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March 6, 2013

Changes at ClickBank - ClickBank Powered & Audience Builder

Category: Affiliate Programs, eBook Marketing & Publishing, ClickBank — Answers 2000 @ 12:46 pm

Disclosure: Our company is a ClickBank Vendor and Affiliate, and has been for more than 14 years. We earn money by selling our own products through ClickBank, as well as earning affiliate commission on other products sold by ClickBank, including ClickBank’s own products/services. We are also an AWeber affiliate, and earn commissions from sale of their services.

If you’re not already a member, you will recall that ClickBank is an online retailer that you integrate with your website. In the past there were two ways of joining ClickBank:

  1. ClickBank Vendor: You can easily sell your own downloadable products from your website (such as software or eBooks). You also get access to all the affiliate features (see below). There was a one-time US $49.95 setup fee associated with activating a vendor account, as well as some deductions that apply to your earnings, including transaction fees on your own sales, and check issuing fees, etc.
  2. ClickBank Affiliate: You can use special links to earn to other vendors, and earn commissions on sales that you refer. Setting up your account was free, but there were some deductions that apply to your earnings, for your own sales, such as check issuing fees, etc.

ClickBank have now revised their site, and there are now four different ways to join:

  1. Vendors - ClickBank DIY - this appears to be basically the old ClickBank vendor option. Cost: one-time $49.95 setup fee, plus transaction fees, check issuing fees, etc. You need to provide your own web hosting, but this the most flexible option, and this will be the option our company will continue to use.
  2. Vendors - ClickBank Powered - Cost: From $47/month (as well as transaction fees, etc.). With this option, ClickBank provides web hosting and tools to get your site up and running quickly. They also can provide training and support. In other words, it’s ideal for somebody who doesn’t have the skills or ability to setup their own ClickBank site.
  3. Affiliates - ClickBank for Affiliates - Cost: Free (but check issue fees, etc.). This appears to be the old ClickBank affiliate option.
  4. Affiliates - ClickBank Audience Builder - Cost: $27/month. You join ClickBank as an affiliate and earn commissions on sales of third party products, but ClickBank provide you with hosting, an autoresponder, etc. This option seems to be mainly aimed at novices who are new to affiliate marketing, and who are looking for an easy entry point.

All these options are very interesting, and I’m sure they will allow ClickBank to reach a whole new set of vendors and affiliates. That said, I do hope that ClickBank doesn’t lose focus - they need to remember that their main business is enabling the sale of digital products to end-users (the people reading the eBooks, etc.) rather than taking money directly from vendors/affiliates.

One other point worth considering, which isn’t entirely clear is whether the web hosting, autoresponder, etc., provided in “ClickBank Audience Builder” and “ClickBank Powered” will be as good as the best of breed provided by specialist vendors in these categories - for example, will ClickBank’s autoresponder be as good as that provided by AWeber?

Lastly, one concern that I would have if I was using “ClickBank Audience Builder” and “ClickBank Powered” is that all my eggs are in one basket. If I were ever to fall-out with ClickBank (hopefully not likely, as I’ve been with them for 14 years, and have a good relationship - but I like to be prepared for the worst case scenario), then since my websites are not hosted with ClickBank, I could always switch to another retailer or payment provider. However if I were using ClickBank’s hosting, I might not have that option.

Anyway it will be interesting to see how it pans out - I expect there will be some fascinating stories (including hopefully some big success stories) as people start to explore the new ClickBank capabilities!

Note: All prices in this article are current at the time of writing, but ClickBank may vary them at any time. They do not include VAT or Sales Tax which may or may not apply depending on your geographic location.

Here are some other articles that you might like if you are a ClickBank vendor: Here are some other articles that you might like if you are a ClickBank affiliate:

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