As an affiliate, my usage of Clickbank was really limited. I never actively looked on Clickbank for products to promote but instead when I found a cool service or book to promote occasionally I would find out they were using Clickbank . So I would log in and grab my affiliate ID.
I rarely, if ever, logged into Clickbank to check my stats. And to be honest I am not even sure how much I made with them. When I promoted stuff, it was because I wanted to share it with others and I thought it was a great product… not because I was in it for the money. After all, most of the money generated from affiliate income on this blog goes to charity. I love to throw charity under the bus in the name of making money online. It allows me to educate readers on “how to” to do stuff and makes for great case studies while giving back to the Lincoln Nebraska People’s City Mission who we raised over $30,000 for in 2009 alone ;). But I digress….
When we were first getting ready to launch the ShoeMoney System we talked to a lot of smart people who had been releasing training/informational products for a LONG time.
While we had run successful online service oriented products (Nextpimp, Auctionads, ShoeMoney Tools) we really had no prior experience in selling a full blown product like the ShoeMoney System…
We talked to everyone in the space. From my info marketing friends John Reese and Andy Jenkins who have a wealth of information in this area to the guys that run Video Professor and even the Train Signal computer training guys and many other people….
But one of my friends kept telling me not to rule out Clickbank. He kept talking about how easy they were to integrate into everything and how they just handled everything for you.
Is Clickbank right for us?
I have to be honest… I was not thrilled about the thought of using Clickbank. I always associated them with some of the lower end “things i would not want to be associated with”. Not really that I could name 1 thing off the top of my head or quantify those thoughts in any way but I just had that feeling about them. Maybe you know what I am saying?
Plus, we already had like 5 merchant accounts for our various companies and have built our own in house affiliate programs for everything we have ever done. But all of that requires a lot of resources…. and people to oversee payments, refunds… issues with banks… moving money around… getting 1099’s on all affiliates… making sure affiliates have their taxid’s in… dealing with all that BS.
So Clickbank was pretty attractive in that they take care of all of this for you. And they take maybe 1-2% percent more then what our normal merchant account takes. But those are the ONLY fees they take. They charge you nothing for handling paying all the affiliates, dealing with refunds and all of that. Plus they assume all liability on your affiliates… which is pretty huge from a legal and tax perspective.
What really sealed the deal for me was when I attended Mike Filsaime’s affiliate appreciation event in Las Vegas last January and got to talk some of the biggest affiliates in the world about their thoughts on us using Clickbank for the ShoeMoney System. These guys were not the fly by night PPC cowboys I am used to hanging out with but rather guys with mailing lists of millions of people they have been building for years.
Yes… that’s right there are a lot of “Affiliate Marketers” out there who have never heard of AzoogleAds, Neverblue, Copeac, Ads4dough, Clickbooth, etc… who make millions and millions of dollars online. It’s another world and in another post…. another day I will compare the 2 worlds cause its pretty amazing how different they are.
Anyway while these guys have never heard of most of the major CPA companies, they have either promoted guys who have their own merchant accounts or people who have their products on Clickbank. So they were a great resource to talk to about Clickbank.
All of these guys loved the ShoeMoney System and were excited to help me promote it. But when they asked about what I was doing for an affiliate program I was almost embarrassed to tell these them we were thinking about using Clickbank… again not sure why just the pre-conceived association I had with people that used Clickbank.
I was pretty amazed with their response. Every one of them responded warmly and the biggest reason was that they knew they were going to get paid. Evidently people skimming off the top is a common concern. So having an independent 3rd party like Clickbank who handles everything in a fair manner was key. That was really what sealed the deal for me.
Clickbank lets you focus in on what you do best
With our other products I get bogged down a lot tracking down affiliate issues like… “So and so signed up under my ID but I am not getting paid can you look into it?” or “How come I did not get paid last month I entered my phone number where it said SSN:” or stuff like that.
Having Clickbank handle the merchant side of the ShoeMoney System really lets me focus on:
- Working with our students.
- Improving our product.
- Marketing our product.
I have to tell you, its been really nice. Clickbank has also been an amazing resource to us. They have been available to us whenever we have inquired about various things and have also provided invaluable feedback about how to leverage their affiliates.
As a merchant their tools are pretty awesome too. It took me a little bit to learn their reporting functions but its a very robust system. And they also have a mediocre API that can integrate with your existing platforms.
By far the biggest asset to using Clickbank is the affiliates. There are a bazillion of them. The ShoeMoney System pays a lifetime 50% commission for life ($97 per month) which at last check was the highest paying reoccurring payout on all of Clickbank. We also have the highest retention rate of any Clickbank product with affiliates making over $200 per referred user (that number will only go up since we have only been open 3 months).
With all the crappy work from home offers that are a total scam and offer a 1 time payout of $30-$60 getting nailed by the FTC we have had a lot of great top notch affiliates turning to us. Making WAY more money and also promoting an actual… legit…product
As of last friday we had just under 4,000 (YES FOUR THOUSAND) active affiliates, active meaning they have sent at least 1 hit to our landing page.
If you are thinking about selling your own product I would highly recommend checking out Clickbank .