When you hear about affiliate programs, the two that come up time after time are Amazon and Clickbank.
Amazon is known for its size and there's no doubt that their popularity has been fuelled by the fact that they're a public company and take up the majority of the transactions online. 43% of all US sales online are accounted for by Amazon.
Clickbank, on the other hand, is a bit different. It's affiliate program accepts nearly anyone and they're network pays a lot more on a per average sale.
But that really just the tip of the iceberg...
The Quick and Dirty on Clickbank
- Up to 75% commission rate (expect around 30-50% for most)
- Tons of unique niches to promote
- Can organize by high converting products that pay well
- Commissions can be split with another affiliate for a project (JV)
- Vendors welcome more affiliates, generally
- High fees by Clickbank lower commissions
- $150 maximum commission earned from single sale
- More low-quality than high-quality products to promote
First, What Is Clickbank?
A Marketplace For Digital & Physical Goods
Clickbank acts as a retailer on the front end and you'll notice this as soon as you goto the homepage. They're store offers a variety of information products, software, and physical products.
Up until recently (3 years), they only offered digital products. Now they offer and work with companies like SurvivalLife to ship their physical goods. Here's the landing page for SurvivalLife's pocket knife.
Clickbank's power isn't necessarily it's front end store, but the ability for product creators to access a huge network of motivated affiliates.
A Place To Spy On Product Funnels
As an affiliate, you should probably be aware of something called the "average customer value". In Clickbank, it's called the "Avg $/sale". We'll explain more metrics in greater detail later but this number specifically tells us the average dollar amount that each purchaser makes when buying a product. Usually, if the Avg $/sale is higher, then it leaves you room to reinvest profits back into advertising.
If you're an affiliate, you want to find products that have successful funnels for a few reasons. 1) To see the positioning of the right offer after the initial sale 2) The words they use to encourage action
Language and the right offer are important. Clickbank allows you to see the full scope of what's really making people buy in your niche and others.
A Checkout Page Used By Thousands
I think many of you have seen the guru's pushing SamCart and possibly even ThriveCart. But the one advantage that Clickbank has over any of those is that they've been around for much longer and is somewhat cheaper. Depending on the scale of your business, of course.
There could be millions of people seeing a Clickbank checkout page every day, so you bet your ass they're testing out what's working well for their customers. I would admit that the flexibility isn't as great as those other checkout options, but really it's all about how you position the offer in the first place.
As an affiliate, you need to make sure you add on tons of value before directing the sale. You don't have to do this, of course. But it's certainly going to increase your conversions if you do a bit of nurturing.
The checkout page is certainly important, but what a customer see's beforehand is even more effective in making sure they believe it will solve their problem. This goes for writing reviews, making videos, creating lead magnets. Anything and everything.
In case you haven't seen a Clickbank checkout before, it looks like this:
An Affiliate Management Solution, Plus HUGE Network
Vendors are product creators on Clickbank. The main reason vendors choose to use Clickbank is because of the huge network of affiliates that come through.
With the cost of applying to become a product, you have access to an all-in-one solution that takes care of the nitty gritty administrative work.
For affiliates, you have access to tons of products. Some in your immediate niche and plenty in related niches. For example, if you happen to own a dog site - you may find a product that teaches parents how to get their children to interact with pets.
Commissions for affiliates are always calculated on a net sale basis. Meaning after Clickbank has taken their fees, then you and the vendor split the revenue. This happens with recurring payments too.
Access to Diverse Joint Venture Contracts
Clickbank is on the cutting edge with these types of contractual agreements. Affiliates can actually team up with each other and split commissions. From a vendors point of view, they can split earnings with affiliate brokers, landing page builders, copywriters, etc. The possibilities are endless with this option and I think it's one of the most exciting parts of the Clickbank network.
This means you have an opportunity to work with people who specialize in different areas. For example, if you're great at building landing pages or writing review content. But someone else is really good at figuring out paid advertisement. You can team up and not have to worry about the administrative efforts of splitting commissions.
How To Start Making Money With Clickbank
Niche research with Clickbank can start in two ways:
You can look at research the Clickbank marketplace OR you can do good ol' keyword research.
