It’s no secret that bloggers, influencers, or digital entrepreneurs can profit from joining an affiliate network.
The trouble is that thousands of platforms offer affiliate programs with low-quality products no one has ever heard of.
Promoting second-rate products on your blog or website can hurt your online reputation, but you can easily avoid facing this problem by joining a legit affiliate network.
When I first encountered ClickBank, I thought its commission rates were too good to be true, which prompted me to believe that the platform might be a scam.
After testing the platform for a few months, I realized it is entirely legit and that all the rumors of it being a scam are just rumors.
However, ClickBank is a huge affiliate marketplace with thousands of products, which means you’ll inevitably run into some products with questionable quality.
Luckily, the platform gives you the tools you need to weed out programs with bad products.
In this review, I’ll walk you through ClickBank’s essential features and show you how to join the platform’s affiliate program that can generate substantial income for you.
2022 ClickBank Review
What is ClickBank?
You must be familiar with basic affiliate marketing concepts to understand what ClickBank is and how it can help you grow your business.
In short, affiliate marketing enables companies to promote and sell their products through affiliate networks and reward them for the sales or traffic generated through their referrals.
Platforms like Amazon Associates or ClickBank create a bridge between online retailers and affiliates. Hence, joining ClickBank can help businesses that produce digital or physical goods boost sales by creating a network of affiliates.
The platform takes a certain percentage for each commission to cover the tax and shipping costs, while the rest is split between the seller and the affiliate.
ClickBank is among the oldest affiliate marketing platforms still in operation, as it launched in 1999, years before the arrival of Web 2.0.
In the last quarter century, the platform has generated over $5 billion for its affiliates, while its marketplace currently features over 20,000 products from more than two hundred categories.
The platform has an extensive library of learning materials and certification courses designed to help new users choose the products they want to sell or advertise.
ClickBank provides detailed guidelines for sellers who’d like to start an affiliate program. Moreover, affiliates and sellers can choose their preferred payment models.
The platform’s sellers can opt to offer affiliates Revenue Share or Cost Per Action (CPA) commission models. Depending on the model they choose, affiliates can earn up to 90% of each sale made through their website.
Who Should Use ClickBank?
Duality is one of the reasons why ClickBank is among the most successful affiliate networks.
The platform allows its users to join a variety of affiliate programs and run multiple affiliate networks at the same time.
As a result, joining ClickBank can be a good option for small and medium-sized businesses struggling to reach their target audiences or bloggers and influencers with a sizeable online following.
You’ll have to pay $1 per day if you fail to sell a product in 90 days, and the fee will rise to $5 per day for periods of inactivity longer than six months.
That’s why I suggest exploring other affiliate platforms if you’re in the early stages of starting a blog or a social media channel and you’re not sure you can generate enough traffic to secure at least one sale in three months.
ClickBank Key Features
Joining the ClickBank platform as an affiliate is easy, and it is free.
However, you’ll be asked to provide private data such as your phone number or tax ID number.
The platform will automatically activate your account as soon as you provide all mandatory information.
Once you’ve completed the account setup process, you can start using the platform both as a seller and an affiliate.
The platform’s interface is intuitive, and you won’t need long to get used to it, even if you have never used an affiliate marketing platform.
All the tools you’ll need to join an affiliate program are located on the Dashboard, which makes browsing through products and checking the vendor’s creditability relatively easy.
The first thing I had to do after joining the ClickBank platform was to familiarize myself with the terminology the platform uses. Here are some of the most important terms that can help you find profitable products.
- Gravity – You’ll see this metric next to all products on the platform. It shows you the number of affiliates who sold the particular product in the last twelve weeks. The metric is updated daily.
- Average % Rebill – Affiliate commission percentage for each sale of a specific product with the rebill commission.
- Initial $/Sale – The metric indicates the average dollar value of the sale, and it doesn’t include rebills.
- Average % Sale – The metric shows the average value of the affiliate commission percentage along with initial sale and rebill commissions.
Understanding each of these metrics takes time. I recommend focusing on the product’s Gravity score at first because it shows you which products are currently in demand.
This metric also makes navigating through the platform’s product categories much easier because it allows you to focus on products that sell.
ClickBank’s affiliates can choose from products in the following categories:
- Arts & Entertainment
- Health and Fitness
- Software and Services
- Cooking, Food, and Wine
- Home and Garden
- E-Business and E-Marketing
Each of these categories contains a variety of products, and you must use Gravity and other metrics to select the products you’d like to promote on your website.
Most products on the ClickBank platform are produced by relatively unknown brands.
That’s why I recommend researching the vendor and its products before joining their affiliate network because you might end up advertising junk products that can only hurt your reputation.
Here’s an overview of some of the platform’s best-selling products:
- Venus Factor System
You must click on the Promote button next to the product you select and proceed to generate an affiliate link you can include in your social media or blog posts.
