Safelists and traffic exchanges are not always the preferred advertising methods.

Best Free Traffic Sites – Safelists and Traffic Exchanges

There are thousands of free traffic sources online promising to deliver timely, quality visitors to your websites and businesses. The free traffic site list below are my recommended core programs for anyone promoting business opportunities or advertising within the make money online niche.

Two popular methods of getting free online traffic are safelists and traffic exchanges. Other methods include content marketing, email marketing systems, social media networking, and Pay-per-Click advertising.

NOTE: My preferred method of building my business online is to use content marketing aimed at creating passive organic traffic from search engines, primarily Google. But sometimes, you just have to go out and get traffic!  And when you just don’t want to spend time creating lots of unique content or don’t have much money for advertising, then free or low-cost advertising is an option. Sometimes, it is the only option.

I find safelists and traffic exchanges to be effective in promoting products and services related to the make money online niche. In a sense, I advertise advertising to advertisers. Using safelists and traffic exchanges are less effective if promoting products and services in other niches, weight loss for example. Unless weight loss is promoted as a business opportunity.

BONUS Download: Click here to get a downloadable PDF version of the Best Free Traffic Sites – Safelists and Traffic Exchanges. You can print out and read later. Or use as a reference. Instant download, no email address required.

I use a combination of safelists and traffic exchanges to add subscribers to my lists and money in my pocket. The following traffic resources are my top recommendations based on my experience since 1996.

These are my “core” programs. I use other safelists, traffic exchanges, and tools as well when time permits. I also occasionally join new programs.

I join programs if I know the owners or if the program looks particularly promising or has a unique twist or feature.

One thing the following sources have in common is that none of them are new “launches” or less than several years old. These traffic sources are PROVEN performers. They have passed the test of time.

Recommended Safelists

Safelist email marketing grew out of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Prior to the law, marketers sent unsolicited commercial email (UCE) to email addresses harvested from the internet. They used email address harvesting software to scan the internet and websites to collect email addresses. Harvested email addresses were then added to a mailing address database. Then UCE (SPAM) was emailed to the recipients on the list. Marketers sent massive numbers of email ads under the theory of the Law of Large Numbers.  In other words, send enough email out to be successful.

After the law was passed, email marketers were restricted in how they sent email to people. A misconception of the law is the idea that it is illegal to send unsolicited email. Email can be sent as long as it provides a way for the recipient to unsubscribe from the list.

As a result, marketers created and people joined (opted into) safelists for the purposes of collecting credits for reading email. They would then use the credits to send their email ads to other safelist members.

The following list of safelists are my “Go To” mailers. These are all proven, well-established programs that consistently provide good results. They all have:

  • experienced owners
  • responsive customer service
  • proven track record of paying commissions on time
  • high levels of commissions on upgrades
  • been operational for more than two years


State of the Art Mailer State-of-the-Art-Mailer – SOTAM is a highly regarded safelist currently ranked #1 by Hoopla, which has been doing 100% independent statistical testing since 2002. The top-level “Viralist” members can send a solo email to 30,000 members every 3 days. I have been a member of SOTAM since they started in 2010. The unique button escalation feature of SOTAM has enabled me to upgrade to the top level. The more active a member, the more emails a member can send. I particularly like the Loyalty Renewal Rewards Discount of 5% for every 6-month renewal. My savings from 2010 has been substantial. Click here to join SOTAM


Email Hog Safelist Email Hog – One of Marty Petrizza’s earliest safelists, Email Hog has been one of my favorites for years. With 7,500 members, Marty guarantees members receive at least 2% click-through-rates on emails sent or the member’s credits are returned. Active members earn rewards. Plus Marty frequently runs contests for members. Members can earn money by reading emails. It is not a lot, but I enjoy having money added to my account. Upgraded members receive 50% commissions on upgrades and ad purchases. Click here to join Email Hog.


