What is ClickBank? Is it Safe? Can I Make Money?

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What is Clickbank

After Amazon ClickBank is probably the best-known program for affiliates. They are very popular with Internet Marketing affiliates and have many products for their niche. They are similar in product types to JV Zoo another affiliate marketplace.

Both primarily represent digital or downloadable products. These typically have high percentage payouts to affiliates. The commissions average around 50%. You do need to be careful and closely vet all products. There are some great products, some good products, and many crap products.

ClickBank is big.

ClickBank is involved in over 30,000 sales daily on their marketplace. The total number of registered users is over 6 million.

A Marketplace For Digital Goods

Yes, there are a few physical goods on ClickBank but for the most part, the reason you go to ClickBank is for the digital and downloadable products.

These products include:

  • Internet Marketing SaaS products
  • Membership programs
  • Weight-loss and other “systems”
  • eBooks
  • Plugins/Themes

ClickBank brings together all of the parties in an affiliate sales -flow. ..

  • Content Creator – Lists their products for affiliates to select for their campaigns
  • Affiliate – Finds products to present to their audience
  • Buyer — Uses ClickBanks checkout system to make the purchase
  • Joint Venture Participants – ClickBank lets you have multiple parties on your affiliate team. Perhaps a developer and marketer get together and create and market a product. ClickBank lets you set this up easily.

So why use ClickBank vs. others?

How To Start With Clickbank

One of the great things about ClickBank is they make it very easy to signup.

They except everyone.

Just be sure to provide accurate information and check your email for the welcome letter.

clickbank approval

WHY CLICKBANK?

ClickBank is not the exclusive marketplace for digital products. So why should you consider them?

  • Products for all Niches: There are thousands of products for all niches.
  • High commissions: Many products pay 70% — most at least 50%
  • Easy approval: Many affiliates want to see traffic, a website, a history in the industry. ClickBank approves all.
  • International friendly: They are very flexible with payment options including Payoneer for international affiliates.
  • Quick Payments For those using paid traffic this is critical. If you had to wait 30-60 days like many affiliate programs, you would need to have the cash-flow to pay for the ads and wait for the commission.
  • A Place to Analyze Marketing Tactics: One thing about ClickBank is that they have some very effective affiliates and marketers. You can learn a lot by analyzing how they create funnels.

ClickBank has their own vocabulary that is handy to know. Here are the ClickBank terms you will see as you evaluate products in the ClickBank marketplace …

Clickbank Glossary

There are some unique terms you should know about in the ClickBank marketplace.

Hops: This is your affiliate link

GRAVITY: Abbreviated as Grav in the stats window, this show’s the popularity and top-earning products.

Commission: The percent earned for the product. This is the gross before fees.

Rebill: Recurring affiliate products

Initial sale: How much you earn per sale

Initial $/sale: How much earned per product

Avg %/sale: the commission rate on the  product

Avg Rebill Total: The amount typically earned on second and subsequent orders for recurring sales

Avg %/rebill: the commission rate on second and subsequent orders for recurring sales

The Marketplace — Choosing Your Product

Product selection is critical with ClickBank. You don’t want lots of returns. You don’t want to turn off your clients. You generally market ClickBank products to prospects that have arrived via a lead magnet.

Once you have the lead you don’t want to lose them to a crappy product

ClickBank is very strong in the self-help, fitness, diet etc. niches. Their top 10 sellers from 2018 were dominated by these categories.

  1. The CB Passive Income
  2. Internet Jetset
  3. The Red Tea Detox
  4. The 2 Week Diet
  5. Lean Belly Breakthrough
  6. Organifi
  7. Better Breads & Guilt-free Desserts
  8. Shyness And Social Anxiety System
  9. The Woman Men Adore
  10. The Devotion System – Make Men Obsess Over You

Finding Products To Promote

There are many products at ClickBank. The good news is that their dashboard is very flexible and can help you quickly find products to evaluate.