I prefer the second way of doing keyword research, however, you need to also understand the Clickbank marketplace too. It all works together. Dom's first successful site was actually a Clickbank one. Which he eventually sold. Here's a podcast episode on that very story.
Starting Clickbank Marketplace Research
When you first enter the Clickbank marketplace, you're instantly asked to shift yourself into a specific category.
As you can tell, they're far-ranging. I can't really tell you which category is the best because there isn't one. It really depends on what you want to spend time promoting.
Don't go into a category that you don't want to learn anything about. Just like an Amazon site, you need to be at least interested in learning more about the topic. This helps you refine your marketing so you appear as a subject matter expert. You probably won't become an expert unless your at least interested in it.
Once you choose a category to browse, you'll notice these metrics in the results and also in the search bar (available in the advanced search too):
What Makes a Good Clickbank Product To Promote?
It's hard to narrow down the perfect product because often times the vendor is missing one or two of the following qualities, but here are some good guidelines to stick with:
Out of those 10 points, I would say rebills, upsells, gravity, Google search volume, and the landing page are the most important qualities. Even though there isn't a specific gravity number to strive for, you can be assured that a gravity over 20 should have a decent landing page. But in my opinion, nothing beats a manual inspection. If you can go through the funnel yourself and see what's offered, you can create complementary bonus offers.
A great landing page will do wonders for a product. It's the easiest way to gain credit or lose it. Most people are simply not going to give their credit card to people they don't trust.
Conducting Keyword Research For Clickbank Products
Keyword research for Amazon sites is very similar to the way you'd do it for Clickbank products. But with more emphasis on information keywords.
Here are the 3 types of keywords you'll be trying to find:
Information keywords usually mean the person searching is further away from making a buying decision. But I also like to take advantage of the fact that people don't know the answer yet, so a percentage of those will be willing to invest into a solution. It's all about the offer too. What can you add in as a bonus that's irresistible?
In this case, creating content for SEO purposes should work in tandem with a paid search campaign with Google. In one our last articles about conversions, Giles Thomas talked about capturing leads before directing to affiliate products. That way you don't have to rely on just one product product to promote, now you can market to them for free if you've got their email.
Creating a Clickbank Funnel As An Affiliate
As a Clickbank affiliate, you're going to have the same access to traffic sources as an Amazon affiliate.
You can rely on SEO, social networks, and also paid advertising to funnel traffic to your Clickbank offer. In my personal opinion, you shouldn't create any content without collecting emails. I know that some of you don't do that, but that's just my personal opinion. This includes blog posts, videos, and of course landing pages.
Clickbank products aren't from a recognized retail giant like Amazon so the conversion rates are going to be lower. You're likely going to have to show the offer multiple times in order to convince people that this solution is right for them.
Here's what a standard affiliate funnel would look like:
Out of that funnel, you really only have to create 4 things: the SEO content, landing page, email sequence and bonuses to throw in. You probably won't be an expert in all those areas, so we created an eBook service to help people create lead magnets and bonuses for their affiliate offers.
The reason why we created that service is because...
Capturing the emails is super important to getting traffic that you own. You can use it for retargeting on Facebook, making different offers (including your own), and keeping a potential lead for life. But no one's going to give you their email for no reason, you need to exchange it for something. A chapter of the eBook could be used as a lead magnet, while the entire volume of eBooks could be utilized as the bonus offer.
Make sure to keep growing your site too. SEO takes time and you can mix it in with your advertising campaigns. Our automated content service is probably something you should look into if you're considering the route of content + ads.
Clickbank affiliate funnels are all about perceived customization. Where we create tons of different content that is all driving to a single offer. Instead of making different offers and have all these different funnels going on, try and stick to one offer. At least when you're starting out.
Building a Clickbank site does require a slightly different process but since many of the products provide much larger commissions than Amazon, you should have enough to reinvest into buying relevant traffic.
There is a ton of crap out there in the Clickbank marketplace... You'll notice this within 3 seconds. Utilize the search function or reach out to us to help you. Our custom niche sites are setup to be flexible. If you don't have a niche idea already, I'm sure we could help you determine the right fit.
Till next time! Please leave a comment and let me know about your own Clickbank experience.