Targeted vs Semi-Targeted vs Untargeted vs Dumb Advertising

Targeted Solo Ads: Do You Really Know What They Are?

Targeted vs Semi-Targeted vs Untargeted vs Dumb Advertising

Most of the advertisers learned that targeted advertising – as opposed to untargeted advertising – is something good and it increases their chances to get a good result.

However I noticed email marketers looking for targeted solo ads without actually understanding what this concept means.

They wrongly believe that targeted solo ads are the solo ads slots offered by a vendor who posts an offer mentioning “Targeted Solo Ads”. That’s misleading advertising from vendor’s part…

But let’s take it easy and let me show you some examples that can make you understand the concept.

Targeted Advertising – Definition & Examples

Targeted advertising is the type of advertising directed toward a group of people who is interested in what the advertiser promotes.

Let’s suppose that I want to promote my ebook “Ultimate Guide to Solo Ads”.

Case 1) If I tried to promote my solo ads ebook to the readers of “We Hate Solo Ads Ezine”, how many readers would be interested in my ebook? None. That’s not even untargeted advertising but dumb advertising!

Case 2) What if I try to advertise it in “Health Newsletter”? What we know about that readership base is that they are interested in health topics. Some of them might be interested in the solo ads topic. But no one knows, not even the publisher of that newsletter. Advertising to such an audience would be like shooting in the dark and is called untargeted advertising.

Case 3) If I promote my ebook to the readers of “Internet Marketing Tips & News Newsletter”, that’s much better. The readers of that newsletter are internet marketers – people interested in the same niche as my product. However, internet marketing is a large niche… Some internet marketers may not be interested in the solo ads sub-niche. This type of advertising is semi-targeted advertising.

Case 4) And finally… If I offer my solo ads ebook to the readers of “Solo Ads Tips Newsletter”, I’m quite sure that most of the subscribers who read my marketing message will be interested in seeing my offer. That’s targeted advertising.

Targeted Solo Ads Advertising – Conclusions

1) Real life situations are not as simple as my examples, not everything is black or white. Maybe you won’t find newsletters like “We hate/love [sub-niche of your product]”. But if you use your imagination and analyze the situation, you’ll always be able to reduce your study case to one of the 4 cases mentioned above.

Please note that the ideal case is #4 described above, but you’ll not always be able to find such a case. That’s why don’t be unhappy if you find a situation like the one described in case #3. It’s not bad at all!

2) Always remember the principle behind the targeted advertising concept: Matching the product that is advertised and the audience’s interests. The better the match, the better your results.

3) Every time when you see a solo ads seller who claims that he sells “targeted solo ads”, think twice before placing an order with him.

As you already learned, deciding whether the advertising is targeted or not depends on 2 factors: the audience and the product that is advertised. Maybe most of the solo ads sellers know their audience. But none of them knows in advance what product or service each visitor of their website will advertise. So actually they cannot offer targeted solo ads unless they have lots of newsletters/mailing lists from lots of different industries.

Even when they have lots of lists, in case of a product from a very small niche or sub-niche, that vendor’s solo ads may actually be untargeted, which is opposed to what is advertised ;-)

To your solo ad success!
Adrian Jock

Ultimate Guide to Solo Ads (ebook) – Another Happy Reader

Ultimate Guide to Solo Ads - Testimonial Dr Paul Zemella, Empower Network Representative

7 thoughts on “Targeted Solo Ads: Do You Really Know What They Are?

  1. Good point, Adrian.

    Whether or not a list is targeted really depends on what you’re promoting.

    One thing you can do to help avoid poorly targeted clicks, is to offer the list owner a targeted email swipe. So, if your swipe says, “dog trainer offers tips on curbing your dog’s barking”, then regardless of how targeted the list is, the clicks you receive should be fairly well defined and targeted to your product offer.

  2. Thank you Adrian for giving tips on solo ads. So, do you mean that I should be asking how versatile the audience on the list before I place my order? May I ask an advertiser what kind of products have been promoted to the list before I place an order for a solo ad?

  3. Hi Kateryna, nice to see you here :-)

    I should be asking how versatile the audience on the list before I place my order?

    Usually no newsletter publisher will be able to respond to such question. When someone subscribes for example to a women health newsletter, the publisher will not ask that person if she likes also dogs, cars, SEO, blogging, fashion, SF books, etc. That publisher is not interested in finding such things. Anyway, the more subscribers to a newsletter, the more different interests the readers have. They have one interest in common though… the topic of that newsletter. So… in my example above, without asking the publisher any question you know that the readers are interested in women health stuff. If you want to advertise something not related to women health, don’t do it in that newsletter – that would be untargeted advertising; no one knows if the readers are interested in your dog training course (just an example).

    The real newsletters have a name and most of the times you can find what that newsletter is about only by reading the name of the newsletter. If you’re gonna advertise with some modern solo ads sellers who don’t publish real ezines but have… “mailing lists”, then you should subscribe to them in order to see what they’re actually sending to their readers. However, most of them are in the internet marketing niche and the IMer gives away a freebie in exchange of people subscribing to that mailing list. If you look at the freebie, you know what is the common interest of the readers ;-)

    May I ask an advertiser what kind of products have been promoted to the list before I place an order for a solo ad?

    I guess you’re talking about a publisher, not about an advertiser. Yes, always it’s good to ask questions before placing an order. You’ll see if there is someone on the other part of the screen. If no one responds or if you get a very delayed answer then you may want to change your plan and advertise somewhere else. As for THAT question that you mentioned, yes, it’s good to ask it. If there were tons of people who already advertised in that newsletter the same product/service/opportunity you plan to promote, then your result may not be that good.

    If there is something not very clear in my answer, let me know :)

  4. I like cases 3 and 4 :)

    Also, I think tracking your ads (clicks, subscribers, and sales) is super important! Maybe even more important than the ad source. I’ve pulled profits from solo ads I never thought possible, but I only know that because I track everything.

    Even then, at least knowing this will dramatically increase results for many people!

    Thanks for this!

  5. Hi Adrian,
    Thank you for this concise and clearly defined article on Targeted Solo Ads.
    It is encouraging to know that you support the semi-targeted type of advertising. Hopefully the semi-targeted applies to many who claim to have targeted, but don’t have the pure targeted.

    Great article Adrian! I request to reprint, or link to your blog page of this article in my next ezine.

    1. Hi Susan,

      Thank you for your comment. Sorry, I don’t give reprint rights anymore. For SEO reasons. As for linking to any of my articles, you don’t need my permission. You can link to as many articles as you may like :)

      1. Thanks Adrian – I certainly understand about the SEO reasons.
        I’ve been hesitant to continue article marketing due to those reasons.
        Have a great week!

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