Joined: 23 Mar 2004
|Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 5:51 pm Post subject: It's a ClickBank FIRST
|THE CLICKBANK GUIDE
Issue 80: May 15, 2007
Harvey Segal, Editor
History was made last week with a number of ClickBank
They went public with their FIRST ever press release.
Which announced their FIRST million dollar day
And they had their FIRST ever face-to-face meeting with
their clients (publishers and affiliates) when four of their
top execs flew into London.
Along with the top man himself, CEO Bob King, we heard about
their current and future plans from Monty Sooter (Chief
Technology Officer), Dush Ramachandran (Vice President,
Business Development) and Bob Dunlap (Director of
The new management team formed in Aug 2005 and have seen the
company grow by 20% in 2006, with the first quarter of 2007
exceeding the corresponding 2006 period by 30%.
In order to handle future growth the team have made it their
main priority to ensure that their hardware and software
systems have the stability and flexibility to cope (they
currently process 20,000 orders per day from a range of
That's why you would have apparently seen little progress
while all the foundation work has been going on behind the
But some of the things you may have noticed are
* the complete redesign and improved navigation at the site
* improved marketplace search
* improved stats including tracking codes for affiliates
* simplified guide to setting up an account
* the maximum number of products in an account leap from 50 to 500
* supplemental hoplink tracking
The last item should solve the worrying problem of
affiliates losing commission when cookies have been removed
by browser security settings or installed software on
You might also have seen the weird wording at the bottom of
the order form - an object of some ridicule at the forums.
I'm sure ClickBank would love to have explained the reason,
however - although they keep a keen watch at the forums -
they deliberately don't intervene.
But I can tell you that the wording is required for
compliance reasons because of the word 'bank' in the name
As part of their desire to give us what we want ClickBank
plan to do a large client survey. They will be sending it
out to a random sample of their client base which consists
- 100,000 active affiliates
- 11,000 publishers
Did you know that the ACTUAL number of affiliate exceeds
one million !
So 900,000 have fallen by the wayside.
If it were up to me I'd send them an email showing them how
to make money with ClickBank with the selection of books
So what are ClickBank working on right now ?
CURRENTLY IN DEVELOPMENT
** Recurring billing (Phase 1)
This is expected within 60 days. There are many features you
can implement in a recurring billing system such as various
frequency intervals, initial payments, trial payments,
automated upgrade to a higher price - so ClickBank will
defer some to Phase 2. However they did take heed of a
request to include Paypal billing (in addition to credit
card billing) in the first phase.
** Improved productivity stats
Affiliates will be able to see the number of clicks on their
hoplinks which, combined with tracking code stats, will
yield those all important conversion figures
** Multi lingual order form (Phase 1)
To get this underway it has been decided that the first
additional language will be Spanish.
** More advertising opportunities in the Marketplace
No details provided.
Currently ads start at a minimum rate of $35/day. If you
can't afford this pop over to the ClickBank Success Forum
where you can control the whole process of submitting an ad
If you would like to run such a system on your own (phpBB)
** Order form optimization
For me the most important task of all. Just think - all it
needs is an X% improvement in the conversion and all our
incomes will rise by X%.
For your information this testing is very carefully
controlled - if ClickBank see any degradation in results
within an hour or two of an upgrade they revert back.
ClickBank presented this list of tasks and asked for our
views on the importance of each one.
** Improve client communications
The most common complaint over the years has been the lack
of communication between ClickBank and its clients. The
events of the recent week herald the start of the new era
and ClickBank have now recruited a Marketing Communications
They would like to hear from you what information you would
like, how often and in what form. You can post your answers
** ACH/wire transfer payment options
How would you like to be paid ?
I pointed out that nearly every other affiliate program I
belong to pays via Paypal. I know that's what many of you
would like. ClickBank will consider.
** Multi currency capabilities
This is the option to pay in an alternative currency to the
dollar. It was suggested that UK customers are put off by
the seemingly high dollar figure and would be more amenable
to a sterling equivalent. As a halfway measure it was
suggested that a conversion 'chart' would be useful.
** Vendor approved refund
In other words a simpler way for the refund process to work
when a vendor requests a refund.
** Account consolidation: master/sub-account structure
Currently an account is restricted to one landing page for
affiliates and one rate of commission. Ideally each item in
an account could have an individual landing page and
commission rate. Another desirable feature is to allow all
accounts to be combined when it comes to paying out
This topic needs more investigation.
