Overall Ranking: 60 points out of 100 3/5 stars
Price: Free to join
Owners: subsidiary of Keynetics
In this review, I will be taking a look at how ClickBank (CB) works for both the vendors and the affiliates so you can decide if it is something you might consider.
ClickBank was started after Dr. Tim Barber, a research scientist with the NSA, realized in the 1990s that the internet would soon be rife with websites and digital content.
In 1998 Tim and Eileen Barber along with Geof Hoyl founded ClickBank. They started operations from the Barbers’ garage and have seen enormous growth over the years.
Today ClickBank is still growing and has become a trusted platform permitting producers to sell, affiliates to earn commissions and customers to buy digital products in a secure manner. They have paid out more than $3 billion worldwide and carry out more than 26,000 transactions per day.
What is ClickBank?
ClickBank is a platform for promoting digital products and is the largest affiliate marketing network for digital information products.
Today people are looking to get the information they require quickly and with the digital products, this is possible.
Digital products are products, services or software that can be delivered via the internet.
There are 2 ways to earn money with ClickBank either as an affiliate earning commissions for the many products already on CB or by creating your own product to sell.
Put simply, ClickBank is an intermediary between the product creators and the affiliate marketers. The consumers click on your affiliate link and pay ClickBank. Clickbank then pays the affiliate his commission and the vendor. The platform handles all the accounting, payments and refunds.
A Wide Range of Digital Products
In the ClickBank marketplace, you can find a wide range of products.
You can find products that will teach you to sing, play the piano, earn money online, build a chicken coop, build a garden shed, install solar panels, train your dog, learn a foreign language or learn to read. This is just a small selection of the sort of products available.
Who is ClickBank for?
ClickBank can be for digital product creators (vendors) and affiliate marketers.
ClickBank offers the vendors the chance to run their entire business on a single platform. It is really easy to sign up and they provide lots of support and information.
So if you are interested in selling your own product you could create:
- an e-book on how to make money online, search engine optimization, do it yourself tips, weight loss or anything in which you have knowledge.
- a training video
- an audio tutorial
To start selling on ClickBank you will need:
- your own website, domain name and hosting (free hosting is not allowed)
- on your site, you must have a “pitch page” or sales page with all relevant information on your product
a thank you page with contact details should they have a problem and delivery details (email or download)
- a payment link – on the pitch page there must be a payment link that sends them to ClickBank
- marketing material for affiliates
Cost – there is a one-time activation fee of $49.95 and after activation, the product is available to affiliates in the marketplace. On all transactions, there is a $1 fee and 7.5% commission per sale.
Signing up for ClickBank is free and very easy, you only need your basic contact information. There is no pre-approval or any other impediments as with some other networks which is great for newbies.
Once your account is created you can use it as a vendor, an affiliate or both.
Another advantage with CB is the selection of products that it is possible to promote. It is possible to find something for many niches.
If you’re thinking of starting an affiliate marketing business and promoting ClickBank products take a look at this post, Ultimate Guide to 97 Evergreen Clickbank Niches. You will learn about the different niches you can choose and also some CB products that are relevant to the different niches.
Search the Marketplace
After signing up you can head over to the ClickBank Marketplace to have a look through the thousands of products that you can choose from. On ClickBank, there are many very good products but also some products that are low quality. It is advisable to take the time to select a quality product. You can take a look at the marketplace here.
When searching the marketplace you will see below each listing the sales statistics for each product.
What the statistics tell us
- Initial $/sale: This is the average amount that an affiliate will earn for each sale of the product. This figure takes into consideration any refunds, chargebacks, and sales tax.
- Avg Rebill Total: This number is shown if the products from the vendor offers recurring billing. This may apply to memberships and subscriptions where the customer is often charged monthly. This figure shows the average amount an affiliate may make on all of the recurring sales. The original sale is not included in here.
- Avg $/sale: For one-time purchases, this is the same as Initial $/sale. If rebilling is involved this equals the average of the initial sale plus the rebills, divided by the number of initial sales. This is just an average and you could make more or less.
- Avg %/sale: This figure is the average commission rate earned on all sales of the vendor’s products, this includes one-time purchases, recurring billing and upsells. Again this is an average, the amount you earn on a sale will probably not match this figure.
- Avg %/rebill: This is only shown if the vendor offers a product with recurring billing and will show the average commission on rebills.
- Grav: Is short for Gravity. This figure is a performance statistic calculated using the number of affiliates who have achieved sales of a product during the past 12 weeks. The gravity number can give you a good idea of the products that are selling well. A high gravity will also mean that there will be many affiliates promoting the product. You should always aim for a gravity of at least 30.
