Product Name: ClickBank
Price: Free; $47/month for ClickBank University 2.0
Owners: Justin Atlan and Adam Horwitz
Edward Katzin, current CEO
Immediately after signup, verification and signing onto their website, you go to the movies. Yeah. Only it’s a video on ClickBank University 2.0 (CBU2) by the owners, Justin Atlan and Adam Horwitz. Oh, it’s well done. It’s is a high pressure sales presentation geared to get you to sign up for CBU2.
They tout their high rate of success and even guarantee your success. At the end you get certified as a ClickBank marketer, complete with a physical certificate.
In the video Justin alludes to the difficulty in learning “the system.” Of course, in CBU2 they “take you by the hand” and walk you through everything you need to know and do. Success stories abound in the presentation, including video footage of Justin on a three month vacation in Europe.
I think CBU2 could be the focus of its own review. But meanwhile, let’s get back to ClickBank…
Your home screen Dashboard is pretty cool and has some useful insights: a running tally of your sales and transaction quality. Transaction Quality is a snapshot of your current transactions compared with prior sales, refunds and chargebacks. Now I’m getting the urge to call them SlickBank.
Other info offered on your Dashboard is a link to join the ClickBank Elite which, it turns out, is just a link to the video on CBU. The Dashboard’s four options that you can take:
- Knowledge Base
- another link to CBU2
- a link to a page of offers from ClickBank business partners such as AWEBER, bluehost (website hosting), Affilorama, and a lot of others. Some offer trials of varying cost: some free, some $1, some 43% off, some first month free, others just sign up and go.
- The other option on the Dashboard is a link the ClickBank Blog which contains some useful information.
There’s a lot to take in here and I’m only going to skim the surface…
The Payment Threshold – that line in the sand you have to cross to get paid – defaults to $100. You can set it to what you want, anything from $10 to $1,000,000. ClickBank withholds $2.50 for each payment it makes to you. They pay by either check or Direct Deposit. And oh yeah, ClickBank keeps 7.5% plus $1 of each sale you make.
Here’s an example provided by the ClickBank website.
- You market the product and it sells for $100.
- ClickBank purchases the product from the vendor for $91.50. (92.5% of $100, minus a $1 transaction fee)
- Let’s say the vendor has chosen to pay a commission of 50%, so 50% of the remainder goes to you, the referring affiliate. That comes to $45.75.
Refunds. A refund or order cancellation requires that a Customer Support ticket be opened. This is the same customer support that you would go to for any help that you can’t find in the Knowledge Base.
ClickBank Products. Twenty-three categories of products are offered. Each category carries lots and lots of products. Past sale statistics are provided for each product. A complete listing of statistics is provided in the Knowledge Base, but a couple that interest us are:
Initial $/sale: This is the average amount that an affiliate earns for each sale of this product. One-time upsell purchases are also considered initial sales. This number takes into account refunds, chargebacks, and sales tax. Since vendors may offer products with different prices and commissions, the amount you earn on any given sale may not match this number exactly.
Avg %/sale: This number shows the average commission rate earned for all sales of a vendor’s products, including one-time purchases, rebills, and upsell purchases. Since vendors can offer different commission rates for different types of products, this number may not exactly match the commission rate you earn on any given sale.
Grav: Short for GRAVITY™ performance statistic, this number represents a unique calculation by ClickBank that takes into account the number of different affiliates who earned a commission by promoting this product over the past 12 weeks. Since more recent transactions are given a higher value, this number can give you an idea of what products are “hot” at the moment, in terms of being promoted by many affiliates and making a good number of sales. However, high gravity can also indicate that there will be a lot of competition in promoting this product.
Source: ClickBank website
Let me show you how you would select a product to market in this short video.
WATCH VIDEO To get a look at the ClickBank Marketplace.
How ClickBank works. Here’s the 411 on affiliate marketing within ClickBank. Create your account, not to be confused with your profile. This is your ClickBank account where your money will go.
Find yourself a product to promote using the Marketplace. You’ll find them listed under each category. Use their metrics, look for something with a low Initial $/Sale and a high Average %/Sale.
Click PROMOTE and ClickBank gives you an Affliate Link.
