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Tips and Guides

How to Build an Effective Affiliate Marketing Funnel

Andrej Csizmadia

November 26, 2019
Last modified on September 24, 2022 at 11:45 am

Are you new to affiliate marketing and looking for the best affiliate marketing funnel to boost your product sales? If yes, make sure you read this guide.

Let’s first get familiar with the concept of affiliate marketing.

The concept is actually simple. In affiliate marketing, a company signs up an individual or other companies, known as affiliates, to sell its products.

The affiliates are usually webmasters or influencers who use advertisers’ ads to sell their products and charge a specified amount as a commission or referral fee based on their performance. The performance is measured in terms of clicks, conversions, registrations, sales, leads, etc.

How to Build an Effective Affiliate Marketing Funnel
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However, as easy as it may seem, convincing people to buy your product is not that simple. You need proper strategy and planning to promote your product to the relevant audience and persuade them to buy it.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the affiliate sales funnel. If you want to know more about generating affiliate sales then make sure you follow this guide.

We’ll also discuss how you can build an effective affiliate marketing funnel for your campaign.

So, let’s begin:

Why Affiliate Marketing Funnel?

How to Build an Effective Affiliate Marketing Funnel

Before diving into the details of the affiliate marketing sales funnel, it’s good to know what a sales funnel actually is.
An affiliate marketing sales funnel is a defined path that a consumer takes before purchasing a product or service. It includes different steps for potential customers so that they can easily move towards purchasing the core product thus generating your sales.

The purpose of a sales funnel is to sell a product or service or to entice leads for a marketing campaign.

An effective sales funnel:

  • Offers increased value to potential customers with each step in the process.
  • Provides good solutions to the customer’s problems.
  • Maximizes the leads (actions taken by the visitor).
  • Makes you a “go-to” person in your niche with trusted opinion.
  • Helps you to earn buyers’ trust so that they can come back to you again and again.

Choosing Affiliate Products

Selecting the right affiliate product to promote is often a major area of neglect.

Many affiliates complain of not getting sales even if they put a lot of hard work into promoting the products. The problem is choosing the wrong products. When you make your decision based on what others are selling, higher commission rates, or popularity, you’ll not end up getting good results.

A good rule of thumb is choosing a particular niche before choosing an affiliate product. Go for a niche that has a lot of high-quality products as well as a good commission rate.


Here’s a quick list of preferred affiliate marketplaces that you can join as an affiliate:


Clickbank is a huge affiliate marketing website that primarily focuses on selling information products like e-courses or e-books etc. It has been around since 1998. Clickbank is a diverse marketplace with a lot of product options that you can pick and choose to promote based on your target audience.


ShareASale is a popular affiliate network having around 4,800 merchants. Depending on the merchant you decide to work with, there is a huge library of products to choose from and promote. Besides that, ShareASale offers flexible payment options with quick payouts, which are a great plus.


JVZOO, popular for selling internet marketing products, was founded in 2011 and has successfully made its mark as one of the best affiliate programs. Fees for the merchants are charged after a sale is done and JVZOO pays you an instant commission rather than on a weekly or monthly basis.


Some of the other affiliate programs that you can also consider are Amazon Associates, MaxBounty, Shopify, SEMrush, or other in-house affiliates in your niche.

Characteristics of a Good Affiliate Program

Solves Problems

You hold a better chance of earning a great commission if you go for a product that helps fulfill people’s needs. If you find such a product, do not miss a chance to promote it as many people will buy it to satisfy this need.

Recurring Commission

Choose affiliate products that offer lucrative and recurring commissions. When you sell a product with a recurring commission, you keep on getting a commission as long as the customer keeps using that product. That’s a great way of generating a stable passive income because you do not have to make any additional effort to sell a product to that customer again. It’s like a snowball effect.

How to Build an Effective Affiliate Marketing Funnel

Product Assortment

A good thing to consider to help boost your sales, is choosing an affiliate product that belongs to an assortment of related products. Consumers are more likely to purchase more than one product from the same line or developer. For example, when someone purchases an Apple iPhone, they are likely to buy other Apple products as well.

Track Record

Before finalizing a choice of products to promote you should do a thorough research, based on the product’s recognition and the track record of the product developer. The higher the brand recognition, the easier it is to sell a product. If a potential customer trusts the brand, half the job is already done.

Types of Affiliate Marketing Funnel

There are different types of funnels you can consider for promoting your affiliate product:

Course Funnel

In a course funnel, a low-priced course is created in order to get more people enrolled in the main affiliate product. It is a conversion-boosting strategy for customers to buy a small-priced course that supplements the main product.

More often, when someone enrolls in your course, they need to buy your affiliate product to implement what you teach in your course.

There are several platforms like Teachable, Thinkific, Podia, etc. which allow you to host your courses and craft them strategically. These platforms let you focus on marketing your courses without the need to deal with technicalities.