- Cat: This is Marketplace category and sub-category where the product can be found.
This information gives you an idea of how much you can make and the competition you may have for a given product.
You will also see different icons below a product listing. Here’s what the icons stand for:
Creating your Hoplink
Once you have chosen a product to market, click on the Promote button on the right of the listing. This will automatically generate a Hoplink, your unique referral tracking URL. You will then use your Hoplink when promoting the product and receive a commission when someone clicks on your link and follows through to make a purchase.
ClickBank offers a few different payment methods – direct deposit, wire and checks.
Accounts that are paid by direct deposit or wired payments can be paid either once a week or every two weeks. All other accounts are paid every two weeks. For international accounts ClickBank offers International Direct Deposits into a number of international bank accounts and there is no extra charge for this. Not all countries are supported. You can see a list of supported countries here.
If your country is not available for direct deposit it is possible to be paid by Payoneer.
The direct deposit method is recommended if your country is accepted, the money is credited to your account in 2 – 4 days. Checks are only valid 90 days and will take a few days to arrive. Wired payments cost $35 per wire sent and are only available for accounts with sufficient volume.
Your payment threshold can be set at any amount between $10 and $ 1000. The default setting is $100. It is advisable to set the threshold towards the lower level, then if your account becomes inactive you will not lose all your hard earned money due to dormant account charges. (see below)
It should be noted that to achieve your first payment you need to make at least 5 sales, just 2 or 3 sales and you won’t be paid. In addition, these sales should be made using at least 2 of the following payment methods:
- American Express
- Carte Bleue
- Diners Club
This is to prevent affiliates from cheating the ClickBank affiliate program by using their own accounts to get discounts on products for their own use.
Say you make a sale and therefore you have a positive balance in your account. Then you do not make another sale during the following 3 months ClickBank will start to make the following deductions to your account.
- $1 per pay period after 90 days of inactivity
- $5 per pay period after 180 days of inactivity
- $50 per pay period after 365 days of inactivity
Deductions are only made if your account is positive. Nonetheless, this must contribute in a large way to the profits of ClickBank and the affiliates have worked for nothing, if not for the profit of ClickBank.
Pros and Cons
- easy to join which is great if you’re starting an affiliate marketing website
- good choice of products to promote, 24 main categories which are broken down into many sub-categories giving you thousands of products to promote
- easy to see averages sales, rebilling and get an idea of competition
- recurring billing accepted
- becoming a vendor is simple and not too expensive
- generous commissions of 70% or more
- low payment threshold $10
- good payment record
- international payments to most countries
- some low-quality products
- high level of refunds
- dormant account charges
- must have 5 sales before you will receive your first payment
Training and tools
Some very limited training is provided for affiliates on ClickBank. In the 4 Steps to Affiliate Success, you are taught about choosing your niche, building your platform, getting traffic and promoting products. The lessons are in video form and last 15 to 20 minutes.
There are also lessons on Using the Marketplace, All About Hoplinks and Earning Commissions and Getting Paid.
For the vendors, there are some insights on creating an information product.
The ClickBank analytics tool provides you with statistics including: paychecks, details of transaction or subscriptions, hops per day sorted by vendor, tracking id or customer country and order form impressions
Help and support
ClickBank has a support center where they have many informative articles, videos and FAQs. There are separate sections for affiliates, vendors and a general section.
If you cannot find an answer to your problem you are able to open a support ticket.
My final opinion
ClickBank is not a scam and can be a good place to make some money. However before selecting a product to promote make sure you do your research and if possible try the product yourself. There are many low-quality products available, particularly in the E-business & E-marketing category with a selection of get rich quick schemes that are clearly scams.
I don’t like that you must make at least 5 sales before you are paid and that dormant accounts are charged. This means you may make some sales but never get paid.
If you have some knowledge or expertise that can benefit others you could create your own product, becoming an affiliate is not your only choice with Clickbank. Have your own product on CB and you can benefit from the skills of their thousands of affiliates.
Affiliate or vendor – after opening your account with ClickBank you are on your own, there is only some very limited training. Hence if you are new to internet marketing you might feel a little lost, therefore it is advisable to get good some training before starting.
ClickBank is legitimate, but always thoroughly research your products and to be successful it will take a lot of hard work. I would suggest getting some online internet marketing training and aim to set up your business for long-term success.
Comparison between my #1 recommendation and ClickBank.
Ahead of starting with ClickBank take a look at Wealthy Affiliate – you will get 2 free websites, all the support you need and some first class training. It’s FREE to join!
Thanks for reading and if you have had any experience with ClickBank please leave a comment.