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My previous article ClickBank Thank You Page Protection Made Easy prompted a number of questions - what is a ClickBank Thank You page, and why do you need to protect it?
So, in this article, I’ll try and address that, and explain from the beginning… (note: a slightly different, shorter and less detailed version of this article has also been posted to EzineArticles under my name, Sunil Tanna).
Okay, first question: What is ClickBank?
Basically ClickBank is a retailer of digital products delivered via the Internet, for example eBooks and software, delivered to customers a download. You have two main options for joining ClickBank:
- Firstly, you can join ClickBank as an affiliate. Joining as an affiliate allows you to help sell other people’s products (by linking to them) and earn a commission.
- Alternatively, you can join ClickBank as a vendor. As a vendor, you can still earn affiliate commissions, but in addition, you can list your own digital products for sale.
Traditionally these were the only two options in ClickBank, but in early 2013, ClickBank added two sub-options within each category:
- The Affiliate option was split into “ClickBank for Affiliates” (the same as ClickBank’s traditional system and free to join), and ClickBank Audience Builder, which for a monthly fee added a web hosting service and an autoresponder.
- The Vendor option was split into “ClickBank DIY” (the same as ClickBank’s traditional system and based around running your own website), and ClickBank Powered, in which ClickBank hosts the sales site for you in return for a monthly fee.
I can’t really say how many people are using Powered by ClickBank - we are using ClickBank DIY ourselves, and so is every other vendor site that I have so far seen… so the rest of this article is about ClickBank DIY:
Anyway, if you are a ClickBank DIY vendor selling a product through ClickBank’s system, one of the issues that you should carefully think about is thank you page security. The reason for this, is that if you do not, others may take advantage of weaknesses in your security to download or share your product without authorization – which will cut into your sales and profits.
Some people say that you should not worry about piracy, since pirates would never buy your product anyway. My own personal experience and opinion differs however. I believe that there are of course some hardcore pirates who would never pay (and correspondingly there are many honest people who will always for a legitimate copy of product), but I also believe that there are many people in the middle – people who will pirate if piracy is convenient and easy, but who would pay if that is a better alternative.
Basically the way that ClickBank’s vendor system (after ClickBank’s recent changes, this is now known as “ClickBank DIY”) works is quite simple:
- The prospective customer visits a “Pitch Page” on your website that describes your product.
- When they are ready to buy, the customer clicks the payment link on the pitch page.
- The customer is then directed to ClickBank’s secure order form (ClickBank acts as the retailer for the product)
- After the customer pays through the secure order form, they are then sent back to a page on your website, known as your “Thank You Page”, where you can thank the customer for purchasing the product, and offer them instructions for downloading.
The beauty of this system is that it is very easy to set up and get started – even relatively inexperienced webmasters can set up a product sales site with just a few hours work. However, the weakness of following the simple and naive approach to setting up in this way is that the Thank You Page URL (used in step 4) is basically the same for everybody. This means the URL of the Thank You page can be shared without your permission!
You might find the Thank You URL getting emailed around between friends wanting to download your product, posted on black hat forums, and even getting indexed by search engines. In the latter case, people finding your site in a search engine, might even end-up going to your Thank You page and downloading your product without even realizing that they were supposed to pay! ClickBank suggests adding noindex metatag to the Thank You page which may help a bit in the case of those search engines which pay attention to metatags (not all of them), but you need to do quite a bit more if you want to stop the other kinds of sharing.
There is a solution: to use a script on your server which generates a unique Thank You Page for each customer. The purpose of this is that access to that Thank You Page is limited – so that after the customer has finished using it, that particular Thank You Page can’t be used again and again by other people to access the same product(s) without permission.
There are quite a few scripts on the market you could use for this purpose, including DLGuard, EasyClickGuard, Linklok for ClickBank, as well as our own (new) CB Thank You Page Protector.
Of course, it’s up to you which script you choose but I’m going to urge you to seriously consider CB Thank You Page Protector for a few reasons:
- We are cheaper than our competitors
- We believe that we are better than our competitors
Firstly, and for a lot of people the most important reason why we are better is that CB Thank You Page Protector is incredibly easy to setup. Use your web host’s control panel to make a new email address/mailbox on your site, upload our script files, and then follow the instructions. We even tell you how to set up your ClickBank account! It is really is that easy - watch the video and see yourself! Unlike our competitors, you don’t need to mess around with text files, creating databases, etc., etc.,
Secondly, we don’t just protect your thank you pages, but also protect the downloadable files (ZIP files, EXE files, PDF files, etc.) linked from your Thank You Page. This is so people can’t bypass the Thank You page and link directly to the downloads on your server.
All of this is (of course) completely transparent to your legitimate customers – we fully understand that a security solution that causes them difficulty is the last thing that you want!
In fact, we’ve gone even further: We’ve created a Thank You Page solution, which actually enhances your customer’s experience, and can even help you reduce refunds and charge-backs:
- It will let you, the vendor, to design your Thank You Page to look exactly how you want it – so that you can offer your customers the best experience possible (rather than making you use only pre-made templates, etc.).
- It will allow you to generate a personalized Thank You Page for each of your customers containing their information – such as their name, the time they purchased, their receipt number, etc.
- It will allow you to set up automatic Thank You emails to your customers – again written by you, in your own words, but personalized for each customer. You can use these emails to thank the customer for their purchase, tell them about your other offerings and products, give them your contact details in case of problems, and remind them of their receipt number and how the charge will show on their billing statement. These kinds of simple enhancement to communication can have wonderful effects in terms of improving relationships with your customers and helping to reduce refunds and charge-backs (many customers simply forget what they purchased for example – so a reminder of this type can help).
In summary, taking care of your ClickBank Thank You Pages can make quite a big difference to your ClickBank business selling eBooks or software. Improving security on your Thank You Pages and downloads, can reduce piracy, and increase sales. Moreover, taking care of your legitimate customers, by offering personalized Thank You Pages and thank you email messages, can help reduce refunds and charge-backs, and help you to build relationships with your customers allowing you to sell more of your other products. For this reason, I’d strongly urge you to take a look at CB Thank You Page Protector, I think you will find it more than worth the modest investment required to use it.
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: