For beginner affiliate marketers, the term “sales funnel” may sound intimidating. However, implementing one has helped to boost my affiliate sales. In this post, I will outline some sales funnel basics for beginners to demonstrate that a sales funnel is not intimidating at all.
There are several strategies and software that you’ll need to put into place, but for the most part, it is fairly basic. As for my online business, I do like to keep things simple so the funnel strategy that I use is also low-cost.
I’ll outline how I use a sales funnel and what software I use to make everything run on autopilot. Let’s dive in!
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What is a Sales Funnel and How Does It Work?
A sales funnel is a method of collecting targeted leads (prospective customers) in order to be able to market to these leads and increase sales.
The process of collecting targeted leads works by requesting a visitor’s email address and possibly other information such as a first name, phone number, etc., depending on your needs.
You can do this by creating a landing page also referred to as an opt-in or squeeze page. Your opt-in page will need to consist of a sign-up for and some type of lead magnet.
A lead magnet is an incentive offered to your web visitors in exchange for their contact information. It could be a free eBook, short report, email course, or video.
Below is a screen capture of an opt-in page I created for a past sales funnel:
In the example above, I was only collecting my visitor’s email address in exchange for a free 5-day email course which served as my lead magnet.
That is how I start all of my sales funnels. I create an opt-in page and place my lead magnet details on the page. Then I add my sign-up form which is provided by the email marketing software that I use.
How to Create an Opt-in Page
I create all of my opt-in pages myself as I have a background in web design. However, you don’t need any web design experience to create your own opt-in pages.
You can easily do so using WordPress and a WordPress theme such as GeneratePress. You copy your sign-up form code from your email marketing service and paste it into your blog post.
Otherwise, you can use landing page software like Leadpages, use a pre-made template and modify it to your specifications. Leadpages integrates with a lot of email marketing services such as AWeber, GetResponse, Constant Contact, and many more.
Which Email Marketing Service is Best?
I’ve experimented with my fair share of email marketing services. Attempting to choose one can feel overwhelming for a beginner. Many of these services have a lot of features.
For example, GetResponse offers landing pages, marketing automation, and more. Convert Kit offers similar features. However, my go-to email service is AWeber.
AWeber also offers landing pages and email automation. I like using it because it does what I need it to do very easily.
I wanted an easy to use autoresponder service and AWeber offers that plus a lot more when I’m ready to implement other features.
An autoresponder is the ability to have pre-made email messages send to your subscribers at specified times:
I like to put 7 to 10 autoresponder messages in my follow-up sequence. This is part of the autopilot aspect of communicating with your subscriber list.
An autoresponder is a great way to stay in contact with your subscribers without you having to spend the time to send out messages manually at specified times.
You can send out email messages anytime you want to your list without adding them to an autoresponder. These are referred to as broadcast messages.
I like to send broadcast messages to my list when I have updates that I want to share such as a new YouTube video or blog post.
An email marketing service is essential to a sales funnel. You can get a feel for how email marketing works by signing up for a 30-day free trial of AWeber.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Sales Funnel?
As mentioned earlier, my sales funnels are fairly low-cost to create. I create my own opt-in pages and you can do the same using WordPress.
Otherwise, if you use a landing page creator such as Leadpages, plus an email marketing service like AWeber, you monthly costs can average around $60 per month.
This is well worth it as a sales funnel can help increase your overall affiliate sales. Plus, you can create multiple email lists and landing pages each time you create a new affiliate campaign.
How I Use a Sales Funnel in My Online Business
My online business did not always consist of utilizing a sales funnel. I got started in affiliate marketing by creating a niche blog.
It is how I got started and what I continue to do today to earn a consistent income online by promoting affiliate products.
A niche blog is simply a blog that focuses on one topic. There are tons of niches that you can choose from.
When I got started with my own niche blog, I didn’t know how to earn income with it. Instead of trying to figure it all out on my own, I searched for an online training program and found this one.
Implementing what I learned within that training helped me to make significant progress and led to me transitioning out of a full-time retail job to working on my blog full-time.
Adding a Sales Funnel to My Business
I admit, it took me quite a while before I decided to add a sales funnel to my online business. For the longest time, I didn’t understand the value of having one.
It wasn’t until I finally did that it clicked for me. The way it works is that I created my opt-in page with my lead magnet and sign-up form.
I drive traffic to this opt-in page using my blog as well as YouTube and my social media accounts.
Over time, people visit my opt-in page and sign up to my mailing list. I receive new subscribers on an almost daily basis.
When someone signs up to my email list, my autoresponder message sequence kicks in and sends my messages as scheduled.
Each time that I create a new affiliate campaign to promote a specific affiliate product, it consists of a niche blog, email list, and opt-in page.
Closing Thoughts On Sales Funnel Basics
To recap, a basic sales funnel consists of an opt-in page and email marketing software. I drive traffic to my opt-in pages using my niche blog and YouTube channel.
Don’t underestimate the power of a sales funnel. I hope these sales funnel basics have provided you with a better understanding.
If you are ready to get started with earning a consistent income online, consider following the same step-by-step training program I used.
I am part of that same training program platform today as I use it to help others one-on-one with creating their own niche blogs.