Payment Methods and Commission Rates
Generating a steady income through ClickBank’s affiliate programs isn’t a walk in the park.
You’ll face tough competition if you opt for one of the platform’s top-rated programs or struggle to find the audience for products with low Gravity scores.
The platform’s high commission rates can be misleading, even if you manage to create engaging content for the product you want to promote.
The seller determines commission rates, so affiliates can choose between Revenue Sharing and Cost Per Action, commission models.
Revenue Share or RevShare is a percentage-based model where sellers and affiliates split the remaining percentage of the sale after the platform takes its 7.5% +$1 fee.
The average commission percentage affiliates receive through this model varies from 1 to 75%.
The CPA model allows vendors to set a fixed amount affiliates receive from each sale.
The platform lets affiliates choose from the following payment methods:
- Check – This is the default payment option, and ClickBank sends paper checks to the address affiliates provide on their accounts.
- Direct Deposit – This option isn’t available to all ClickBank users, and you must check if the platform makes international direct deposits to your country.
- Wire Transfers – You can choose to receive payments through wire transfers if ClickBank doesn’t make direct deposits to the country you live in.
- Payoneer – Affiliates can receive payments from ClickBank to their Payoneer accounts. The platform doesn’t support affiliate payments through PayPal.
ClickBank’s default payment threshold is set to $100, but affiliates can increase the payment threshold to pay fewer payment processing fees.
The platform lets affiliates add tracking IDs while generating HopLinks for their websites. Each ID contains a string of alphanumeric characters that only affiliates can see.
Adding an ID to the HopLink generated with ClickBank enables the affiliate to connect customers to different events, like making a purchase or following the link.
This, in turn, can help affiliate marketers create promotional content and develop strategies that drive sales.
Tracking IDs allow ClickBank to rank products based on how often they sell and make sure affiliates are compensated for each sale.
The Learn section of the ClickBank website contains an abundance of resources sellers and marketers can use to find out more about affiliate marketing or discover the advantages of the platform’s Platinum program.
Moreover, ClickBank offers a variety of courses designed to help novice users set up their accounts and join affiliate programs.
Attending the Spark Certification program can be a good choice for anyone who’d like to learn more about copywriting or digital and social media marketing.
This section of the website also includes traffic reports and guides to the latest e-commerce trends that can help affiliates decide which products they want to promote on their websites.
All platform members are eligible to become sellers after they’ve set up their accounts.
Nonetheless, having your products approved by ClickBank and creating an affiliate network can be overwhelming.
Let’s go through some of the vital aspects of this process.
Building an Affiliate Program
Before they can start connecting with affiliates, vendors must first decide if they want to sell physical, digital, or recurring products through the platform.
They must also provide the necessary legal documents that prove they have the right to distribute a specific product.
Vendors must have a registered domain because creating an affiliate program with a subdomain isn’t possible.
Each product must have Pitch and Thank You pages, and sellers must ensure each page is created in accordance with the platform’s guidelines.
Vendors are responsible for generating payment links, but this process can get technical because sellers must insert this link into the backend part of the Pitch page.
Afterward, the vendor must also create a HopLink that affiliates can use to advertise the product and add the product description to the ClickBank Marketplace.
The platform usually needs three to five workdays to approve products, and sellers have to cover the activation fee to make their products available to affiliates.
E-Commerce and Affiliate Management Tools
As I mentioned earlier, ClickBank gives sellers access to a network of more than 100,000 affiliates.
The platform lets vendors create upsell and downsell pages or sales funnels they can use to promote their products.
The platform also features various affiliate management tools that enable vendors to select the commission model for each product, automate payments, calculate taxes and track the performance of their offers.
Newcomers usually need time to master ClickBank’s e-Commerce and affiliate management tools.
I think that taking the time to understand what each tool does and how you can use it to your advantage can help you build a vast network of affiliates faster.
ClickBank supports integrations with third-party applications that extend the range of the platform’s capabilities.
Sellers can integrate their ClickBank accounts with apps from the following categories:
- Email Marketing
- Website Hosting
- Customer Relations
- Funnel Builders
- Membership Management
- Analytics and Tracking
In addition, users can connect their offers to their Payoneer and PayPal accounts, but ClickBank doesn’t allow vendors to use PayPal as an affiliate payout mechanism.
It’s worth adding that ClickBank supports API integrations. Still, vendors need programming experience to integrate CRM or email marketing applications through APIs.
ClickBank’s native sales analytics tools only track basic metrics. Consequently, they only provide sellers with a partial view of the sales process.
The platform offers a solution to this problem by allowing vendors to use third-party analytics and tracking pixel tools through its integrated reporting feature.
