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How to Create a Profitable Affiliate Marketing Funnel in 2022

Affiliate marketing has been around since the early days of online marketing. It’s still one of the most popular and profitable ways to make money online. The key to success? A well-oiled funnel that converts visitors into buyers!

If you’re just getting started with affiliate marketing and looking for a way to boost your product sales, keep reading. This blog post will walk you through the steps to creating an effective affiliate marketing funnel that will earn you money this year and beyond! 

Affiliate marketing funnel basics

To be successful in affiliate marketing, you need to understand the steps customers take before buying a product or service that you promote. This journey typically consists of different stages, from initial awareness all the way through to purchase. 

Figure 1. The buyer journey

You will need to understand the various touchpoints they encounter along the way. Like, for example, how do they become aware of the product? Do they compare your product to other similar products on the market based on costs or benefits? What motivates them to convert? And so on… You will need to identify and map the most common path they make in that journey. And to do that, you need a tool.

So, what is a funnel in affiliate marketing?

The sales funnel for affiliate marketing is used to capture and map out the customer journey as they move towards purchasing the product or service you promote. 

Figure 2. Sales funnel affiliate marketing

A funnel itself can be illustrated as being like an upside-down cone. At the top of the funnel, you want to get visitors interested and excited enough about the product you promote. Once they enter the funnel, you need to move them down through different stages until they’re ready for the purchase. 

The conversion rate for those who get deep into the funnel is higher. The shape of the funnel shows that only a small fraction will actually convert.

Affiliate marketing sales funnel segments

Each customer will actually have a different journey through the funnel. With the affiliate marketing sales funnel, you don’t have to map every path. Just focus on capturing the most common one.

However, it’s still hard to perfectly model human behavior with a two-dimensional image of the funnel. To simplify, the fundamental steps of a consumer’s journey follow the AIDA model, an acronym for Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action.

Figure 3. Basic stages of the affiliate marketing sales funnel

The 4 stages in the above funnel are the basic steps a typical customer will go through. You can name the steps whatever you want, but recognizing that this customer journey exists is the most important.

1: Awareness

The journey starts with awareness. A customer starts as an individual who is unaware of the existence of the product or service you promote. So, at this stage, you need to introduce them to the product.

2: Interest

The next stage of the funnel is the customer becoming interested in the product. They may not have actually made a purchase, but they know about the product.

At this point, you need to give them resources, so they generate a desire for the affiliate product you promote. An example is by providing details on what the product offers and answering their fundamental questions. Let them know more about how the product is different from its competitors and how it will benefit them.

3: Desire or consideration

When a prospect is in this stage, they have made up their mind to purchase but need more information before making the final decision. They are doing a lot of research and might be reaching out with key questions. 

It’s important to provide clear information and build trust with potential customers to increase the chances of making a sale. Your authentic review of the product will help them make an informed decision. So, convince them by strengthening everything that they’ve learned up until now.  

4: Action or conversion

At this point, customers make decisions—to continue with their purchase or not. Some may buy from you, while others may purchase a competitor’s product instead.

Their decisions will be based on a number of factors, including the quality of the product and the price. As an affiliate marketer, it’s important to keep this in mind and offer a great product at a competitive price. 

If everything goes well—then congratulations! You made a sale!

Affiliate marketing funnel example

Sasha is a Data Consultant who loves Coupler.io because it’s a great no-code solution for data flow automation. The product is powerful, easy to use, and competitively priced.

When she heard about the Coupler.io affiliate program, she knew it was the perfect opportunity to share her love of the product with others and make some money in the process. Coupler.io offers a 50% commission rate for each new subscription and 20% for every renewal. This is a very interesting offer!

She has a YouTube channel with a niche in Data Analysis. With over 30k subscribers, she has the ability to reach a large targeted audience. She then mentioned Coupler.io in her video tutorials to create awareness and drive her visitors to a landing page she prepared. 

This landing page contains more info about Coupler.io, a video explaining why she’s using it, as well as an affiliate link. By providing relevant information and sharing the benefits of using Coupler.io, she was able to generate interest in the product. She even encourages visitors to subscribe to her mailing list by offering a free e-book.

