Why a Safe List Isn’t a Safe Way to Get Leads.

There are a bunch of different ways to build an email list and most of them I am really against because they usually teach theories and strategies that generally waste your time and usually provide little to no good rate on return.

Enter the topic of safe lists, an old, yet still used tactic of accumulating leads. 

Why a Safe List Isn't a Safe Way to Get Leads

What is a safe list?

Think of an enclosed network of people who get the opportunity to promote to themselves within that network. All they promote is basically a squeeze page with an offer and hope to get subscribers. 

To have them be eligible to host ads on the network, members must earn or buy credits to be able to advertise. 

Why safe lists are bad to use:

  1. You’re promoting internally to people who are likely cold leads at best.
  2. You are not intelligently targeting people who would interested in your offer.
  3. You generally spam or mass message people in hopes they’ll opt in.
  4. You are basically doing the complete opposite of list building using “safe” list methods.

PTC networks, safe lists and why you need to stay away from this:

PTC networks are also known as pay to click networks and you’ll commonly see safe lists being advertised there.

In one you basically advertise to collect an email/s and in the PTC one, you can also advertise a squeeze page, but you can also promote offers.

Have you read my opinion on PTC sites?

If so, then you know how I’m going to criticize safe lists too:

One of the things that I dislike a lot about PTC networks is that in an enclosed network, with the way the monetary opportunity is designed, the incentive isn’t really for people to provide value to one another in exchange for something. In theory, it should be like that, but unfortunately most of the time, the 2 big problems that exist are the following:

1) People who get credits/money to click on ads, don’t really buy the offers, they just want to get paid for clicking. The incentive isn’t to look for value, it’s to get value for basically doing nothing (Clicking) which is why ROI rates for people who advertise on those networks is very low.

2) People who advertise generally are advertising to junk traffic and in addition to the ROI problem I stated, most of these places also advertise a lot of low quality programs so the little number of conversions they get also get even lower sales on the back end after someone signs up or buys. 

Where do safe lists play a role in this?

Well those 2 problems exist as well, but look a little bit different.

1) The incentive for people inside safe lists, at least those who are looking to get credits to click on ads isn’t really to join other people’s programs, because often times that will involve buying something on the back end. Instead these people look to click on those ads and do nothing, so they can get credits to advertise THEIR squeeze pages that can eventually have THEM get paid.

Therefore, the ROI on safe list websites is also very low usually.

2) Generally while people advertise via squeeze pages on safe list networks, on the back end, they usually promote really, really bad programs that are make money online related.

If you have in the past been asked to sign up to a marketers newsletter or after you’ve purchased a make money online product, you will generally receive A LOT of low quality recommendations to buy things. I know because I get these emails in bulk amounts every single day, sometimes hundreds.

The point being here is that while people can advertise and get opt ins, because the large majority of programs promoted afterwards suck, your subscribers aren’t just going to distrust you, but you’re not going to make any money.

Can you lose money on these sites? Sometimes yes, but in most cases here is what you really lose:


Posting or clicking on ads to then post your squeeze pages on networks which generally deliver low conversion rate results in my opinion is really a waste of time for you and again in my opinion anyone who engages in that. 

There are productive lead generation ideas to attract, get and make money of emails but safe list networks and the whole concept of it is in my opinion not one of them. 

In terms of money, some sites that run this operation do charge for buying credits, but again, you’re talking about buying more advertising opportunity on a concept with low ROI results, so therefore in many cases, you’re losing money. 

Can you get leads this way? Sure. Will those leads buy? Well in my opinion, no, because they are generally junk traffic produced leads. 

Ironically safe lists are anything but “safe”:

In my opinion, for anything to be considered a “safe list” there needs to be a few things guaranteed:

1) It needs to be outside any sort of enclosed network. When you have people advertising to one another all seeking to make money, it’s a piranha tank basically and I’m going to use that analogy again shortly…

2) You need to be on an email list of a marketer you trust, that is reputable and that you know won’t send you garbage emails/promotions. 

3) If you are the marketer (the other side), then you need to be that trustworthy source for your subscribers so they trust you. 

