How to Use Solo Ads for Affiliate Marketing (And Make Money)

Looking to grow your email list in a flash or create a buzz for your upcoming product launch? Solo ads might be the secret sauce you’re looking for. Solo ads are like turbocharged email ads sent to a targeted group of subscribers to boost affiliate offers.

However, before you dive in, it’s crucial to understand that solo ads aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. They can be a bit of a gamble for your business.

In this article, we’ll break down the essentials of solo ads affiliate marketing and guide you on how to make money with solo ads. 

What’s a Solo Ad?

A solo ad is a type of email-based advertisement where you essentially “rent” someone else’s email list to promote your offer. 

Unlike traditional email marketing, where your ad is part of a regular newsletter, a solo ad involves sending an entire email dedicated solely to promoting your product or service. This exclusive focus makes solo ads particularly effective for grabbing the recipient’s attention. 

While various businesses may use solo ads, they are especially popular and beneficial for affiliates and information marketers.

How Does Solo Ads Work?

Here’s the quick breakdown of how this email solo act usually goes down:

  • Find the Right Stage: Start by finding a person who’s got a great email list that matches the people you want to reach. It’s like picking the perfect stage for your big performance.
  • Secure Your Spot: Reach out to this email list owner or use their platform to make sure your email gets the VIP treatment. It’s like getting an exclusive pass to share your offer with a specific group.
  • Choose Your Payment: Decide how you want to pay – either based on how many people see your email or how many actually click on it. It’s like choosing the payment plan that fits your budget and goals.
  • Conversion: The real show begins when people from that email list click on your ad. The goal is to turn those clicks into actual results without breaking the bank.

In theory, solo ads sound like the superhero of online marketing. But, here’s the twist: some businesses avoid them, while others say solo ads are the reason they hit the jackpot.

Where to Find Solo Ad List?

Locating solo ad lists can feel like navigating a maze, but fear not! Here are some places to find your list:

1. Niche Forums

You can explore forums relevant to your niche. Platforms like the Warrior Forum are ideal for affiliate marketers. Create a thread seeking recommendations for solo ad sources. Learn from others’ experiences, as forums often function as communities where people share insights about their successes and pitfalls.

2. Fiverr and Google Search

Consider platforms like Fiverr or simply conduct a Google search using the formula “your niche + solo ads.” Numerous companies will pop up, each offering solo ads. While this approach provides options, it’s crucial to heed caution. Start with small investments and follow the earlier suggestions to navigate the solo ad terrain wisely.

3. Solo Ad Marketplaces

Explore dedicated solo ad marketplaces where sellers and buyers connect. Platforms like Udimi and Clickonomy specialize in solo ads. These marketplaces often provide user reviews and ratings, giving you insights into the performance and reliability of solo ad sellers.

4. Social Media Groups

Join relevant social media groups, especially on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, related to your niche or affiliate marketing. Engage with the community, ask for recommendations, and share your experiences. Fellow group members may offer insights into reliable solo ad providers based on their own results.

How to Use Solo Ads for Affiliate Marketing

Interested in using solo ads to make money with affiliate marketing? Here’re the steps to help you get started:

Step 1: Develop an Irresistible Lead Magnet

A lead magnet is something valuable you offer to potential customers in exchange for their email addresses. It serves a dual purpose: boosting your email subscriber numbers and qualifying leads by aligning with their interests.

Here’re the key characteristics of a killer lead magnet:

  • Resourcefulness: Make sure your lead magnet is highly applicable to your audience’s life and business.

  • Instant Gratification: Ensure that the lead magnet can be applied to their existing procedures for quick benefits.

  • Impact: Address critical issues and provide lasting solutions. Avoid temporary fixes.

  • Freely Accessible: Make it easily downloadable or accessible online. Eliminate friction in the access process.

  • Perceived Value: Consider the perceived value. If it’s low, not many people will consider providing their email.

Here’re the common types of lead magnets:

  • PDFs: Ebooks, resource guides, and checklists that can be used on any device.

  • Online Articles: An engaging online article can serve as a lead magnet.

  • Video Courses: Offer valuable content in a video format.

  • Physical Products: Consider offering a physical item, especially if your affiliate offer aligns with it.

  • Consultation Service: Provide a free consultation as a lead magnet.

