How to Create Top Converting Affiliate Funnel

Affiliate Funnel

Affiliate marketing is big business, and it’s not hard to see the attraction of a business model that enables you to make money without actually buying stock or handling the order fulfillment aspects. As long as you can find the right product and an effective marketing strategy to promote it to the best audience, success is assured. 

Several tools are at your disposal, but creating an affiliate funnel is the most effective of all… At least, it will be when you use it correctly.

Our step-by-step guide will show you how to create an affiliate funnel that allows you to convert more sales and unlock the full money making potential of affiliate marketing once and for all!

Contents:

  • Why Affiliate Marketing?

I-A. Affiliate Products

I-B. Finding Affiliate Products

  • Affiliate Funnels Explained

II-A. Why Affiliate Funnels Work

II-B. AlternativeMarketing Methods

III. The Affiliate Marketing Funnel Map

III-A. Driving Traffic

III-B. Lead Magnet 

III-C. Squeeze Pages

III-D. Bridge Pages

III-E. Thank You Page

III-F. Offer Page

  • Affiliate Sales Funnel Example
  • Managing Your Affiliate Funnel

V-A. Affiliate Sales Resources

V-B. Key Performance Metrics

  • Conclusion

Why Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing has become a very popular business model in recent years, and it offers you the chance to start a business endeavor without the capital reserves needed to launch a more traditional company. Moreover, you can begin to promote products and generate revenue far sooner than other business models, which is a highly attractive feature. 

The concept of affiliate marketing has shown itself to offer stability, versatility, and profitability. Before starting, though, you must familiarize yourself with some key terms, including; 

  • Advertiser – This is essentially the manufacturer or retailer that has a product or service to advertise. You need to work closely with them throughout your business endeavors.
  • Commission – This is the fee that an advertizer will pay you for each sale you generated. It could be a flat fee or a percentage of the transaction value.
  • Offer URLWhen a prospective lead clicks the link to the product that you are promoting, the offer URL is the web address of the webpage that they will land on.
  • Tracking Link – Often called an affiliate link, the tracking link is the URL for the product that is associated with your affiliate account. It is the feature that identifies your lead.
  • Affiliate Network – This is a platform that serves as an intermediary between yourself and the advertisers, enabling you to access products from multiple companies with ease.

While an understanding of the affiliate marketing strategy will give you an edge in business, your first major challenge is to source the products that you wish to sell.

Affiliate Products

Before you can even begin to think about marketing your affiliate products, you must first source the right items to sell. Even the most calculated marketing strategy cannot compensate for a poor choice of inventory, which is why you must pay attention to this assignment by conducting the necessary levels of research.

Generally speaking, the best products fall into one of two categories: products you’ve used, and products that are statistically shown to sell.

Products You've Used:

Selecting products that you use and love is an excellent option for several reasons. The most telling reasons for taking this route include;

  • Familiarity with the product, including all features.
  • An understanding of the client problems because you fall into the target market.
  • A genuine passion for the product, which will spread to customers.
  • A wealth of real-life experiences that can be used to answer client queries.
  • An insight into why the chosen product is better than competitor items.

Essentially, your close connection to the product and the target demographic ensure that you’re perfectly placed to market the products. On a side note, you’ll probably boast a good network of friends and family that could be interested.

Products That Are Statistically Shown To Sell:

While your views on a product are important, they count for very little if nobody else is interested. Therefore, you may wish to look at the following types of product;

  • Items that your friends have talked about.
  • Products that have made the news or been shown on social media.
  • Goods that appeal to a defined niche audience.
  • Essentials that people buy on a recurring basis.
  • New products that are emerging as the latest craze.

You needn’t fall into the target market to see that a product has the potential to sell. Taking this route allows you to focus on demographics that boast higher levels of disposable income, as well as audiences that are proven to convert.

Finding Affiliate Products

Researching the right type of products isn’t solely about finding items you’d like to sell via affiliate endeavors. It’s equally important to focus on the availability of items, as well as their pricing models. The moneymaking opportunities are dictated mainly by the transaction value and percentages offered to affiliates. You cannot afford to overlook this factor.

