Ad Swaps Are Impossible!!!

by RyanT
26 replies
Hey Warriors,

So I've been trying to build a list via Ad Swaps and I've found it incredibly frustrating and relatively impossible.

I've been through the JV section, I've looked at List Swappers and Safe-Swap. The problem so far is that you're either forced to pay money on a membership site for swaps that you are still NOT guaranteed or watch your list grow at the speed of smell.

I've looked everywhere for Ad Swap partners and not finding anything that isn't for lists under 3k. Now I understand the bigger the list the more profitable the swap but what happened to helping the little guy?

Smaller lists can still be very responsive and still hold subs that a bigger list may not have.

I've had two successful swaps, although they were both with the same person. I've done a couple other swaps and haven't seen one single sign up. But according to my stats I've given them quite a few.


I've tried building a list once it took before and did alright but it took quite some time. I never used Ad Swaps until I started hearing about it more and more.

It seems to be ridiculously hard to get anywhere with swaps unless you already have a substantial list or you are willing to pay $40 or so a month and still HOPE for a good swap or even a swap at all.

Now I see why people throw their hands in the air when it comes to list building. We all know it's a great thing to pull income from but I had no idea it would be this impossible.

So where do the little guys go?

What to do what to do....
#impossible #swaps
  • Profile picture of the author myob
    Personally, I don't do ad swaps because I'm very guarded about my subscribers. What I have found to be a very powerful list building method is to write articles and submit them directly to targetted ezine publishers. Apparently you are an experienced writer, so it appears to me to be your best option. You can either use the search engines to find ezines in your niche or what I do is use the Directory of Ezines (directoryofezines.com). It is an initial $197 investment for unlimited use, but IMO it may be the best investment for building your list.
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    • Profile picture of the author RyanT
      Well thank you yes I am a very experienced writer, but I've never thought about submitting to push traffic to my list.

      So I guess I would just write about IM/MMO and submit to these targeted areas.

      With a link offering a free something or more info?

      That's a fantastic idea
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      • Profile picture of the author myob
        Precisely. I assume you write articles to the article directories. That is "pulling" readers; not anywhere near as effective as writing directly to ezine publishers who "push" it to their subscribers. When publishers accept your article it takes on an implied endorsement or even "authority" status to the subscribers. Very powerful, and it seems most writers are not using this technique, syndication.
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        • Profile picture of the author RyanT
          How do I find those authors? Just simply search in a niche and then pick and choose the 'expert' article authors? Then mail them asking? Or is it just submit then they approve or deny?
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          • Profile picture of the author myob
            Perhaps I missed something here. As an accomplished author yourself, if you're not submitting quality articles to the top article directories especially EZA, you are missing out on opportunities for publishers to use your articles for their own content. As a given, any writer should be posting articles on their own websites and submitting to article directories.

            But what I was referring to as an additional proactive step is to search for ezine publishers for possible syndication of your articles. Some ezine publishers source articles from the article directories unless they have regular contributors. If you can make these publishers' job easier by providing quality content regularly, you are far ahead of other writers who merely "post and pray" to the article directories.

            Your call to action in your resource box would be some incentive for readers to subscribe to your list. It could be a free report, course, etc. As a regular contributor to perhaps a few dozen ezine publishers in your niches, you have become syndicated. As alluded to briefly in my above post, you can find these ezine publishers by using the Directory of Ezines (directoryofezines.com) This directory lists ezine publishers by market niche and includes publisher contact info, number of subscribers, ad rates (yes they do have solo ads), and whether or not articles are accepted (usually so).
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            • Profile picture of the author RyanT
              I haven't been submitting to Ezine, as my main writing is done for other people. I more recently got to a point with my writing that I can move on to other things. In the beginning it was stressful to try and juggle everything so I focused on two things, writing and web design.

              Now that those two are going good and I can go and reach for the things I pushed on the back burner.

              But thank you I will get on this immediately, you've been a lot of help.

              Thanks again
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        • Profile picture of the author CatherineC
          Banned
          Originally Posted by myob View Post

          Precisely. I assume you write articles to the article directories. That is "pulling" readers; not anywhere near as effective as writing directly to ezine publishers who "push" it to their subscribers. When publishers accept your article it takes on an implied endorsement or even "authority" status to the subscribers. Very powerful, and it seems most writers are not using this technique, syndication.
          Agree, I would never swap even my most unresponsive opt-ins with any other list.

