Affiliate/Influencer marketing is considered one of the best methods to generate revenue today. It is the top marketing method for over 40% of all online businesses in the USA.
Well, It is definitely a great strategy for the e-commerce industry. But does it work if you are not part of an e-commerce business?
Can you use affiliate marketing if you rather offer high-ticket services?
Well, the answer is yes.
In fact, you could earn a lot more in less time via sales funnel affiliate marketing than using traditional marketing strategies.
This is because most affiliate marketers tend to be an influencer in a certain community or platform. And if you can have reliable people promote your high ticket offer, you are more likely to end up getting a huge turnover.
Today, you will learn how you can set up a profitable affiliate program to attract influencers who will promote your exclusive sales funnel and help you close more deals.
So let’s begin.
Step-by-step Process Of Recruiting Affiliates To Boost Sales Funnel Conversion
As grand, as it sounds, hiring affiliates is not quite a quick process.
You have to create a plan that will let you regularly get new affiliates on board while planning different funnels at different times of the year.
However, if you invest about 6 months to 1 year in recruiting affiliates, then moving forward, you have a chance to get instant results from all of your future campaigns.
You may follow the steps below to build an affiliate program designed to help you attract potential influencers and convince them to promote your funnels actively.
Step 1 – Create A Lucrative Affiliate Program As Lead Magnet
You probably already know that the main reason an influencer will refer your funnel campaigns is if they see the possibility of earning a good commission from it.
And to do so, you will need a well-planned affiliate program with a good commission rate.
1. Plan A Good Commission Structure
Take some time to analyze the profit you usually make from your high ticket sales.
For example, suppose you have a 6-months training program that costs a monthly fee of $500. After estimating your total expenses, you found out you earn an average of $200 per month as profit per client.
Based on your calculations and future business growth plans, you can choose how much you are willing to give away as a commission to your affiliates from this profit.
Let’s say you decided to give away $100 per sale to your affiliates.
This seems like quite a large fee. However, the big picture here is that once affiliates get involved, your total number of sales will likely be much higher.
Let me explain. If you currently get 30 clients per month, your profit amounts to about 30 x 200 = $6000. But if you have good influencers promoting for you, that number can grow to 100 clients a month. This means you will have a profit of 100 x 100 = $10000!
So the $100 per sale is actually a small amount to lose compared to the increase in the number of clients you may close.
The idea here is that since you are selling a high-ticket product/service, you can offer a high commission rate. And this will attract big influencers to get involved willingly.
Although offering a flat commission is the most popular approach, you may try a tier-based commission structure. Here you will you pay higher commissions to affiliates that can influence more conversions in your sales funnels. You may also consider offering recurring payments in case you have a subscription-based product/service.
2. Set up Rules and Regulations For Your Affiliate Program
It is natural for you to want more and more affiliates, but you do not want to be desperate about it. You do not want to end up with affiliates that will drive irrelevant, spammy traffic.
Create a set of guidelines & ground rules that you want your affiliates to follow to promote your product.
The requirements must be clear.
In fact, maintain a good screening process before you even accept someone as your affiliate. Ask the applicant to submit details such as their followers, social profiles, medium of promotion, etc.
Then, take some time to investigate if the applicant is right for you. If you are confused, you may even consider offering a video meeting before approving an affiliate.
While investigating, try to find out if his current promotion methods adhere to your guidelines.
For example, you may restrict promoting through cold emails as that may negatively influence your social authority. Plus, you may ask the affiliates to clarify during the promotional activities that he is not directly involved with you.
3. Create A Persuasive Affiliate Landing Page
If creating sales funnels is your strong suit, then copywriting is probably one of the skills you are good at.
Try to prepare a landing page dedicated to promoting your affiliate program.
Throughout the landing page copy, make sure to highlight the high commission, how your product is easy to market, and why your product is useful out there (with some real data).
Also, include a section to define who should apply as an affiliate. This often helps to avoid unwanted people signing up as affiliates.
For example, if you are a fitness coach, you would prefer influencers that offer tips and guides on body fitness and bodybuilding. You wouldn’t want an influencer that’s popular for business strategy because they will most likely get you irrelevant traffic.
So, simply pointing out a few qualifying facts directly, such as “Join and expect high turnover if you are a body fitness influencer, sports trainer, fitness blogger….” This will help to trigger the right affiliates to sign up.
This landing page will be a key element in recruiting the right affiliates for long-term success.
