What Is ClickBank Affiliate Marketing? Definition, How It Works & Tips

May 25, 2023

What is ClickBank affiliate marketing?

ClickBank affiliate marketing is promoting the products of brands that use the ClickBank Marketplace to manage their affiliate program. ClickBank affiliate marketing involves four parties in a transaction, including:

  1. Brand with an offer
  2. ClickBank, who manages the offer's affiliate program
  3. Affiliate marketer who promotes the offer
  4. Customer who interacts with or purchases the offer

What is ClickBank?

ClickBank is a global Ecommerce platform and affiliate marketplace that manages over 6 million entrepreneurs selling to over 200 million customers worldwide. The platform has been around for over 25 years and operates in over 150 countries. ClickBank provides the infrastructure to connect product owners who want marketing support with affiliate marketers who can support them in achieving their sales initiatives.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a digital marketing strategy whereby a brand outsources marketing to third-party marketers, called affiliates. Affiliate marketers earn affiliate commission by driving beneficial actions for brands like sales, app downloads, or newsletter sign-ups. Therefore, affiliate marketing is a type of performance marketing because affiliates only get paid when their marketing activities generate measurable results.

How does the ClickBank affiliate marketing program work for brands?

  1. 1
    Launch affiliate program - Brands with Ecommerce operations can elect to enhance their revenue potential by starting an affiliate program through ClickBank. 
  2. 2
    Prepare offer materials for affiliates - Brands that use ClickBank provide affiliates with direct response offer support materials like landing pages, banner ad images, and email swipes.
  3. 3
    List offer on ClickBank - Brands upload their affiliate materials to ClickBank and allow affiliates to promote their product. 
  4. 4
    Manage affiliate program from ClickBank - ClickBank’s affiliate management tools allow brands to collect sales tax and disburse funds accordingly to where they are owed.

How does the ClickBank affiliate marketing program work for affiliates?

  1. 1
    Generate online traffic - Affiliate marketers generate traffic through digital channels like blogs. 
  2. 2
    Find a relevant affiliate offer - ClickBank affiliates can browse through over 20 categories of products to find a product offer that is relevant to their target audience. 
  3. 3
    Generate affiliate link - From the product’s affiliate page, an affiliate generates a custom ClickBank marketplace link to track their sales. 
  4. 4
    Promote the product - An affiliate uses digital marketing tactics to generate interest and push their target audience towards the affiliate offer. 
  5. 5
    Earn commissions - When a customer clicks the affiliate link and completes an action that the brand pre-specifies as warranting a reward, like a sale, the affiliate earns a commission.

Pros and cons of affiliate marketing with ClickBank

Pros of affiliate marketing with ClickBank

High commissions compared to alternatives like Amazon Associate 

You can sell in over 150 countries

Easy to sign up and get started

Many offers have recurring commission to make ongoing passive income

Cons of affiliate marketing with ClickBank

Has a reputation for allowing a large quantity of poor quality products

As one of the most popular affiliate networks with low barriers, competition can be extremely high

The platform is constantly promoting various tactics to give the perception that profits are quick and easy

ClickBank charges steep fees for account inactivity

What kinds of products can you promote as a ClickBank affiliate?

The kinds of products you can promote as a ClickBank affiliate include both physical and digital products. The platform originally supported only digital products and so has primarily come to be associated with intangible products like eBooks, DVDs, and digital courses. However, these days, ClickBank affiliates can access and promote a range of physical products as well, like gym equipment, food, cosmetics, and health supplements. In fact, dietary supplements like Ikaria Juice are commonly found in the top offers section of the platform. 

What are ClickBank Marketplace statistics?

ClickBank Marketplace statistics are data points that help ClickBank affiliates analyze product promotion opportunities. ClickBank Marketplace statistics include:

  • Gravity Score - The ClickBank gravity score is a calculation that represents the number of different affiliates that earned a commission by promoting the offer in the past 12 weeks, with more recent sales being given a higher weight.
  • Avg $/Conversion - This statistic represents the average commission per conversion when figuring all sales, upsells, order bumps, and rebills. 
  • Initial $/Conversion - Calculates the average commission earned without including rebills. Only included if the product offers recurring commission. 
  • Recurring $/Rebill - This is the average commission earned per rebill of recurring sales and is included only when the product offers recurring commission. 