Create your sales funnel. Typically this consists of offering some freebie (video, ebook, white paper, etc.), sending them to a Squeeze Page to get their email address in exchange for the freebie and your Affiliate Link which you would have gotten above.
Beat the bushes and send traffic to your Squeeze Page. You give them the freebie in exchange for their email address, plus you show them the product they can buy. You hope they do.
Promote Your Product. Nothing is easy. To get your ClickBank product out there to sell, there’s a little more to it. Okay, so it’s a lot. At least it’s given to you a logical sequence and it’s straight forward. Oh yeah, don’t forget the one-time payment transaction. Here’s what you do:
- Create a Pitch Page, or Sales Page. It will contain the product description, the cost, any special requirements, delivery method and time, a means of contact for the buyer to reach you and a ClickBank disclaimer. Any video(s) in the product that are longer than 15 minutes must be approved by ClickBank. If any special disclaimers are required, such as required by the government, they must be included as well.
- This page will link to an order form where the buyer enters the information required for the purchase/payment. The payment/purchase page will link to the Thank You page.
- Create a Thank You Page. The buyer will get this if they make an approved purchase and their payment has been processed. It thanks the customer for the purchase and has to also include contact info in case the customer needs to reach you, how their credit card charge will appear, delivery information (i.e., download link, how to download/install, etc.), and a ClickBank disclaimer on the purchase/payment. Exact wording is provided for the disclaimer.
- The payment link is required to include the ClickBank Trust Badge. It’s kinda like the Verisign of ClickBank.
- The customer links to the product through a “hoplink” to the ClickBank product. The hoplink is generated by you through your ClickBank account. It provides the URL of your Pitch Page, the URL of your Thank You Page, the product ID, and the price. Products that involve a recurring payment (e.g., monthly membership fee) require additional information.Oh. Don’t forget that the price of a product has to be approved by ClickBank.
- You test your links.
- Once you’re all set, you submit your proposed product sale to ClickBank for approval.
- If your product sale is approved and it’s your first time (you know the first time won’t be free!!), you pay a one-time $49.95 activation fee.
- At this point your product is in the ClickBank Marketplace ready for orders.
Now is when you tell the world to come to your website and buy your product!
ClickBank University 2.0. The presentation leaves me with the impression that this might be a good investment. For a trial period followed by $47 a month you get eight weeks of affiliate classes taught by Adam. Or twelve weeks of vendor classes led by Justin. “Expert” classes happen every other week plus there are “specially curated” add-on trainings.
The CBU toolkit comes with enrollment. The toolkit gives you the lowdown on everything ClickBank and you’ll save big time picking up shortcuts and tricks…. drum roll, please… wait for it with me… often for free! The not-so-free things come with “massive discounts.”
Also included are the Traffic Center where you are trained in how to “generate almost unlimited traffic” to your website on demand.
Plus you get access to the CBU2 community via a Facebook page. Ask and ye shall receive
And true to form, when I clicked on the button to join up with the CBU2, I was taken to a Landing Page.
The UP Side To ClickBank
- Basic access is free.
- Well organized affiliate program
- Lots of categories (23) and products to market
- Your sales record is at your fingertips on your Dashboard
- Referral commissions for referring product vendors
- Fairly straight-forward approach to getting a product on the market once you grasp the mechanics of it.
- Offers a tutorial containing written and video training in generating traffic to your product (traffic not guaranteed).
- Someone fairly intelligent with internet marketing skills would probably do well.
The DOWN Side To ClickBank
- No access to the owners
- No on-site gurus to consult.
- No commission program for affiliate referrals
- No free training videos readily visible. You can find some in the Knowledge Base.
- Depending on the individual the learning curve could be quite steep. The owners admit that it can be overwhelming.
- Allows lots of upselling at purchase time
- Refunds/Cancellations go through the same Support system as any help/info requests.
- No discount is offered for paying on a yearly basis.
- Even with CBU2 it appears that you pay for costly add-ons and tools.
Who Is ClickBank For?
ClickBank seems to be an excellent way for an experienced affiliate marketer to make money. I’m not sure about the inexperienced. Someone smart who as a natural leaning for internet marketing skills could pick it up quickly. A newbie might find the learning curve a steep one.
