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Affiliate Marketing Ideas – How To Get Started With Affiliate Marketing: Days 5-19 – Building The Optin Funnel

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Affiliate Marketing Ideas - How To Get Started With Affiliate Marketing Days 5 to 19 - Building The optin Funnel

What I’ve Been Up To – Building A Sales Funnel Completely For Free!

It’s been a few weeks since I last posted about my “re-starting affiliate marketing as a complete beginner” project.

I have been busy on it and I’ve been doing a lot of work behind the scenes to get the initial phase of the project off the ground.

That entailed creating an optin funnel, email list, email sequence and a lead magnet and some housekeeping work to connect everything up.

So, in my last post I covered how to set up a professional business email address for free…

Connecting Up My Business Email Address In Systeme

As I mentioned in previous posts on this project, I’m using the Systeme all-in-one marketing platform for everything.

I’ve never used Systeme before, so I have come at it as a complete beginner.

The reason you need a business email address is that it can be authenticated in a number of ways to show that it is an email address belonging to a real person.

The authentication methods mean that the emails I send out stand a much, much better chance of landing exactly where I want them to go – to the Inbox of subscribers.

That also means my emails should not appear in the Promotions tab in GMail.

The first thing I needed to do was to get my partnershipprofitsplan.com domain verified in Systeme.

This involves adding some CNAME records to the DNS settings for that domain over on my domain registrar and waiting until the changes had been recognized and verified.

Systeme Mail SettingsClick the image for a full-sized view

Next, I added my Sender email address – the free business email address I created – and my name and I put a different email address into the Test email address box that I check regularly.

I could have used my business email address here (the two email addresses on the page don’t have to be different).

The Automatically send a test email when saving a newsletter option is ticked by default, so I left that alone.

I haven’t added any static footer for emails, at least not yet, but this would typically be a list of links you want to add at the bottom of every email.

The Display my affiliate link at the end of each email I send option is also ticked by default so why change it?

That’s just one affiliate marketing aspect of the funnel I’m building and I do like Systeme, so I’m happy to promote it.

As an aside, if you had a Clickfunnels account in the past (now referred to Clickfunnels Classic), Systeme’s editor is almost identical to that.

Since I still have that version of Clickfunnels myself, that made creating the funnel pages in Systeme much faster as I didn’t have to learn how to use its editor from scratch.

I would prefer to have a drag-and-drop editor but the block-based editor Systeme uses is fine.

Finally, I changed the text in the Unsubscribe link text box from the default “Unsubscribe” to something a little more user-friendly: “If you want to stop receiving these emails, simply click here.

Once my domain was verified, Systeme was hooked up to the free business email address I already set up on Zoho.

Picking A Lead Magnet To Promote

A lead magnet is the free gift you offer to potential email subscribers to get them to sign up to your list.

I didn’t want to give away just some report or ebook – there’s a million of those types of offers out there.

I wanted something more unique.

Maybe you’ve noticed that ChatGPT is the hot topic of the moment.

If you’ve not heard of it, it’s an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system that creates all kinds of content and can do research for you.

It can quickly create the kind of content most marketers don’t enjoy writing – things like blog posts, articles, emails, headlines, finding citations and references, video scripts, copywriting and so on.

So using the tool can save you a huge amount of time and improve your productivity.

AI is the way of the future and its arrival for us mere mortals back in December 2022 is really shaking things up in the marketing landscape.

So, with all that in mind, I decided that my lead magnet would be about how to use ChatGPT.

But again, I didn’t want a lead magnet that someone had to read because most such products just end up gathering digital dust somewhere on a hard drive.

Visual media is far more engaging to people (just look at the popularity of YouTube and TokTok), so I decided what I needed was a video course on ChatGPT.

Now, while I’ve dabbled with ChatGPT, I’m no expert in how to use it.

Plus, I’m not a fan of being on camera so creating my own course for these two reasons was out of the question.

The solution?

