curious, compelling and 60 characters long… max.
  2. Personalize your email. Always use this formula: {!firstname_fix} which will add the recipient’s first name into the subject line…everybody likes to see their name.

  3. In the body of the email tell the reader what they are going to see when they click the tracking link inserted below the message. Don’t go overboard with the detail here… it’s an email remember not a website. But use the word “you” in your message to make it personal to the reader. Talk to them; be human!

  4. A tracking link is a hyperlink that when clicked, directs the reader directly to your dedicated squeeze page. But when they click, the tracking link collects information that you can use to monitor how effective the solo ad campaign has been. Invaluable information… don’t leave it out!

  5. Add the name of the JV owner

  6. Always use a PS in your solo ad to reinforce important information or to increase curiosity as you would in a sales letter.

  7. Now get the email sent to the owner so they can send it out to their list as agreed.

Here’s an example of the whole solo ad email laid out bare:

Subject: Don – Your free report on making money online is here

Body: “You gotta’ check out this great free report that shares 10 ways that you could start earning $10,000 a month”

I read this report last night and just couldn’t put it down. Neither will you! It’s that good I just had to rush it out first thing this morning as I didn’t want you to miss out the 500 copies on offer for free.

Click this link and be one of the 500 lucky people.

John Vallance

PS – Like I said… there are only 500 free copies available and this email is going out to 5,000 of my private, valued customers. Only 10% will be lucky!

How to make it even stronger

Here’s a couple of additional ways to make your email even more compelling:

  1. Add a testimonial or two from people who have previously received your report/free product.
  2. Use bullet points to make certain areas stand out

Ad Swaps:

How do Ad Swaps differ?

The answer is in themselves they don’t!

An ad swap works exactly the same as a solo ad, but instead of paying somebody to use their list you simply exchange the same amount of email addresses with your JV in the same niche market. For example:

If you have 1,000 email addresses in the weight loss niche and want to increase your list by 1,000, you swap your 1,000 for somebody else’s 1,000 in the same niche without payment.

You mail their 1,000 names and they mail yours! It’s a straight win-win for both parties.

When to use Solo Ads and Ad Swaps

To get moving from zero start with paid Solo Ads and get the first part of your list built. I recommend getting to a minimum of 300 names in your niche this way before looking to start Ad Swapping. Then you have something tangible to the JV to swap with.

‘Solo Ad’ and ‘Ad Swap’ Warning

When assessing a partner you MUST make sure the niche is exactly the same and that your product or service is complimentary to the JV’s. Get this wrong, or take a gamble, and you’ll mess up each other’s lists big time… in seconds!




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Don Hastie invites you to look at a proven resource: ‘New Power List Builder’ today. Only 275 people will receive a free copy of the ‘List Building Mastery Report’ showing how a small list of 126 brings in £1,935.25 every month.

There are FREE tips, strategies, advice and reports on making money online on my blog:

Don Hastie invites you to look at a proven resource: 'New Power List Builder' today. Only 275 people will receive a free copy of the 'List Building Mastery Report' showing how a small list of 126 brings in £1,935.25 every month.
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