Step 2 – Setup Your Affiliate Program With Reliable Tools
Now, you have an affiliate program planned. But how will this work? How do you manage your affiliates, observe their performance, or calculate their commission?
Well, you will need reliable tools to make sure everything is accurate and mostly automated. Here’s how you can set it up in WordPress.
1. Use AffiliateWP to set up the basic affiliate program
AffilaiteWP is a brilliant plugin for running your affiliate program. It will give you full control over setting affiliate commissions, managing affiliate registration, and calculating commission payouts.
2. Use WPFunnels for your funnel campaigns
You would want a reliable sales funnel builder to create a convincing funnel journey for your sales campaigns. Plus, you will need it to be compatible with AffilaiteWP to avoid any payment calculation errors. In this case, you may consider using WPFunnels, the easiest WordPress funnel builder today and fully compatible with AffilaiteWP.
3. Choose Mail Mint for email marketing automation
After you recruit affiliates & influencers, and when you are ready to launch your future campaigns, you would want to use a reliable email marketing tool to manage email campaigns to inform your affiliates about the launch.
Plus, you would want to set up long-term nurturing emails to keep affiliates active. In this case, you may use Mail Mint, a simplified email marketing automation plugin for WordPress.
Step 3 – Active Affiliate Hunt (The Most Crucial Step)
Once your affiliate program is set up, it’s time to recruit affiliates.
Now this part is tricky. You cannot expect to get a lot of good affiliates signing up via organic growth. To speed up the process, you have to find other ways to bring it potential affiliates.
First, prepare a few sets of details that you will need to recruit affiliates successfully.
- Real data on the success of your campaigns in the past
An influencer will want to see how well people responded to your campaign. It helps them to decide if this will be profitable or not. It can be data on a couple of your past campaigns with numbers such as the number of leads you’ve reached, how many converted, and the revenue you earned from them.
- A case study/testimonial from real clients with data comparison of results
A testimonial or case study on how your service helped a client will be a great asset. If your service can really help a client achieve greater results, it means it will be easier to sell; plus, affiliates will have more confidence in referring your service to their audience. You will need some real comparison data.
For example, if you are a fitness trainer, you may show images of a past client who you successfully trained to reduce weight. Plus, include numbers, i.e., how much weight the client had at the beginning and how much lower it became after going through the program.
- A Promo Video To Introduce Your Expertise
This one is optional but helps a lot. You may create a promo video where you mention your expertise and in what ways you have helped your past clients. Here, you may use your data from testimonials and case studies. Turn your data into a video that clearly shows why you are the right person to work with on the subject matter.
Once you have these, you are ready to take the next step – deciding on ways to recruit affiliates.
Following are a few ways you can actively look for and recruit the best affiliate marketers to promote your funnel campaigns.
1. Outreach To Youtube Influencers
If you search on Youtube, you will find several influencers that create tactical videos on various topics and often refer to techniques or strategies they’ve learned from others.
In some of these videos, you will see that they will often ask the audience to visit a certain website or include links in the description. This usually helps to drive a good number of traffic if the audience is loyal to the channel.
You may find such video creators in your niche and reach out to them directly with a proposal to join your affiliate program.
For example, let’s say you are a business coach. Then look for people that create videos about business tactics, hacks, or strategies. If you can make the right pitch, they may find it worthwhile to join as your affiliate for promoting your campaigns.
The case study data and the data on your past campaign success can be briefly used in the email copy to grab their attention. And then you may directly invite them to sign-up as an affiliate. (Or even better, invite them to a call with you where you may convince them why promoting your campaigns is the right choice.)
2. Invite High-Value Influencers For Direct Collaboration & Affiliation
A unique approach to recruiting high-value influencers is to plan a direct collaboration.
Basically, you may invite a couple of influencers to join you for your next training campaign with their direct input.
For example, let’s say you are a copywriting expert and you are planning to host a paid 5-day BootCamp. Before you prepare your educational content, reach out to a few renounced copywriters who have significantly more followers than you. Offer them to work together with you in your next campaign with direct contributions and ask them to join a call with you for further discussion.
If an influencer agrees, then you can both create a more compelling copywriting BootCamp with inputs from each other. And since he will make direct contributions, you will be able to use his face value when promoting the BootCamp.
You can create a whole funnel offering a free Webinar initially and then asking prospects to join the BootCamp at a discount. And then, both of you may plan and distribute the sections that each of you will cover during the BootCamp.