To buy the PLR rights to a course that has already been created by someone else.

AI Marketing Video Course

The PLR rights were pretty cheap at $37 but they are an additional cost to me starting out (again) as an affiliate marketer (for this project).

If you have expertise in some topic, you could always create your own course for free and use that as a lead magnet for your own optin pages.

Paying money for a lead magnet is not necessary and, if you can create your own lead magnet, you will have something that is absolutely unique.

And uniqueness sets you apart from other marketers out there and means you’ll likely get more subscribers.

Hosting The Lead Magnet

Video Hosting

One thing I forgot to check with Systeme is if I could upload videos to it and have them hosted there.

It turns out that you can!

Systeme makes the process of hosting videos, images, and audio an easy and time-saving process.

They offer unlimited storage for your media, including your videos.

Just one thing to note: the file size for a video cannot exceed 2GB. For the fastest loading time, they recommend that you upload videos no larger than 100MB.

You can read more about uploading videos to Systeme here.

I only learned about this feature in Systeme after I uploaded all the videos in my ChatGPT course lead magnet to my Vimeo Plus account ($50/year).

Ah well.

Vimeo lets me control who can see my videos and what specific domains they will play on and I don’t know if such features are part of Systeme.

Nevertheless, you can upload videos – as many as you want – to Systeme.

So, with all the videos uploaded, I now had the links for each of the videos that I could use to create a course that subscribers could navigate.

Building The Course

The next thing I had to do was to build the course pages so that subscribers would be able to easily navigate through the various lessons and to provide additional info and links to resources mentioned in the videos.

Sample ChatGPT Course LessonClick the image for a full-sized view

Plus, providing access to a course this way comes across as more professional than simply giving people a list of video links or a huge file to download.

These course pages also give me an opportunity to sell additional products to my audience, again letting me do affiliate marketing.

Being able to create courses like this is also something that Systeme offers.

I’m using their free plan and that only allows me to create 1 course.

Nevertheless, 1 course is more than enough to get started marketing with.

In fact, I added 2 courses for my lead magnet – the main course about ChatGPT and a second (also free) course on how to use the Jasper AI system.

I initially wanted to create these as separate courses but with Systeme’s one course limit on their free plan what I ended up doing was creating a single course with two modules.

My AI CoursesClick the image for a full-sized view

Each module has 20 video lessons.

There isn’t a limit on the number of modules you can create in a course in Systeme, nor is there a limit on the number of overall lessons you can create or create per module.

One thing that Systeme does not give you directly is a link for someone to sign up for your course.

Instead, when someone does sign up, Systeme sends out an email on your behalf with the signup link.

It took me a while to figure this out and I spent more time than I should have looking for a signup link I could send out to people myself.

Creating The Email Series

Every funnel has (or should have) a sequence of emails that is sent out to subscribers after they sign up to your list.

Most times it’s a short email sequence of 3 to 7 emails that talks about a product or service that’s referred to in the lead magnet.

Since ChatGPT is free to use, there’s no way I can make money by promoting it so I looked at related products that I could promote instead.

There are now a number of products that either hook into ChatGPT and bypass the “ChatGPT is at capacity” issue where it won’t let you log in or they provide access to other Artificial Intelligence systems.

Some of these have been built with online businesses and affiliate marketing specifically in mind.

So, the idea is that my lead magnet will hook people on the idea of using ChatGPT and other AI systems and that they’ll be willing to pay for tools that will expand what they can do in creating content and boost their productivity.

And, since many people who visit my landing page will themselves be affiliate marketers or be interested in becoming one, I can also introduce them to affiliate marketing courses and tools through my email sequence.

Plus, I’m also promoting Systeme itself through affiliate links on the course’s lesson pages and in the emails I send out.

The first few emails in my email sequence are for one particular product that hooks into ChatGPT.

The next few emails are about an AI system that’s specifically been designed for affiliate marketers and those interested in creating a variety of business assets with AI that they can sell on to businesses.

