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How To Use Ad Swaps To Explode Your Email List

how to use ad swapsAd Swapping has been done for years and is probably the fastest FREE way to grow your list to 100,000+ people. That’s a bold claim, but I honestly believe its true and have seen others who’ve done it. Now I don’t have a list of 100,000 and I don’t heavily use Ad Swaps.

Only because from what I’ve seen, Ad Swaps devalue your list. They slowly destroy your relationship you have with your subscribers. I’m one who greatly believes in building a responsive email list and having a relationship with my subscribers.

Then there’s the people who say that’s a load of crap, and there’s no such thing as a relationship with your subscribers… because your subscribers don’t care about you or what you have to say. From my personal experience, if you give away enough cool stuff to your list, they will be forced to care what you have to say.

They will listen to you, download everything you send them and buy the products you recommend. With Ad Swapping, you give away your subscribers to other marketers and they do the same. So you’re essentially sharing them. If you think about it, the more and more you share your subscribers, the less loyal they will be.

That’s my argument AGAINST Ad Swaps. Saying that, it’s an incredible strategy you can use to easily build your list in quick bursts.

So what the heck are Ad Swaps?

As the name suggests, they are swaps you do with other marketers. You swap emails that promote each other’s lists. If I had to write a definition of an Ad Swap, it would be

An Ad Swap is where you recommend someone else’s website/offer/freebie to your list, and in return they recommend yours to theirs.

The cool thing about Ad Swaps is that they are completely free and you get people on your list who are definitely interested in your niche. They wouldn’t join 2 people’s lists in the same niche if they weren’t. Before I go any further, you need to know that you can’t do Ad Swaps unless you have a few hundred people on your list.

Nobody wants to do a swap if they’re going to get less than a dozen subscribers from it. So I recommend people to use other strategies until they’ve got a minimum of 300 subscribers. You’ll find plenty of other marketers just getting started who’d be delighted to do a swap with you when you’re at 300 subs.

Generally, you do Ad Swaps with marketers who have a similar sized list as yours. Otherwise, you agree on a number of clicks, just like with Solo Ads. That way, if one partner has less subscribers than the other, he or she will continue to send emails until the number of clicks are matched.

Saying that, it only works if you have similar sized lists. If you have 3000 subscribers and the other has 5000, you look at each other’s average click through rate and agree on a number of clicks. If on average you can deliver 500 clicks and your partner can deliver 800. You can agree to send a second email to a smaller portion of your list until the 800 clicks are matched.

Simple enough right?

Trust me, there’s no easier strategy you can use to build your list for free. Really Ad Swaps and Solo Ads go hand in hand. And… If you’d like to build a list of say 100,000 people as quickly as possible, I’d tell you to use solely Ad Swaps and Solo Ads. Both strategies are very simple.

Ad Swaps are essentially Solo Ads… But instead of paying to have your email sent to someone’s list, you simply return the favour.

With all that being said, if you do too many Ad Swaps you’ll quickly damage your relationship you have with your subscribers. I know marketers who do Ad Swaps every day of the month. Some months they start with 2000 subscribers and end with 10,000. That’s the power of Ad Swaps.

But – I can guarantee my list of 1000 buyers would out do their list of 10,000. Seriously, it’s that bad! I know guys who have lists of 100,000 people, yet they get an average response rate of a few percent. So that’s my word of caution. This is a very powerful strategy, just don’t get greedy and do swaps every day of the week.

I’ve done swaps for a little over a year now, and over that time I’ve put together a few rules:

  1. Do not do more than 3 swaps per month.
  2. Only do swaps with partners who have high quality and free products to give away to your list. (Their free report, product or download must be a good fit for your subscribers)
  3. Get proof of list size and response rate.
  4. Only swap with trustworthy marketers who have responsive email lists.

Like I said, you should use Ad Swaps sparingly and only ever do them with reputable marketers who know their stuff. A great trick if you can call it that is to subscribe to a marketers list before accepting or proposing an Ad Swap. Just to make sure they don’t abuse their list and to make sure they provide enough value.

What do you need to do a successful Ad Swap?