How to start making money with ClickBank affiliate marketing for beginners?

1. Sign up for a ClickBank account

Before you can start earning commissions by promoting affiliate products through ClickBank, you need to get accepted onto the platform. You do not need money to start ClickBank. ClickBank does not make you pay as an affiliate so you can sign up to the platform without cost. However, ClickBank does not accept affiliates from every country in the world, unfortunately. Even so, the majority of countries, like the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the UK, are accepted. 

Word of warning: When you start the sign-up process, make sure you’re not using a VPN. To prevent banned countries from signing up for ClickBank, the platform can detect VPNs and will automatically ban the email you use when signing up while connected to a VPN. 

2. Complete your profile 

After submitting the initial sign up form for this affiliate marketing network, you’ll need to complete your ClickBank profile to continue the account opening process. To complete your ClickBank profile, you need to enter:

  • Your address
  • Preferred language
  • Name of payee
  • How you will use ClickBank
  • The annual revenue of your company

3. Create an account nickname

Once you submit your completed profile, you unlock access to the ClickBank dashboard. However, before you can begin promoting products as a ClickBank affiliate, you need an account nickname. Your account nickname is the ID for your account so that ClickBank can track all the transactions related to your account and award you commission accordingly. To create a new nickname, go to the accounts tab and “Create a nickname”. After creating your nickname, you'll be prompted to validate your email address to complete your account setup. 

4. Search for relevant offers 

Now that your account setup is complete, you can access thousands of products available for affiliates to promote on ClickBank by navigating to the ClickBank Marketplace. If you have a specific niche that you promote to, you can easily search for relevant offers by using ClickBank’s categories and subcategories to filter products. If you’re just getting started with affiliate marketing and don’t know what to promote yet, you can check out ClickBank’s Top Offers to get an idea of what products you can create a marketing strategy around. 

5. Generate HopLink

Once you find an offer, you can generate your custom affiliate link, or HopLink, by clicking “Promote”. ClickBank even encrypts all affiliate links to protect their affiliates from other affiliates using spy tools to copy and steal work. Optionally, you can also add a tracking ID to analyze where your sales are coming from if you use multiple traffic sources. For example, you can add a tracking ID like “IG” if one of your marketing channels is Instagram. There are also many third party tracking services like Google Analytics or Post Affiliate Pro if you prefer. 

Note: Some offers require approval by the seller. If you try to generate a HopLink for a product that requires approval, ClickBank will notify you and provide the seller’s contact information. 

6. Promote HopLink

Now it’s time to get your HopLink in front of internet users so you can earn ClickBank commissions. The best way to generate regular affiliate commissions from ClickBank products is to create a niche website. In fact, bloggers and product review sites are the leading channels for affiliate marketing, according to Demand Sage. This is because websites can use SEO to generate organic traffic. By using SEO and publishing high quality content, a ClickBank affiliate can establish a steady stream of relevant traffic to promote to that is stable over time. 

However, you do not need a website to promote ClickBank products. You can make money on ClickBank without a website by using alternative traffic channels, such as:

  • Social media like Instagram
  • YouTube channel
  • Paid advertising like Google ads and Facebook ads
  • Email marketing 

7. Withdraw your commissions from the ClickBank affiliate program

Once your internet marketing efforts start generating ClickBank product commissions, you’ll see your earnings start stacking up in your ClickBank account. You can withdraw money from ClickBank, but first you need to meet ClickBank’s Customer Distribution Requirement (CDR). According to the CDR, new ClickBank affiliates must first have a minimum of 5 sales using at least two of the following payment methods:

  • American Express
  • Diners Club
  • MasterCard
  • PayPal
  • Visa

After meeting the CDR, ClickBank affiliates have flexibility in choosing when funds are disbursed to their account. The minimum payout for a ClickBank affiliate is $50. However, the default payment threshold is set at $100 and you can increase it up to $1,000,000 until funds are disbursed to your account. ClickBank pays affiliates either weekly or bi-weekly, depending on the settings chosen in the affiliate’s ClickBank account. ClickBank gives you money through the following payment methods:

  • Check
  • Direct Deposit
  • Wire Transfer
  • Payoneer

5 Tips for ClickBank affiliate marketing success

1. Pay attention to the gravity score

The ClickBank Marketplace statistics offer useful insights to help affiliates choose the right product to promote. Of those statistics, the gravity score is the most important to pay attention to. A high gravity score of 100 or higher indicates that an affiliate product is selling exceptionally well on the platform. However, this also means that many affiliates are selling it, so the competition is high. 

