The phrase, "Affiliates are an extended sales force for your business", which is often used to explain affiliate marketing, is not completely accurate. The primary difference between the two is that affiliate marketers provide little if any influence on a possible prospect in the conversion process once that prospect is directed to the advertiser's website. The sales team of the advertiser, however, does have the control and influence up to the point where the prospect either a) signs the contract, or b) completes the purchase.
Affiliate marketing has grown quickly since its inception. The e-commerce website, viewed as a marketing toy in the early days of the Internet, became an integrated part of the overall business plan and in some cases grew to a bigger business than the existing offline business. According to one report, the total sales amount generated through affiliate networks in 2006 was £2.16 billion in the United Kingdom alone. The estimates were £1.35 billion in sales in 2005.[19] MarketingSherpa's research team estimated that, in 2006, affiliates worldwide earned US$6.5 billion in bounty and commissions from a variety of sources in retail, personal finance, gaming and gambling, travel, telecom, education, publishing, and forms of lead generation other than contextual advertising programs.[20]
This topic is extremely broad; there are countless strategies for increasing visibility (and ultimately click rate) on your affiliate links, ranging from incorporating links into your content to sending emails to your newsletter list. Check out some of the affiliate marketing gurus on our Best Monetization Blogs overview for an extensive supply of tips and tricks for boosting the number of clicks your affiliate links receive.
I just went through "The Affiliate Funnel" from Adam and it connected all of the dots for me about how to setup a simple, effective funnel. From niche selection, to content, to squeeze pages, to testing and tracking it is all covered beautifully. I now know exactly what to do for all of it. I even learned how the president gets killer open rates on his e-mail messages. 
First off, thank you so much for this insightful blog post, it's exactly what I needed. But, my software vendor's affiliate program has a funnel of their own, requiring the prospect to sign up with their email address. Is it appropriate for me to collect the prospects email in the Opt-in page, and then expect the prospect to submit their email a second time in order to signup for the product free seven day trial? If appropriate, do you have any advice for how that should be structured?

Amazing article. One question I have is about how to avoid the risk of FB terminating an ad account for using it to drive traffic to this kind of landing page. The first part of that question is, do you think a simple opt-in page like you described (with no content other than a "hook" that FB might argue is deceptive) would result in the ad being disapproved and possibly the ad account at risk of being terminated? The second part of the question is do you think the FB ad itself would need to be toned down, or do you think it's safe to just repeat the hook? It seems like FB is getting more and more strict about this kind of thing.
You don’t want to put in all the effort but then have a funnel that just does not convert. So I’d like to help you out with 7 examples of affiliate marketing for optimizing your funnels for higher conversions. It’s likely that you are using some of these techniques – but hopefully you will find some valuable information below that you have not heard of before and can help you really move the needle.
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