When looking for products that you have used, the best options are to visit the manufacturer’s website or Google “[insert product] affiliate scheme” to confirm whether it’s a possibility. When opting for statistical hot sellers, there are various affiliate networks to try out. The most popular solutions include;

  • Amazon Affiliate.
  • Clickbank.
  • FlexOffers.
  • Rakuten Marketing.
  • Share A Sales.

Sourcing the right products will give you the perfect platform to build upon. Your next step, then, is to market them in the correct manner. That’s where affiliate funnels come to the rescue…

Affiliate Funnels Explained

You may already be familiar with the Rule of Seven, which states that the average consumer requires at least seven interactions with a product before they complete a purchase. A sales funnel is a defined path that consumers follow prior to completing the desired action. In the case of an affiliate marketing business, the desired action is usually a completed purchase. 

While sales funnels (for affiliate marketing or other business models) can become complex, the fundamental process focuses on four simple steps; 

  • Awareness – The first step is to make members of the target market aware of the product or service in question.
  • Interest – Prospects need to become interested in the products through key features or exceptional value for money. 
  • Desire – Consumers need to have the interest reinforced until they feel a genuine need to buy the product on offer.
  • Action – Finally, a lead is turned into a converted customer when they take the desired action of completing the purchase.

The fundamentals of a sales funnel are naturally present in most interactions with prospective leads. Still, the funnel focuses on guiding prospects along the right path to maximize the likelihood of a conversion.

Why Affiliate Funnels Work

The basic concepts of a sales funnel are not difficult to understand. Before utilizing them, though, you need to confirm that they can actually help you convert more sales and generate more revenue. The good news is that, when used correctly, they can secure an increase in sales while simultaneously enhancing the cost per acquisition levels. 

There are many reasons why sales funnels work exceptionally well for affiliate marketing businesses. Some of the most telling issues include; 

  • They build familiarity over a period of time, easing your prospect along the path to conversion.
  • The far less aggressive tactic puts consumers at ease, which can aid conversion rates.
  • An automated workflow ensures that the right path is followed each time.
  • Abandoned sales can be rescued, either immediately or further down the line.
  • Ongoing performance tracking and insights will help you make the necessary tweaks and upgrades.

Sales funnels are an ideal solution that can be rolled out to target virtually any demographic, including niche audiences. Moreover, they can move new leads towards a conversion at a pace that suits the individual.

Alternative Marketing Methods

While a sales funnel is probably the greatest way to market the affiliate products in style, you should familiarize yourself with a variety of additional marketing tools. The most important features to implement include; 

Nevertheless, sales funnels are central to success. In fact, it’ll put your business on the map…

The Affiliate Marketing Funnel Map

The affiliate marketing funnel map can be used to explain how leads are guided along the path to conversion, starting at the first interaction and ending with a conversion. The customer journey can (in most cases) be broken into two paths.

Path A: 

  • A traffic source leads your prospect to a Squeeze Page.
  • The Squeeze Page guides the prospect to a Bridge Page.
  • The Bridge Page takes the lead to an Offer Page.
  • Leads become converted clients by completing the purchase.

Path B:

  • A traffic source takes the client to an Email sign-up or download page.
  • After signing up or downloading a free product, the lead sees a Thank You Page.
  • The Thank You Page guides the lead to the Offer Page.
  • Leads complete their purchase from the Offer Page to become a client.

Both pathways ensure that the initial Awareness turns into Interest and, subsequently, Desire. The objective of the variables is to encourage a prospect to complete the Action of buying the product. Simple. 

Let’s take a closer look at those variables and how they can guide your prospect to conversion. 

Affiliate Funnel Driving Traffic

Driving prospective leads to your business can manifest itself in many ways. The traffic may come as a direct result of their first interaction with your brand or advert. Alternatively, the traffic to your desired landing page or offer URL may come following several interactions later. 

Regardless of the circumstances, online traffic to your affiliate business can be broken into three categories;

  • Hot Leads – People that are ready to complete the conversion right there and then.
  • Warm Leads – Consumers that are significantly interested but may need some encouragement.
  • Cold Leads – Prospective customers who have only just become aware of the brand.

Your traffic can come from many sources. The list of potential interactions includes social media posts, search engine results, a Google My Business listing, PPC ads, outbound links, referrals from friends, scanning a QR code, and more. 