AdMasterPlus Marketing AdMasterPlus – Another old-time favorite, AMP used to be called Fast Cash and Traffic. Owner, John Bell, upgraded and modernized the look of AMP in 2014. This is one of the most responsive safelists I use. Not only a safelist, AMP also has a built-in traffic exchange. The top-level upgrade pays 65% commissions from referral purchases. Click here to join AdMasterPlus.


Guaranteed Solo Mails Guaranteed Solo Mails – GSM is the big brother of Guaranteed Mails, both owned and operated by Marty Petrizza. For upgraded members, GSM guarantees 500 unique views of every solo ad sent. There is also a free credit-based mailer for members.Upgraded members may send 8 solo ads a month. Not only do the solo ads go to other GSM members, the solo ads go to other lists owned by Marty. Click here to join Guaranteed Solo Mails.


Adchiever Safelist Adchiever – Adchiever, owned by Darren Olander, is a unique, custom-built safelist that rewards active members. I get some of my best click-through-rates using Adchiever. Not only a safelist, it has some of the best email marketing training available anywhere. Like SOTAM, Adchiever has a member loyalty program. The more members use Adchiever, the more benefits they accrue including upgrades. Click here to join Adchiever.


The Lead Magnet Safelist TheLeadMagnet – TLM has been one of the top safelists since it launched years ago. My only regret is that I did not upgrade early on. So I missed out on mailing to this large list of 22,000+ members. Stefan Berg, owner, has a number of ways for new members to get a bunch of mailing credits from the start. Members get instant 100% commissions on every other sale. Click here to join TheLeadMagnet.


Mister Safelist Mister Safelist – Mister Safelist is a proven responsive safelist. Created in 2011 by Jerry Iannucci, it has consistently been one of the top safelists according to Hoopla. Mister Safelist has a variety of membership levels starting with free. Upgrading enables members to send more emails more often. It pays to be an active member as Jerry offers cash links in emails members read for credit. Also, there are frequent contests with cash payouts. Click here to join Mister Safelist.

Recommended Traffic Exchanges

Back in the day when traffic exchanges first made their appearance, they were highly effective in attracting visitors and getting results. So much so that it caused a virtual stampede into the creation of new traffic exchanges.

The basic premise of a traffic exchange is: You show me yours and I will show you mine (website that is). A traffic exchange user will view a website or several websites for a specified number of seconds to earn a credit. When the viewer accumulates credits, the viewer then can show use his credits to display his website to other viewers. Traffic exchanges are popular because they are free or low cost enabling budget-conscience marketers to promote their businesses.

There was a recent shakeout in the traffic exchange industry due to Paypal cancelling many accounts for violating their terms of services. (Paypal has a clause that prohibits network marketing. And they considered many traffic exchanges enabling the promotion of prohibited businesses.) Paypal was the payment processor of choice for the vast majority of traffic exchanges.

The following list are my “Go To” traffic exchanges. These are all proven, well-established programs that consistently provide good results. The same criteria applied to my list of safelists applies. These traffic exchanges have:

  • experienced owners
  • responsive customer service
  • proven track record of paying commissions on time
  • high levels of commissions on upgrades
  • been operational for more than two years
Hit 2 Hit quality traffic Hit2Hit – H2H is consistently rated #1 among traffic exchanges rated by the Hoopla independent statistical testing service. Created in 2005, H2H is highly regarded because members get results displaying their advertising at Hit2Hit. Members may join for free and earn credits by viewing other member websites. Several upgrade options are available. What I like best about H2H is the owner displays upgraded member websites on 30 other traffic exchanges. This gives the upgraded member websites more exposure. Click here to join Hit2Hit Traffic Exchange.


Traffic Swirl free targeted website traffic Traffic Swirl – Traffic Swirl is another established traffic exchange ranked highly by Hoopla. They are currently #3. Created in 2010, Traffic Swirl has 79,000+ members. I joined in the beginning and am member #88. Traffic Swirl is designed to engage members in a variety of ways from chat to games as well as having a number of ways for members to earn free credits. Click here to join Traffic Swirl.


