Internet Marketing From Home

Sales Funnels For Affiliate Marketers – the Method and the Madness

sales funnel for network marketers
What is it about sales funnels?
Marketers freak out over them, particularly if they’re trying to create one themselves (rather than using someone else’s funnel).
Of course if you are a newbie marketer the last thing you’ll want to do is develop your own sales or marketing funnel.  Neverthless if you’re looking for a company to work with, you should ask some hard questions about THEIR funnel.

What Is a Sales Funnel?

In the context of the direct marketing online world, a sales funnel has a number of key elements:
1. Opt In Page
2. Sales Page
3. Order Page
4. Upsell Page
5. Email Follow Up
Looks pretty simple, eh?  But like most things in marketing, the devil is the detail.  It’s all about the detail.  So let’s look at each of the above elements in more detail…..
Please note that I am talking here about driving traffic to an optin page with the express purpose of selling them something online.  This is a different approach to that which is used by direct sales people and network marketers.  All they want is to generate lead so they can phone them.
1. Opt In Page
Opt in pages must include a headline, opt in form, and privacy statement (and other compliance statements where appropriate).  The opt in form must include a field for the email address, at the minimum.  People often ask if they should also include other fields such as the prospect’s name and other contact details such as phone numbers etc.  The answer is ‘it depends’.  By adding additional fields you will reduce the response, but the tradeoff is that if you ask for the person’s name you may more effectively build a relationship.
Including a phone number field is not required for a typical low cost product offer, and will reduce response if you include it.  Of course if you are more of a network marketer, you don’t really need a sales funnel – a lead capture page is all that’s required.
It is imperative that the promise in your headline aligns with your market niche.  The best headlines identify with their audience and include a BIG IDEA or hook.  Here is an example:
“If You Are Overweight and Fed Up With People Laughing at You, There is a Little Known New Fat Burning Formula That is GUARANTEED to Lose 5 kilos in the First 35 Days, Or You Don’t Pay.”
If you are an affiliate and promoting someone else’s affiliate offer, it is ideal if you create your own opt in page and then drive people to the company’s sales page.
2. Sales Page
A good sales page should include great copy that powerfully articulates the product proposition.  It should also feature a compelling offer, which should also include bonuses if the prospect buys now.  A money back guarantee is usually included in the offer.
Prospects should be asked to buy multiple times so the Order Button will often be distributed at selected intervals throughout the sales copy.
Some of the best sales pages now include lot of video content as well.  Some marketers have extended the video idea by offering ONLY a video on the sales page.  However, the best marketers will include the option of text for people who can’t (maybe they’re at work, or have slow internet speeds), or won’t watch a video.
3. Order Page
The best order pages restate the key elements of the offer.  They will often also include a video to reinforce the sales message, and remind people that the bonuses are time limited (that is, they must complete the order NOW).  This will help to reduce the incidence of buyers remorse.
4. Upsell Page
Once the payment has been made, the customer will be taken to another sales page whereby they will be offered an add on product.  If they reject that offer, they will often be taken to other pages that contain other offers.
In relation to upsells it should be noted that many marketers get this wrong.  They try and make a big sale after the first sale has been consumated.  Looking at the way people buy out there in the real world we see that if someone has purchased a widget for $50, it is unikely they’ll also purchase something else for say $150.  It’s much more likely that they’ll be amenable to buying somethign  else that is not that much more expensive than the first product.  Exception to this Rule: Top tier marketers who simply use the first (low cost) sale as a prospect sifter.  In this instance a much higher price product will be offered but NOT on a sales page.  Instead it will be done via phone follow up.
5. Email Follow Up
Email follow up is imperaitve if you are to maximise the returns from your marketing expenditure.  The fortune is in the list and indeed my own modestly sized list was responsible for more than $100k of income alone, last year.
When someone first viisits your capture page they probably don’t know you from  a bar of soap.  But relationships can be built with your follow up emails.  Today I have people who have been on my list for more than 5 years because they like my stuff.
If you are a simple affiliate marketer without your own capture page you will have no control over what emails get sent to prospects, which is not ideal. However try and evaluate the publisher’s email content and see if it is of sufficient quality to justify you spending your time and money promoting them.  The best done for you funnel systems will give you the option of sending your prospects to your own autoresponder follow up sequence.

A Note for Top Tier Marketers

If you are marketing a top tier big ticket product your objective may only be to generate leads so you can phone them.  However, one of the top tier programs I am involved with combines the best of affiliate marketing with top tier marketing by selling an initial small ticket product first.  This product sells for $49 and helps marketers pay for their advertising and also serves to qualify prospects for the high end offers.  Usually people will not buy a top tier product without prior phone contact, but the advantage of getting people to buy a low cost product first is that phone sales people only spend their time with actual buyers.  A variation of this approach is to promote the completion of an application form.  Sometimes they are paid applications and sometimes they are free, but irrespective the application form method serves to screen out tyre kickers and low quality people.

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