We’re just going to start at the bare-bones basics, which is understanding the affiliate sales funnel cycle and where people are in it.
Later on, I’m going to show you how to build affiliate marketing sales funnel.
I’m going to show you exactly what that looks like but we’re going to talk through the theory first.
Why You Need a Sales Funnel For Affiliate Marketing?
If you run an affiliate business that’s getting traffic, that’s great. But if you don’t understand user intent and where people are there, you’re likely missing out on a lot of great sales opportunities.
And with this information, you’re going to be able to learn how to monetize your research visitors, if not right away, then be able to lead them down to buy from you further along the line.
Sales Funnel Stages Explained
First of you need to match that user intent with the content that you’re given. Everybody has seen those funnels where it shows where people are in the sales cycle.
And I like to break it down into three core sections.
1. Top Level Funnel – Awareness Stage
The first is people who are at the top level. These are people that are aware that they have a problem, but they’re not necessarily sold on the idea of needing a solution to that.
So these are people who are going to be using words like why, when they’re searching for something and these people are not likely to buy.
So using acne as an example, niche, “Why do I have acne?”
This person is aware that they have a problem but they’re not necessarily interested in even solving it. They just want to know why they have acne.
The best way to target these people is with content that answers their questions with search marketing which is more hot traffic but at this stage, they are not ready to but.
So here are some free affiliate marketing search traffic methods you use:
And those are all organic and here you can see even more free traffic sources for affiliate marketing.
And of course, you could also be doing affiliate paid advertising but I personally don’t recommend doing paid ads at this stage and I’ll explain to you why later.
So essentially you get qualified traffic by consistently producing helpful content at each stage of the buyer’s journey.
I recommend you to have your search content first and then work on your discovery content, work on building a community, and use paid in smart, effective ways.
And you want to choose one traffic source.
The reason you need to choose one is that a Jack of all trades is a master of none.
So you really need to make sure that you choose one that you’re going to focus on and be the best at because all these traffic sources are really competitive.
You might see larger competitors in your niche, advertising on Facebook, remarketing on YouTube, and then they have these crazy long blog posts. That’s great.
You can get there eventually because they have teams of people who just focused on those individual platforms.
But if you’re doing this yourself, you need to choose the one platform that you’re really going to focus on.
So now we know where we’re going to grab their attention.
Once we have that attention, we’re going to send them to something called a landing page where we want to collect their contact information, and later I’m going to show you how I create my landing pages, sales pages, and email sequences.
Since people at the awareness stage are not ready to buy and you probably will not make any sales, you can use informational content for building your email affiliate list and then push people further down the sales funnel process.
And obviously random strangers or prospects aren’t just going to hand over their name and email for no good reason.
To generate leads for an affiliate business, we need a lead magnet to entice them to provide that contact information.
We have our traffic source and this next part, the lead magnet is where we offer to solve a problem for them in exchange for their contact information.
A lead magnet could be:
- Free training
So for example, with a webinar funnel, it’s pretty much just a video. And all you’re doing is combining your sales message and your lead magnet or the value you provide in exchange for that contact information into one thing.
Or if you’re just offering a PDF guide, then later on in your funnel, you’ll actually make your sales pitch via a video or a text sales letter. I’ll get to more on that in a little bit.
This is the best way to target people on the awareness stage in the sales journey.
See how to create a lead magnet for affiliate marketing with this step-by-step guide.
2. Mid-Level Funnel – Interest Stage
These are the people that are potentially interested in solving a problem. And they may or may not be open to the idea of buying a product in order to solve that problem.
These are the type of people who are gonna be using words like how. So people who are Googling, how to type of terms.
You have somebody who could be Googling, “How do I get rid of acne?”
So this person is aware that they have a problem and they have an interest in solving it.
People on the interest stage are going to be potential buyers and you’re going to target them in a similar way with people in the top-level with content marketing.
At this stage, you can use some upselling strategy to push people further down the sales cycle. So using how-to’s, as an example, you might make affiliate marketing videos “How to get rid of acne” and at the end maybe you say something about, why DIY isn’t the best and check out this list of products instead.
3. Bottom Level Funnel – Decision / Action Stage
So the lowest level in the sales cycle is going to be the bottom level. And these are your users that are ready to take action.
People who are either looking for a solution or know the solution that they want. So people who are ready to make a decision but don’t quite know what product they want to buy.
That’s going to be your buyers’ guides type of people who are looking for stuff like “Best acne treatments”
Even further along it’s going to be people looking for reviews of a specific product or where to buy a specific product.
People on the decision/action stage are going to be using words like:
- The best X
- Product X vs product Y
- Where to buy
So if you come across keywords like this and you’re creating content for it, make sure you hit them with buyer’s guides and review-type posts, pretty straightforward stuff.
At this stage, you leverage paid advertising because here are people ready to buy so you’ll have a higher chance of getting a conversion.
Here you can use paid traffic sources such as:
- Solo ads
- Facebook ads
- Google ads
- YouTube ads
Here you’ll find a complete list of paid traffic sources for affiliate marketing.
So now we have that contact information, we’re ready to actually make our offer.
And something that’s really important with any type of sales funnels that you do, no selling has happened at this point, we’ve our ideal customer.
We’ve either made some content or some ads and we’ve offered them something for free and hopefully, in our webinar launch sequence or the free PDF, we gave them, we demonstrated our worth.
We demonstrated our value. We’ve built rapport. We’ve shown them that we’re not just some random person on the internet. We can actually be helpful to them.
And now that we have their email information, we can start making our offer. And so you’ll send emails that will drive them either back to your webinar.
