It is seen that every customer goes through certain stages before they buy a product. So, online marketers generated a marketing concept of the sales funnel which helps in mapping out the journey of a customer while making any kind of purchase.
There might be hundreds of visitors on a website or an e-commerce store which is referred to as the beginning of the sales funnel. But, not everyone becomes a customer which is referred to as reaching the end of the sales funnel. Therefore, online marketers make sure that they put appropriate efforts at each stage of the sales funnel and increase more customers.
But how can this sales funnel model fit into the affiliate marketing process? What are the stages of a sales funnel model for affiliate marketing? What makes sales funnels effective for affiliate marketing? We will be answering all such questions in this article.
First, let us try to understand the stages of a sales funnel.
A basic sales funnel includes five stages: Awareness, Interest, Decision, Action, Retention
- Awareness: At this stage, your potential customer learns about your product or your service. This can be done from anywhere, whether it is your website, a Google ad, social media or any other platform.
- Interest: This is a stage when a potential customer is looking for solutions to their problems and find your product or service. Now, this could be through Google search or social media.
- Decision: This is the stage when your potential customer is deciding to buy your product or service. They are gathering information about your product, offers and packages and might decide to make a purchase.
- Action: Now, the potential customer is becoming your actual customer by clicking the buy option and you are receiving the money in your bank account.
- Retention: You have turned your potential customer into your actual customer. But, the journey doesn’t end here. You need to make sure that you can retain that customer for long. This means at this stage you need to keep making efforts to keep your customers happy.
This is just a general idea of a sales funnel. You might include other stages in your sales funnel depending upon what you are selling. The main idea behind a sales funnel is to narrow down your focus. By working on your marketing strategy at each stage, you can pitch your audience more accurately and yield better results.
Creating Sales Funnel for Affiliate Marketing
Now that we have understood what a sales funnel is, let us see how we can apply the same concept in affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is a process by which one can earn a commission by marketing other people’s products or services. As an affiliate, you need to choose the products and a platform through which you will market those products. This could be a website, a YouTube channel, a Facebook page or an Instagram account.
Let us see how one can create a sales funnel for affiliate marketing.
#1 Creating awareness: The first stage of the sales funnel would be to create awareness about the product or service you are marketing. Since you are trying to market the product online, it is relevant to use a blog or social media.
Blogging is one of the most preferable options as you can generate traffic organically through a blog. You can create engaging content to make people aware of the products that you are marketing. You can also create custom landing pages for each of the products that you are marketing and can channelize the customers to the next stage of your sales funnel.
Another option would be using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. You may create video-based content which is quite popular these days amongst social media users. Moreover, you can target a specific category of the audience on social media.
#2 Developing interest: A customer is looking for a solution on Google. How can you attract them to your website and make them interested in your product? Again, your blog can play a huge role in this step. Here’s how you can develop interest amongst your potential customers:
- Use banners, ads, opt-ins or lightbox to attract customers. You may put these on your blog and use them to sign up customers for a newsletter, promotional offer, emails et cetera.
- Highlight special deals on your landing pages to attract customers. This is highly effective in the holiday seasons like Christmas or New year.
- Create an ebook or write a whitepaper highlighting the uses of your product or service, what value it brings to the customers and what are its benefits.
#3 Making the decision: You have made your potential customer interested in your product. It is time to help them decide between buying your product. This is the stage when you will use your clear and concise communication tactics to push the customer to buy your product. How will you do that? Here are some easy ways:
- Send them an email. If they showed interest in a product and signed up for a newsletter, make sure to tell them more about the product through an email.
- Organize a webinar and talk to your potential customers face to face. This is a great way to answer their queries on a one-on-one basis and highlight the qualities of your product.
- You can share stories, testimonials and examples to assure the potential customers that they are taking the right step by buying your product.
#4 Taking action: This is an important stage as many customers back out here when they are not given the right information. Here’s how you can ensure that your potential customers take the right action and buy your product or service:
- Make sure to provide complete information about the payment process. The more payment options you accept, the better.
- Tell them that their transactions are encrypted and there are no chances of frauds or stealing of information.
- Thank them for making a purchase. This could be done by creating a separate webpage or by sending them a thank you email.
- You can also use testimonials and reviews from your previous customers regarding the product and place them on the checkout page so that the customer is fully convinced about the purchase.
A few more tips for you…
When creating your sales funnel for affiliate marketing, here are a few things that you must take care of:
Optimize your website: Your website plays an important role in your sales funnel. If you would not optimize it for the search engines, you might be unable to reach your target audience. Create better content for your website, perform keyword research, meta descriptions, on-page SEO, and backlinks to enhance the performance of your website.
Focus on your content: Content is always and will always be the king in the online marketing world. So make sure to create original, high-quality content for your website. Make sure that your content is readable. Include headlines, bullet points, images, or infographics wherever possible. You must also ensure what kind of content would be useful for your product promotions like lists, tutorial, guide or articles.
Work upon your landing pages: Landing pages are the decision-makers. If created properly, these pages can encourage the visitors to convert into your customers. Here are a few statistics that prove the importance of landing pages:
- The average conversion rate of landing pages is 9.7% where the benchmark of 10% is generally considered to be a good conversion rate.
- If you address your buyer’s fears on the landing page, the sales might increase by 80%.
