Sales funnels are simply procedures or processes employed by
online marketers and business owners to convert prospects (attention) to customers.
When we mention sales funnel, there is the need to always think
of it as an online marketing term or an affiliate marketing term, but in reality, it is a common procedure used by practical business owners and enterprises to compete
for attention, and utilizing such attention as an advantage for increasing
However, in relation to affiliate marketing, creating a
solid sales funnel depends on your understanding of how Inbound marketing works
and how to integrate it when promoting affiliated products or services.
Understanding inbound marketing should gear towards how it works
in relation to content marketing, because content marketing for affiliates
remains the most important piece of the puzzle while trying to generate revenue from promotional
Understanding the Inbound Marketing Strategy in Relation
to Content Marketing
Inbound marketing in a broad spectrum is increasing brand awareness by providing
authentic content through, blogs, vlogs, or social media platforms, in order
for people or prospects to organically recognize your brand and services. Inbound
marketing reduces the cost of advertising, with the use of content marketing.
Carving out an effective sales-funnel that runs on autopilot
through this marketing concept remains the future for entrepreneurs in affiliate marketing.
Inbound marketing in relation to content marketing
structures a sales funnel with the; TOFU (Top of the Funnel), MOFU (Middle of
the Funnel), and BOFU (Bottom of the Funnel), this is the most common funnel structure
for deriving results and income.
The TOFU stage is the attraction of prospects through
content creation, e.g., YouTube Videos, blog
posts, webinars, etc.
*The MOFU stage engages the prospects, telling them more
about a product, brand, or service, through a landing page or capture page.
*The BOFU stage is where prospects are expected to
convert to customers or leads. Here you are expected to have Email subscribers,
blog audiences, social media follows, etc..
Most affiliate marketers and online advocates are used to the idea
that a sales funnel following this procedure is better suited for an inbound
strategy, but it is not entirely the case, especially for the beginning stages
of affiliate marketing. Sometimes such procedure can be employed as an outbound
marketing strategy, before a gradual transition, occurs.
For the sake of those not familiar with
marketing, it is simply structuring a sales funnel through paid advertising
and striking conversations with your target audiences to solicit attention.
Online marketers avoid the outbound approach because it
normally requires a big budget for ad spend, but this is more of a long term
At the beginning stages, most online experts employ the
outbound strategy in their sales funnel before transitioning into the inbound
strategy (I.e., before they started relying more on content creation), the
question is how and why?
Transiting a Sales Funnel from Outbound Marketing to
Inbound Marketing (autopilot)
As a startup affiliate
marketer or online entrepreneur, there is zero attention to your brand or
and even if contents are created
at this stage, little or no attention is derived (nobody notices), so the best
option to gather attention is using an outbound strategy, I.e., advertising and
striking conversations through; PPC advertising, paying for Solo ads, SEM, requesting
for backlinks, etc. It, therefore, becomes the required TOFU method for attracting prospects.
After attention is derived from your advertisements and
conversations, then your landing pages or webpage further engages your prospect
to give them details about
or products with the aim of turning prospects to leads and conversions. This is
the MOFU point.
The transition creeps in at the BOFU stage, when
leads and conversions are finally achieved (meaning you now have some attention
to your product or service) gradually setting your sales-funnel into autopilot, and giving you a good amount of attention to sustain, without having to
run any further advertisements, or without having to strike too many promotional
conversations in the future.
See more step-by-step process of this transition at the beginning stages of affiliate marketing:
The transition is quite smooth, and it sets a fine line between
the beginning stages and a breakthrough of the advance stage in online sales because the advance stages of a sales funnel are auto-piloted
(Inbound Marketing), whereby you sustain leads and customers just through email
updates and content creation, without having to spend time & money on promotion.
The Importance of this Transition to Beginners in
This transition is important at the beginning stages of
establishing an online career in marketing. It has proven to work among online
experts, and it is through such transition that they generate a decent amount
of income from their sales funnel without having to advertise.
The key point is the smooth evolution of a sales funnel from
needing attention by campaigning for it, to where attention finds it without
promotional campaigns but through content creation only.
As a startup, it is still possible, to begin with, an inbound
marketing strategy in structuring your TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU, I.e., your TOFU
stage strictly grow audiences and attract audiences through SEO and social
media influence, but it takes time, and even more time if little or no
advertisement (outbound) is performed.
In previous articles, I have always mentioned that for contents
to rank for SERPs on Google is highly competitive, and sometimes affiliate
marketers don’t want to go through the 6months to a year wait of growing
customers organically, so they prefer running ads and paying for automation
tools to ensure their funnels stay active in generating income ten (10) times
In summary, a sales funnel remains a pattern that can easily
align with an effective strategy. In most cases, if a sales funnel does not get
the deserved attention needed it becomes weak and non- effective, because
attention is what every marketer needs to convert.
It is important to note that a sales funnel’s transition from
an outbound strategy to an inbound strategy should not occur frequently. The
transition is meant to last for a long period of time ( getting attention and
sustaining it without losing it).
If it does happen
frequently (meaning you keep losing attention after advertising to get it) it
means the product or service you are affiliated with is not in demand or your marketing
content is poor (or you are not just providing enticing content that could sustain conversions).
Also, a sales funnel stuck on the outbound marketing stage
would always require money and promotional effort to attract prospects which is
not a healthy business practice.