  • Free Access to Premium Products: Offer a taste of premium products for free.

Depending on your audience and niche, choose a lead magnet type that resonates and aligns with your affiliate products.

Remember, your lead magnet is the entry ticket to a deeper relationship with your audience, so make it compelling and genuinely valuable.

Step 2: Build an Engaging Squeeze Page

Your squeeze page, also known as the lead capture page, is the virtual handshake with your potential leads. Its purpose is to capture their attention, gather essential information, and guide them seamlessly toward your affiliate offer. 

Here’re some essential components of a squeeze page:

  • Headline: Craft a compelling headline that succinctly conveys the value of your offer. Make it clear and attention-grabbing.

  • Offer Selling Points: Clearly highlight the key benefits and selling points of your lead magnet or affiliate offer. Use bullet points, sub-headlines, or even integrate them into the background image.

  • Opt-In Form: Place a user-friendly opt-in form where visitors can easily enter their contact details. Keep it simple, asking for essential information like name and email.

  • Call to Action Button: Design a prominent call-to-action (CTA) button that prompts visitors to take the next step. The button should be visually appealing and feature text that encourages action (e.g., “Get Instant Access”).

Your squeeze page is often the first interaction users have with your offer. Make it visually appealing and easy to navigate.

The primary goal is to maximize the number of visitors turning into leads. A high-converting squeeze page can make the difference between a visitor and a valuable lead.

Your squeeze page doesn’t need to be fancy; it needs to be effective. Prioritize functionality and user experience over unnecessary design elements.

In the past, hiring someone was common, but it’s less popular now. However, if design isn’t your forte, it’s still an option.

The preferred method is using landing page creators, providing control and scalability. Tools like Clickfunnels, Brizy Cloud, Elementor, or others offer templates and a drag-and-drop interface for easy customization.

Step 3: Choose a High-Converting Affiliate Offer

Selecting the right affiliate offer is a crucial step in ensuring the success of your solo ads campaign.

Here’re some considerations when choosing an affiliate offer:

  1. Conversion Rate: Look for offers with a higher conversion rate. Many affiliate networks provide data on the average conversion rates of both the front-end offer and the entire sales funnel.

  2. Earnings per Click (EPC): Assess the EPC (Earnings per Click) to gauge the average earnings per affiliate click. If EPC is greater than the Cost Per Lead (CPL), it’s a positive indicator for the campaign’s potential success.

  3. Sales Funnel Structure: Examine the sales funnel, including the front-end offer, upsells, downsells, free trials, recurring products, and high-ticket items. Understanding the structure helps you anticipate potential earnings.

  4. Product Quality: Evaluate the quality of the product you’ll be promoting. Choose products that align with your values and provide genuine value to your audience.

  5. Cookie Details: Investigate the affiliate product’s cookie details. Know whether it follows the first-click or last-click attribution model, and understand the extent of the cookie’s lifetime.

  6. Sales Page: Check if the sales page includes an opt-in form. Offers with opt-in forms on sales pages may not credit you for the sale, so exercise caution with such products.

You can explore popular affiliate networks like JvZoo, ClickBank, WarriorPlus, ShareASale, Impact, and others. These platforms offer a wide range of products across various niches.

Apart from that, you can consider niche-specific networks that cater to your audience’s interests. For instance, if your audience is interested in software, platforms like Avangate and PartnerStack might have relevant offers.

For quick cash, consider integrating high-quality CPA (Cost Per Action) offers from networks like MaxBounty. These offers often provide a commission for successful leads.

Once you’ve chosen an affiliate offer, focus on it and test thoroughly before moving on to promote another product. Testing and optimizing are key to success.

It’s not about the sheer number of offers but the quality of the ones you choose. Aim for products that resonate with your audience and align with your brand.

Step 4: Implement a Reliable Tracking System

Tracking the performance of your solo ads campaign is crucial for making informed decisions, optimizing your strategy, and maximizing your return on investment (ROI).

You should track key metrics such as traffic, clicks, opt-ins, sales, geographics, demographics, and other statistics. This allows you to monitor the performance of your campaign.

Even if the solo ad provider offers a traffic completion report, having your tracking system adds an extra layer of verification. It helps you assess the quality of the traffic provided by the vendor.

