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The term “Sales Funnel” might be new to you. It’s a marketing technique that’s been around for decades in the offline world. It’s also a technique that’s been routinely used by product sellers online.
It’s a way for a seller to make more money from the people who visit their site.
What’s new is that affiliate marketers are now also starting to use sales funnels to boost their own earnings.
There are two general types of sales funnel:
1. The Multi-Product Funnel
There’s the funnel that’s always used on the likes of JVZoo, Warrior Plus and sometimes on ClickBank.
This is where you buy a low-priced front-end product and are then subjected to variety of upsells and one-time-offers that are designed to part you with more of your money.
The goal of this type of funnel is to sell you multiple products in quick succession before you really have time to consider your options.
The offers often have timers showing how little time you have left to make a decision or you’re told that limited quantities are available.
2. The Single Product Funnel
The second type of funnel is geared around selling you a single product.
The purpose of the funnel is to repeatedly expose you to the product and explain why it will be useful, if not essential, to you or your business.
This is often achieved by attracting a visitor to sign up to get a free product and then sending them a series of emails describing the benefits of the product you’re trying to sell them.
A less common tactic is to provide free training and information to prospects regardless of whether they end up buying or not.
Sales Funnels In Use
If you’ve ever bought anything in the Make Money Online niche, you’ve already been exposed to the multi-product sales funnel.
They can often leave a bad taste and you end up feeling like you’ve been hounded into spending a lot more money than you intended. That can build some resentment in you.
If you recognize that feeling, is that something you’d want to bring out in your own customers?
Don’t forget that those who look at your offers are real people, not credit cards with legs.
Treat your potential customers just like you’d like to be treated by a seller.
That’s why I prefer the second type of funnel.
There’s no hard sell involved. You’re giving your prospects something free to entice them in the door.
From there, you start introducing them to your offer and why it might be a good fit for them.
You’re trying to persuade them that what you’re offering will make their lives easier or solve a problem for them.
If they buy, then they’ve made the decision to buy.
You haven’t forced them to make the decision by using some false scarcity tactics like a countdown timer or saying only a limited number of copies are available.
Because a prospect has made the decision to buy on their own terms, they’ll feel much better about their buying decision.
You’ll have earned their trust and you can use that to further build your relationship with them so that you can market other offers to them more successfully in the future.
So How Does This Tie In With Affiliate Marketing?
In general, affiliate marketers are given access to affiliate links and resources like image ads and emails that they can send out.
These are used to drive traffic to an offer.
However, when a prospect buys or signs up on a squeeze page, they go onto the sellers email list, not the affiliate’s.
That means that the affiliate has lost access to that prospect forever and it’s the seller who can market to that customer time after time.
The better affiliate networks will also pay affiliates on products that are in a seller’s sales funnel.
So yes, you can earn commissions on multiple products.
But what you, as the affiliate, don’t know is if the seller is offering products that are not in the “public” sales funnel to people on their list.
So you could be missing out on commissions as a result.
Typically, a sales funnel starts out with a low-priced product, offers higher-priced products in the funnel, culminating in one or more high-ticket products at the end of the funnel.
This tends to be where sellers make the bulk of their money. It’s far easier to sell one high-ticket product than tens of low-ticket ones.
The seller is quite within their rights to market products that you won’t earn a commission on.
After all, they own the email list that the buyers are now subscribed to.
So, to counter this, affiliate marketers have been creating their own sales funnels.
They select the front-end product, the upsells and any high-ticket products to promote.
These can all be from different sellers. But you, the affiliate, may think that some products complement each other better than the products in a seller’s own funnel do.
Yes, the prospect will be exposed to each seller’s funnel as well as the affiliate’s.
But the affiliate knows that a sale of any product in their own funnel will generate a commission.
That said, I still think that the Single Product funnel is the better approach from a customer-relationship point of view.
If a prospect ultimately does not buy into your offer, you still have them on your email list. And now it’s time to promote a different offer to them.
You can market to these prospects as often as you want, as they’re in your email list.
So the greatest advantages of building your own sales funnels are:
- You get to add prospects to your own email list
- Your email list is a business asset you fully own. It’s usefulness doesn’t depend on the whims or algorithm changes of Google, Facebook or whoever.
- Email marketing is still the best way make money online.
- You can market to your subscribers as often as you want.
- You can build your own unique sales funnels, combining products from a variety of sellers
As an affiliate marketer, you should never send people directly to an offer. You’re basically giving sole access to that person to the seller.
You should always send people to a squeeze page first – one that you own – and it’s only after they sign up there that you send them on to your affiliate offer.
This way, you’ve captured their email address and they are now part of your 100%-owned business asset – your email list.
How Do You Build A Sales Funnel?
If you use WordPress, there are plugins that will build squeeze (optin) pages and other types of funnel page for you.
But creating an actual sales funnel is not the easiest. These plugins are great at creating individual pages rather than an entire funnel. It can be done, but you need to be very organized and keep track of how each page relates to another.
Another approach is to use a service like Clickfunnels that’s designed exclusively for building sales funnels. There’s a link to a review in my bio below if you want to know more.
With a service like this, you don’t even need your own website. The tool can do everything for you.
I hope you now see the advantages in creating your own sales funnels, whatever tool you end up using to create them.