What Are Solo Ads? How They Make Money

There are many types of advertisements. You have social media ads, Google ads, mobile ads, and then you have solo ads. Solo ads are probably the least known among all of them, and it may sound like a new thing to you, but it isn’t.

A solo ad is nothing more than an email marketing campaign. Your goal is to convince the recipients of this email to take action and buy your products or services.

The thing is, you need to send this email advertising content to tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of email addresses. That is the main challenge with solo ads. You can do it yourself, but where will you get these email addresses?

Options to Run Solo Ads

There are three main options to make it work. The first one is for you to do it yourself. However, you can do this only if you have already gathered the email addresses of your leads. You also need an email marketing tool or software to make it easier for you. This way, you do not have to copy and paste each email address to the recipient address bar.

If you choose to do it yourself, you need to create your ad copy. You may also need to design your own graphic art, or you can outsource this and then just paste the completed graphic art to the body of your email.

You can do a solo ad even if you do not have thousands in your email subscription list. But if you do this, do not expect a high conversion rate. If email marketing has an open rate of 50%, then only 500 people will even bother reading your email. Out of this 500, you would be lucky if 3% of that made a purchase. For 500 people, it is likely that 15 people will buy.

Your other option is to use a solo ad service. This is a service you can buy where another person will send your email campaign to a massive number of people. You will either pay this person by click, by open rate, or by the contract price. Many people charge $0.35 for each click, and you will find these services in freelancing sites.

The third option is to use a platform to run your solo ad campaign. This is different from a sales funnel platform like ClickFunnels or an opt-in email platform like MailChimp. With these two platforms, you can create landing pages and convince a site visitor to sign-up to your email list. In exchange, you can give them something free, like an eBook or a free course.

With a solo ad platform, you can create an email campaign and not be worried about who to send your email to. The solo ad platform has a massive list of email addresses. However, you cannot access these email addresses. Instead, you just need to choose which countries you want to send your email to, or what categories of people.

If you want to send your email advertisement to the United States only, then you can choose that single country. You can choose more if you want, and this is a great feature for business persons who sell their products and services worldwide.

Why Use Solo Ad Platforms?

If you advertise on Google or Facebook, you need to set the kind of audience you want. This is called targeting. The problem is that there are still some errors that fall through the cracks in this system. Some people who see your ads are not the kind of people you are targeting. Also, the advertising networks for both of these are pretty random, so you cannot really dig deep and advertise only to those who want to buy your product.

With a solo platform, you will be sending your email campaign not only per country but by specific groups of people. If you want to send it only to those who are interested in learning dropshipping, you can do it. Basically, you are renting someone else’s email list.

Who should use solo ad platforms?

Not everyone needs an email campaign. Some are better off by using Facebook, especially local restaurants that need to advertise to specific cities and municipalities only.

Below are the people who should take advantage of a solo ad platform:

Marketers on a tight budget

If you want to market your business, but you cannot afford to pay a marketing agency for a massive campaign, use solo ads and control your expenses. This is great if you want to spread the word about your brand, and if you would rather spend your money on high-priority things than marketing.

Businesses with huge competition

If you are running a fashion store, chances are there are another couple thousand more stores like you. If you run a Facebook or Google ad, you will be competing against these other fashion stores, and they may have a higher budget than you, or maybe they already ran ads before you did so they got the consumer’s attention first.

Because of the tough competition, you are not likely to get leads. With a solo ad platform, the attention of the email recipient is 100% yours. So, instead of building SEO strategies, or using keywords in your ads, just send the email directly to the kind of lead you want.

New product launches

Not all products are meant for all people. If you are launching a typical fashion piece, then maybe a massive random ad is for you. But if you are launching an expensive and niche-based piece, like an expensive leather bag or wristwatch, you need to send your ads to targeted people.

This is where you can make use of solo ad platforms. You can choose the kind of people who will receive your email. If you are selling an online course about how to make money with the stock market, your email ad on a solo ad platform will be sent to people who are interested in the stock market investment niche, not to people who are interested in camping gears or smartphones.

Where do these emails come from?

These emails come from many sources. On a typical website, site visitors are encouraged to opt-in and provide their email address. Once the person running that website has a massive list, he can now use that list to advertise and send emails, not with his product, but with someone else’s.

Anyone who is building an email list knows that there is a thing called customer segmentation. This is an approach to data where the customer is profiled by interest, location, and many other things. These customers, along with their email addresses, are placed in categories.

This is how your solo ad campaign can be sent to targeted people. Some websites sell these email addresses, and this is why you may have also received spam emails from people you do not know.

How much do solo ads cost?

There is no single answer to this question. A solo ad platform typically charges by open rate or click-through rate. What this means is that you will only pay for emails that were opened or emails whose links were clicked. Many companies that offer solo ads charge by click. The price range is between $0.35 and $0.55 per click. The more clicks you are willing to buy, the lesser the cost per click.

The cost is also affected by location. Naturally, the cost of each click in a country like the United States is more expensive. The reason behind this is that people in the US have more buying power and are more likely to result in a positive conversion rate. With your email being sent to US citizens, there is a bigger chance that you will make a sale.

Is it worth it?

Yes, it is definitely worth it. However, like all advertising platforms, your advertisement will only be effective if the content of your ad is great. Many people who advertised with solo ads and did not get positive results to complaints saying that it is useless, that they got scammed.

Advertisement is a two-way street. You must have a good offer, a great presentation, and it must be shown to the right people. The first two will come from you, and the last will come from the solo ad platform. This is why before the age of the internet, the cost of advertising on television is much more expensive during prime time TV shows. More people are watching, and more people are going to see the ad. The ads are more targeted to families during prim time.

The same principle applies to solo ads. If you have a good presentation and a good product, you need to be able to choose the right market. You cannot show an ad about a new online stock market course to people who are interested in cooking recipes. It will not work.


Solo ads are email campaigns. You can do them on your own, or pay for using the platforms of companies that have hundreds of thousands of email addresses. It is only worth it, and it will only work if you use the right graphic arts, the right message, and the right selection of the people who will receive your email.

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