You’ve entered the wonderful world of Affiliate Marketing and everyone and their neighbors are telling you to set up an affiliate sale funnel. And you’ve been wondering ‘What the heck is an affiliate sale funnel?’. Well, my friend, I’ve got some answers for you.
We have talked about side hustles, affiliate marketing, and the difference between low-ticket and high-ticket affiliate marketing, let’s go now through the next step together: the affiliate sale funnel.
Affiliate Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, at no extra cost to you I will receive a commission.
Whether you do affiliate marketing, sell a physical product or have a service-based company, you need a sale funnel. Funnels are a great way to make money, skyrocket your sales and create an autopilot system that you don’t have to worry about once set up right.
This post is going to be more technical than some previous ones, so if you have any questions, please leave a comment. I’m more than happy to answer your questions.
In this article you will learn:
- What is a funnel
- How does a funnel work
- What are the best platforms for it (free and paid)
- How to use it
- Why every business should have one
What is an affiliate sale funnel?
A funnel online is what a funnel in its physical form is: a space to gather something to bottle it up. In our case, it gathers leads and bottles them into an email list. A funnel for affiliate marketing is different from a typical sales funnel, which takes the buyer into different steps until the final sale. A typical affiliate sale funnel usually is made of two steps, an opt-in page, and a thank you (sometimes called bridge) page. Please note that from now throughout the entire article, I’m only talking about a funnel for affiliate marketing.
In affiliate marketing, a funnel is the way to collect information and details about the leads you produce from your traffic and gather them into one big list.
A funnel bottles up all the leads you generate and while on one side it takes the customer by the hand to the final offer, on the other, it helps you nurture one of the most valuable things you have as an affiliate marketer: your mailing list.
Yeah sure, but no, really, what do you mean by funnel?
You do not have to go to the kitchen and take out your funnel and put it on your computer, no worries. Some smart guys made it easy through platforms that help you structure your funnels in the same way you would set up a website. You can easily set up your two pages and it would look like this:
The blue page would be your opt-in page, the page where your lead would literally opt in leaving their email address and name. The red is your thank you page, where you can show them the product, and share a video of yourself talking about the product, giving your lead more reason to click further and reach the affiliate offer. The thank you page is also called bridge page because it works as a bridge between your funnel to the page of the product. The green page is already the website of the product you are promoting.
In other words, an affiliate sales funnel is a strategic path to help consumers go from a lead to a customer, specifically for an affiliate product being promoted. The affiliate marketing funnel is what takes the buyer through the journey from discovering the product to the final sale.
How does an affiliate sale funnel work?
Your funnel is what converts a window shopper into a customer. Your funnel is the bridge between the post with the offer to the page of the brand where the final sale will happen.
Are you still with me? Imagine this. You like a post about a product that appears in your wall. You click on it and they ask you for your email address in order to move forward and check the offer. Once your email is in, you get to the offer page and make your purchase.
What happens in between is one of the most important parts you need to know as an affiliate marketer. You are promoting a product that is not yours, on a platform or social media that you do not own. But what IS yours is that email address that the customer put in the funnel opt-in form. Your property is the mailing list, a list of email addresses of people that gave you their interest in what you are promoting and you can follow up with if they haven’t bought the product to whom you can go back and offer your offer over and over again.
As affiliate marketer you are promoting a product that you don’t own and you haven’t made. You are a third party, a mediator between the brand and the customer. Your power is in connecting the two sides.
What affiliate sale funnel platforms are the best
It’s important to note that all the platforms offering sales funnel differ in many ways. Prices go from free to the sky per month, and there’s definitely for everyone and every taste. and Some are free or cheaper, some only offer good templates and integrations, while others go far and beyond and have anything you need to set up your entire business in autopilot. Before making any decisions you want to sit down and see what suits your business better, what you need and which platform can be for you.
