Welcome to my unaffiliated, honest review of Herculist - the safelist or “mailer site”, also known as HercuList Plus.
We’ll take a look at what Herculist is, how it works, if you can profit from it, and alternatives to it.
Let’s dive in.
What Is Herculist Plus?
Herculist is a so-called “safelist” or “mailer-site”. Basically, it’s a group of people (usually beginner/newbie marketers) who agreed on sending promotions to each other, organized in a membership website and closed email list.
You can find more information and the big problem with safelist marketing here.
In addition, you can find a list of the best safelists here.
What’s The Big Promise Of Herculist?
The website reads: “Need traffic? Advertise to THOUSANDS Daily, FREE!”
They say they have “147,444 members”, but:
They don’t tell us how many of these members are really active.
By “active members” I mean participating people who open their “junk email inbox” and click on links. (because nobody signs up to safelists with their primary email inbox, read more here)
Let’s see if Herculist can keep up to the huge claim that we can “advertise to thousands daily”.
How Does Herculist Work?
Herculist is organized and working through a credit-based system.
As a free member, you can “earn credits” by clicking on the promotional emails of other members, and looking at other members’ ads.
This model is known and was popularized by “PTC/PTS sites” (pay to click/surf) which are known to have notoriously low click-through rates.
Members can use these email- and on-page ads to send out their promotional messages and offers to other members. (in the hopes that someone really reads their message and then shows an interest)
Because of the nature of safelists, the members (most newbie marketers) usually respond to rather aggressive “make money online” and traffic generation related internet marketing offers. (the reason why anyone becomes a member is to get more traffic to their squeeze pages and affiliate offers)
This is where it gets interesting… Now we’ve got to take a deeper look at Herculist’s business model:
Their real business is upselling you all kinds of premium services like the ones below…
How Much Does Herculist (Or Herculist Plus) Cost?
After the signup, you’re being presented with 3 different membership options:
|Free||“Daily plain text email/web ad submitted to 1000 members”||Price: free|
|Pro||“Plain text email/web ad submitted to 147396 members every other day”||Price: $29 per year|
|Gold||“Daily HTML or plain text email/web ad submitted to 147396 members”||Price: $39 per year or $69 for lifetime access|
Judging from the way these paid membership upsells are presented, it’s very obvious to any experienced marketer that the people who run Herculist primarily try to upsell you the “Gold lifetime membership” at $69.
Nothing wrong with that, right?
Well, not so fast… We’re coming to the dirty part:
If you skip these upsells after signing up to the free membership, you’ll see on the inside of the membership that you can actually buy the “HercuList Gold lifetime membership” for $49.
This practise of first showing you a higher price, and if you decline, then presenting you the same offer for less money - is extremely misleading and an unethical marketing practice in my opinion.
In addition to the paid memberships, the people who run this safelist try to (up-)sell you inside the platform the following:
- Herculist Login Ads
- Herculist Prime Ads
- The “Pro” membership for $15 per year
- The “Traffic Bomb” package for $39
- “Monster Blurbs” and “PowerBlurb”
- “Solo Specials” and “HercuBlurbs”
- and a few more packages and offers
My Personal, Unaffiliated Opinion
I’m a simple guy.
I earn my living online as a professional affiliate marketer (you can see a few of my achieved results here), and I’d honestly love to tell you that you can
- simply sign up,
- press a few buttons,
- send your promo to tons of people for free,
- and make a lot of money in the process.
Unfortunately, that’s not the truth.
That’s just not how successful, professional (affiliate) marketing works. (here’s how it does)
Affiliate marketing is a real business.
And like with any other business, you’ve got to learn real marketing and develop a reliable lead generation system. (customer acquisition method)
So ask yourself:
Do I Really Learn Successful Online Marketing Here?
Herculist really is unusable for me.
You can’t navigate the membership website without being constantly bombarded with annoying ads, everywhere: Left, right, and center.
But the worst part: You don’t learn traffic generation and lead generation (list building) when using safelists.
You’re trying to take a shortcut and believe, I totally get it.
Online marketing is hard, especially in the beginning when you don’t have a solid strategy yet.
But here is - from a marketer’s perspective - the biggest issue with Herculist Plus:
The Biggest Problem With Herculist
Remember how they try to upsell you the “higher” memberships?
You can’t even reach the most affluent (highest LTV & most serious) members of Herculist!
Remember what the biggest “benefit” to upgrading was?
People upgrade their accounts so they don’t have to “collect credits” by looking at ads and promotional emails all day long.
So who can you reach then? Who - in the best possible case - truly opens and reads and potentially clicks on the links in your emails to the safelist?
The only people who possibly see your promotional messages are the “active, free members”.
But unfortunately we can not find anywhere on the website how many active, free members Herculist really has.
And I’m sure we can’t find that critically important information for a good reason…
A Reliable, Professional Alternative To Herculist
Let me get straight to the point:
The best thing you can do to get your affiliate links seen and clicked by thousands of people is to learn real, professional affiliate marketing.
Through that process - which admittingly takes some time and effort - you’ll be able to generate all the traffic you want, generate lots of hot, targeted leads, and make consistent affiliate sales.
And you can do all of that on your very own platform, and without relying on third-party platforms that could be out of business or change their rules tomorrow.
Instead, you’ll be able to attract people to you and your offers, grow an audience on your own platform, and build a real business.
If that sounds good to you: Get this.
Tim for Online Business Dude