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What is a Full Funnel Affiliate Marketing Strategy?

Affiliate Marketing Funnel

A full-funnel affiliate marketing strategy is a process of leading a customer to purchase a product or service from start to finish. In other words, it is a customer’s journey to completing a purchase. This process involves many touchpoints across an extended timeline before a purchase.

Successful full-funnel affiliate marketing will guide your customer through little to no knowledge of a product or service to convince the customer to make a purchase.

The 4-Stage Funnel Marketing Strategy (Most Common)

The most common funnel marketing strategy consists of four stages. This strategy considers the phases that a potential customer will take along their purchase journey. Sometimes referred to as the AIDA model (awareness, interest, decision, action), the stage names may vary but follow the same process.


Some customers may be aware of the product being offered. Despite this, you should assume that all customers are unaware of the product—therefore, it’s your job to educate them.

Awareness can be as simple as a blog post or a social media post. However, it is important to monitor your metrics continually. While a blog post may produce great success for one product, it may not yield the same results for another.


After the potential customer is aware of the product, they will next need to determine if they need or want to purchase it. People are more likely to purchase a product that they trust. Therefore, you must provide the reasons you trust this product.

Customers will not rely on your recommendation alone. Add other support such as case studies, testimonials, resources, or webinars. The key is demonstrating to the customer that the product is worth spending their hard-earned money on.


Targeted Affiliate Marketing Strategy

Once a potential customer has evaluated the product and its importance to them, the decision to proceed with the purchase may still be undecided. This stage focuses on facilitating that crucial choice: from prospect to committed buyer.

Crafting your affiliate marketing strategy, the decision stage calls for specific strategies to further entice your audience:

  • Engage with dynamic product videos: A real-life demonstration can push some customers toward a purchase.
  • Offer introductory rebates: A smart purchase, facilitated by a discount, can convince some to buy.
  • Implement live chat: This caters to those with immediate queries unwilling to call or wait for an email.
  • Deploy email and SMS marketing: These channels remind customers of your affiliated products.
  • Design an enticing loyalty program: Regularly rewarding returning customers ensures continuous revenue.
  • Provide free trials: Allowing product sampling with no commitment can sway prospects. Optimize web speed: Slow pages are customer deterrents.
  • Present limited-time offers: Such offers induce urgency and emotionally-based purchases.

Remember, some tactics will outperform others, and their effectiveness may vary over time. Keep track of conversion metrics to evaluate and refine your strategy.

Key decision stage metrics include:

  • Click-through rates
  • Email/SMS subscription rate
  • Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate
  • Web session duration

The 3-Stage Funnel Marketing Strategy

The 4 stage funnel marketing strategy can be condensed into only three stages. In this model, the loyalty stage is removed, and the focus is on awareness, consideration, and conversion.

TOFU- Top of the Funnel

When picturing a funnel, the widest part is the top. Thus, you try to capture as large of an audience as possible. Your potential customers are made aware of the products you have to offer them. Again, the goal’s to increase awareness at this stage through brand exposure.

MOFU- Middle of the Funnel

The middle of the funnel is where you create and provide the activities that lead your customer to the purchase. As listed above in the consideration phase, you lead your customers to the purchase by building a relationship of trust.

BOFU- Bottom on the Funnel

Finally, you convert the potential customer into a paying customer. This is the step where the customer makes the decision to purchase. This phase drives or incentivizes the purchase.

Leveraging Affiliates for Each Stage of the Funnel

A well-crafted full-funnel affiliate marketing strategy recognizes that different affiliates provide unique value at various stages of the customer journey. Here’s how businesses can align affiliates to each phase:

Awareness Stage

This is where potential customers first learn about your brand or product. To make the most impact at this stage, leverage affiliates with substantial reach, such as bloggers, vloggers, social media influencers, or news and media sites. These affiliates can generate engaging content that introduces your brand to a broad audience, putting your products or services on the radar of potential customers. Podcasters are also becoming an increasingly popular choice, providing another innovative way to increase brand awareness.

Consideration Stage

At this stage, potential customers are already aware of your product but are comparing it with others on the market. Affiliates that specialize in product reviews, such as review websites or niche bloggers, can provide an objective comparison or evaluation of your products, helping sway the customer’s decision in your favor. Expert or authority websites are also key players here, as their endorsements can significantly boost your product’s credibility and appeal, fostering trust among potential customers.

Conversion Stage

This is the stage where potential customers decide whether to make a purchase. Here, affiliates with a clear call to action can be instrumental. Deal or coupon sites are an excellent example, as they can offer your potential customers an attractive incentive to make a purchase. Cashback or reward sites can also drive conversions by providing customers with an added bonus for purchasing through them.

Loyalty Stage

After the customer has made a purchase, maintaining their loyalty becomes crucial. Affiliates that provide follow-up content, such as email newsletters, user communities, or repeat customer benefits, can assist in keeping your brand top of mind and incentivizing repeat purchases.

Why Having a Robust Full Funnel Affiliate Marketing Is Important

A robust full-funnel affiliate marketing approach is more than just a strategy – it’s a comprehensive roadmap that navigates a customer’s purchasing journey. From the initial stage of creating awareness and sparking interest to generating desire and ultimately leading to action, this approach embodies each step a potential customer takes before finalizing their purchase.

Adopting a full-funnel strategy places you directly in the customer’s journey. You can predict their needs, anticipate their queries, and provide timely solutions, increasing conversion likelihood. This approach enables you to understand each customer’s unique journey and allows for personalized interactions at every touchpoint.

Moreover, a full-funnel approach helps you uncover opportunities to engage with potential customers more effectively, ensuring that your messages are relevant and timely. By understanding each phase of the customer’s decision-making process, you can tailor your marketing efforts to meet their needs and preferences, making your strategies more efficient and engaging more meaningful.

Furthermore, this strategy helps you monitor and adjust your efforts in real time, optimizing your affiliate marketing initiatives. As customer behaviors and market trends evolve, so too must your approach. By implementing a full-funnel strategy, you can continuously refine your methods based on data and insights from each customer journey stage.

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