- Video content is being used in the top 30% of landing pages.
- Testimonials are a part of 36% of the landing pages.
So make sure to create effective landing pages. Include multimedia where you can. Add CTAs (Call to Action) and email opt-ins. You can also add FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) to address the common queries of buyers.
Use social media
Social media can be of huge advantage in creating and implementing the sales funnel for affiliate marketing. Here’s how:
- Social media can help in brand awareness: Whether you are just beginning with affiliate marketing or you have built an audience, social media can help you reach your marketing goals. You can use Facebook and Instagram Ads to reach a certain demographic of audience, target specific users and promote your products and services. Moreover, you can use influencer marketing to increase your popularity.
- Social media can help in engagement: Almost every other person you meet is on social media these days. It has become a part of our lives and one can leverage it for engaging their audience. There are many ways to connect to your audience through social media such as stories, reels, IGTV, videos and pictures on Instagram and stories and posts on Facebook. Social media also provides you with the option to talk to your audience live. It is a great way to answer their queries, introduce them to your product, provide a tutorial, or a simple Q&A session.
Why would the sales funnel strategy work in affiliate marketing?
Now that we have understood the sales funnel and how it can be applied in affiliate marketing, it is time to analyse why the sales funnel strategy would work for affiliate marketing. Here are some reasons that prove the effectiveness of sales funnels for affiliate marketing:
1. You can pick up a marketing strategy as per your choice
First and foremost, the sales funnel method allows you to narrow down your marketing techniques and target the specifics. You can create separate marketing strategies for every stage of the sales funnel and ensure that most of your potential customers reach the end of the funnel.
Similarly, you can also find out the loopholes in your marketing strategy if your prospective customers are not moving forward from one stage to another. For instance, if you can engage a large audience. Your content is up to the mark and your website is optimised. But, you are not able to convince the audience to make the purchase. Then, it is clear that you need to work upon your marketing strategy for the final stage of the funnel.
2. It will increase your sales eventually
The sales funnel helps you pick a great marketing strategy. It allows you to understand your customers better. You can personalise the marketing experience for your customers at every stage and analyse the results separately. The sales funnel also effectively unravels the problems in your marketing strategy. This means that, once you have mastered your sales funnel, it will increase your sales.
3. You can organize your sales leads
The sales funnel can help you organise your sales leads or potential customers into an order of priority. This gives you a chance to focus on the leads that are important or have a higher chance of a conversion. You can connect with your leads accordingly and increase your sales.
4. You can beat the competition
The sales funnel method helps you find the right audience or potential customers for your products. The marketing world runs on tough competition. There might be hundreds of other sellers, marketing the same product that you are offering. But, your sales funnel separates you from the competition and helps you find the right audience.
You can create buyer personas and understand whether you have to respond to a lead or not. You will be able to know more about your prospective customers at every stage of the funnel, making it much easier for you to target the right lead.
5. You can assess your team
The sales funnel method involves everything from content creation to search engine optimisation, email marketing and social media marketing. This means you can analyse whether your teams perform their best and make the right contributions in the marketing process. Once you have the analysis, you can motivate your teams to work better and achieve the desired results.
6. You can gain the trust of your customers
The sales funnel method gives you a fair chance to retain your customers. Many people think that since you cannot provide customer support in affiliate marketing, it is difficult for you to make your customers stay with you for long. But, there are many other ways to make your customers choose your products again and again. For instance, you can adopt various ways to win their trust like a loyalty program, by publishing their reviews and testimonials or asking for feedback.
How to ensure better results from your sales funnel?
Are there any ways to ensure that your sales funnel works in your favour? Well, the most important thing in your sales funnel is your customer. So, if you focus on knowing your customers and find ways to engage them, your sales funnel will surely bring you good results. Let us see how.
1. Try to know your customers better: Understand the problems that your customers are facing. What are their fears and frustrations? Ask whether they have done anything to solve their problem, if yes then what were the results. Based on this data, you can create different buyer personas. Divide your buyer personas on the characteristics of your customers such as their reason for buying a product, how they would use your product, what are their buying decisions et cetera.
2. Engage your customers: You are constantly required to engage your customers so that they get interested in your product and move through your sales funnel. This means creating blogs, social media posts, videos, podcasts, webinars, live sessions, etc. You might also use strategies like sales calls, product pages and sales pages to ensure that your prospective customers buy your products.
Sales funnel can be an effective strategy for affiliate marketing. It helps the marketers find their right audience and provides them with ways to engage them until they become customers. With a sales funnel, you can divide your marketing strategy into various sections and focus on each section with full potential. You can find out the loopholes in your marketing strategies easily.
If you have not tried a sales funnel yet, start with understanding the various stages of a sales funnel. Then decide how you can create content at each stage to market your product. Make judicious use of social media, email marketing and your website landing pages, organise your leads and everything will fall into place. Last but not least, do not forget to assess every stage of your sales funnel to find out the areas of improvement.
Hope this article will help you understand why a sales funnel is important for your affiliate marketing business, how you can create a sales funnel and ensure that it yields effective results.
About the Author
Emma Jackson is specialist in content writing, blogging and exploring new topics. Emma is also a part contributor of GoAssignmentHelp that provides essay writing service. She loves to write topics like marketing, education and assignment services and knows every bit about blogging and other tools that boost marketing.