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Monday, August 2, 2010

What Is Clickbank?

Clickbank (CB) is a payment processor with built-in affiliate program. The company developed into a huge affiliate network allowing vendors to tap into their affiliate sales force almost instantly. CB specializes in selling digital products like ebooks, software, and many other downloadable products.

Benefits For Vendors:

- Quick and easy set up with their payment processing services

- Access to over 100,000 affiliates searching for products to promote

- Free listing in their marketplace

- Built-in affiliate program feature

- Automated transactions and refund processing

- Accepts all major credit cards and Paypal

- Bi-weekly payouts by check or wire transfer

- Recurring payments

Benefits For Affiliates:

- Access to thousands of products to promote

- Automated commissions

- Tracking feature to track multiple campaigns

- Fast affiliate link creation

- Checks are sent on time twice per month

- Detailed statistics

- High commission payouts (up to 75% per sale)

- Easy to setup

ClickBank Affiliate Guide

First of all, you need to set up an account with CB. To sign up with clickbank just go to their homepage at clickbank.com and click on the sign up link. Fill out the registration form and confirm your email address to activate your account.

Next, you will need to find products to promote and develop your business strategy. Mainly affiliates promote clickbank products using Google Adwords. You can also build a niche website and get it to rank on top of the search engines to reveive free traffic. SEO requires some skills and more time is needed to start generating a decent income. Using Google Adwords you can tap into instant targeted traffic and see profits the same day.

If you want to learn more about SEO then read Killer Niche Marketing ebook.

So how do you find profitable clickbank products? Well, CB lists all their products within the marketplace by popularity. That means the more sales of the product the higher it will rank within the Marketplace.

CB also gives you data like on the screenshot below:

[$/sale] - Tells you how much you could earn per transaction resulted from your promotions ( this amount is an avarage after refunds)

[%/sale] - Tells you what is the percentage that the vendor pays out to the affiliate

[%refd] - Shows the percentage of sales made by affiliates ( you can tell if the product is being promoted by affiliates or if the vendor makes most of the sales)

[grav] - Shows the gravity of the product. The clickbank gravity tracks all the sales made. Clickbank doesn't reveal exactly how they calculate that number.

Here are different strategies that clickbank affiliates use with Adwords:

1. Bidding On The Specific Product Name - With this method you are trying to monetize on the traffic generated by other affiliates. When a specific product makes a lot of sales it becomes popular on the Internet and a lot of people will search for its name on all major search engines. This allows you to tap into highly targeted visitors that are ready to buy. Cost per click could be high if the product gets a lot of searches.

2. Using Massive Relevant Keyword Lists - By utilizing this method you could generate a lot of cheap traffic. The key to making it work is to generate a lot of keyword phrases and track which ones make the most sales. I highly recommend Keyword Elite software to create your lists of keywords. You could also try the free keyword suggestion tool from Google.

3. Creating Site-Targeted Campaigns on Adwords - With this method you can actually tell Google on what webpages you want your ads to appear. This is not an easy way to drive traffic. If your CTR (clickthrough ratio) is not high enough you could pay for the impressions and not get any clicks.

How to maximize your profits

Making money with clickbank used to be a lot easier just a few years ago. You could have just gone to Adwords and set up a direct linking campaign and watch the sales coming through, but not anymore. Clickbank has become so popular that it developed a huge competition among affiliates.

Google actually is not allowing the same affiliate page more than once on the search results anymore. So if there was another clickbank affiliate promoting the same product that you are then you would have to start a bidding war.

Don't worry, smart affiliates already figured out a way to go around this. You see, you need to develop landing pages for the product you want to promote. You could provide a detailed review of the product and bonus if the visitor makes a purchase through your clickbank hoplink.

Super affiliates go even one step further and capture their visitor's name and email address to follow up with them in the future if the sale wasn't made the first time the visitor went to the product's salespage.

Since Adwords became so competitive you could also place Adsense ads on your landing page to monetize on those who will never buy the product, but might click on your Adsense ad. This way you could lower your advertising cost.

Another thing you should consider is that the more popular clickbank product is the higher chance that your cookie will get overwritten by another affiliate.

What you should watch for when choosing a clickbank product

I have to say that there are a lot of bad products in the CB marketplace as well. Some of them don't even convert. You don't want to choose a product with a salespage that can't convert your traffic into sales, otherwise you could waste a lot of money on advertising.

Make sure that the salespage doesn't have an affiliate signup link. Believe it or not, but people can buy through their own affiliate links and steal your commissions. If the vendor has a link to the affiliate sign up page your potential customer could remove your clickbank ID and insert his/her own.

This of course doesn't apply to all the niches. Mostly products that sell in the "Business To Business", "Marketing & Ads", and "Money & Employment" categories. If you pay for traffic then you should definitely watch for the affiliate sign up link on vendor's salespage.

How to protect your clickbank commissions

There are many affiliate link cloakers out there, but you could actually do it for free without spending any money. If you are building a landing page on your own hosting account you could simply create a php file and past the following code inside it.

1. Copy the following code:


2. Create an empty php file on your server

3. Paste the code

If you actually point to the file on your server through the browser you will notice it redirected it to the clickbank vendor and dropped your cookie.

Clickbank Vendor Guide

CB attracts a lot of merchants due to its huge affiliate network. If the product is good and converts then you could easily dominate the marketplace in your niche, which would also attract a lot of affiliates. Clickbank charges $49.95 one time fee to activate your account for selling. CB also charges fees per each transaction which is $1 + 7.5%. This actually might seem very high compared to other payment processors, but the fact that clickbank has a lot of affiliates makes it not an issue.

How to start selling through clickbank

It's easy! All you have to do is sign up for an account and submit a product for approval. Once CB approves your product you will need to pay the activation fee and you are ready to start selling.

Before submitting the product for approval, you must have your salespage ready and the thank you page. Clickbank might also review your product itself to check if it complies with their TOS. Also make a test purchase to check if everything works correctly.

Next you should categorize your product. Simply choose what categories you want your product to be listed in.

How to attract affiliates

First of all, you should make your listing headline catch attention of the affiliates browsing through the marketplace. You could also remove the affiliate sign up link from your salespage if your product is related to affiliate marketing. That's because a lot of your customers are aware of how clickbank works and might buy through their own hoplinks.

I also suggest that you cloak the order link, because it displays your vendor ID. It's too easy for people to generate their own clickbank link if they know your vendor ID.

Test your salespage for conversions. The higher your conversions the more affiliates your product will attract, which of course will make you a lot more sales.

Advertise your affiliate program in all major affiliate directories. Go to Google and search for websites where you could list your affiliate program.

Participate in affiliate marketing forums and network with other affiliates. You would be surprised how well this works.

How to increase your sales by motivating your affiliates

You could set up a contest once per month, and offer prizes for top performing affiliates. I suggest to increase the commission payouts to 75%. Capture your affiliate's name and email address to communicate with them. Send out announcements to get them motivated.

I hope you liked the above clickbank mini guide. You can help us spread the word and just link to this page from your website.


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