Optimizing the Affiliate Marketing Sales Funnel

Kristen IndiharAffiliate Marketing

Optimizing The Affiliate Marketing Sales Funnel

If you’re in the world of marketing or sales, you’re probably familiar with the word “funnel.” The traditional sales funnel, also known as the buyer’s journey, describes moving a potential customer through a set of stages to complete a desired action – the goal usually being a sale.

Brands use this conversion funnel as a visual road map to create a plan of action for their business, all of which is focused on the customer. How do we get our target audience into the funnel? Where are they dropping out of the funnel? What happens when they reach the end of the funnel?

What is an Affiliate Marketing Sales Funnel?

While traditional sales and marketing have their own funnels, affiliate marketers created their own funnel because they’re able to provide value in unique ways that advertisers wouldn’t be able to accomplish on their own. A study by Commission Junction found that having a diversified affiliate presence to assist in the path to purchase produced 88% more revenue per shopper than no affiliate presence.

Yet there’s a huge opportunity still being missed. Only 17% of affiliate customer journeys use more than one publisher. By using multiple publishers, this 17% saw higher order values than those brands only using one publisher type.

Before we dive deeper into the affiliate marketing sales funnel, let’s first break down the components of the traditional marketing sales funnel.

The Traditional Marketing Sales Funnel

In the traditional funnel you’ll find 6 stages:


This is the first step in the funnel, and without awareness the rest of the funnel doesn’t matter. Brands need to utilize marketing and sales efforts to get their name out there and promote their products.


Now your audience knows about your brand, how do you get them to stick around? Your website content, social media, and blog posts have to be enticing enough for them to want to learn more and buy the product.


Congrats! You’re halfway there. Your shopper has made it far enough to learn about what you’re offering – now they have to decide if it’s right for them.


If your shopper gets to intent, you’re extremely close to getting the sale. They’ve decided they like your brand and what you offer. Now it’s time to decide if they’re ready to commit.


Success! You got the sale. Your shopper went through all the proper stages to learn about your product and brand as a whole, and they’re convinced you’re a perfect match. Some brands think the funnel stops here, but they’re wrong.


Repeat customers are a vital part of what makes your business succeed. Getting your brand to connect with the shopper on a personal level will move them closer to you, further from the competitors, and ideally back through the funnel.

Where Affiliates Fit In

We mentioned earlier how affiliates put a spin on their own funnel. So let’s dive into how they help convert sales using the four stages of an affiliate marketing sales funnel.

Creating Awareness

One traditional form of affiliate efforts is having publishers place banners and ads that place your company front and center. This creates awareness for your business as you’re connecting with a wider audience that you wouldn’t have otherwise reached.

Building Credibility

Influencers are a great example of how affiliate marketing can build credibility, as they have a rapport with their audience. If an influencer is promoting an affiliate product on their feed and you’re a loyal follower, odds are you’re going to check out that brand for yourself.

Combining a variety of affiliate strategies is important to create an effective sales funnel. There are two more steps to the affiliate marketing funnel, but you’ll want to consider a different type of affiliate partner to help close the deal at the final stages.

Optimizing the Affiliate Funnel with UpSellit

You’ve got people on your website, they’re aware of your product, and the interest is there. Now what? It’s great to drive traffic to the site, but utilizing a technology partner like UpSellit is key to increase your conversion rates and close the deal.

Generating Conversions

UpSellit can create hundreds of solutions at every stage of the funnel to convert your existing traffic. UpSellit’s CRO technology effectively monitors when visitors are about to abandon your website and can re-engage the shopper to keep them on your site.

Usually, abandonment would result in this potential customer leaving the funnel, and you’re back to square one. However, with UpSellit’s abandonment technology, we’re able to re-engage that shopper with a strategic message or incentive to drive them back to that path to purchase.

This shows how crucial it is to have a strategy for every stage of the funnel, otherwise, you’ll be missing out on conversions that could have easily been recovered.

Nurturing Customers

Another important piece of the affiliate funnel puzzle is nurturing customers. On abandonment, UpSellit can use its Lead Capture technology to present the most relevant messaging and engagement to collect an email.

If the user doesn’t finish a form, UpSellit’s Pre Capture technology can intelligently collect the email within the guides of global compliance for remarketing.

Both of these strategies allow for UpSellit to execute a personalized email campaign that will remind the shopper of your brand and drive them back to the website. No matter where they dropped off in the funnel, UpSellit can easily pull the shopper back in and place them back on the path to conversion.

3 Reasons to Work with UpSellit

Not sold yet? Here are three key reasons why choosing UpSellit as your technology partner is a great option for your business:

Pay-for-Performance Pricing: You only pay for the sales UpSellit generates, and we won’t cannibalize your other affiliate efforts. We can sign up directly through your affiliate program to make integration seamless and effortless.

Dedicated Team: Our technology doesn’t stand alone. Partnering with UpSellit means you have a suite of designers, account managers, and developers at your fingertips to ensure the campaign runs successfully without any heavy lifting on your part.

Customized Strategies & Technologies: After being in the business for over 15 years, we’ve been able to fine-tune our strategies and technology to help your brand succeed. We’re constantly monitoring and updating campaigns using our analytics dashboard to fine-tune all of our efforts.

Ready to accelerate moving customers through the funnel?

Check out our Advertise Purple Case Study to read how more brands like yours have found success by partnering with UpSellit.

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