You just have to make sure that you are providing enough value to your customers to boost affiliate conversions.

In some cases, when customers buy your course, it is better to drip feed the lessons to them so that they don’t binge-watch your course. Plan the entire course and only provide access to the next lessons at specified times.

Webinar Funnel

A webinar funnel is all about attracting your target audience, inviting them to attend your free webinar, and then leading them towards the objective. The objective can be to provide valuable training or to promote your product.

If you want to maximize the show ups in your webinar, you may consider hosting the webinars at very low prices. This trick works because people show commitment to the fee they have paid and at least watch the webinar if not purchase the product. In this way, you can get a great show up rate and promote your brand or product to the maximum audience.

A free webinar however works for most new businesses.

Usually, when hosting free webinars, you get a show-up rate of around 30% to 35% percent whereas in the low-priced webinars, it can reach up to 70% to 80%.

Suppose, you are hosting a free webinar. You get 100 registrations but only 25 people show up. On the other hand, if you host the same webinar for a low price, you will see 70 to 80 people attending the webinar.

Book Funnel

Among all the successful sales funnels, a “free plus shipping” book funnel works wonders, especially when you have a limited customer acquisition budget. Here, you provide the physical books for free and charge only for shipping.

When looking to buy a great book, everyone loves to see the “free plus shipping” offer. It is a great way to make people interested in not only your product but your brand as well.

How to Build an Effective Affiliate Marketing Funnel

Russel Brunson is the perfect example, when it comes to leveraging the book funnel to onboard great qualified people to his product, ClickFunnels. Instead of offering something cheap, you offer something for free and continue upselling to that customer as you keep providing more value.

Mechanics of the Funnel

How to Build an Effective Affiliate Marketing Funnel

There are some important mechanics of a funnel that you need to pay attention to for building a successful sales funnel that generates leads. Have a look at them:

Traffic Source

Your traffic can be of two kinds:

  • Organic – It comes from the people who try to find answers to their queries through search engine results. Search engine optimization (SEO) is used to rank high in organic search results. Check your rankings with the Google rank checker.
  • Paid – Paid traffic comes from visitors who click on the links in advertisements paid by businesses to promote their products. It can be of two types:
    • Push Traffic – As the name suggests, you try to “push” products to the target audience based on their online interests or behaviors. The traffic that comes from Facebook ads is an example of Push traffic.
    • Pull Trafic – Opposite is the pull traffic, where your customers already know what they are looking for. The customer is more interested in the purchase and is searching for information about the product actively in various places or search engines. Traffic from Google or Youtube ads is an example of pull traffic. Pull traffic converts better as it is likely to be more targeted.

Optin Page

An optin page or landing page is the first impression that a visitor gets about your website. It can instantly make or break your connection with that visitor. The purpose of an optin page is to make the visitors take action.

So, here are the things that you should focus on while designing an optin page:

  • Showcase authority – People always love to buy from authoritative sources or people. So, build your authority in your niche by selling good-quality products and providing honest opinions.
  • Scarcity – Provide a limited-time offer on your products and ask your audience to take quick action.
  • Showcase social Proof – Use social proof elements like testimonials, case studies, and reviews to enhance your credibility and show that your claims are honest.
  • Integrations – You can use apps like Zapier or Integromat to integrate and automate the processes that you are handling manually. These apps connect almost every web app/service and allow you to automate your entire workflow.
  • Pixel – Add a Facebook pixel to your landing page and retarget people on Facebook who’ve already visited your page.
  • A/B Split Test – A/B split testing lets you know which titles, headings, keywords, or emails work best for your funnel to increase conversions. Create two or more different versions of your landing page and test them on your visitors to see which one gets better conversion rates.


It’s time to offer your product. The offer should be valuable and relevant to the demands of your potential customer. While presenting your product, you have to appeal to their needs and promote the potential benefits.


Once a customer has bought your product or a prospect has clicked the call-to-action button, they are on your mailing list. It’s time to follow up, for example by email.

In your follow up communication, you need to try to move your customers further up the funnel and stay in touch. It’s important to message them regularly so that you and your brand stay on their radar.

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Wrap Up

Which sales funnel works best depends on your product and your business. Different sales funnels are best for different niches and work in their own way.

So, before selecting a sales funnel for your next affiliate marketing campaign, it is better to understand your affiliate product first. After gaining a good understanding of each funnel, map out your promotional plan. This is how you will be able to choose the perfect affiliate sales funnel for your campaign.

In case of any questions, please let us know in the comments.

Akshay Hallur

Guest Post Author

Akshay Hallur

Akshay Hallur is the founder of BloggingX, his blog BloggingX (previously GoBloggingTips) helps aspiring bloggers and businesses to leverage the power of the internet and content marketing to spread their brand message.

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