If you decided to do a webinar, drive them through your launch sequence, if that’s what you’re doing, or if you did the fast method, which was creating some sort of PDF, then inside your emails and your PDF, you drive them to either a video or written sales letter that actually makes a pitch for an affiliate product or service.
Of course, this pitch only works if you’ve actually given value and solved some problems in your lead magnet.
How To Build Affiliate Sales Funnel?
Let’s put theory aside and see how to build an affiliate funnel in practice.
So, this is what a successful affiliate marketing funnel looks like.
And I want to show you a practical example of what I do in my business, just to give you an idea about how to build affiliate marketing sales funnel.
So this is our affiliate sales funnel blueprint that we’re going to be using in this guide.
So, this blog is one of my traffic sources, and within my blog, I promote my free affiliate marketing course.
I’m partnered with other top affiliates, so you can actually take advantage of that course for free if you want.
I’m not actually just kicking you right to the course offer.
I’m sending people to the landing page or opt-in page
When you register on that, you’re actually taken to the affiliate marketing landing page where you need to submit your email address.
And I’m also capturing you as a lead at this point.
And the most important thing about the bridge page is it has to be really, really simple.
I’ve seen bridge pages where there are like a million other things happening at once, and that does not work.
You want to have a headline, an image or a video, and a sign-up form, that is it.
So this is called a landing page or an opt-in page and upon completing that.
That’s why you want to build what’s called a bridge page.
And simultaneously landing page also insulates you from losing that relationship because on this page, you actually capture their email address, which then enables you to continuously market to them, to send them back to these offer pages.
This obviously improves your conversion rates, but at the same time, it also gives you the option to stay in touch with that person and promote other related affiliate products in your niche.
In the next step, we are then taken you to the sales page where he explains how the program works, why we’re giving it for free, and we’re showing you a lot of testimonials to build trust.
He goes through and shows you the program, explains the benefits of what it is, and how we make money.
So, if I would have just sent you directly to the sales page after you were reading my blog, you would have been like, what the heck is going on?
Who is this new guy?
But I actually bridged the gap and explained what we’re doing, how it works, and why I think my audience, you, would really benefit from it.
Once you actually completed that form on the landing page,I can send you an email sequence where I talk about my story.
So, I talk about this is who I am, this is why I think it’s going to be effective for you, then I start explaining the value of the course.
And so, this is going to help people understand why this is such an effective program and how it’s helped other affiliates.
One of the biggest mistakes a lot of affiliates make is they drive traffic directly to the affiliate page and then hope that their prospects checkout.
This is a big mistake because you’re cutting yourself out of the equation.
So here you are paying for this traffic or doing a lot of work on the organic side to get this traffic, and you are sending them directly to the affiliate offer, hoping that this person converts.
And even if they do convert, you’ve cut yourself out of the equation because that customer is the customer of this affiliate program now, and you don’t have any of their contact information to make affiliate sales in the future.
Best Affiliate Marketing Funnel Builders
And if you’re curious how I’m building all these affiliate sales funnel, it’s actually a tool called Builderall, it’s one of the most complete all-in-one digital marketing platforms on the market.
There are obviously many funnel builders for affiliates but don’t have an email marketing tool built-in or are way overpriced like for example ClickFunnels which I don’t recommend.
With Builderall you can start for as low as $14/month and you get all the tools that you need for affiliate marketing.
In fact, they have +40 digital marketing tools including:
- Drag and drop website builder
- Email marketing tool
- Sales funnel simulator
- Webinar tool
- Video creator
So, it has advanced email automation, it has out of the box templates, and even a funnel simulator to help you build very sophisticated sales funnels.
You can actually host all your videos right within it, you don’t have to get Visto or Vimeo or anything else, like if you were using other funnel builders for affiliates like ClickFunnels.
And one of the coolest features about Builderall is the Funnel Club where you can just have ready-made affiliate sales funnels built for you and they import in one click.
It’s like done for your affiliate sales funnel with ready-made templates and email sequences.
So, it’s doing this entire sequence and configuration for you.
That’s a really quick overview of what Builderall is, I encourage you, if you’re curious about the product too, here you can get access to Builderall 14 day free trial which I really recommend because it is a large tool and you can then play around with some of the funnels and prebuilt campaigns.
Affiliate Marketing Sales Funnel Best Practices
So, now you know how to build an affiliate marketing funnel, let’s talk about the best tips to get the most out of your funnels.
Give People What They Want
Depending on the type of user in the sales cycle, make sure that you’re giving them what they want. If they’re ready to buy, make sure that you give them the option to buy right away. Don’t leave with a bunch of research-based content for somebody who is looking for where to buy “XYZ acne treatment”
Make it Easy to Find Your Affiliate Link
Make sure that your affiliate links are easy to find as well. They shouldn’t have to search through your content in order to know where to buy something.
Don’t Force People To Click Affiliate Link
On the other hand, if they’re not ready to buy, Don’t force them to click your affiliate link. So if they’re searching for a how-to, or a why don’t hit them with a bunch of products right off the bat you’re going lose trust and they’re going to go to somebody else who answers their question.
Lead Them Further Down The Sales Cycle
And make sure no matter where they are you’re leading them further down into the sales cycle. So if they’re Googling, “Why do I have acne?” The end of that article can talk about your link to the how to get rid of acne page, which then links to more stuff further along the cycle.
Affiliate Funnel Conclusion
So, now you have a complete understanding of an affiliate marketing funnel and how to use them for your online business.
Now it’s time to put it into practice and create your own sales funnel, set up email marketing sequences and drive traffic to your funnel.
And if you’re still struggling at this point, you can get done for you affiliate funnels with email swipes, and many different strategies on how to promote your affiliate marketing products in our Top Affiliate Marketing Training.
As you can see it’s not as difficult as it may seem at first.