Sellers can use these apps with their ClickBank accounts:
- Google Analytics
- Yahoo Search Marketing
- Facebook Pixels and Facebook Conversions API
- Custom or third-party tracking pixel
How Much Does ClickBank Cost?
Opening an account on this platform is free because ClickBank doesn’t have monthly or annual subscription models.
In addition, members don’t have to pay a fee to join an affiliate program they like. Instead, the platform keeps 7.5%+$1 from each sale or 5% for transactions made through PayPal.
Vendors can set different commission rates for each of their products or opt to pay a fixed rate to their affiliates.
Affiliates must cover a $2.50 pay period processing fee for each payment they receive from ClickBank, and they can adjust their payment threshold to avoid paying this fee too often.
Sellers are required to pay a $49.95 activation fee after the platform approves their first product.
ClickBank also charges a reduced $29.95 fee for the first product vendors upload to additional sales accounts.
Is ClickBank Difficult to Use?
ClickBank can be an excellent option if you’d like to make money with your blog because it makes joining an affiliate program easy.
However, you’ll still have to do quite a bit of digging to find an affiliate program with high-quality products and reasonable commission rates.
So, the difficult part of using this affiliate marketing platform is determining which products fit your blogging niche or appeal to your social media followers.
Like all large marketplaces, ClickBank has a high amount of affiliate programs that offer low-quality goods produced by unknown brands.
Hence, testing the products you want to promote is the best way to determine their quality.
Becoming a vendor on this platform is much more difficult than using ClickBank as an affiliate since you’ll have to set up Sales and Thank You pages for each product you include in your affiliate program and complete a variety of technical tasks.
Moreover, some of the platform’s functions aimed at vendors require coding experience.
ClickBank Tutorial: Creating an Account and Getting Started
1. Open the ClickBank website in a browser and click on the Start Here button. Answer the questions to get the platform’s recommendation on the steps you need to take in order to start generating income from its affiliate programs.
2. Click on the Log In button, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Create an Account Here. Insert your data into each field and click on the Create Account button.
3. You’ll be directed to your profile, where you can add your card details or customize your account further. ClickBank lets you create multiple accounts as an affiliate and a vendor, and it usually needs a few minutes to verify your data.
4. Click the Affiliate Marketplace button on the Dashboard and start browsing the products. Once you’ve found the product you’d like to advertise, click on the Promote button.
5. Add the account nickname and the tracking ID before clicking the Generate HopLinks button. Copy the link and collect all vendor’s marketing materials.
Does ClickBank Have a Good Customer Service?
The affiliate marketing platform has a huge library that contains all the information vendors, and affiliates need to start selling and promoting products.
Members can reach ClickBank Client Success Team through chat on workdays from 7:30 to 3:30 MST. In addition, users can get in touch with the platform’s customer support representative via telephone or file a support ticket.
However, ClickBank’s customer service doesn’t respond quickly to support tickets, and you may have to wait up to a week to get an answer to a question you submitted in this way.
The platform’s refund policy enables buyers to return products up to sixty days from the date of purchase.
What are People Saying about ClickBank?
ClickBank has a strong 4.4 Trustpilot rating on more than 3,000 reviews.
81% of reviewers have rated ClickBank as excellent, while 11% of the platform’s users have awarded ClickBank just one star.
Most complaints concern inefficient customer support, vendors with questionable reputations, or issues with refunds.
I think the Trustpilot reviews paint a realistic picture of ClickBank as they highlight some of its advantages and reveal its shortcomings.
ClickBank – Pros and Cons
Frequently Asked Questions About ClickBank
How Many Products Can I Add to My ClickBank Vendor Account?
Sellers can’t add more than 750 products to a single vendor account. However, the platform allows them to open additional sales accounts with the same login data.
Do I Need Multiple Accounts to Promote Different Products?
Affiliates can promote up to 500 products from a single account, and opening an additional account isn’t necessary unless you’d like to advertise more than 500 products.
How Long is the ClickBank Payment Period?
Affiliates and vendors can choose to receive payments weekly or monthly. Still, ClickBank won’t issue payment if a seller or an affiliate fails to reach the payment threshold for a payment period.
My Verdict: Why I Think ClickBank is a Legit Option for Digital Entrepreneurs
I won’t beat around the bush.
Some of the products vendors on ClickBank offer are crap, and if you aren’t careful, you can end up promoting trash on your website.
Still, this doesn’t mean all ClickBank affiliate programs are horrible. Quite the opposite, the platform hosts a broad spectrum of excellent products with high commission rates and Gravity scores.
ClickBank issues payments on time and allows affiliates to monitor the sales of products they promote.
I think ClickBank is far from being a scam. It is a legitimate affiliate marketing platform with plenty to offer to bloggers, email marketers, or social media influencers.
The best part is that you don’t have to pay a dime to join ClickBank.