Why You should have a Sales Funnel as an Affiliate
Sorry, even though I started this article yesterday, I didn’t get it finished until this morning. I was detoured to do yard work. I waned to post it on Marketing Monday. Yes, it is a day late, but here it is!
I take a look at an element of marketing called a sales funnel and answer the question; why have a sales funnel as an affiliate marketer in the first place? To do that, I need to address the following question, first:
What is a Sales Funnel and Why Should I Care?
My definition of a very basic sales funnel is: it is a representation of the process or system used to make sales while building a lasting customer base from a larger number of people who come to see your initial offer or site.
What it means is a funnel helps you to visually see the number of sales that can be expected and measured along with the number of customers you can add with what you have offered along with the chain of offers built-in to that process as in the example shown below:
AD ► Free offer (lead capture or opt-in) page ► Thank you page with front-end offer (affiliate link) ► Download page
The widest part of the funnel is where it starts, the opening at the top where the largest number of potential prospects are guided into your sales system through different traffic generation methods.
The first level
The first level of the sales funnel is often what is known as a lead “capture” or “opt-in” page. This is where some type of valuable “free” information media enticement is offered in exchange for the initial prospect’s email address (minimum) and name (usually the first name).
At this point, the first narrowing or reduction of prospects happen, some will take you up on that offer and most won’t (for any number of reasons) and leave (a point of leakage).
Once someone signs-up, the next level or step in the sales funnel is the thank you page and a place where a number of marketers get it wrong (i.e. lose opportunity).
It is at this point when you thank them for signing up that you want to present a related front-end (low priced) affiliate offer. Another narrowing of the funnel because only a small percentage of those who sign-up will take the offer (but not to worry, they are now on your list).
This is also somewhat controversial because some marketers believe it is too soon to jump in with an offer. Other marketers realize that not everyone who signs up for the offer will stay and unsubscribe soon after receiving their “freebie”; why not make the attempt to sell them a related product at the moment their interest has peaked and make a few sales in the process.
The next level
The next stage, or level, is where the prospect can be taken to a download page to get their “freebie” and a place where you could potentially add in one more offer attempt. Of course, very few will bite but still is an opportunity to make a sale.
Once you reached the end of your sales funnel, the initial process is over, but your opportunity for future sales has just begun! You now have a list that you can develop by building trust and a rapport that will lead to future sales, especially when those prospects become buying customers, and even fans!
Why Should I Care as an Affiliate?
To succeed as an affiliate marketer, it’s essential to build your own quality list of customers. This will increase your chances to make future sales (for future product offers).
If you just send a prospect to a vendor’s sale page through your affiliate link (in hope of a sale), once that visitor leaves your site, they are lost to you as a customer from that moment on. Even when they buy from your link, it is only a one-time sale or a one time shot.
So why not capture their email address in the process and keep them on a list as interested targeted prospects for future affiliate sale opportunities?!
Sounds like more work to me, why should I even bother if I don’t want to deal with customer issues?
It’s true that you can make sales just sending prospect’s to the vendor’s sales page through your affiliate link to make money. And you can keep doing that method over and over. However, over time, this is not sustainable!
You will also find that you will hit a saturation point, and then have to put in time to look for something else to promote, and then find new prospect’s to start all over again. That, my friend, is a lot of work, too!
Why not do it correctly from the start and build your own customer (or if you prefer) fan base. Once the initial upfront work is done, it actually becomes easier, less time consuming, and last much longer. Of course, it is up to you!
My final thought for you to consider
Most successful affiliates eventually cross over to become product creators themselves, while still promoting other vendor products as affiliates. If this is something you’re considering (smart if you do), then you want to start building a customer base as an affiliate now. So when you are ready to release your own product, you will already have a customer base to sell to!
What do you think? Are sales funnels worth developing for you? Do you have a question or observation about sales funnels to share? Let me know in the comment section below! 🙂