  1. Domain + Hosting (Somewhere To Host Your Capture Page)
  2. Autoresponder (Aweber)
  3. Capture Page (Optimize Press)
  4. Freebie (Your free offer to give away – free report/product)
  5. Onetime Offer

You need all the list building essentials. You don’t need a onetime offer, but an OTO is going to make a huge difference in terms of ROI. You basically need to giveaway a free “product” to someone else’s subscribers to entice them to join your list.

When they do, you should deliver the opt-in bait immediately and then present them with a onetime offer. A onetime offer can be an affiliate product or your own at a “special price”. Your OTO must be related to your freebie you give-away too.

So where do you find Ad Swaps?

1. Warrior Forum JV Section


The Warrior Forum is the oldest, most famous and popular Internet Marketing forum in the world. In the JV section, you can post a thread asking for Ad Swaps. You just have to list your list size, average number of clicks you can send and your exact niche. Or just browse through the existing threads of marketers who’ve already requested Ad Swaps. Super simple, I don’t need to explain further.

2. Safe-Swaps

Safe Swaps is an incredible service that allows you to quickly and easily find Ad Swap partners. It’s a paid membership deal and it’s around $25/month to get started. You join, plugin your list, fill out a few details and then people can see your exact niche, the number of subscribers you have the average number of clicks you can send.

You can see the same details of every other member. You also upload swipe files and more. With a few clicks of the mouse you can schedule as many Ad Swaps as you like to be automatically done for you using the calender. Check it out at safe-swaps.com.

Besides that, just look around. Find websites and blogs that are actively building a list. Contact the owners and propose an Ad Swap.

In Prosperity,

David Wood

P.S. Let me know your thoughts, comments and questions in the box below. Also put your name and email in the form below to get access to more cool list building tips, tricks and secrets.

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Hi David

I am involved as a Licensee for a very reputable and poular product and  as the result of a Solo ad campaign, I have accumulated quite a few Opt-Ins. Problem is - that my product Owner's system ONLY forwards me the email addresses of the Opt Ins (just as evidence of  their integrity I daresay) but NO Names to go with them.


Can I use THAT as a list to swap with others, ( I presently have about 200 ) or is it ESSENTIAL to have names as well ? In MANY instances the actual names are fairly obvious - from the email address alone. Actually people quite often give a false name in so many instances on the internet - mjust for Privacy reasons, - I think, - but rarely a false email - as THAT would be rather pointless if you wanted the freebie that is on offer.


 Peter, -- in Western Australia

Mike Krumlauf
Mike Krumlauf

Thanks for the suggestion Dave. I've used Ad Swaps before too and had some good results. It's definitely a way to add subscribers to your personal list. I like your suggestion for only 3-4 add swaps per month too. I've done it more frequently in the past and had a fair share of unsubscribes. I think it's important to pre-screen all the ads and make sure that not only are the ads appropriate for the list, but that they're high quality. Ad swapping is also a great way to try out different ads and see your conversions. Thanks again for the great advice! Mike Krumlauf

Etieno Etuk
Etieno Etuk

I've never heard of Ad swaps until today. I feel it's a great strategy but should be used sparingly because if you do it too much, there's a tendency for the people on your list to get offended and unsubscribe or just not respond to anything you have to say in your emails. Thanks for sharing, Dave.

Gabriel Johansson
Gabriel Johansson

I did swaps once a day for a month and over doubled one of my lists from 200-500. I had 2 people write me emails saying they didnt like it, about 10-15 unsubscribes and a few people buying stuff from my thank you page. It was a fun run that I had with safe-swaps, but I stopped doing it because I pretty much just raised my autoresponder bill with not much more profits to justify it. Then again, I learned ad swaps from a certain group who's earned up to 2k per day from ad swaps, but the issue is if they stop doing ad swaps, they stop earning money as they send their subs elsewhere. I really like your ad swap advice though! 3-4 per month is perfect Thanks, -Gabriel Johansson

Mark Harbert
Mark Harbert

David, Honestly I never really looked at ad swaps in this way. I can definitely see the benefit, but also the need to be careful because you don't want your list to think you are pimping them out if you know what I mean......lol. But I can see how this can be a huge way to build a list and build it fast. Great content as usual buddy. Thanks for your leadership. Mark Harbert

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