However, you may have to agree to a profit share for this campaign.
But that’s fine. Once this campaign is over, now is your chance to make him your long-term affiliate.
Simply offer him a high commission rate to help you promote your future campaigns. Since he has worked with you in one campaign, many of his audience are now familiar with you. So he will have some grounds to promote your next sales funnel campaign.
If you agree to offer a higher commission than usual, many such influencers will happily agree to help you out.
4. Take Help From Affiliate Network Sites
A common approach many take is to host the affiliate program on well-known affiliate networking platforms.
Following are some of the platforms you may look into:
You need to invest some time in understanding these platforms, as they each have different ways to help you recruit affiliates.
5. Share On Social Communities via Facebook & Reddit
There are several communities on platforms such as Facebook, Reddit, etc., where you will find marketers trying to help each other grow. You may share your affiliate program there.
Plus, you will find communities for bloggers and content creators that often try to create a share thread to increase instant views. You may share your affiliate program there. Some of them will decide to join the affiliate programs, which is good because many of them often have a notably good website or many followers on social media.
6. Ask For Help On Quora
It may seem unlikely, but Quora is well-populated with marketers who look to find opportunities at all times.
- You may post a question asking for help to increase the number of affiliates in your affiliate program, along with the link to your affiliation program landing page. Many will end up signing up themselves before answering your question.
- Answer questions about where people can grow as affiliates and suggest a few affiliate programs there, with your one being one of them. This will avoid spam filters, and you may get a lot of potential affiliates.
7. Build Your Like-minded Community on Facebook
If you offer a high-ticket service, then down the line, you will probably have to create a social community yourself to maintain constant growth.
Basically, you may often have to run lead generation campaigns before promoting your main sales funnels with the high ticket offer. During this campaign, you may ask your leads to join a specific group on Facebook that you maintain.
This group should not be specific to your promotions only. It should be a group where people may discuss topics related to a certain industry with an open mind.
Your agenda would be to keep the group members engaged with useful advice or engaging questions from time to time. Plus, you may contribute by answering one or two questions from others. And as I said, these should not be related to your service or offer.
What this will do is it will gain the confidence of the group members to interact with posts and comments. Later, when you launch a sales campaign, you may share it here for instant exposure.
Likewise, you may also share your affiliate program here. Many members may end up having a good number of followers or may even be students who have already taken your service and will help spread the news of your next campaigns as affiliates.
8. Run Paid Ads For Affiliate Recruitment
One of the things people don’t do is run Paid Ads for growing affiliate programs.
You see, most people think running Ads for the campaigns themselves is a better option. But try to see the bigger picture. If you rather invest in running Ads to promote your Affiliate Program, then over time, you will build up a large number of affiliates.
Let’s say after 1 year when you launch a new campaign, you will have to work hard and prepare new Ads to get clients. However, if you have a large group of affiliates, they will help you spread the word much faster than you do on your own.
Step 4 – Make Affiliates Promote For You
Recruiting affiliates is a continuous process. You have to put the effort into getting more and more affiliates from time to time.
However, the real challenge is making your affiliates do what they are meant to do – promote your sales funnel campaigns.
You see, the biggest issue you will face is that you will get a lot of affiliates who will promote one of your campaigns and then never promote your future campaigns again.
But if you are part of a high-ticket business, chances are, you don’t always run the same campaign.
Sure, if you have a fixed service you provide, then a single video on your service can be created by an affiliate, and it will be good enough. They can just re-share their content in the future from time to time.
But If you are a business coach, fitness trainer, motivational speaker, marketing expert, or course creator, you will probably have different types of campaigns at different times of the year. In that case, chances are, you will have different types of campaigns at different times of the year. You could host a webinar in January while launching a challenge funnel in April, followed by a 30-day training program in July, and so on. So they all won’t be the same.
To make sure your affiliates promote every campaign you run, you need to plan a few tactics that are quite commonly known but not necessarily followed.
Let us look at some of these tactics.
1. Send bi-weekly emails with reasons to promote your services
Set up emails to be sent every two weeks with some benefits of promoting your services, whether the benefits are for the affiliates or their audience will get.
The idea is to always make them feel like promoting for you will be profitable for them, and promoting your services will be easy.
2. Inform your affiliates 1 or 2 months prior to launching your campaign
For any sales campaign you plan, share the launch dates and the timelines of your campaigns with your affiliates at least one month, if not two, prior to the launch.