That’s a different model for making money online than affiliate marketing.

My email sequence isn’t complete yet.

All I need to do is add one new email per day to the sequence to stay ahead of where my subscribers are in the sequence.

With Systeme’s free plan, you can only create one email sequence, which is called a Campaign.

This is what Aweber, my usual autoresponder service, also calls email sequences.

Other autoresponders may use different terminology.

You can create an unlimited number of emails and schedule when they go out (as in number of days after the previous email).

Systeme also lets you send out broadcast emails, though they refer to them as Newsletters.

Broadcast emails (Newsletters) are the one-time emails you can send out whenever you want to.

They are not part of an email sequence or a Campaign.

Sometimes, terminology can be confusing, especially when different services use different names for the same thing or, worse, they use the same names but for different things.

Building The Landing/Squeeze/Optin Page

Next on the list of things to build was the actual landing page where I collect subscriber emailaddresses.

I used one of Systeme’s default templates and edited it for my own needs to create a simple landing page.

The template includes a simple popup form that provides an alternative way to collect email addresses.

The popup is invoked if someone clicks on the Access These 2 free Courses Now button on my landing page.

Free ChatGPT CourseClick the image to see the actual landing/optin page

I also created a specific popup page within Systeme’s funnel builder.

I can put this popup (below) on web sites and web pages using the snippet of Javascript code that Systeme gives me for it.

ChatGPT Course Popup

I also created the essential Thank You page that appears after someone signs up.

This tells them what to do next and I include a link on that page to my private Facebook group…another way to engage with people and recommend products though never with a hard sell.

Lastly, I created Privacy Policy, Terms & Conditions and Disclaimer pages for the funnel – these are pages Google loves to see as they legitimize your sites and pages.

Building The Blog

The web address for my ChatGPT course landing page is currently https://www.partnershipprofitsplan.com/chatgpt-course which, as you can see, is not the main domain link.

If I stick to this naming convention, I can create additional landing pages on the partnershipprofitsplan.com domain that promote different products and offer other lead magnets.

So rather than have a page showing a 404 error if someone went directly to https://www.partnershipprofitsplan.com/, I used Systeme’s blog creation feature.

The blog is really only a placeholder and has nothing but default filler content.

I may end up deleting it and putting my ChatGPT course directly on https://www.partnershipprofitsplan.com/ instead.

At this point, everything’s built and it’s just a matter of connecting everything up.

How The Course Welcome Email And Email Sequence Work Together

I mentioned above that Systeme automatically sends out a welcome email with the signup link for my course, but how is my main email sequence triggered so that my subscribers start getting those emails?

That’s where Systeme’s Workflows come in.

A Workflow is a visual representation of what you want to happen for your subscribers.

Here’s mine:

My Systeme Workflow

Behind each of these buttons are rules that essentially do the following:

When someone signs up on my ChatGPT Course landing page…

  1. Apply the partnership-profits-plan tag to them (I can use this tag to segment my list if I need to)
  2. Enroll the subscriber in my course – Systeme will automatically send out the email with account creation info
  3. Start sending out the emails in my email campaign to the subscriber. These emails will continue to go out until either the emails run out or the subscriber unsubscribes.

I set the first email in my email campaign to go out after a delay of 1 day.

This is so that that first email goes out 1 day after the course welcome email.

If I’d left the delay on the first campaign email at the default 0 days, then it and the course welcome emails would have been sent out at the same time.

The above image shows a simple workflow.

If you have a paid Systeme account, then you can create more email campaigns (among other additional assets) and you can create more intricate workflows.

For example, say you’ve created a couple of email campaigns.

Using the Workflow options and tags you’ve created, you can unsubscribe people from one email campaign and subscribe them to a different campaign.

Tags allow you to control what email campaigns your subscribers end up on based on the actions they take (or don’t take) when reading your emails.

This looks like it’s a very powerful feature in Systeme and its one that I wish was a part of Aweber.