          No point to it, despite what many WSO-sellers would have you believe. You wind up with a big Aweber monthly bill, a big list, and a 2% open rate.
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          • Profile picture of the author nebechukwu
            I'm sorry about your frustration, but keep in mind that many people that have a list over 3k will still swap with you. What you'll want to ask them is how many subs or click throughs they can generate, when you ask a person that question then you'll be able to determine if you can keep up with them. Sometimes a person with a list of 5k will get less click throughs than a person with a list of 2k. I know you'll be able to line up swaps by the click through rates, not JUST the list size. Try approaching it from that angle and see if you get anymore luck. Hope this helps!
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            • Profile picture of the author M Thompson
              I can see why some people would adswap, but it's a short term gain.

              I build a list of subscribers who like what i have to offer , can't see the sense in diluting that list. It's like promoting other peoples products,create products for your list and build a relationship with them.

              With a well nurtured list you'll get 40%+ open rate as catherine says above why trade that for a 2% open rate?
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              • Profile picture of the author paulie888
                Originally Posted by M Thompson View Post

                I can see why some people would adswap, but it's a short term gain.

                I build a list of subscribers who like what i have to offer , can't see the sense in diluting that list. It's like promoting other peoples products,create products for your list and build a relationship with them.

                With a well nurtured list you'll get 40%+ open rate as catherine says above why trade that for a 2% open rate?
                I agree, I have never really warmed up to the concept of adswaps myself. You basically end up with a list of strangers that barely know you, and as a result your open rates and overall conversions/sales are going to be dramatically lower since you're diluting your list with outside prospects from adswaps - it'd essentially be marketing to a 'cold' instead of 'warm' list that is responsive and profitable.
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    • Profile picture of the author entry
      Originally Posted by myob View Post

      Personally, I don't do ad swaps because I'm very guarded about my subscribers. What I have found to be a very powerful list building method is to write articles and submit them directly to targetted ezine publishers. Apparently you are an experienced writer, so it appears to me to be your best option. You can either use the search engines to find ezines in your niche or what I do is use the Directory of Ezines (directoryofezines.com). It is an initial $197 investment for unlimited use, but IMO it may be the best investment for building your list.
      So you
      1) find an ezine on tennis (for example)
      2) Write articles on tennis
      3) The targetted ezine submits these in their autoresponder, to their Ezine list

      (Or do they submit it to their ezine article site? - i am confused is an ezine a list? or an online magazine?)

      4) They read the article, and read the sig link and then click it, to the link location = targetted traffic

      is that the basic steps?

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      • Profile picture of the author CatherineC
        Banned
        Originally Posted by entry View Post

        So you
        1) find an ezine on tennis (for example)
        2) Write articles on tennis
        3) The targetted ezine submits these in their autoresponder, to their Ezine list

        (Or do they submit it to their ezine article site? - i am confused is an ezine a list? or an online magazine?)

        4) They read the article, and read the sig link and then click it, to the link location = targetted traffic

        is that the basic steps?
        Good god, he's still on this myob...wow.

        Just read the MASSIVE self-help section that Charlie Page so graciously provides you within the DOE member section entry. It covers not only the same questions you've been asking for two weeks now, but all the hundreds of other questions you haven't even thought up yet...
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      • Profile picture of the author myob


        @ entry

        Almost. Step four is actually whatever is your call to action. Assuming, as in this thread, it is to build a list you would have a sign up page with some kind of incentivized offer.

        As I recall, you mentioned in another thread you had subscribed to the DOE. Besides the listings in the directory, there is a wealth of useful info from Charlie Page's newsletter, ebook, and tutorials.

        This is only one of many suggested alternatives to ad swaps.
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  • Profile picture of the author yakim1
    Ryan,

    One of the easiest ways to build a list is to join giveaways. There are anywhere from 15 to 25 different giveaways per month. If you were to join as many as you could and only received 25 opt-ins per giveaway, that would be around 375 - 625 opt-in subscribers per month. In a years time you could have a prospect list of 4,500 to 7,500 members.

    Now these are mostly freebie seekers but so are most people who opt-in from a squeeze page that is giving something away for a bribe.

    Your goal would be to turn as many as you can into buyers.

    With a list of 4,500 to 7,500 you will have much more power online to do your joint ventures and ad swaps.

    I just counted 12 giveaways that you can join now for the first part of March and a few still in February. I found these at...
    New JV Giveaway Events

    You also need to build a jv partner list so you will be able to contact people who you know have a list and will most likely ad swap with you. In most of the giveaways scripts they list the support email address of every person who is participating in the giveaway as a contributor.

    This is usually listed at the same location as their product donation listing. By collecting and these email addresses, you can build a jv partner list that you can contact for other projects.

    Most of these contributors will probably have close to the same size list as you and will be more than willing to ad swap.

    Remember to only use your prospect lists to promote your giveaways to and not your buyer lists.

    The important part is to go the extra mile and build two different kinds of lists as described above.

    I hope this has been helpful.

