Sales funnels are an essential tool for affiliate marketers. By providing value at each stage of the customer journey, they can entice leads and help to sell your product or service.
There are a number of sales funnel examples that affiliate marketers can use, each with its own benefits.
Here are the best sales funnels for affiliate marketing:
Basic Product Funnel
The basic product funnel is one of the most commonly used sales funnel.
People who click on your ad will be led to an opt-in page. They can enter their information, such as their email address, on this page.
Once someone opts in (by giving their info), they are taken to a page that sells the product. This is usually a video or a small written presentation about the product that shows it and tells people what to do next: buy it.
The sales page takes the prospect directly to the order form where they can purchase your product.
Once you know the buyer is interested in buying, you can lead them to a page with different products. This page is called an upsell page. On this page, you should offer no more than three different products. But keep in mind that the more upsells you have, the more chances the customer has to abandon the sale.
The final step in the process is the order confirmation. This page confirms that the customer has ordered the product and thanks them for their business.
- easy to set up
- great for low ticket items
- relies less on talent and more on good copy
- can be easily automated
- great for physical products and digital services
- not great for high-ticket items because need to gain more trust before they pay big money
- having too many upsells gives people more chances to abandon the purchase
One of the best sales funnels for affiliate marketing is the webinar funnel. A webinar funnel is a seminar that happens over the internet. People can log in from all around the world to watch it. If you feel comfortable in front of a camera and are good at presenting, this funnel might be a good option for you. Because it is live, people have a chance to ask you questions and get to know you and your product/service better.
This funnel is great for high-ticket items because you can take more time to build trust with the prospect and close the sale. The webinar funnel typically starts with a registration page:
People sign up on this page to join a webinar. They are sent a confirmation email with the date, time, and login information. Once they sign up, you can use your autoresponder to send them reminder emails to make sure they attend the webinar.
- You have more time to build trust with the customer
- You can answer any questions they have in real time
- It’s a great way to showcase your expert knowledge on the subject
- People can log in from anywhere in the world
- great for high-ticket items
- Longer sales cycle (and thus more time for people to leave)
- Lower attendance rate (industry standard is about 30%)
- It requires more preparation than some of the other sales funnels
- You need to be comfortable in front of a camera
- requires more sales talent
The evergreen funnel is very similar to the webinar funnel, except that it is not live. The webinar is pre-recorded, but the whole sales funnel seems new to every new user.
The strategy in this funnel is to continue to build trust with your buyer by adding value in each video. This is very attractive to consumers because they can get a lot of free content before buying your product or service.
Once the buyer has learned lesson one, you can schedule when you want to email the buyer the next video (or videos) with your autoresponder.
It is important to make sure that the buyer watches the videos in order. This will give them the impression that the sales funnel is new. For example, in video two you could say, “if you haven’t watched video one, please go back and watch that first or this video will not be as helpful.”
- great for building trust with the buyer
- can be automated
- great for selling high ticket items
- longer sales cycle
- requires a bit more sales talent
- lower conversion rates
- It requires more preparation than some of the other salesfunnels
- requires sales talent
TIP: Because this funnel uses a longer sales cycle, I recommend that you put an option to purchase the product/service in each video/email to increase conversions.
The funnel is usually used for phone sales. When you speak to the buyer over the phone, you have a chance to build trust with them. This can make them more likely to buy from you.
You can also get more information about potential buyers this way. You can get their name and email, but you can also find out more about their financial status and what is stopping them from buying your product.
The diagram above shows how the funnel works. When someone clicks on your ad, they go to an offer page. This is not a normal offer to buy something, but an application form. This way you can collect more data from potential buyers about how much money they want to invest.
After the buyer fills out the application, they are directed to a page where they can choose a day and time for a phone call. If they schedule the phone call, you can email them a few reminder emails using an autoresponder.
Once you have spoken to them on the phone, you or your sales team can use the information you gathered through their application to help close the sale.
- great for high-ticket products and services
- great for data collection
- You need sales talent to close over the phone
- High customer acquisition costs
- Long sales cycle
- Not all buyers show up for the phone call
- buyers tend to be lower quality
TIP: give the buyer enough information to see the value in your product on your offer page but don’t make it so long that you lose them.