Here are the best funnel builders for affiliate marketing:
Systeme.io is the best and most affordable option. It is FREE up to 2000 contacts and after that, the plans are still pretty convenient. Being free doesn’t mean you can only do a few things. You can do all the same things as the paid plan but with limited numbers, for example, the number of funnels you can have maxes up at 3. It is my favorite of all the funnels I’ve tried so far because it has many features with a friendly interface and you can manage the email campaign from there too. It offers all the features of the paid plans in a limited capacity which makes it great to strategically start with a 0$. It may seem a little difficult if you have zero experience with funnels but it comes with videos that hep you understand better.
Clickfunnels has been a pioneer of sales funnels and to this day it offers the best customer support among all platforms offering this service. It is pricey even at its basic plan, it does not include many of the features the previous one has but it has a good variety of integrations you need to run your business, payments, autoresponders, and so on. On the other side, it may not include email marketing but in the basic plan you have access to up to 20 funnels and 20000 visitors which compared to other platforms is quite a lot. If you are not tech savvy this is the best option as they take you by the hand through all the steps, and if you somehow get lost, their support is always ready to send you a Loom video on how to fix the issue.
Suggested email marketing tools:
Getresponse has great templates that convert very well and in their statistics pages you can see where the lead came from, something I struggled with in other platforms. It’s a great all-in-one-place and everything is detailed to make you have a great experience. It is one of the priciest. But it is definitely worthy if you are numbers oriented and want to run your business with just one tool.
Builderall is another good option offering website and sales funnel builder, email marketing, membership site, SEO, and webinar tools, and everything works together to give you the one spot to manage your business without needing any third party. They also have a funnel simulator that helps you have an idea of your funnel before starting to use it. It has a large number of sales funnels that for affiliate marketing feel like someone has done the job for you already, simply download the funnel, drive your traffic there and see commissions coming in.
How to use a funnel in affiliate marketing
In our digital marketing world, competition is very high. To stand out you need a strategy that puts you one step ahead. Sales funnels can be just that.
A funnel can replace a website if you are just starting out and don’t have one yet. A 2-page sales funnel is more than enough to start making money. Then if you have a website and want to deepen the experience, you can create a series of step that guide your customer into the funnel all while offering and delivering good value and content.
As affiliate marketer, you do not want to give out the affiliate link without playing a role in the in-between. If you show all your cards at once (i.e. the name of the brand you are promoting) you may risk having your prospect to google it and go directly to the offer through a google search instead of leaving you their email and buying through your link and paying you your commission. So, setting up a funnel is vital to maintaining, nurturing, and making your mailing list flourish. And you need that because even if your prospects did not buy the first time, keep sending them your offer via email will increase your chances of a sale.
Why in affiliate marketing you need a funnel
Think about your Facebook account. If Facebook closes for business you lose your account. If they ban you, you lose your account and all your contacts. Your account on a social media platform is like renting a room in a house that is not yours. If you have a blog and the host decides to shut down, you lose all your content.
But if you collect emails and add them to your mailing list, your mailing list is yours and nobody can take that away from you. Never ever spam your mailing list, let’s be clear, no one likes that but, we are talking about people who willingly gave you their email addresses because interested in what you are offering. Emailing them back about the same offer through an autoresponder every now and then is good practice to reinforce your marketing. Statistically very few buyers buy at the first offer. They need to think about and be reminded about it. Collecting their emails and keep offering the products they were first interested in helps you get more sales and more commissions.
How do you get people to give you their email address?
Maybe it has happened to you, you didn’t leave your email address on a website that yes, was interesting but not so much and you did not want to be contacted by them. It is normal and it happens to everyone on both sides. But as affiliate marketer, as you don’t offer any newsletter or info about the products as it’s not yours, you can create a lead magnet. A sort of valuable bait that can bring in leads.
Examples of a lead magnet:
- portfolio template
- Anything that is in line within niche you are in and with the product you are promoting.
Use tools like Canva to design your lead magnet
And make it free. Free is always a good word to attract eyes on you.
As you can see there are many different options of platforms to choose from. It depends on your goals, how big or small your business is and how techie you are.