It’s best to target a lower competition product with a gravity score between 15 and 70, according to Sell SaaS. A product with a gravity score in this range indicates that other affiliates are having success selling the product, but there’s still likely room in the market to gain market share. 

2. Shorten your ClickBank affiliate links

It’s common practice among affiliates to shorten affiliate links using a link shortening tool like Pretty Links. The affiliate link format generated by ClickBank is a jumbled mess of letters and numbers, which can cause internet users to think twice before clicking on it. Cleaning up your affiliate links can improve shareability on social media platforms and make the link more visually appealing to attract more clicks. 

3. Adhere to ClickBank and affiliate program rules

ClickBank affiliates have a lot of flexibility when promoting products to make money online. However, you will need to follow some rules. ClickBank lays out their platform rules in their promotion guidelines, including subjects like the use of testimonials, false scarcity, and video advertising. Brands also lay out their own additional set of rules on their affiliate page to specify how affiliates can promote their products. Affiliates that don’t follow these rules are subject to account suspension or termination.

4. Work with supportive brands

When setting up their affiliate program on ClickBank, brands can provide affiliates with a range of materials like demographic research, landing pages, copy ideas, tracking pixels, video sales letters (VSLs), email creatives, images, and more. However, not all brands support affiliates to the same extent. When researching products to promote, it's best to analyze the support materials brands provide you because these can have a major impact on your affiliate sale and the amount of work you need to put into running a successful campaign. Try to only work with brands that support you with high quality promotional materials so you can focus on generating traffic instead of wasting your time on things like updating poor brand copy. For example, you can leverage high ticket digital marketing and get high-end items in front of the right people. Then you increase your commissions and can make more money with the business model.

5. Avoid direct linking

Direct linking is when you take the internet user directly from the traffic source to the product page through your affiliate link. These days, most affiliate marketers promoting ClickBank products take the potential customer to a landing page first. A landing page helps to pre-sell the potential customer on the affiliate sale to improve conversion rates. 

However, pre-selling isn’t the only reason to avoid direct linking. If you’re running paid ads to generate targeted traffic, direct linking could get your advertising account banned. For example, Facebook does not allow advertisers to use direct affiliate links in their Facebook ad campaigns and will disable the accounts of users that break this rule. Furthermore, you’ll notice that the majority of ClickBank offers ban direct linking anyway in their program rules.

ClickBank Affiliate Marketing FAQs

Can ClickBank pay you through PayPal?

ClickBank can not pay you through PayPal. Although ClickBank sellers can add PayPal to their customer order form, this only serves to receive payment from customers and not as an affiliate payment method.

Does ClickBank pay internationally?

ClickBank does pay internationally. You can receive International Direct Deposit (XACH) of your ClickBank earnings to the bank account of select countries. For those who reside in countries where XACH is not supported by ClickBank, international wire transfers are possible. However, wire payments have an additional cost of $35 per transaction. 

What is ClickBank University?

ClickBank University is a self paced course that teaches students how to successfully promote products on ClickBank. The course is a ClickBank review program that teaches you about the platform, how to promote affiliate products, and how to create your own informational products to sell through the platform.

What are ClickBank alternatives for beginners?

How does ClickBank affiliate marketing compare to local lead generation?

ClickBank affiliate marketing entails promoting products from the ClickBank affiliate network while local lead generation is promoting local service businesses. Both ClickBank affiliate marketing and local lead generation can allow you to make passive income online by acting as the middleman to connect businesses with customers. However, local lead generation can provide a more consistent and stable income. Affiliate marketing income varies depending on the products you promote and how many sales you get, which can fluctuate daily. On the other hand, lead generation agencies make arrangements with service businesses to give them the leads that the local lead generation website they own generates in exchange, typically, for a set fee each month. 

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