She maintains her presence on social media and answers every comment or question to transition a lead from interest to desire. Other than that, she shares testimonials from other users.  

The last step focuses on action. She makes it very clear how to sign up for Coupler.io using her affiliate link and leads them to choose a plan based on their needs. 

The simple funnel she designed goes like this: 

Figure 4. Affiliate marketing funnel example Coupler.io affiliate program

This is just one simple example, but you can see Sahsa’s efforts mapped into each step of the customer journey.

How to build affiliate marketing sales funnels that work

Building an effective affiliate marketing sales funnel is a key way to boost your online earnings. Follow this step-by-step guide to help you get started and create a funnel that generates conversions:

Step 1: Create awareness to attract leads 

There are a number of ways you can use to create awareness and get potential customers interested in your product or service, for example:

  • A blog or website that is optimized for SEO to make sure it appears as a top result for relevant keywords. 
  • Social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube channel.
  • If you have a budget for ads, you can use paid media channels to get traffic to your blog or social media page. Google ads, Facebook ads, and Instagram ads are some of the most popular options. 

No matter what method you choose, the important thing is to be creative and consistent in your efforts. 

Step 2: Develop interest 

Once you’ve created awareness, you can start attracting leads. 

There are many different ways to create a stimulus that develops your visitors’ interest. Let’s check out some methods popular among affiliate marketers:

  • Consistently create high-quality blog post content or YouTube video tutorials to demonstrate your expertise.
  • Create a landing page and fill it with relevant info about the affiliate product you promote. The landing page is your chance to make a strong first impression with potential customers and capture their email addresses. It’s also an opportunity for you to connect with your audience and stand out from other affiliates.
  • Create a lead magnet (more on this in the next section) that will entice potential customers to sign up for your email list. This could be a free e-book, webinar, or low-priced course. Whatever you choose, make sure it is relevant and valuable to your potential customers. With a strong lead magnet, you can quickly grow your email list and start building relationships with potential customers. 

It’s important to remember that not all leads are equal. Some leads may be more interested in your product than others, and some may be further along in the buying cycle. By taking the time to identify and nurture your best leads, you’ll be able to maximize your sales and create lasting relationships with your customers.

Step 3: Help make the decision 

When a customer expresses interest in the affiliate product, it’s your responsibility to help them make a decision. There are many ways to do this, but typically it involves providing information about the product and answering any questions the customer may have. 

You can, for example:

  • Maintain your presence on social media to build relationships and trust with potential customers and also share news & updates about the product or service.
  • Nurture your potential customers with automation-based email campaigns to create a sense of commitment and expectation. This will lead them naturally into the “desire” state.
  • Continue to refine your targeting strategy. One way to do this is to reach out to potential customers who haven’t converted yet. Take some time to research why that may be. Once you’ve identified the issue, you can reach out and address it directly. This shows potential customers that you’re responsive and willing to go the extra mile, which can help to increase conversions. 

Ultimately, your goal is to help the customer make an informed decision about whether or not the product is right for them. By taking the time to do this, you increase the chances that they’ll make a purchase and become a satisfied customer.

Step 4: Improve your funnel over time 

In order to ensure the long-term success of your affiliate marketing campaigns, it is essential to optimize your funnel continually. You can significantly improve your conversions by making small tweaks to your offer, messaging, and targeting.

Additionally, it is important to keep up with the latest affiliate marketing trends and best practices. By staying up-to-date on the latest industry news, you can be sure that your campaigns are always as effective as possible. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your funnel for affiliate marketing is always performing at its best.

Three common lead magnet types of affiliate marketing funnel

A lead magnet is a free or low-cost offer that is used to generate visitors’ interest and attract them to become leads. This could be in the form of a white paper, an e-book, a coupon, or a free trial. The key is to offer something of value that your target audience will find useful so that they are more likely to give you their contact information. Once you have captured their attention with your lead magnet, you can then follow up with additional information and offers that can help move them further down the funnel. 

