How to Build a Sales Funnel for Affiliate Marketing

social media funnel

Wondering how to build a sales funnel with social media?

If you’re new to marketing, building a sales funnel may feel like a daunting feat.

Even if you’ve been at it for a while, adding social media into an already successful campaign may feel like trying to re-engineer a Ferrari.

Sure, it can be done, but you should probably leave it in the hands of the experts.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone.

With expert guidance, you can determine why social-media sales-funnels are successful.

Then you can figure out how to insert it into your pre-existing funnel without affecting its success.

If you’re new to sales funnels, that’s alright. The sections below outline the process for creating a successful funnel for your small business.

When you’re ready to conquer your fear and add the powerful social media arsenal to your sales funnel, read on.

How Does a Marketing Funnel Work?

A marketing funnel goes by a variety of names, but they all mean the same thing:

  • Sales funnel
  • Digital marketing funnel
  • Digital marketing sales funnel

The reason sales funnels were originally created was to give salesmen a way to communicate about customer behavior.

They noticed that potential buyers went through different psychological and behavioral phases before they made a purchase.

The funnel was formalized by Elias Lewis in 1898. He broke this buyer’s journey into 4 distinct stages:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

Today, these stages are often referred to in the acronym form, AIDA. You may also see some of these stages broken down into additional stages.

New sales funnels may have anywhere from 4 to 7 stages.

For the sake of simplicity, we’ll stick to the 4-stage model in this article.

How to Build a Sales Funnel That Includes Social Media

If you’ve already built a successful digital sales funnel, it probably consisted of your website, sales page(s), and email marketing.

Some of you may have added an additional content marketing component. Others of you may have included an ad campaign, either print or digital.

If so, see if you can determine which elements of your current sales funnel fit into the following AIDA categories.


This is the step every small business owner starts with when they discover how to build sales funnels.

It starts with a potential customer realizing some aspect of their life is uncomfortable.

Examples include things like the realization that it takes the customer too long to wash dishes by hand or the realization that she has a sore tooth.

Marketers and salespeople call these “pain points.” They happen when a customer notices something is causing her difficulty.

That’s what the attention stage is all about: the recognition of a pain point.

In some cases, potential customers need a little help recognizing they have a problem in their life. One classic example is that of toothpaste.

When toothpaste first became popular, back in the early 1900s, it was thanks mostly to the efforts of Claude Hopkins.

He singlehandedly made the public aware of their need for the revolutionary paste.


Simple—he drew attention to the film on people’s teeth in one of the most famous ads in history. He told people they no longer needed to live with that film on their teeth.

The toothpaste, Pepsodent, became an overnight success, and the rest is history.

When you build sales funnels for social media, start with attention. What product or service are you selling? What pain point does it solve?

Now, how can you help your potential customers recognize this pain point?

If, for instance, Pinterest existed back in the early 1900s, perhaps Hopkins would have shown a photo of a woman scraping the crud off her teeth with her fingernail.

The caption underneath might read, “This film is gross!”


The interesting step is when your potential customer begins to actively seek a solution to her problem.

In Claude Hopkins’ era, she would have headed to the grocery or hardware store to see if they carried anything to remove the film from teeth.

Nowadays, she might have jumped online to see if any products existed to remove that film.

For business owners, this step is all about letting potential customers know you have a solution to their pain point.

If you were advertising toothpaste, you might create a new Pinterest photo.

This one would focus on a woman with clean, film-free teeth.

Underneath the photo, you would have your product name, your logo, and a caption which read, “Look, no more film!”


It doesn’t matter whether you’re focused on inbound marketing and using the latest content marketing ideas.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re focused on outbound marketing and designing Facebook ads.

This step of the sales funnel focuses on setting your product apart from similar products.

If we use the toothpaste example, what happens when our potential customer heads to the store and finds 30 different kinds of toothpaste? How does she know which one to buy?

What features set the best one apart from the others?

Your product also needs to have that one element that sets it apart.

Now you just need to use social media to tell potential customers what it is.

Will you post on Facebook that you have the lowest priced toothpaste on the market?

Or perhaps you use Instagram ads to tell the world that you have the only toothpaste made by monks in Sri Lanka.

Whatever it is, use social media to let the world know.


You must include this step in your funnel strategy if you want high conversion rates.

It’s where the call to action happens. In this step, your customer already knows you have the best solution to their pain point.

Now, she’s on the fence about handing over money for the solution.

This is the step at which social proof can give prospects the little nudge they need. Social proof comes in many forms:

  • Customer reviews
  • Testimonials
  • Certificates or Badges
  • Credentials
  • Celebrity Endorsements
  • Etc.

Because we’re focused on digital media, you want to place this social proof near your call-to-action. Your call-to-action is the element which you want customers to act upon.

You may want them to click a button, call your business number, or fill out a digital form.

Whatever it is, keep the social proof nearby. For the call-to-action, be sure to tell potential customers exactly what you want them to do.

This is usually called the “ask” in sales lingo.

  • Push this button
  • Call this number
  • Fill out the form below

You can add these elements to any form of social media. They’re best used in conjunction with your sales pages.

For instance, you build a Facebook post full of social proof with a link to your sales page.

Another example might be that you post a review from an industry expert who claims they chose your product above its competitors.

Then you ask potential customers to sign up for your email list.

The social proof and the call to action can come in many different forms. Just be sure to include them during this step of your sales funnel.

What’s Next?

Now that you have a better idea of how to build a sales funnel, take a few minutes to map out your strategy.

What problem is your product solving in customer’s lives, and what sets your product apart from its competition? Do you have social proof that backs these claims?

If you find yourself in need of need help, check out our list of content marketing companies that can help solve these problems for you.

So long and good luck!

Find affiliate manager jobs on Jooble.



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