There’s a lot of how-to material available but you’re basically on your own to learn the system. Unless you want to pay for CBU2. The CBU2 video is tempting but I didn’t join. Didn’t see a Ferrari or Lamborghini or a sweeping seaside villa, but how do you argue with a claim of $3.5 Billion in ClickBank sales?
The products are ready to sell and fairly easy to locate for marketing purposes.
A number of eBooks and tutorials are available online that are supposed to crack the ClickBank nut for you and instantly get you rolling into the world of profits. Some of them strike me as oriented toward get-rich-quick schemes while others left me with the impression that they might be a better investment than monthy payments for CBU2.
ClickBank Training and Tools
- Knowledge Base
- ClickBank University 2.0 – $47/month
- 8-Week Affiliate Class + 12-Week Vendor Class
- Bi-Weekly Expert Classes
- Specially Curated Add-on Trainings
- CBU Toolkit and Traffic Center
- Massive Discounts on our Favorite Tools
- Live Events for a Fraction of the Price
- AND The Exclusive ClickBank University Community
- Lots of “insider” material available for sale and for free on the web.
You’re expected to use the Knowledge Base to get answers to common questions. Unless, of course, you enroll in CBU2. Help is available on the Knowledge Base page in the form of a link as shown below.
Taking the link sends you to a standard form where you provide the Subject, Description of Your Request, Type of Question and your ClickBank nickname. I have no idea how long it takes to get a response. The help, or question, form just seems to leave me out in the cold. Also, there is no toll-free number to call.
By the way, all refunds and order cancellations also go through the same Technical Support help system as any request for help or information.
- Free just to join
- $49.95 One-time payment when promoting a product to sell
- $47/month to join ClickBank University. 30-day guarantee. A free trial enrollment is offered that consists of a Q&A webinar with Justin and Adam.
My Opinion of ClickBank
ClickBank in itself is one of the better affiliate marketing platforms that I have seen. An experienced internet affiliate marketer might have no problem hitting the ground running, but a newbie will have to face an uphill struggle in learning the marketing process.
ClickBank claims to have paid out over $3.5 Billlion to affiliates and vendors. They say that over 100,000 have found success at ClickBank and over 1,000 have become millionaires. CBU2 is based on the strategies and successes of those 1,000+ millionaires.
ClickBank offers lots of categories with lots of products. Someone experienced who knows their niche and has a comparable product in their Marketplace might set the world on fire. For the purpose of selling specific products an experienced internet marketer might find the motherlode here.
I’ve bought a few products through ClickBank and I’ll have to confess that the relentless upselling at purchase time is a big turn-off for me.
You’re buying this widget. Hey! This wacket goes nicely with it. Buy it for twice the price and I’ll thrown in a whatchamacallit. And buy this model-on-steroids that complements the widget/wacket combination for another $100…
I can see why they’re doing it. Sure it might land some extra dinero, but it’s just a peeve with me. I suppose it is really up to the person doing the selling. I still don’t like it.
My Final Verdict
My final verdict: ClickBank is 100% legitimate and scam-free! ClickBank’s score is 90 out of 100.
You just have to do an awful lot of legwork and learning on your own. But hey! That’s how some of us learn best. And then there’s CBU2…
Wealthy Affiliate Is The Best Value
Despite the many pros, I still find ClickBank ranking behind Wealthy Affiliate (WA). There is no personal touch like WA offers its members. ClickBank may have the products to sell but WA offers a gold mine of educational opportunities and teaches the correct skills needed for effective internet affiliate marketing. From what I was able to see, ClickBank doesn’t seem to offer that. Review Wealthy Affiliate, My #1 Recommendation Here!
The online access to fellow affiliates and to the owners of WA extend a value that a price cannot be affixed to! WA offers Starter Members two free websites plus the stellar WordPress Content Management System (CMS). What the member learns leads to incredible website development. Marketing skills learned at WA take over from there and the member obtains the knowledge to drive traffic to the website. ClickBank offers nothing of the sort.
The bottom line is this: Wealthy Affiliate offers the best value!
Wishing you all the best!
Got an opinion about this review? Got questions about Wealthy Affiliate? Just want to chat? Please leave me your comment or question below! Thanks! I read them all. Promise!