Then, over the next few weeks, share details of your campaign and ask for suggestions.
Also, you may invite some of your largest affiliates to get on a call with you to plan an eventful launch.
Send them useful resources such as content, images, and USPs to help them get ready to promote as soon as the launch is live. They may consider announcing your upcoming launch 1 week prior to creating some hype.
You may even plan a lead generation process by asking affiliates to share an opt-in form for potential clients to get early notification about your launch. It will give you a good number of leads that will come in handy in the future.
Overall, the idea is to keep your affiliates in the loop early so that they, too, can plan a well-organized promotion for your campaign.
3. Issue an affiliate contest from time to time
Throughout the year, you could host 2 or 3 affiliate contests where you may challenge affiliates to get you more sales for a grand prize.
For example, you may announce that whoever gets you the highest number of sales in the upcoming campaign will get a reward of a $5000 bonus on top of what they earn as a commission. And the next nine affiliates in line will get a $1000 bonus each.
This will act as a huge trigger for all of your active affiliates. They will try harder than usual and create a more conversion-optimized promotional plan to win this contest.
**This tactic can only be used if you already have active affiliates that help you generate more than 30k in revenue. In this case, you can afford to pay $14000 as a reward with the aim of reaching 80-100k in revenue.
4. Help affiliates to succeed
Even if someone is quite influential, it is foolish to assume he/she will be able to do it right when promoting your high-ticket offers.
You have to work on helping them succeed if you want to earn more with their help.
- Host educational sessions from time to time.
You may host sessions once every two months to educate your affiliates about your service and your target audience. You want to give them specific knowledge on what problems you solve for your target clients and what end results are expected. These will help affiliates plan their promotional activities more efficiently.
- Give promotional ideas for greater reach.
Sometimes, a few affiliates may not notice a certain promotional scope. For example, once an affiliate has created a video on a certain campaign, he doesn’t know what content to prepare next except to share this video with his audience. You may suggest him to create tactical videos or videos to highlight prospects’ pain points; give him a few topics to work on.
Plus, you may also train your affiliates to build their own affiliate bridge funnel, which will help them convert more of their prospects into your clients.
- Share analytics & useful data.
You would always want your affiliates to have authentic data that can help them highlight your service to their audience. So after every campaign or customer testimonial you get, share analytics and real data with your affiliates so they can prepare more curated content aimed at conversion.
5. Make timely payments as frequently as possible
Most affiliates are often annoyed by the fact that many companies do not release their payments too often.
Some have a high release threshold, while others have a 3-month to 6-month payment cycle.
This is very demotivating to affiliates. Try to set a release cycle that is at max 45 days, or else high-value affiliates will start losing confidence in you.
Best Practices When Managing Your Affiliates
Since we are talking about getting affiliates who will promote your sales funnels, it’s not as easy as hiring affiliates for e-commerce.
You should invest time in finding affiliates that are capable of giving you long-term results. Plus, you need to maintain a few best practices.
- Recruit affiliates that have a relevant audience.
- Give less priority in trying to sign affiliates that cover too many different types of audiences with no fixed niche.
- Consider the expertise of the affiliate in a similar field – the more knowledgeable he is, the better results he will deliver.
- Do not pay upfront fees unless they can offer you relevant data to prove a possibility of a higher ROI – ask them for analytics on relevant content; even better if you choose one of their contents and ask for analytics on that.
- Do not agree on profit share unless the affiliate directly contributes to the actual service/product.
- Curate your affiliate list from time to time by removing inactive or non-responsive affiliates for 3-6 months.
- Monitor affiliate performance and always keep close contact with the ones that get you the highest results.
Sales funnel influencer marketing is not too common, as people are often confused about how they should proceed with their promotional content.
But if you plan it right, then you can work with your affiliates and make them your key to revenue generation.
For you, the initial challenge would be recruiting long-term affiliates who are confident to promote your offers. So, in the early months, you must invest time in maintaining a healthy relationship with your affiliates and educating them about what you do and what you expect them to do in the long run.
They should feel that you want them to succeed besides making a profit. And the high commission rate, plus the transparency in data, will help you gain that trust.
Of course, how well you run your sales funnel campaigns will play a big part in gaining their approval. So make sure you use the right tools for the whole process.
But you can choose other similar tools that you are comfortable with. The ultimate goal is to make sure you are able to manage your affiliates and run your sales funnel campaigns successfully.
So go ahead, and build your affiliate army to help you grow your business.