Identify which aspects of your campaign are working well and which need improvement. This data-driven approach enables you to optimize your strategy for better results.

Here’re some popular tracking tools:

  • ClickMagick: ClickMagick is a comprehensive tracking tool that provides detailed insights into your campaign’s performance. It offers features like link tracking, conversion tracking, and advanced analytics.

  • ClickMeter: ClickMeter is another reliable tracking solution with features such as link tracking, conversion tracking, and real-time analytics. It’s user-friendly and suitable for both beginners and experienced marketers.

  • Click.Org: Click.Org is known for its simplicity and effectiveness. It offers link tracking, conversion tracking, and intuitive analytics. It’s a good choice for those looking for straightforward tracking.

  • LinkTrackr: LinkTrackr is a cloud-based tracking tool that provides detailed reports on clicks, conversions, and sales. It’s suitable for solo ads campaigns and offers flexibility in tracking various elements.

To set up your tracking system, following these steps:

  1. Create Tracking Links: Most tracking tools allow you to create unique tracking links for different elements of your campaign. Generate tracking links for your solo ads, squeeze page, and affiliate offer.

  2. Implement Conversion Tracking: If applicable, set up conversion tracking to monitor the number of leads and sales generated through your campaign. This is crucial for calculating your conversion rates.

  3. Utilize Advanced Features: Explore advanced features offered by the tracking tool, such as A/B testing, split testing, and traffic segmentation. These features can provide deeper insights into your campaign’s performance.

Keep in mind that you have to review the reports generated by your tracking tool regularly. Look for patterns, trends, and areas that require attention.

Assess the quality of the traffic received from the solo ad provider. Identify any discrepancies between the vendor’s report and your tracking data.

You can use the insights gained from tracking to optimize your solo ads campaign. Make adjustments to elements like ad copy, targeting, and landing pages for better results.

Step 5: Drive Traffic to Your Affiliate Marketing Funnel

Now that you’ve set up your lead magnet, squeeze page, chosen an affiliate offer, and established a tracking system, it’s time to channel targeted traffic to your funnel. 

Start by identifying a reputable solo ad seller by researching their track record, customer reviews, and testimonials. 

Make sure the solo ad provider’s email list aligns with your target audience. This alignment increases the likelihood of reaching individuals genuinely interested in your niche or affiliate products.

You can reach out directly to the list owner or use the provider’s platform to purchase access. 

Most solo ad providers offer two pricing models—based on the number of subscribers your email reaches or the number of clicks your ad receives. Understand these models and choose the one that aligns with your goals.

If possible, negotiate terms with the solo ad provider. Discuss factors such as the timing of the campaign, the frequency of emails, and any additional services they may offer.

To prepare your solo ads, keep these two things in mind:

  1. Compelling Ad Copy: Craft compelling ad copy that resonates with the audience. Clearly communicate the value of your offer and include a strong call-to-action encouraging clicks.

  2. Link to Your Squeeze Page: Make sure your solo ad includes a direct link to your squeeze page. Make it easy for recipients to access your offer and opt-in to your email list.

As your solo ads are sent, monitor the campaign in real-time through your tracking system. Keep an eye on clicks, opt-ins, and any immediate conversions.

After the campaign concludes, assess the results. Evaluate the number of clicks, opt-ins, and conversions. Compare this data with the solo ad provider’s report to ensure accuracy.

If you achieve positive results with a specific solo ad provider, consider scaling up your efforts with them. Increasing your investment can expand your reach and impact.

Use the insights gained from the campaign to optimize your future solo ads. Adjust elements like targeting, ad copy, and timing to enhance performance.

Step 6: Strengthen Your Affiliate Funnel Backend

Finally, it’s time to fortify the backend of your affiliate funnel. 

To establish a solid email marketing setup, opt for a reputable email autoresponder service that not only delivers your emails efficiently but also allows segmentation with tags. GetResponse is a beginner-friendly option to consider.

You can use email marketing software to send messages based on your subscribers’ actions. For instance, if they click a link about Fiverr gigs, follow up with content related to starting a freelancing agency.

Apart from that, it’s important to build a library of high-converting email templates. Having proven sequences allows you to achieve consistent results with minimal adjustments. 