While the knowledge and interest levels may vary from one prospect to the next, the best approach is to assume that the majority of leads will be cold leads at the time of taking the first steps onto either pathway within the funnel map. This ensures that you run zero risk of losing leads due to assuming they have a real understanding of features or USPs. 

Creating the content and advertising elements needed to resonate with your target audience is a massive assignment in itself. Once you get it right, though, the next step is to establish your Lead Magnet.

Lead Magnet

Let’s face it; the online marketplace is a fierce playground. While the potential audience is undoubtedly greater than ever, the same can be said for the competition. The products you are hoping to promote and sell aren’t the only items of their kind on the market. Likewise, you probably aren’t the only affiliate marketer trying to put the goods in front of a customer’s eyes.

So, if you want to turn a cold lead into a hot lead (and subsequent conversion), you need to incentivize them! Lead magnets are the answer.

A lead magnet is essentially a tool that draws a prospective lead to your business. It provides the motivation for them to choose your advert over any other on the market and turns their awareness into interest. If you want the lead magnet to work, it’s vital to think about what the client actually cares about. In short, the answer is ‘themselves’. 

As such, your lead magnet should promote a sense of getting extra value for money. The best value comes from getting something for free. It’s important that the content enriches their lives in some way, which could mean educating them on a subject or providing some form of entertainment. 

Lead magnets can include content you’ve curated (legally) through Private Label Rights products, which can consist of eBooks, infographics, and more. Another option is to send them to videos or other public content. Given that you need to ensure that leads will follow your pathway instead of the road built by another affiliate, it’s probably best to create your own. Podcasts, PDFs, and visual content are all good examples.

An effective lead magnet might not directly convert a sale, but it is a crucial feature for turning cold leads into hot leads. This is because they can influence a prospect’s mindset in several ways, including but not limited to;

  • Encouraging them to associate you with value for money.
  • Showing that you are an authoritative voice in your field.
  • Proving that you aren’t only interested in the sale, and want to help them.
  • Helping them to discover the benefits for themselves rather than forcing them.
  • Allowing them to digest info and make decisions in their own time.

A good lead magnet will help a customer transition from being aware of the product to being interested. It also encourages them to respect you as a seller. You won’t be ready to clinch the sale just yet, but you will be a whole lot closer.

Squeeze Pages

Squeeze pages are a relatively easy concept to understand, and equally easy to build. They are the lead capture pages in which you ask a client to opt-in and provide their details. This could be in return for further information, private subscriber content, or special offers. 

Before worrying about the content of your squeeze page, you must first decide what type of information you want to obtain from the lead. After all, most people are a (rightly) a little precious about their personal information. Good examples of contact details you should ask them to supply are;

  • Name.
  • Email address.
  • Telephone number.
  • Social media pages via ‘Likes’ or ‘Follows’.
  • Postal address.

As an affiliate marketer, you’ll probably focus on their name, email address, and social media channels. This will provide you with all the details needed to move them along the path to conversion. It’ll also ensure that they will see future ads and content in relation to this product and any subsequent items that could be promoted.

The squeeze page itself, then, could appear on your website as a landing page or as a social media pop-up screen. Either way, simplicity is king. You do not need to give too much away at this stage. Instead, try to promote one key feature or celebrate one problem that the product can solve. When they are intrigued or ‘hooked’, they will be happy to provide their contact details in return for learning more.

Bridge Pages

Patience is a virtue in modern marketing, and bridge pages are the ultimate example. 

Once you have captured a lead’s email address or social media contacts, it would be tempting to send them straight to the offer. However, the use of a bridge page is statistically shown to boost your hopes of converting the sale. The primary objective of the bridge page is to build an even stronger relationship with the lead. At this stage, they are already a warm lead, but the bridge page could turn them into a hot one that’s ready to convert.

The bridge page could include a range of media types such as videos and infographics to express your points. This is also the opportunity to go into far more detail about product USPs and how it can improve a client’s life. Examples of content that may appear on the bridge page include;

  • Reviews and feature analysis,
  • Training and ‘how-to’ guides,
  • Unboxing videos,
  • Product in action content,
  • Customer testimonials.

