If you’re pretty new to affiliate marketing, you might be wondering how it actually works. Not just in theory (which I explained here), but in practice. How you could actually start promoting and earning commissions.
In this article, I’ll show you a couple of examples of simple affiliate marketing funnels. You should be able to set these up without much difficulty. Then it’s just a matter of driving traffic!
OK so the simplest affiliate marketing funnel of all is just to drive traffic to an offer. Which isn’t even really a funnel, it’s just a sales page.
So you would start off by getting an affiliate link for a product. On Clickbank, all users are automatically approved for all products, so you would just search for a product, and get your link. On Warrior Plus or JV Zoo, you need to request approval and get approved by the vendor for each product before you can get your link.
So if you’re just starting off, Clickbank might be a better idea. But if you want to start with JVZoo, I know a sneaky way of getting approved for a bunch of products (email me and I’ll send you the details).
Now you have your link, you could drive traffic to that link and if people buy it, you get a commission. And this is what some people might tell you to do.
But this is actually a terrible idea!
It’s a bad idea to send cold traffic straight to a sales page. There are a few reasons why you can make a simple change to make this much a much better marketing funnel.
Let’s go through some better ways to set up this funnel.
Most cold traffic (i.e. people who don’t really know you or the vendor and weren’t specifically searching for that product or solution) does not respond well when they arrive at a sales page. You’d be lucky to get a 1% conversion rate (i.e. one in one hundred people would buy).
You need to “warm them up” first, and this is also known as “pre-selling”. If you send that traffic to a page that talks to them (not in a sales-y way), describes their problem, or reviews and recommends the product, then when they get to the sales page, they are usually much more likely to buy.
Of course, not all of them will go from the pre-sale page to the sales page. Say only 50% of them do. So you are losing half your sales page traffic.
But the conversion rate might go from say 1% to 5%. So if you sent 200 visitors the sales page, you might get two sales (1% of 200). If you take that traffic to a sales page, if half of them abandon but half go through to the sales page, you get 100 visitors to the sales page but they might be converting at 5 or 10%. In which case you’d be getting five or ten sales (much more than the direct sales page method).
Another reason is that you can block or “gate” access to the sales page with an email capture form. You can say something “free video shows you how to lose weight / make money / train your dog” (or whatever). “Put in your email address to get access!”.
Now you might only get a 30% or 40% conversion rate. But now you are capturing emails, and if the people don’t end up buying, you can email them later and maybe get more sales down the track. And those could be of the same product or other similar products.
You might be thinking “what are the chances that someone didn’t buy the first time they saw the sales page, but would buy later on when offered it again?”. Well the answer might surprise you: very high!
Most people require around seven interactions with a product or company before they will consider buying. Can you think of times you saw a product, didn’t buy it then, but weeks later after seeing or hearing of it again and again, you decided to buy it? Right, it happens all the time.
So don’t think just because someone didn’t buy the first time, that there is no point emailing about it later, You could very well expect some sales. And you can keep emailing that person for as long as you think of emails to send them and they stay subscribed to your list.
This is a really powerful secret weapon that not a lot of people know about or know how to do: retargeting. If you put a tiny invisible Facebook or Google “pixel” on a page, then you can show those people who visited that page a Facebook or Google ad, no matter what they ended up doing.
So the very split second someone arrives at the pre-sale page, they are added to your pixel, no matter. Even if they don’t want to put in the email. Even if they close the browser a microsecond after the page loads. You have pixelled them forever and they can’t get away!
This is why you sometimes see an ad for a product a day after you visited a page about it. It’s called retargeting or remarketing and it is very powerful.
Now the sales page itself belongs to the vendor and you can’t touch it. You can’t add your pixel or anything to it. If you are an affiliate, this is a bit of a problem.
But it can be easily solved: send traffic to a pre-sale page. If this is your page (i.e. hosted on your website or something you built with a funnel builder like BuilderAll), you can put whatever you damn like on it.
So put your Facebook and your Google pixel on it, and you can now run retageting ads to those people. You can even run specific retargeting ads based on which pages they visited and didn’t visit, or which actions they took. So you could run different ads for different products and funnels. Or different ads for whether they clicked the Submit button or not.
Your retargeting list is a bit like an email list. You can’t email them directly, but you can show them ads directly, for cheap. And unlike an email list, they can never opt out. Never! Pretty crazy.
So now you can see that a bridge page with an email opt-in form and retargeting pixels is a triple whammy:
So now our still simple but much improved funnel looks like this:
And that’s all you need!
If you have a WordPress site, you can get Thrive Themes and it has a good page builder included. It’s called Thrive Architect, and it has lots of landing page templates, which you can edit to change the copy, styling and links.
The other great thing is that Thrive Themes also comes with premium WordPress Themes, surveys, opt-in forms, membership sites, and a hundred other things. It has everything you would need to build an all-in-one digital marketing website. It’s what I’ve used to build this website. I cannot recommend it enough.
Or you can sign up for a page builder tool like BuilderAll. It basically does everything ClickFunnels does, plus has an auto-responder included, and costs half as much as ClickFunnels! Or one-sixth as much as ClickFunnels with an auto-responder costs!. So if you don’t have a website, BuilderAll is a no-brainer for quickly building landing pages and affiliate marketing funnels.
So whichever way you go, you then build the squeeze / landing / bridge page (whatever you want to call it), and hook it up to your auto-responder. You can use the one you get with BuilderAll, or otherwise if you have a blog I use and really recommend GetResponse.
Then you link your squeeze page to the sales page, add your retargeting pixels, and you are ready to go.
If you want to be a bit more creative, there are some other options you can try instead of the traditional squeeze page. Some people find that open and click rates from emails are not great. So they are trying other methods to grab traffic and send repeated offers to them. Here are some of your other options.
You could try sending traffic to a page with a push notification opt-in. That way instead of signing up to your email list, they sign up to your push list. You can then send them browser push notifications instead of emails.
Some people swear by Facebook Messenger bots instead. You would send traffic to a page that asks them to interact with a Messenger bot. And then the bot sends them to the sales page.
The advantage of this is that your bot can now send them more messages with links to offers. And open rates on Messenger bot messages are much higher than that of emails. So if you are prepared to put in the money and time to install and set up Messenger bots, this could work really well for you.
I hope you found this article helpful. It is a very brief introduction to funnels. There is a lot more to go into, like the upsell / downsell / cross-sell funnel that usually happens after the sales page, or how to do your email followup sequences, and so on.
But this is hopefully a helpful introduction for beginners on how to set up a basic affiliate marketing funnel!
Is any of it still unclear? Please leave questions in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them!