Well, actually Aweber does have an Automations feature not unlike Systeme’s Workflows but you have to pay extra to access it.

Systeme includes this feature by default, even on its free plan.

The Funnel Is Built

To recap, I’ve built 2 free courses using PLR products, an email campaign to promote a variety of AI and marketing products and a funnel with a landing page and thank you page and hooked it all together.

All on Systeme.

With the exception of hosting the course videos which I uploaded to Vimeo instead.

But I would have uploaded them to Systeme had I  known you could do that at the time.

And I built this entire funnel for free.

It’s a pretty sophisticated way to start marketing online without having to put your hand in your pocket.

When Systeme says it’s an all-in-one platform, it wasn’t lying!

Colour me impressed.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

If you ever saw the movie Field of Dreams, you may remember the mission statement from it: “Build it and they will come.”

While that was true in the movie, it’s not true in real life.

For people to know that you’ve built or created something, you have to tell them about it.

That means you have to advertise and promote.

And, in the online world, that means driving traffic.

So the next step, and the thing I’ll look at in my next post, is different methods of driving free traffic to my course signup page.

Finally, if you’re interested in the ChatGPT course, you can sign up for it here.

Related Posts

All the best,

Gary Nugent

Check out my Instagram posts and reels here:

P.S.: Don't forget, if you want to create an internet income of your own, here's one of my recommended ways to do that:

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4 Comments

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  1. Hey Gary,

    Build it and they will come. I too am one who believes in this philosophy and I am learning how to be patient when trying build my Email list.

    I hear all the time that the money is in the list. Well, I believe that the money is in the relationship you have with your list. If we can build a relationship with the people on our list, we will increase our influence and the know, like trust of ourselves with others.

    Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work.

    All the best,

    Tom

    • Thanks for the comment, Tom. Actually, I don’t believe in the “build it and they will come” philosophy. Unfortunately, unlike in the movies, life doesn’t work that way. I’ve used that philosophy in the past and no one showed up! 🙂

      You’ll hear the best email marketing teachers saying that a small list with engaged subscribers is more profitable than a big list with unengaged ones. You’re right about cultivating relationships with your subscribers. You need to get them to know, like and trust you by being an ethical marketer who’s genuinely trying to help people rather than make a fast buck off them.

      Thanks for letting me know that you’ve been enjoying my “starting from scratch” series of posts 🙂

      All the best,
      Gary

  2. You have done a great job by explaining the various aspects of affiliate marketing, including finding the right products to promote, building a website, creating content, and driving traffic to your site. I particularly appreciate the part that talks about creating high-quality content that is valuable to the readers. I found the information provided in this article to be very helpful and informative. The step-by-step approach and the practical tips you shared make it easy for anyone to understand and follow to understand how to get started with affiliate marketing.

    • Thanks for letting me know you found my post and site useful, Femi.

      I love affiliate marketing as it’s given me the freedom to live life on my terms for the last 20 years! I used to be a software contractor and even had my own company and, while I could set the terms of a contract, there was still the commutes, office politics and all the other crap involved in a 9-5 job. Even though I was on a great salary, I’d had enough, called it quits and switched to full-time affiliate marketing.

      Things in the world today are a lot more uncertain than 20 years ago and even the top tech companies are laying people off. I really believe that people need to take control of their livelihoods so that they’re not at the mercy of an employer as to whether they’ll have a job next week or if they’re being underpaid for what they do.

      One of the other main reasons I left contracting was that I wanted time freedom – to be able to come and go as I wanted, work when I wanted and take time out when I wanted without having to go cap-in-hand to some boss to make my case. Plus I have an extra 1-2 hours per day to use that isn’t wasted during a commute.

      Being self-sufficient in terms of income removes a lot of stress from your life. You sleep better and your health overall is better. Plus, there’s the sense of achievement you get from building and running a successful online business and ploughing your own path in the world. 🙂

      All the best,
      Gary

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