Listbuilding + How to break even when you purchase solo ads

I’ve been slowly working in my lab and since my last post on here I’ve created three different sales funnel. My objective is to make all of them work in a way that they become autonomous or should I say self funded. In other words I want the funnels to be treated as three different stores that constantly generate income without me putting too much effort into it.

What I’ve learned:

Creating a funnel takes a lot of work and planning. I had no idea the amount of extensive work is involved in creating a sales funnel with different vital components. First you need to think of a lead magnet that is good enough to use. Once you decide on the lead magnet to use you then have to create a squeeze page. Creating a squeeze page does not take long but making it work in a funnel with ever-moving parts can become a pain. I split test every aspect of the funnels so that means I have to create several versions of my funnel pages including all the up-sells as well as the exit links that lead to other squeeze pages.

In all I would have to say that creating one sales funnel cost me about 5 hours of my time. Although the funnels are live right now and there is traffic going to them, they are not yet complete as there are more components to add as well as pages and concepts to improve. In all my time marketing online and all the experiences I’ve gathered I’ve never actually took the time before to really work on a funnel. The amount of work needed for this kind of project is not usually mentioned or of it is I guess I’ve never paid much attention to it in the past. It’s exciting to think of a puzzle, which in this case is a sales funnel but the time it takes to put all the pieces together sucks!

Results so far…

JvzooshotWhat you’re looking at is a screenshot of my JVZoo sellers account. I’ve made a few sales with my incomplete funnels. The prices of the two front end offers displayed shown in the image are $7 and $27. There are a lot of reasons why I priced these as such but I just didn’t want to follow what I think to be the trend in the internet marketing niche. A lot of funnels start with and offer priced at $7 but I wanted to make a name for myself and create my own main staple offer. Again… much to my dismay this stuff takes a lot of work. As I’m still adding to this however I do believe that I may increase the price of this front end. I would have to try different prices to see how well they convert and I will also have to learn some copy writing skills. Right now I have a generic long sales letter for my $7 product, and 2 video sales letters I’ve butchered for the other two. The good thing with one of my video sales letters is that one has generated $351 so far. 

The second funnel (the one with the $27 front end offer) is my experiment funnel. I want to have fun with this to see what I can do with it. I’ll keep a close eye on my numbers and use the results to improve my main staple funnel. The third funnel is not listed here because it’s unfortunately not made a sale… bummer. The third funnel was built also for an experiment mainly driven by the demand I have from my current clients that purchase traffic from me in the form of funnel clicks.  I get a lot of clients who look to purchase funnel clicks. I’ll explain briefly what funnel clicks are.

Funnel Clicks:

A simple marketing funnel works such as this: You get traffic through a squeeze page. When a prospect enters an email address the prospect now becomes a subscriber. This subscriber in turn would land on a thank you page. A thank you page can be a simple welcoming page with a personal message, a sales page, a pre-sales page etc…

I have a funnel in which I created a thank you page with additional links. These links would go to my advertising partners or my funnel traffic buyers. The demand is high for the funnel traffic buyers but unfortunately the new route I’m about to take will not be able to fulfill the orders of these funnel buyers.

Because I didn’t want to lose my clients I thought of creating a hybrid funnel that would both fulfill my needs as well as my funnel traffic buyers. My need is to get sales as soon as a prospect becomes a subscriber. This way I get a buyer, which is worth much more than a free subscriber and I recover my advertising cost a lot faster. Because I shrunk my email list, I need to be a little more aggressive in purchasing more traffic. The best way to do this is to reinvest my earnings into buying more traffic. 

Now my new funnel is built this way: Prospect becomes a subscriber and now lands on my new hybrid sales page. This sales page has a video at the top  and instead of one button at the end where normally I would include a buy now button, I have two buttons. The first button promotes a $9 offer and the second button is a no thanks button which then takes the subscriber to an advertisement offer paid for by my traffic buying clients. I built this in hopes to increase my buying power. While building this I had a hunch that this test would not produce the results I was anticipating. Now without any further delay let’s look at the stats shall we?

Results from this short test…

I purchased traffic in the amount of 600 visitors. In the solo ad industry this is the same as saying I purchased 600 clicks. So out of the 600 clicks I purchased I received a total 678 clicks and that resulted in me acquiring 313 new subscribers. That’s a 52% opt in rate. Those results are great, in fact they are fantastic. Opt in rates don’t always go up to 52%, I believe the industry average is about 30-35%. Not bad, but this is not the experiment. My goal was to have at least 10 of my subscribers buy the $9 offer. So if 10% did buy the $9 offer I would have made $281.7 and that would have been a nice chunk of change I would definitely turn around and purchased another round of 600 new visitors.