All of the above concepts can be used to further cement the connection shared with the lead. In addition to sending interest levels through the roof, the bridge page is crucial for building further trust. Where possible, showcasing your personality is advised. People still buy from people, even in the absence of face-to-face interactions.

At this stage of pathway ‘A’, the prospect can be sent to the offer page.

Thank You Page

When the traffic comes courtesy of pathway ‘B’, a Thank You page will be added to the equation. It comes after they have downloaded free content from your homepage’s email capture box or a designated landing page. This page can appear in pathway ‘A’ too, if the material presented from the squeeze page comes via a download.

The thank you page shows an added sense of professionalism and can, crucially, send them to the lead magnet or bridge page too. After downloading the free content, most clients need guidance as to what they should do next. The actions you suggest could include;

  • Look at an affiliate offer.
  • Follow your social media page.
  • Sign-up to a membership.
  • Discover more through blogs or video content.
  • Contact you for more info.

The thank you page should be fairly straightforward, focusing on showing a little gratitude and clear instructions on what they should do next, even if it’s not buying the product just yet. A thank you page that transfers a prospect from pathway ‘B’ onto pathway ‘A’ is equally effective. 

Offer Page

The offer page is where you will present the product to the hot leads with the ‘Buy Now’ instruction. The CTA can be worded differently, but your aim is to achieve the conversion at this stage. By now, the client should have more than enough info to make a decision – and the fact they have reached this far without abandoning the potential transaction suggests that you can get them over the line.

In many cases, the offer page URL is a link to a product page on the advertiser’s retail site. Therefore, the design and cart software is handled by them. Likewise, they will manage the order fulfillment procedures. Thanks to the use of the tracking URL, the sale will be attributed to your sales funnel, ensuring that you gain the commission.

Affiliate Sales Funnel Example

Now you have a clear understanding of why every stage is important, along with the key features of each step along the customer journey, the next step is to see the sales funnel in action. The following video explains everything:

The exact style of content (choice of platform, wording, etc.) will depend on the type of products and target market. Nonetheless, the core principles of the sales funnel are consistent for all. 

Managing Your Affiliate Funnel

Planning the structure of your sales funnel should establish a solid foundation. Nonetheless, the affiliate funnel needs to be built and managed in the correct fashion. Otherwise, your vision cannot become a reality.

Creating all of the above elements will put you on the right track, but the cohesion and natural flow from the first interaction to the final conversion will have a huge influence on success rates and sales revenue. Focusing on the principle objectives of each step isn’t enough, which is why monitoring the performance of each stage is so vital. Only then can you unlock your full potential.

Conversely, if you leave the first sales funnel untouched, the results remain limited. In the highly competitive field of affiliate marketing, even the smallest tweaks can make a telling impact.

Affiliate Funnel Sales Resources

The prospect of creating the content required for a successful sales funnel may be a little daunting, but various tools are readily available to make the process far simpler than you might fear. The best are detailed below: 

Clickfunnels

If you’re unfamiliar with coding or simply wish to create your sales funnel in a matter of hours rather than days, Clickfunnels is the solution. From landing pages to sales pages and upsell pages, the user-friendly interface allows you to create stunning content without any prior experience. Everything from color schemes to CTA placements are built for optimal success. 

Clickfunnels enables you to build attractive, clear, and effective content that is geared towards leading customers to the desired action. This extends to follow-ups to recover abandoned clients. 

Funnel Scripts

Designing attractive pages and content can grab the prospect’s attention, but the choice of wording is often what turns interest into desire. Funnel Scripts creates the text content on your behalf. Simply answer a few questions about the product, funnel element, and desired audience to receive the headlines, bios, and ad scripts needed to generate the best response. 

You know why the product is great, but vocalizing those USPs in an engaging manner can be hard work. With Funnel Scripts, you no longer need to worry, meaning you can focus on other steps. 

Mail Chimp 

Email marketing campaigns and automated funnels are an essential feature, especially when a prospective client follows pathway ‘B’. Mail Chimp is a powerful email builder that lets you design and manage campaigns with incredible results. You can split the automated workflows to match the behaviors or background info of an individual lead. Delivery and open rates are particularly high.

Mail Chimp completely revolutionizes your approach to email marketing, ensuring that this aspect of the sales funnel (as well as other campaigns) remain engaging and focused on eventual conversions.