In most experiences I have had with signing up to any squeeze page, none of those 3 things exist, especially the last 2.

Your email is given out to (again) the massive piranhas out there who want to promote the worst products to you and get the most money out of you.

So I ask, what is so safe about that? The answer is nothing, hence why this naming is so ironic to me…

If you want to collect leads, use the following, proven strategies:

I have in my experience online collected well over 40,000 leads, but the funny thing is that a majority of my work online has not been based on lead generation. One of the best strategies for collecting truly safe leads is through this 1 list building method that works over and over.

Once you correctly use such a strategy, you’ll never fall for another “safe list” pitch again. You’ll save money, time and will be able to get laser targeted leads to your pages.

12 thoughts on “Why a Safe List Isn’t a Safe Way to Get Leads.”

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I have always had issues understanding how to do this and keep subscribers. Do you suggest the paid strategy over the free strategy? Which one works the best in your opinion? I think I would like to do a test on both of them but would love to hear more if you can tell me more.

    • If both paid and free traffic deliver the same relevant audience to your page, then both work, but free will not cost you anything.

      I have collected emails both ways, for longer lasting websites, generally free is better, for new, experimental ones, paid is better. If you look at the resource I gave Brok below, it’ll show you an experiment I ran and that’s really how I go about getting and keeping my subscribers.

  2. I’ve never heard the term safe lists before, but I’m very familiar with PTC sites and have wasted some time promoting offers without much success.

    I agree that the traffic is pretty much garbage and you’re wasting your money purchasing the traffic.I see that you said you’ve collected a lot of emails on your site, but I don’t see any opt-ins? What’s your strategy to collecting emails?

  3. I heard about safe lists years ago, back in the early 2000s I think. But what you describe sounds a lot like Solo Ads. Are they the same thing or similar? I know some people do get a lot of success with Solo Ads, but whenever I have tried them I have had not much success at all.

    • They aren’t exactly the same because with Solo Ads, you essentially buy the ability for someone with an email list to advertise your page to them. Safe lists are a bit different in that sense.

  4. I guess a bunch of people in one place who are all sellers and not buyers wouldn’t really work out. I would agree. It sounds like a big waste of valuable time. I have never used a safe list and definitely will not now. I probably won’t try a PTC network either. Thanks for this valuable information.

  5. I was recruited before to do the shameless job of clicking ads to get paid. Sometimes, I don’t even click. I just leave the computer on and let it “surf” for 30 mins until it stops displaying random sites it is surfing. I think it is directly related to junk traffic. I did it once to try, I had nothing to lose, and the offer was FREE to sign up. However, when I come to think of it, I am a blogger, too. And if I am paying a company to give me a decent amount of traffic, and in return I would get something like this from people who pretend to surf and click my links without any conversion, I think I would better rely on organic visitors, no matter how small compare to the promised clicks and traffic these disgusting companies provide.

    • Well I think what you’re referring to is more PTC related Pitin, because in that regard, yes you have to stay on a site you click on for a time before you get credit. In safe lists, this is different, but like I said the incentive for most people isn’t to sign up, so that’s why so much traffic there is junk.

  6. Very accurately stated, however I do have a few Safelist’s that I bought life membership to a few years ago that I still send out broadcasts on from time to time. Sometimes if you send out a free offer, you do get some leads, but as you say sometimes it is a waste of time.

    Also some Safelist’s are a lot better than others. If you do join one, make sure it is one that has been around for a long time and check when it was last updated by the owner.

    Although nice to use for some quick advertising, don’t wast time clicking for credits or think you are going to make a full time living off of them.

  7. I really wish that I read this post sooner! I have lost a lot of time dealing with safe lists. It has generated a lot of traffic for me, but as you said they were just clicks for credits. I am working on my site now and will put the opt in option up. Are there any other lead generation methods that you recommend?

    • The safest one is SEO Dadrian, but it’s a massive time investment in the form of content creation at first. However, it’s free traffic in the long run so you save money and can repeatedly test your opt-in through this. I have linked to several other ways I’ve done list building in this post.


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