Review

ClickBank's Affiliate Program

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Review Of ClickBank's Affiliate Program

(Review updated - February 2005)
Editor's Choice

Quick Summary

  • Affiliate Network (free to join) with lots of niche vendors and products
  • Retail Services (sell products online) without needing a merchant account - for sales of downloads only.
  • Overall rating - highly recommended - Editor's Choice
  • Visit ClickBank web site for more information

Introduction

ClickBank is both a retailer (allowing vendors to sell products online) and an affilate network (allowing web sites to earn commission by linking to vendors).

In either case, checks (written in US dollars drawn on a US bank), are mailed up-to bi-weekly, two weeks after the corresponding pay period. A small percentage of your earnings are held as "reserve" which is paid later, in case customers are refunded, etc.

We have received checks like clockwork, always on time, (and sometimes early!) from ClickBank for several years, and their customer service as always been prompt, helpful and polite.

Joining As An Affiliate

(ClickBank's vendor features are reviewed separately).

I highly recommend the ClickBank affiliate program. Joining is is free and open to web sites located in any part of the world.

Affiliates earn 5% to 75% commission on sales of products they link to, and have a choice of thousands of vendors. If you look around, you will almost certainly find niche vendors that tie in to your site's theme.

One advantage of linking to a ClickBank vendors is that you know you will be credited for all sales that go through their network as the tracking is automatic as part of the payment processing (unlike most other affiliate networks which track sales separately from payment processing, and may be subject to errors, loss of tracking codes, etc.). The only case where you are not credited for sales, is if the customer pays the vendor using some other method than ClickBank, for example, PayPal. For this reason, I would recommend that you be cautious of those vendors which encourage other payment methods, or who use ClickBank for only some of their customers.

One final benefit of linking to ClickBank, is you will also receive credit if the customer doesn't buy immediately: cookies are used to give credit for sales up to 90 days after the initial click-through.

The only major disadvantage of ClickBank's affiliate program is there no uniform system for vendors supplying their affiliates with banners or advertising copy (Update 2009: The new "Vendor Spotlight System" goes someway towards lessening this limitation). However most of the more successful vendors (which tend to be listed nearer the top of their category), do provide affiliate banners, articles or other marketing tools.

Providing you are prepared to invest a modest amount of time in finding the right vendors for your site, and integrating whatever marketing tools they provide, this could be a lucrative affiliate program.

As an affiliate, there is also the opportunity to earn "bonuses" by referring additional vendors (but at the time of writing opportunity for referring affiliates). This is known as the "reseller" program. My own experience is can be a nice suppliment to your own affiliate sales, but it is better to concentrate (at least primarily) on selling products - as it is simply easier to earn money this way.

Finally, I would point out that there are many third party tools and scripts available for ClickBank affiliates - to help them be more successful with the program - including our own CBRocket.

Conclusion

I have nothing but good things to say about ClickBank.

Overall then, I highly recommend ClickBank, and choose them as an Editor's Choice.

Click here to visit ClickBank.


Disclosure: Our company is a member of this affiliate program. Our company receive payments for helping to recruit vendors/vendors to ClickBank but at the time of writing, we do not receive any payment for recruiting affiliates. Our company also sells our products using ClickBank as a retailer, and hence use the ClickBank system as a vendor too. Our company also offers products designed and/or marketing towards ClickBank members, including CBRocket.

As explained in our Advertising/Endorsements Disclosures, we try to honestly and fairly describe our own experiences in relation to third party products and services, - however: Our results and experiences with third party products and services are not necessarily typical, and are not intended to be represented as such. Your results and experiences using any particular third party product or service may differ from our results and experiences. An average consumer's results and experience using any particular third party product or service may also differ from our results and experiences.

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