Clickfunnels

If you’re unfamiliar with coding or simply wish to create your sales funnel in a matter of hours rather than days, Clickfunnels is the solution. From landing pages to sales pages and upsell pages, the user-friendly interface allows you to create stunning content without any prior experience. Everything from color schemes to CTA placements are built for optimal success.

Clickfunnels enables you to build attractive, clear, and effective content that is geared towards leading customers to the desired action. This extends to follow-ups to recover abandoned clients.

Funnel Scripts

Designing attractive pages and content can grab the prospect’s attention, but the choice of wording is often what turns interest into desire. Funnel Scripts creates the text content on your behalf. Simply answer a few questions about the product, funnel element, and desired audience to receive the headlines, bios, and ad scripts needed to generate the best response.

You know why the product is great, but vocalizing those USPs in an engaging manner can be hard work. With Funnel Scripts, you no longer need to worry, meaning you can focus on other steps.

Mail Chimp

Email marketing campaigns and automated funnels are an essential feature, especially when a prospective client follows pathway ‘B’. Mail Chimp is a powerful email builder that lets you design and manage campaigns with incredible results. You can split the automated workflows to match the behaviors or background info of an individual lead. Delivery and open rates are particularly high.

Mail Chimp completely revolutionizes your approach to email marketing, ensuring that this aspect of the sales funnel (as well as other campaigns) remain engaging and focused on eventual conversions.

Key Performance Metrics

Using the right tools and software to build the sales funnels that bring your innovations and visions to life ensures that your content resonates with leads to help turn them from cold leads into hot leads. But it’d be naive to think that you’ll strike perfection at the first attempt. 

Analytical tools included within the software above, as well as other platforms like your website CMS and affiliate network platform, allow you to track the performance and progress of key factors. The most important attributes to check are;

Point of Entry

It’s hard to accurately analyze your sales funnel if you don’t know where the leads come from. Examples include a specific social media post, your website home page, a search engine term, or redirection from a YouTube video.

Identifying which sales funnel starting points are most likely to guide leads to a conversion supports you in three ways;

  • Focus your budget and attention on the most effective funnel channels.
  • Tweak other funnel starting points to emulate the attributes of the successful sources.
  • Understand how different sub-demographics find and respond to your content.

Overall Conversion Rate

The success or failure of the sales funnel is ultimately defined by conversion rates. It’s impossible to gain 100% conversions, but if a high percentage of leads that enter the sales funnel buy an affiliate product, you will see very positive rewards.

It is possible to consider other conversion rates, but the overall conversion rate provides the best insight into the performance of your campaigns. To calculate yours, the following formula can be used:

Conversion of Awareness x Conversion of Interest x Conversion of Desire x Conversion of Buying 

The easiest way to understand this is through an example:

Entrants = 1,000

People that become Aware = 200/1,000 (20%)

People that have Interest = 100/200 (50%)

People that have Desire = 40/100 (40%)

People that Buy = 10/40 (25%)

Conversion rate = 0.2 x 0.5 x 0.4 x 0.25 = 0.01 or a 1% conversion rate.

Average Sale Value

The average sale value is expressed as a financial value. It tells you how much each conversion is worth to your business. In turn, this figure can be multiplied by the number of sales to show the value of the sales funnel as a whole.

This metric is important for many reasons, highlighting key features such as;

  • Whether you need to focus on increasing the value of each customer.
  • How many clients you need to reach and convert to achieve your financial goals.
  • Which sales funnels and affiliate products are worth the most to your company.

There are many other metrics that can be used to give a clear insight into the performance of your sales funnels while also pinpointing areas of improvement.

Conclusion

Anybody wanting to master the world of affiliate marketing must appreciate the value of a sales funnel. They create a defined pathway that guide prospects to the desired action (a purchase), giving you the best shot at increased conversions in terms of volumes as well as percentages. In turn, this generates more conversions and increased revenue.

Once launched, sales funnels work in an automated fashion, allowing you to create more content and find new ways of getting new leads onto the right track. Achieve this, and their Awareness will soon turn to Interest, Demand, and Action. 

The future of your affiliate endeavors never looked better!