Tezzers Traffic Exchange Tezzers Traffic Power – Tezzers is another highly ranked traffic exchange, currently #11. Tezzers is the former Tezak Traffic Power. When Tezak was updated and given a new look, it was also given a new name. Tezzers is part of the Commando Surf group. If a member surfs the Commando Surf group websites at the same time, they earn extra credits. Click here to join Tezzers Traffic Power.


The Downliner ultimate traffic cooperative The Downliner – TDL is technically not a traffic exchange. It is a traffic exchange cooperative. TDL member websites are displayed on 10,000+ other traffic exchanges. Besides the free membership, there are two upgrade levels. The top level, Serious Marketer, enables a member to get 20,000 views of their website(s) a month. Jay Carey, TDL owner, maintains a very big list of banned sites that cannot be used to promote the TDL co-op link. This is to the members’ benefit of not getting bogus traffic to their websites. I like the TDL Referral Machine the best. TDL members who upgrade are automatically put into the Referral Machine for referrals in the All In One Profit (AIOP) program. Click here to join The Downliner.


Website Traffic Hog Website Traffic Hog – Website Traffic Hog is one of Marty Petrizza’s traffic exchanges. It is highly rewarding for active members, both in terms of winning cash and credits. WTH is over 5 years old and has over 13,000 members. Marty has added a mailer to WTH with a guaranteed views benefit. Members can earn guaranteed view credits by viewing members’ ads. Click here to join Website Traffic Hog.


Hot Website Traffic Hot Website Traffic – Hot Website Traffic is another Marty Petrizza traffic exchange. I am long time free member of HWT. At first glance, Hot Website Traffic is very similar to Website Traffic Hog. The only difference being cosmetic in having a tropical theme vice hedge hog based theme. Like WTH, this one rewards active members with cash and credits. It also includes a mailer as well as solo ads. Unlike Website Traffic Hog, HWT does not include guaranteed views. Click here to join Hot Website Traffic.


Recommended Marketing Tools

The following tools are designed to save time and effort with your marketing effort. They have automated features to simplify sending email ads and tracking results. 

Viral Mail Profits marketing tools Viral Mail Profits – VMP is more than just a safelist. It is a tool to send mail, track results, and store and manage all safelist and list builder emails. I find it an easy way to manage my email campaigns. I currently have 198 safelists loaded into VMP. Although I focus my efforts on the most productive mailers. (VMP tracks results so I know which ones are the best.) VMP is free with 3 upgrade options. Each with different levels of benefits. Click here to join Viral Mail Profits.


Referral Frenzy powerhouse mailing Referral Frenzy – I have been a member since Referral Frenzy began providing advertising and marketing tools to help members build their businesses in 2011. Advertising includes banner and text ads, solo ads, and full page ads. My favorite tool is the Mailer 2.0. The mailer allows members to send their email ads to over 100 safelists in which they belong with just a couple of clicks. It is a huge time saver. Click here to join Referral Frenzy


LeadsLeap leads generation system LeadsLeap – I have been a member of LeadsLeap since 2010. Created in 2009 as a lead generation system using contextual advertising, LeadsLeap was relaunched in February 2016 with major upgrades and website redesign. The LeadsLeap system is a useful tool for online marketers to generate leads they can use for marketing their products and services. I particularly like The Real Tracker (TRT). I use the tracker extensively for my links to identify sources and effectiveness of my advertising. Click here to join LeadsLeap.



I hope you found this list of traffic resources and tools useful.

I love feedback! Please share your experiences with these or your favorite tools by commenting below.

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13 Comments on "Best Free Traffic Sites – Safelists and Traffic Exchanges"

  1. Wow! I did not know about these free programs for getting traffic. I had never heard of safelists or traffic exchanges until I read your post.

    I have found getting traffic to my website to be the hardest thing so far since I got into affiliate marketing. I won’t quit, but it is frustrating to work hard and have nothing to show for it.

    I will check out some of these programs you’ve listed. Do you recommend safelists or traffic exchanges over the other?

    Thanks for your help!