The Survey Funnel
The survey funnel is a highly customizable sales funnel that changes based on the lead’s response to the survey:
The ad leads the prospect to a survey, where they will answer a series of questions. Depending on their responses, you can create multiple different experiences for each prospect.
For example, let’s say you are promoting an affiliate marketing course. Some of your prospects will be completely new to affiliate marketing, others will have some experience, and some will be very experience, but are looking to reach a new milestone.
The survey will help you identify the experience level of each prospect. Then, you can tailor the sales pitch to each prospect. You are selling the same product, but you how frame it changes based on the experience level of the prospect.
- highly customizable
- collect much more data
- can tailor the sales pitch to the survey responses
- great for low to mid-ticket products/services
- tend to be complex (because the funnel adapts based on the prospect’s response to the survey)
- lots of upfront work to set up different sales pitches
TIP: Because this sales funnel is labor intensive, I do not recommend it for new affiliates or new products/services. You should focus on getting conversions first. Then you can use the survey funnel to optimize the sale’s experience.
The Invisible Funnel
In my opinion, one of the best sales funnels for affiliate marketing is the invisible funnel. The invisible sales funnel is a funnel where you do not need an opt-in page. The lead goes straight to the sales page, and the prospect is pushed back to the sales page until they buy, using retargeting.
The sales page has a pixel on it that will show the prospect ads for the product on social media, pushing them back to the sales page.
If you have ever clicked on an ad on Facebook, and then saw an ad for the product you did not buy pop up on your social media, you’ve experienced this invisible funnel.
If someone buys your product, you can offer them a related product and try to convince them to buy it too. You can do this by using the same retargeting technique that you used to get them interested in the first place.
- no opt-in
- easy to set up
- only one communication medium
- costs money to “follow up”
Video Sales Letter Funnel
The video sales letter funnel (“VSL”) is a way to sell a product through a video. This can be done in different ways. Some marketers like to present the product themselves on camera. Others may be shy and instead read a script that is played while the text of the script is displayed on screen.
Many VSL funnels have an opt-in page. Once you get someone’s email, you can push them back to the sales video using your autoresponder. For example, you can email the prospect a coupon or a testimonial to show them how valuable your product is. Once they watch the video, they are directed to the order page.
One benefit of this funnel is that the lead is shown the sales video right away, instead of having to wait a few hours or days. This way, they are more likely to see it and become a customer.
- very popular
- good for low ticket offers
- lower converting
- requires really good copy to convert
Free + Shipping Funnel
One popular funnel is what I call the free + shipping funnel. In this funnel, the prospect is given something of value for free or just the price of shipping (e.g., a book).
If someone orders your free gift, you can continue to sell them related products.
The funnel looks a lot like the Basic Product Funnel above, but there is a difference. Offering something for free changes how people see the value of your product. This is why it makes the list for one of the best sales funnels for affiliate marketing.
- collect a lot of data at opt-in
- best for low ticket items
These are some of the best sales funnels for affiliate marketing. If you’re just getting started, I recommend using the Basic Product Funnel. As you get more experience, you can start to experiment with other types of sales funnels.
If you are looking for the best sales funnel tools, I recommend you check out Click Funnels or Get Response. Click Funnels is a great resource with hundreds of sale funnel templates that can help you build your funnels faster (you can check it out for free here).
Also, Get Response has a powerful resource called Conversion Funnels (formally called Auto Funnel), which allows you to set up your ads, build landing pages, sales funnels and more right from their platform. The sales funnels templates are really good and have been tested to convert. All you need to do is fill in your information and your good to go!
If you need help getting started with affiliate marketing, or if you are looking to take your affiliate sales to the next level, I recommend you check out Fullstaq Marketing’s affiliate training program. They have a program that can help you set up your entire online business in 2.5 days for only $39! It is by far the best affiliate marketing challenge out there (and it’s backed by a money back guarantee) You can check out more information about that program here.
TIP: If you want to learn more about sales funnels, I recommend reading Russell Brunson’s book DotCom Secrets. It’s a great resource on how to build sales funnels that convert.