Categories

You first want to select a category. This should be topically relevant to your website if you are after SEO traffic.

clickbank categories

Filters & Attributes

You don’t want to browse through all of the products in a category. You can apply filters and attributes to further refine your search.

filters and attributes

Anatomy of a product

Let’s look at a product in detail. There is a lot of detail right in the condensed listing view. You can quickly scan products for the price point, recurring or not and more. There is also a link to the vendor’s affiliate page. This page will give you some idea of the quality of the program.

product anatomy

Creating a Clickbank Sales Process

After you choose your product you need to have a strategy to get traffic to it. Some of the sales possibilities include:

  • Direct linking: You can link directly to the vendor’s sales page. Generally, this is not the best idea. It is a bit like dating. Sure, every once in a while, under the right circumstance, 2 people will hook-up on the first date. However, It rarely leads to a long-lasting relationship, and it often creates disappointment.
  • Landing Page > Offer: This is a better option. You direct traffic to a dedicated page for the product. This gives you the chance to warm-up the prospect and gain some credibility. You also can Facebook pixel the visitor for future remarketing.
  • Landing Page > Opt-in > Offer: This is usually the best method. You bring the visitor to your website or funnel system. You have a giveaway for email signup. The email signup starts an autoresponder sequence that provides more information, gains trust and closes the deal. Consider adding a bonus offer to set yourself apart from other affiliate marketers of the same product.

Creating a Funnel — Landing Page > Opt-in > Offer details

This is the preferred method of successful internet marketers.

There’s a saying among internet marketers, “the money is in the list”, — a cliche but relevant. Your email list is a long-term asset you can direct new campaigns and offers to. Let’s look at a typical funnel.

You will first need a traffic source, you direct the traffic to a landing or products page. On the landing/product page you have a giveaway/lead magnet in exchange for an email address. You create a campaign of autoresponder messages that build up to the actual offer.

clickbank sales funnel

Step 1: Create your landing page. Whether it’s a review, article, video or otherwise, you’ll need web hosting and a tool to create the landing pages. Many marketers use WordPress and ThriveThemes for this. Others use Landing Page systems like ClickFunnels and BuilderAll. These systems allow you to set up funnels without having a website.

Step 2: Create your opt-in forms. These are the forms that will capture your visitor’s email address. You can do this with products like Thrive Leads or your e-mail service provider will have tools for this.

Step 3: Create your auto-responder series. This is the series of e-mails that you will send to people that opt-in. Your e-mail service provider will have the tools to do this.

The sales flow will go something like … A search is made that brings a user to your content or an ad brings visitors to your content. The visitor reads the article and is impressed – they subscribe to get the free offer – you get their email. You email them the free offer and thank them.  A couple of days later, you send them another valuable piece of content. Then after a few more emails, they get the offer. At this point, you have hopefully built up authority and trust. You have earned the right to ask for the order. You send them the affiliate offer and follow up emails.

A lot of vendors actually prepare email content for you. However, I would always create your own email text that is targeted specifically at your niche audience. A typical email autoresponder sequence might include …

  1. Welcome email with the free product that sets expectations and thanks them for subscribing.
  2. E-mail that gives a high-value product and mentions the offer briefly.
  3. More high-value content email with another offer mention.
  4. Actual offer e-mail. This should be optimized for conversions.
  5. Follow up offer with some form of scarcity to motivate.
  6. Final offer email with a transition to the next e-mail series.

In review, the entire process might look like this …

  • Generate traffic to your landing page
  • Develop your content (Landing Page/Article/Information)
  • Email Capture forms
  • Thank You Page  with Clickbank Offer and lead magnet bonus
  • Email sequence
  • Landing Page That You Create For The Clickbank Offer (Extra Bonuses Here)
  • Clickbank Products Offer Page

Now that you have landing pages and funnels it’s time to send traffic to the offer, but how?

TRAFFIC

There are a few traffic options. From SEO to paid ads. Paid advertising is an advanced and risky place to start. It is easy to spend a lot of money with few results. It is best to start with SEO, Social Media, and other gorilla marketing techniques.

