The Pros and Cons of Ad Swaps

  • Sumo

I had an interesting email from an internet marketer I’m getting to know – a great guy, James Francis, whom some of you may know. His email was – to my surprise – took the form of an apology. I couldn’t think what he’d done wrong – he’s one of the few internet marketers who mails me with consistently solid recommendations.

So I clicked on the link and went to a page where he’d put a video. He stood before a whiteboard looking suitably contrite and, once I’d hit the start button, he began his apology.

His reason for apologising was that he believed he’d been doing too many ad swaps. As a result, his list had been buying less and was quite possibly getting fed up with the volume of ad swaps.

Ironically, only that very afternoon, I’d been adding a chapter to a report I’d been writing mostly advocating ad swaps. James’s apology did make me pause and think, however. I had already included a cautionary note in my report, but his apology got me underlining it. And it’s this: you do want to be careful just how many swaps you do. James’s point was, the minute you go into swaps, you abandon quality control. He has a point. So you need to be mindful of that.

Consider whether:

– Your ad swap partners are sending out affiliate links or links to squeeze pages with valuable content
– The ratio of your sales emails versus emails offering free and valuable content is tipping toward the Spam zone

If you’re swapping a lot BUT ALSO offering some great content, I think your list will be forgiving. If you’re not, they’re less likely to be. As a newbie or lower intermediate, I think swaps are a great way to get up to, say, a 1,000 subs for any given niche.

Once you start to develop a reputation as a marketer, once you start putting out quality products, you need to exercise a little more discretion. If you’re just starting out and your list isn’t all that responsive anyway, you might reasonably think, Well, what difference does it make whether my list receives swap emails or my emails? Maybe the swaps will make them responsive… And you know what, you might be right. I think you just have to monitor the situation: check your open- and click-through rate as well as your unsubscribe rate.

If the swaps are adding to your business, keep ‘em coming – just don’t ever get complacent. Your list is actually a bunch of people and people have feelings, people can change their minds about you when you take them for granted…

So that’s my take on ad swaps. What’s yours? By the way, if you’re on my list, I’ve got a few swaps on their way;)

Want to JV with me? Get in touch – nic.penrake (Skype)

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