Effective affiliate sales funnel
Today’s Tools of the Trade Tuesday. As a follow-up to sales funnel as an affiliate, I look at ways to setup an effective affiliate sales funnel while maintaining some control.
Recently a question was raised from a new affiliate marketer. He wants to setup his own sales funnel using affiliate products in a way he has overall control. Since he’ll be paying for targeted traffic, he wanted to make sure he could profit from his efforts on the back-end.
He planned out his own initial sales funnel that looked something like this:
Paid Ad ► Opt-in page ► OTO ► Upsell #1 ► Upsell #2 ► Thank you page
Once done, the problem he realized was since he was promoting affiliate products, there’s no way he would have control over the check-out process using the example funnel above. Another words, he didn’t see how he could continue control with the flow of that funnel which IS difficult to do since it would end up under the vendors control.
His question: how can I properly set up a sales funnel as an affiliate to make money?
To me, his proposed funnel is a very aggressive sales funnel in the first place! Especially when these new prospect’s don’t know you.
The idea that just because you are giving them something of value for free, doesn’t make them instant buddies when they accept it. Besides, their main focus is seeing what freebie is being offered that they can grab on the opt-in page. Not what they can buy from you.
Marketing psychology suggests, emphasis SUGGESTS, that when someone signs-up to receive something given to them of perceived value for free, they feel an obligation towards you and are more likely to buy from you. In other words, the best time to take advantage of this situation.
I dislike this concept both in practice and in principle, even though it used to be sound in theory. That’s because most people are conditioned to know that once they say yes, some sort of offer will be made to them.
Their guards are up, and unless you are an excellent persuader, it most likely will do more harm than good. Besides, you have their email address to send out emails to them. Instead, you should concentrate on putting together an effective email marketing campaign.
However to address his question, the funnel is possible if he is looking to make all his money up front (and to hell with developing customer relationships that will eventually lead to making informed sales).
He realized he had a problem with his funnel; if someone accepts one of his offers (by clicking through to buy it) after they opted-in, there really was no practical way to get that person back to continue on to the next step of his funnel once they buy.
With his funnel, not only does he want to make sales, but he also wants to make add-on or back-end sales as well while they’re in a buying mood. Again very aggressive (he’s wanting to milk them for everything he can). And he’s not the only marketer who does this!
Solution to his sales funnel dilemma…
- First off, it all depends upon the conditions of the affiliate program he is involved with. Let me explain:
- There are affiliate programs that pay you only for the front-end offer and nothing more.
- There are affiliate programs that will pay you for back-end sales if they are made during the time frame.
And there are affiliate programs that credit a prospect to you for life. So if they end up buying any qualifying product at anytime, front-end or back-end, you’ll make a commission!
To me, you don’t really need to be concerned about a high-end sales funnel if you are involved with either the second or third affiliate program because they will still pay you using their sales funnel.
Unfortunately, most affiliate programs are setup to only pay you for front-end sales. You would want to consider setting up your own sales funnel. Otherwise, the other two programs, the vendor sales funnel will help you out and is not really needed.
One thing you can do to improve sales is offer a bonus to those who buy from your affiliate link. This will help to increase the number of sales and your commission.
However, because there’s a number of possibilities and each with its own set of solutions, it’s impossible for me to say, “Hey, do it this way!”. However, I can give you a few helpful tips to open up your mind to setup your own effective funnel.
Simple sales funnel
Ad ► opt-in page ► special thank you page ► email follow up
If you are wondering what is a “special” thank you page, I’ll tell you. After thanking a subscriber for opting in, you then place an offer (or video to an offer) near the bottom of the page.
This offer would be a related front-end product of under $10. If they see the offer and click through, you can either send them to a review page or directly to the vendor’s sales page.
If they are not interested in that offer, you still have a chance to make an upfront sale. Just place a link below the offer that says something like, “No thanks, Bob, I’ll pass on this excellent offer”.
Then if they click on that link, it will take them to another offer or OTO. You can use this technique several times with a series of offers to increase sales. Just don’t annoy them, because they’re already signed-up to you list.
Here’s another affiliate sales funnel version
Ad ► opt-in page ► thank you page w/value video ► OTO w/bonus ► email follow-up w/primary offer
Again, either funnel will increase your chances to make upfront sales that will help you pay for those ads.
However as an affiliate marketer, it’s important to realize that it’s often more a long term process than instant income. And it’s equally important to know if your marketing methods are producing positive results, or putting you deeper into a hole!