Organic Search/SEO

Organic Search is the backbone of most affiliate marketers. There are a few distinct advantages. Though some say the main advantage is that it’s free – it is not. You either develop content with your time (which has value) or you are hiring writers.

affiliate traffic sources

So like advertising, it has costs. The real advantage is that it is an ongoing source of traffic. Advertising brings traffic once, content marketing persists.

The drawback is that it takes time for your content to get traction. You will need a base of content and time for your site to gain authority. You will need to choose your battles and focus on keywords that you can compete for. Check out our Keywords Tools for Affiliate Marketers post to get ideas.

Paid ads – PPC

Paid adds are appealing and definitely have a place in your strategy. They bring immediate traffic to your offer. If you can devise a ppc campaign that yields a good return then great. Unfortunately, many end up spending more on ads than they get on affiliate commission.

A good use for ads is to buy some cheap long tail keyword ads and test your funnel. This will allow you to quickly a/b test your campaign before sending to your e-mail list.

When you are ready to spend on ads I would do two types …

  • Use to test funnels as discussed above
  • Facebook retargeting ads to your existing site visitors. Always exhaust all retargeting opportunities before sending ads to a cold audience.

ORGANIC SOCIAL MEDIA

Creating Facebook pages, publishing content and attracting visitors once worked well. Now, Facebook has decreased their pages’ organic reach. It is very difficult to depend on organic Facebook traffic.

Other Social Media platforms are still viable for organic reach consider what will resonate best with your audience and create content and be personally active in media like.

  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest

Other Traffic Sources

It pays to have a broad mix of traffic sources. I always operate under the belief that every qualified lead matters. Some other potential traffic sources include …

  • Display Ads
  • Guest Posting
  • Facebook Retargeting Ads
  • Reddit, Quora, etc.

ClickBank Payments

Payment Calculations

Here’s how much you’ll earn on a one-time purchase product with a 50% commission rate:

Retail Price: $40.00

Subtract 7.5% + $1: – $4.00

Net Sale Amount: $36.00

50% of Remainder: $18.00

Therefore, as the referring affiliate for this sale, you would earn $18.00

Additional details include:

  • Recurring products are paid the same way through the seller could have different commission rates for the initial purchase and the rebill purchases.
  • There is a  maximum commission on a single sale of $150.
  • There is also a return allowance holdback of 10% of your total balance.
  • There is a payment threshold that you can set. The default is $100. You can set it between $10 – $1,000.

Payment Methods

ClickBank is very flexible with their payment options.

  • Paper Check – This is the default option – they mail a check to you.
  • Direct Deposit – Money is directly deposited into your account. This is the cheapest and fastest.
  • Payoneer – Payoneer is often used by international affiliates.
  • Wire Transfer – Mainly for countries not supported by international direct deposit.

 

ClickBank vs. JVZoo

If you are looking at ClickBank products you may want to check out JVZoo. They have similar products with perhaps a few more Internet Marketing and Make Money Online offers.

You will be able to use the same product selection and sales funnel strategies that you use with ClickBank.

There are a few differences at JV Zoo. You need to be approved by each individual product creator. This can be time-consuming. Individual products owners can set your payment to delayed or instant. Usually, new affiliates will be paid on a delayed basis. This protects the product owner from returns after commissions are paid.

 

Summary

Many vendors in ClickBank and JV Zoo are operating on the laws of large numbers. They produce mediocre products but have a large number of affiliates who each have a large number of emails and other traffic opportunities. Even a 2-3% conversion rate can create a profitable product.

Pick a product that solves a problem for your audience, a product you believe in. Create a landing page, an optin form and an auto-responder sequence of emails. Direct search traffic to a topically relevant article after performing keyword research to find topics with suffiecient volume — that you can compete for. Have a great giveaway as a lead magnet, get their e-mail and fire off the autoresponder sequence.

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