Here’re some strategies for a powerful backend:

  1. Increase Engagements: Enhance engagement by providing valuable content, incorporating videos, asking questions, conducting surveys, and holding giveaways. Engaged subscribers are more likely to convert.

  2. Offer Bonuses: Encourage conversions by offering exclusive bonuses for purchases through your affiliate links. Create a sense of urgency by providing bonuses for early buyers or those who opt for one-time offers.

  3. Utilize Countdown Timers: Incorporate countdown timers in your emails to create a sense of urgency. Timers can drive action by emphasizing limited-time offers and promotions.

  4. Variety of Offers: Diversify your offerings to cater to changing subscriber interests. If your email list covers various topics, experiment with different affiliate offers related to business opportunities, online courses, SEO, and more.

  5. Retargeting Beyond Email: Extend your promotion beyond email marketing by retargeting subscribers on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Pinterest. Integrately is a tool that syncs your list with advertising networks.

To improve your emails, regularly test different elements like headlines, sub-headlines, call-to-action text, button colors, and font sizes through A/B testing. Identify what resonates best with your audience.

Increase lead generation by incorporating exit-intent popup boxes on your capture page. Tools like Convertful and ConvertBox can help create effective popups.

Cut down solo ad costs by retargeting visitors on social media platforms. After collecting enough data, create a lookalike audience for more cost-effective lead generation.

Pros and Cons of Solo Ads for Affiliate Marketers


  1. Targeted Audience: Solo ads put your message directly in front of an audience interested in your niche or the products you’re promoting. It’s like having a conversation with the exact folks who want to hear from you.

  2. Quick Access to Email Lists:  Instead of building your own email list from scratch, solo ads let you borrow someone else’s established list. It’s like jumping into the party without waiting in the queue.

  3. Immediate Results:  Solo ad campaigns can show results in a jiffy. Once your ad goes out, clicks and conversions can start rolling in almost immediately. It’s like getting instant feedback on your marketing moves.

  4. Low Cost to Get Started: Starting with solo ads doesn’t demand a hefty budget or tech wizardry. If you’ve got a catchy ad and an affiliate link, you’re good to go. It’s like joining the affiliate marketing scene without a complicated initiation.

  5. Scalability: Once you find a winning solo ad provider and a converting ad, you can increase your efforts and reach a larger audience. It’s like turning up the volume on your success.


  1. Quality of Email Lists: The success of solo ads relies heavily on the quality of the email lists you’re tapping into. However, using another person’s email list means you have limited control over how your ad looks or how often it appears. It’s like grooving to someone else’s playlist.

  2. Ad Fatigue: Subscribers of solo ad providers might be drowning in promotional emails. This can make them less responsive to your offer, leading to lower conversions. It’s like trying to stand out in a crowded inbox.

  3. Spam Complaints: If the solo ad provider bombards subscribers or sends emails too frequently, it can lead to spam complaints. Too many complaints can harm your email reputation.

  4. Unpredictable Results: Solo ad effectiveness can be unpredictable. Results may swing based on the list quality, ad content, timing, and other factors. 

  5. Cost: Solo ads won’t break the bank, but costs can add up, especially if you’re testing different providers. It’s like paying entry fees to multiple parties to find the one with the best vibe.

Are Solo Ads Worth It?

So, the big question: Should you use solo ads for your affiliate marketing business?

The answer lies in how well solo ads align with your unique marketing goals and the quality of the lists you choose. Before taking the plunge, it’s crucial to carefully weigh the potential benefits against the risks and costs.

Here are a few tips if you decide to give solo ads a shot:

  • Research List Owners: Opt for list owners with a proven track record of delivering value to their subscribers and maintaining high engagement rates.

  • Craft Compelling Ad Copy: Your ad needs to be not just persuasive but also relevant and engaging. The goal is to prompt recipients to take action.

  • Monitor Results: Keep a close eye on your campaign’s performance. Track metrics such as click-through rates, conversions, and return on investment to assess if the investment is paying off.

  • Diversify Marketing Strategies: Don’t rely solely on solo ads. Integrating them with other marketing strategies creates a well-rounded and diverse approach to affiliate marketing.

In a nutshell, solo ads can be a profitable addition to your affiliate business, but success hinges on using them wisely.

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