** Multi item shopping cart capabilities
Surprisingly this did not rate high on the wish list. It was
felt for example that it was preferable to control which
items you wish to offer as an upsell rather than have them
all available in a shopping cart
** Client API for account data and reporting
This means that access can be made available to your account
so that 3rd parties can develop tools to enhance the
reporting of your account stats.
** Help Desk/Ticket system
I do think a ticket system (coupled with an FAQ system)
should be high priority. We often see posters at forums
saying ClickBank does not reply to their messages - mainly
due to Emails not getting through.
** Phase 2 items
- Recurring billing
- Multi lingual order form
** Direct link to the order page
There is an 'unofficial' link (i.e. it is not listed at the
ClickBank site) that allows an affiliate to link directly to
a publisher's order page. An affiliate would use this to
create his own sales page.
The details are here
ClickBank did not seem to be aware of this and reckoned that
it was against their rules and should be withdrawn. The
problem being that the replacement page might misrepresent
However we countered with the very strong argument that
replacing a weak sales page with better copy can have huge
It seems that ClickBank will allow this link with the
condition that the affiliate page be submitted for approval.
** Affiliate contact with customers
It was generally agreed that affiliates should not be
allowed to follow up with customers as these "belonged" to
So it is possible that the customer email address might be
removed from the report for an affiliate sale. Take note if
you use software which relies on this.
Of course affiliates are entitled to capture customer
details before they send them to a publisher site. I discuss
the use of landing pages and squeeze pages in Issue 76 of
** Publisher/Affiliate contact
There is a reluctance from ClickBank in enabling publishers
to make contact with their affiliates. Our view was that
giving publishers access could provide huge benefits.
ClickBank will think about whether and how to accomplish
Note that affiliates are responsible for 70% of ClickBank's
In the meantime I'd advise that you use a program which
handles affiliate sign-up, overcomes the limitation of one
landing page and offers a host of other great features.
It's easyClickMate by Adrian Ling
** Sales notification to affiliates
It was requested that ClickBank should restore the sales
notification that used to be mailed out to affiliates.
It was felt that ClickBank's policies were not fully
explained for example
- can an affiliate offer a bonus product ? (yes you can -
see Issue 78 )
- what can and can not be shown on the sales page (e.g.
screenshots of earnings)
- why are new accounts turned down with the unhelpful
message "Rejected by the security officer - no reason given"
ClickBank will endeavour to improve this situation and
apologize for any inconsistencies in carrying out their
The reason for ClickBank's lenient refund policy is to
discourage chargebacks from unhappy customers. (Every
chargeback incurs ClickBank with a fee and as the number of
chargebacks moves to higher levels so does their merchant
fee rate - with the eventual risk of cancellation of their
account with the credit card company).
Surprisingly one of the main reasons for a chargeback is
that the customer does not recognize the purchased item when
he sees it on his credit card statement. Maybe a longer
description on the statement will help.
The average refund rate is 7%. I've said this before but I
do think ClickBank could easily turn this situation around
if they followed the excellent advice given by marketing
guru Paul Myers at
Note: There was an additional meeting of selected clients
but I am not at liberty to disclose the content of those
discussions, as they were conducted under an NDA.
Keep tuned - in case I have any news which I am permitted
to convey to you.
Newsletter Archives: click HERE
Last edited by Harvey Segal on Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
Joined: 27 Aug 2004
Location: Fort Collins, CO USA
|Posted: Wed May 16, 2007 1:19 am Post subject:
|Great stuff Harvey! It was good to finally meet you in person! Next time I'm in London I will look you up!
Joined: 17 Jan 2005
|Posted: Wed May 16, 2007 2:43 am Post subject:
|Great stuff Harvey!
Thanks for sharing!
Sounds like Clickbank is going to be around for a long time to come, which is good news for everybody.
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Joined: 23 Mar 2004
Joined: 15 Oct 2006
|Posted: Tue May 22, 2007 11:18 pm Post subject:
|The client API is of particular interest to me, as are click/conversion stats. I was actually thinking about putting my own system together but it would be great if this data was available straight from CB.
Joined: 05 Sep 2006
|Posted: Wed May 23, 2007 10:15 pm Post subject:
|Where else can we get this type of interesting and invaluable info?
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Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Joined: 30 Jul 2006
|Posted: Mon May 28, 2007 5:10 pm Post subject:
|I'm glad to see that ClickBank is communicating with Vendors/Merchants.
Reinforces my confidence in ClickBank.
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Joined: 17 Apr 2004
|Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 1:42 am Post subject: Thanks, Harvey
|Harvey, thank you very much for such an informative post. Very greatly appreciated by many, including myself.