    Steve Yakim
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike McAleer
    I have a small list right now as well but I am just trying to get more and more so that then I can do ad swaps.
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  • Profile picture of the author bigjoe59
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      • Profile picture of the author bigjoe59
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        • Profile picture of the author Jon Patrick
          Just the type of response I would expect from a member of this forum.
          You mean a logical response? Sorry, but when someone's first post on an IM forum is a long-winded rant defending a company by accusing its detractors of "whining" and being "nuts," it tends to be for one reason - association with said company.

          You just can't open your eyes and figure it out for yourself. You know 100% that you are right, huh?

          Get over yourself buddy. This is NOT the owner of Safe Swaps, just a satisfied member who knows the value of the site.

          The owner of the site is Uncle Dimitry, and he's a great guy and has no need to post in here defending a site that hundreds already love and know the value of.

          I just felt the need to speak up to what I know to be true.

          Now get over it.
          Even if I were to play along with the idea that you're not associated with them, I would still advise you to take a less abrasive, confrontational tone when posting in their defense. Many people will interpret that the same way I do.
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  • Profile picture of the author CoreySmy
    Both sides to this thread are very valid. Yes it is exremely important to build a positive trustworthy relationship with your list. This is why if you are utilising ad swaping as a list buiding technique. You must ensure that the partners that you source to swap with are as reputable and honest as you are. A great way to do this is to sign up to your prospective partners list and see how they treat their subcribers. If you are happy with their approcah, then contact them for an ad swap, if not move on.
    Good Luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author entry
      Originally Posted by CatherineC View Post

      but all the hundreds of other questions you haven't even thought up yet...
      My questions help others too, especially newbies.

      Well the answers to my questions that is.


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  • Profile picture of the author infotechdigital
    Good stuff to know!
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave Lianelli
    Ryan, listen to what Paul has to say. He's spot on!

    Now, you should look at ad-swaps as a simple form of Joint Ventures. Joint ventures are all about building a relationship with people, preferably one or two steps ahead of you.

    So, what you should aim at is finding people to network and become friends with. There might even be some potential partners for you within your own list. Focus on providing value to everyone you work with!

    Heck, if your list and your messages fit mine - I'm open to network and maybe do an 'adswap' with you. (Man, I hate that term)

    -Dave
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  • Profile picture of the author cashmagnet
    ad swaps do work and they work so well the medium to large sized businesses do them regularly and advise that they are one of the key routes to growth, think endorsements after the endorsement its up to you for the relationship you build.

    Also when starting small lets say 500 you swap another 500 list and all goes well you do this a few times with similar lists getting around 30 to 50 subs each time for example you build your list up to 1000 now you get 50 to 70 subs then on to 2000 n you get say 100 subs.

    That's just an example but you can see that as you build up the fast you build up

    Adswaps should never be your sole method of increasing your list, what's happened to all the other methods, SEO, PPC, Ezine ads.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alan Petersen
    I don't do ad swaps anymore because yes the quality of the list is usually crap. A few years ago it was pretty good but now that everyone and their brother is doing it and people are teaching this strategy it's not what it used to be.

    I'm not familiar with the ad swap site that charges a fee but perhaps if people are actually paying to belong to this group then those lists might not be too bad. Again, just guessing but figure if people are paying to belong to an ad swap group they might be more serious and protective of their lists.
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    • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
      Originally Posted by Alan Petersen View Post

      I don't do ad swaps anymore because yes the quality of the list is usually crap. A few years ago it was pretty good but now that everyone and their brother is doing it and people are teaching this strategy it's not what it used to be.

      I'm not familiar with the ad swap site that charges a fee but perhaps if people are actually paying to belong to this group then those lists might not be too bad. Again, just guessing but figure if people are paying to belong to an ad swap group they might be more serious and protective of their lists.
      Thanks Alan. I appreciate your insights.

      I haven't done an adswap since 2009... Even just a couple years ago it didn't seem like that many were even talking about ad swapping.

      Or were they? No idea...

      They worked well for me throughout 2008 and 2009.

      And to give insight to people in this thread... It all depends on WHO you're ad swapping with.

      So ad swaps work and they don't work at the same time.

      It obviously matters on who you're ad swapping with and what their list is like.

      I'm thinking about toying with it again here because it's just so easy...
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    • Profile picture of the author NateRivers
      Originally Posted by Alan Petersen View Post

      I don't do ad swaps anymore because yes the quality of the list is usually crap. A few years ago it was pretty good but now that everyone and their brother is doing it and people are teaching this strategy it's not what it used to be.

      I'm not familiar with the ad swap site that charges a fee but perhaps if people are actually paying to belong to this group then those lists might not be too bad. Again, just guessing but figure if people are paying to belong to an ad swap group they might be more serious and protective of their lists.
      This is exactly why it will leave you list worse off then before... I would build organically.
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