    1. Hi Weston, thanks for commenting. I think many of us get frustrated trying to get traffic to our websites after putting in so much hard work to build them. As I mentioned in the article, there are many ways to get traffic. While I focus on developing content for my websites to get traffic from search engines, I also promote my content by using social media. I post to Google+, Pinterest, and Facebook mostly. I also run Bing ads and have run Facebook ads in the past. 

      I also use traffic exchanges and safelists when I have extra time. I prefer safelists over traffic exchanges. Mostly, because I have extensive experience with email marketing 

      Hope this helps, Weston.


  2. I was always under the impression that the traffic exchanges really didn’t do a whole lot of good. The ones I tried seemed to be a ton of work for little in return. I will have to take a look at some of the ones you have listed, as I have not heard of them all. I basically gave up in this area, but you have renewed my interest.


    1. You are right. It can be difficult to get good results from traffic exchanges. It is important to stand out from the crowd because there are too many replicated/duplicated affiliate pages being promoted. The successful marketers create unique pages and do a lot of testing of their offers to find the right combination of content, colors, etc.


  3. Hey Glen thanks so much for this information! As a new affiliate marketer. Trying to pull in traffic can be a very daunting task. I thank you for giving me straight forward methods to get the job done more efficiently. I am so excited about all of these new opportunities! Thanks again!


    1. Hi Michelle, thanks for commenting. Getting traffic IS daunting! That’s why I suggest everyone try all the different ways of generating traffic. You never know which works for your particular circumstance. While I prefer content marketing, I do use email marketing and some social media as well. Time permitting, I use safelists and traffic exchanges.


  4. Hi there
    Many thanks for this interesting take on a very important business that we would use from time to time, in our quest to get more subscribers and people to our websites.
    I can see that you have been using this asset for quite some time and if you are still recommending this after all those years, you are pretty sure that its reliable.
    I have downloaded your recommendation and I will check this out over the weekend.
    I have also bookmarked your post for further reference as it has a lot of important information on getting subscribers to our website.
    Thanks for this great review
    Continued success
    Cheers PB


    1. Hi Phil. I was looking back at some of the old ones I joined years ago as well as some more recent ones. The quality ones have great owners and better customer service. Those that don’t, do not last very long. 

      Things do change over time. In general safelists and traffic exchanges do not convert as well as they did years ago.  But I have always suggested that everyone try all different methods of generating traffic. At least learn and experience them because one never knows which will work best for them.


  5. Hi Phil,
    Thank you for the information, I was online a few years back and tried using safelists and traffic exchanges.

    I have been using content to drive traffic and I think it is the best way to get targeted visitors to your site.

    I know traffic is important but if you have no buyer it doesn’t help pay the bills.

    I know that times have changed over the years and having just gotten back into the business I was wondering if there had been improvements.

    I did not get very good results back when I was using them, and also are there any that are geared toward the health industry or just mostly Internet Marketing.


    1. Hi Pierre,

      I too also use content to get visitors to my websites. But sometimes this passive approach takes awhile.

      There have been a lot of change within safelists and traffic exchanges. Probably the biggest is PayPal closing many internet marketers’ accounts because of terms of service violations. PayPal took a hard line to any program remotely related to MLM. The other big issue was the proliferation of  low cost safelist mailer scripts which made it easy for people to start their own lists. Many people were getting into the industry who had no business doing so.

      Safelists and traffic exchanges are more appropriate for make money online or business opportunities. I don’t even try promoting my weight loss website using these two methods.

      Best of success to you, Pierre.



  6. Thank you Glenn for this insightful article. This really hits home with me. This morning I got up with the intention of hiring a lady to do SEO programming to drive traffic to my website. I happened to go on the Ripoff Report because I got this bad feeling in my gut. And turns out she’s a fraud. So articles like these are very valuable to people like me looking for answers. You are a breath of fresh air. Thank you for this.


    1. Thank you for your kind words, Michelle. If you want to learn about SEO, which I always recommend people do, then here is a good place to go, MOZ is an authority on SEO and highly respected in the industry. I believe in learning all you can. Because if you need to hire someone in the future to do any task (not just SEO), you will be able to judge the quality of their work.


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