That’s not what happened though… I was expecting 10% to buy so that means that approximately 31 people would click on the buy button. In fact 29 people did click on the link which is not bad, not bad at all my prediction is almost spot on, but to my surprise none of those 29 people bought they $9 offer. I’m not sure why because they know it costs $9 before they even click the button. Something stopped them in their tracks…I wonder if they somehow lost their wallet or their passwords when it came time to buying. Who knows…

Now what about the other button? The no thanks button. One would think that the rest of the subscribers would click on the no thanks button. So that means that we should have 282 people click on the no thanks button. Instead there were a total of 106 people click on the no thanks link. I know I make a minimum of 35 cents every time that no thank you link is clicked. So that means that this run generated $37.1

The rest which is about 176 subscribers decided not to do anything and exit the page. I don’t have a way to quantify how much I make when someone hits the exit button but I know it is a quite minimal amount. I should think of better ways to handle exit traffic. Right now this traffic is used to promote my other landing pages which in turn focus on different products, one being the UFN for which I shot a review video. More than $800 in commission using one exit strategy, not bad if I do say so myself, this is a commission I would not have received if I didn’t implement the strategy.

What To do Now?

I would not say that this experiment is completed as I see room for improvement. Approximately 10% of the incoming traffic clicked on the buy button but opted not finish the checkout process. I’m aware there are scripts I can use to follow their path and identify what roadblock they might have come across. At the time of writing this, I’m not quite sure what to go for here, nor do I think it’s as important right now. I should probably change the call to action, split test different prices to see what my subscribers are looking for. The sales video definitely needs some improvement as I did it in one take and made a few mistakes in my speech. Maybe I stuttered a bit too much… who knows.

How To Break Even When You Buy Solo Ads

I can’t believe I already wrote over 1500 words before reaching this topic. This topic is what I really wanted to focus on when I started writing this blog post.  This portion will focus on another one of my sales funnels. The sales funnel is built-in three stages. I have a squeeze page which leads to a sales page that leads to one up-sell and then a second up-sell. The purpose of this funnel is to collect as many buyers as I can. This is a “Get The Money Campaign”. I believe this term was coined by Frank Kern I could be wrong however.  So the objective is to present an opportunity to my subscriber to buy from me as soon as possible.

I got on JVZoo to see what most marketers are doing on there when they design their funnels. I saw a trend where the front end of an offer sells for $7 and then the price will gradually increase down the funnel as up-sells will generally go in the range of $27 to $47. I structured my funnel as such: Front end @ $7 –> up-sell1 @$17 and up-sell2 @ $97.

Now this funnel is incomplete and still needs some improvements but I decided to pull the trigger and throw some traffic to it so I can start collecting some data. So naturally I went to my favorite source to find solo ad traffic providers and purchased rounds of 200 visitors from 4 different sellers.

Click the image to expand


After a few days as you can see on the image above I’ve purchased a total of 800 clicks/visitors and was happy to receive a total of 911 total visitors to my squeeze page. The total cost of this traffic purchased was $310. Out of those 911 visitors or clickers as we like to call them 386 of them became subscribers making my overall op-in rate an average of 42%. Not bad, not bad at all. Of course I’m split testing this squeeze page and I’ll work on improving the conversion rate. Now these 386 new subscribers brought me a total of 10 sales which amounted in a total revenue of $70. This brings me to a loss of $240 but that’s ok because this traffic buy didn’t come out of my pocket. Click this link to learn how I get clients to pay for my traffic. (You will have to get all the modules to see how it’s done). 

The purpose of this experiment was to acquire data. After receiving 911 visitors I know that my average opt-in rate for this funnel is roughly about 42% and the most important thing to consider here is my overall sales conversion rate. I calculated this conversion rate by taking the number of sales made and dividing it by my incoming traffic. 10 sales / 911 visitors x 100 = 1.098%. In lay man terms for every 100 visitors I make 1.09 sales. That is very good to know… but there is a problem. I’m in a huge deficit and I am a man who likes his money. How do I increase my chances of breaking even from the front end of my sales? Most marketers are content to take a loss on the front end because they know they will then make up for it later on in their funnel and also through their email series. That’s fine they can do that but what can I do to improve my numbers? 

There are clearly many steps I can take but I’m going to go with the data that I’ve gathered so far. I did not make any sales with my up-sells which is a shame so let’s focus on the front end offer. (OMG this post is already getting too long…) What do we know so far? My sales page which is a long sales letter converts at 1.09%. I have made no sales with the rest of my funnel. My front end offer sells for $7. What should I price my offer so that I break even when I buy traffic? To answer this question I poured a glass of wine and decided to learn how to use google hangouts so that I can record my own brainstorming session.

You can see the video below but I warn you it’s long and runs slightly over one hour. You will learn however that I am a light drinker and although I like looking at numbers, I am terrible at creating equations… You can watch the video below:

So to make a long story short, I’ve figured out that if I price my front end offer at $37 and assume that the sale conversion rate will remain intact, I would be making an additional $0.70 for every 100 visitors that land on my squeeze page. That’s really nice, but I suspect that conversions will not be the same. There is only one way to tell however. I have to buy more traffic and test out this theory. So the spreadsheet displayed in the video has several prices. These prices range from $1.99 all the way to $37. See the image below for an illustration

I will try all these prices in my next experiment to learn what converts best.