Here are three common lead magnet types you can use to attract leads entering your sales funnel affiliate marketing:

Free e-books

Let’s take a look at Sasha’s case again as an example. As an affiliate for Coupler.io, she aims to find Data Consultants and Data Analysts in her marketing efforts. To attract their interest, she offers them a free PDF titled “7 Tips For Exporting Data From Salesforce To Excel“. The link to download the file will be sent via email, so they need to give their email addresses via an opt-in email.

By offering a helpful resource like this, Sasha is able to build trust and establish herself as a credible source of information on this topic. As a result, she’s more likely to convert visitors into leads.

Low-priced courses

A second approach is to make a low-cost offer, such as “Get the best Data Analysis course for only $9!

These courses can be offered as standalone products or as part of a larger package. Either way, they provide an excellent way to add value for potential customers while also gathering important contact information. And, of course, as the leads progress through the course and see the results for themselves, they’ll be more likely to become paying customers down the road.

Free webinars

Hosting a live educational event (or pre-recorded) can attract potential customers who are interested in learning more. While a webinar can be a great lead magnet, it’s important to make sure that the event is well-organized and relevant to the audience. 

Choosing an interesting topic and providing valuable information will help to ensure that the webinar is successful. Additionally, promoting the webinar through social media and email will help to reach a wider audience. 

Affiliate marketing sales funnel template you need

Trying to create an affiliate marketing sales funnel can be daunting at first. There can be so many things you want to do, and it’s hard to know where to start. 

But don’t worry. Here is a template that you can use to plan out your funnel, with the steps that are based on what has been discussed in the previous section.

Figure 5. Affiliate marketing sales funnel template

So, whether you’re promoting physical goods or digital products, you will likely have the following steps (or similar) for your funnel:

  • Step 1. Generate targeted traffic
  • Step 2. Send the traffic to a landing page
  • Step 3. Convert visitors into leads
  • Step 4. Get them to become customers
  • Step 5. If they haven’t made a purchase, reach out and address any issue
  • Step 6. Finally, get affiliate commissions 💰

We hope that the template we shared above will help you ensure that your marketing efforts are focused on taking potential customers through their journey from start to finish.

If you think your customer journey is complex and difficult to model with the traditional AIDA model, there are several adaptations you can implement. Like, for example, you may want to add a stage for Advocacy or Loyalty so that your funnel reflects the idea that customers can choose whether to buy again. Moreover, to help you better understand your customer journey, you’ll sometimes need to combine and analyze data from multiple sources and visualize it in your funnel. If so, take a look at this article as a great example: Combining All Your Funnel Data into One Sheet.

Benefits of the affiliate marketing funnel

As we’ve discussed there are several benefits to creating an affiliate marketing funnel, including the following:

  1. Reach more prospects. You will be able to generate more leads and convert them at a higher rate than if you were just adding your links on blog posts or running ads. It’s because an affiliate marketing funnel is designed to nurture relationships over time.
  2. Greater customer loyalty. Customers who go through an affiliate marketing funnel are more likely to be loyal to your brand than those who do not. By providing potential customers with valuable information and resources, you can build trust and loyalty over time.
  3. Build your own buyers list. Building your own buyers list is a great way to ensure that you always have potential customers for your products or services. You can be sure that they are interested in what you have to offer and are more likely to make a purchase. In addition, you can also target your marketing efforts more effectively, as you will know who is most likely to be interested in your products or services. 
  4. Get higher affiliate commissions. You can negotiate a higher affiliate commission when the traffic you send to merchants converts at an above-average rate and asks for fewer refunds. Keep in mind, however, that not all merchants will be open to negotiation. But it’s always worth asking 🙂

The affiliate marketing funnel — Make monthly income with affiliate marketing

The affiliate marketing funnel is a process that takes someone from lead to customer. It’s important to understand the basics of how it works before you start building your own funnels. Once you know what steps are involved in the funnel, it becomes easier to create content and offers that will appeal to your customers and get them moving down the funnel towards purchase. 

By creating an effective funnel, it’s highly possible to earn a steady income from affiliate marketing each month. There are merchants out there who offer high commissions like Coupler.io. So if you’re looking for a merchant that can provide you with both high commissions and great products, Coupler.io is definitely worth checking out.

What are you waiting for? Join the Coupler.io affiliate program today! 😀

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