October 08, 2020

How to Create an Effective Affiliate Marketing Funnel

Affiliate marketing generates billions of dollars in sales, helping some of the world’s largest corporations make sales. With the opportunity for every person to become an affiliate marketer, there’s a lot of money to be made.

The problem is that there’s more to it than just driving traffic to a website or offer to make a sale.

An affiliate funnel needs to be outlined and followed to help increase conversion rates and sales. You have to “sell” the consumer, and this requires you to have an affiliate marketing funnel in place that nurtures the lead.

What is an Affiliate Marketing Sales Funnel?

An affiliate marketing sales funnel is the way that the consumer, or person who is interested in a product or service, goes from awareness to purchasing. The standard marketing funnel will go through four main stages:

  1. Awareness is the first step of a funnel and dictates what happens when a prospect first enters the funnel. This can be a prospect that follows a link from social media, an eBook, newsletter or some other link. This is how you drive traffic to the funnel and get people to become interested.
  2. Interest is the next part of the funnel and will include how you educate the prospect. This can be articles that educate the reader so that they know how to solve their problems. If the user signed up for an email sequence, you may send out multiple mails to build trust and interest before trying to make a sale.
  3. Decision is a difficult stage because you have to “sell” the prospect. This is where you have a potential prospect land on a sales page where the affiliate funnel includes testimonials, reviews and other information that aims to get the prospect to buy your offer. There’s a lot of competition, and the competition will be trying to make a sale, too. If you don’t make the prospect think, they’ll go somewhere else.
  4. Action is the final step in a marketing funnel which includes the prospect taking action. The action that the prospect takes can be signing up for a newsletter, purchasing a product or taking the action that you want the prospect to take.

An affiliate funnel is often narrowed down further and can follow a three-step process, depending on the type of offer you plan on promoting. Sales funnels can be as simple as this if you’re targeting buyers that are trying to make a decision and ready to take action:

  1. Opt-in or sales page where the affiliate funnel leads to a landing page. The person may make a purchase, or they may choose to sign up for an opt-in list. If you’re trying to push the person into an opt-in, this is often done by offering something for free, such as a free PDF or guide for their email address.
  2. Thank you page where you thank the person for taking an action. This may even be handled by the affiliate company.

If you plan to start the affiliate funnel with an opt-in, you’ll go into the thank you page and then try and push affiliate offers. This is a great way to convert social traffic or potential buyers that are simply trying to expand their knowledge and better understand their needs.

Why Affiliate Marketing Funnel?

You’re probably wondering why an affiliate funnel is a good choice for you. If you’re making sales and have high conversions, your funnel may be optimized perfectly for your audience. But let’s assume that you’re converting traffic at a rate of 1%.

A funnel that is optimized or changed to better meet the needs of your prospects has the ability to increase this conversion rate to 2%.

You’ll make double the sales and generate twice the revenue from the same amount of traffic. Marketers have long used sales funnels because they work so well.

A lot of affiliates make the mistake of assuming that their sales are good, and they are satisfied with the money they’re making. But large companies, even Amazon, will optimize their funnel because they know that they can squeeze out more money from consumers.

You want to make more sales, and your funnel is able to do that.

The right funnel may mean the difference between converting people at a rate of 1% or a rate of 5%. 

How Do You Create an Affiliate Funnel?

If you’re not sure how to create a funnel of your own, you can follow the steps outlined above to optimize your funnel. There are a lot of different products and technologies that can also help with the process:

  • A/B testing to determine which landing pages convert at the highest rate.
  • Researching the customer to determine different aspects of your funnel and where the prospect may be in the funnel.
  • Optimize ads, posts or ways that you generate traffic for different funnels or portions of the funnel.

Start by sitting down and trying to determine what your funnel will look like based on the way that you generate traffic. Let’s assume that your offer is able to solve a problem, so you might sit down and research the pain points of the prospect.

These points may lead the prospect to your site to find a product, or you may create content or eBooks to help educate and nurture the lead.

As an affiliate marketer, you need to always try and optimize your site and funnel. When you add in new offers, be sure to add them into a funnel. The funnel can be as sophisticated or simple as possible.

Once you learn the basics, you’ll be well on your way to being more successful.


An affiliate marketing sales funnel is one of the best ways that you can begin generating more sales. Depending on the platform that you use, you’ll have different options to:

  • Track your affiliate funnel metrics
  • Analyze the funnel
  • Optimize the funnel

With split testing, conversion tracking, pixel tracking and landing page design, you’ll be able to generate more sales on the same traffic you’re receiving today.

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