Selling on ClickBank

hoangvu

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ClickBank makes very few direct sales itself. It’s not a retailer; it’s a wholesaler. The sort of people who click through the site looking for products tend not to be end-users. They tend to be other website publishers looking for affiliate products to sell. That makes ClickBank a very powerful tool, and it’s what lies at the heart of the company’s success — and the success of the publishers and the product creators who use it. In the next chapter I’ll explain how you can make the most of ClickBank as an affiliate but first, let’s see how you can make the most of the affiliates on the site when you’re selling your own product.

1 Creating Your Marketplace Description
Marketplace descriptions dont always make the most exciting reading, but why shouldnt they? What makes ClickBank so powerful is that it’s just so easy to use. Affiliates who want to promote a product only have to sign up, search the marketplace then paste what ClickBank calls a “hoplink” onto their Web page.
A hoplink is just a fancy name for an affiliate link. (ClickBank calls it a “hoplink” because once users click on it, they “hop” to the seller’s

site leaving a trace that allows ClickBank to credit the affiliate and send them a check.) One difference that marks out hoplinks though is that they take a very simple form. Every hoplink looks like this:

http://AFFILIATEID.PUBLISHERID.hop.ClickBank.net/

That’s very simple. Less simple is creating the text that will persuade someone to paste your hoplink onto their Web page. You’ll need to complete a number of different fields — and do it very carefully. The first field you might want to complete is your Hoplink Target URL. You’ll only need this if you’re planning to sell more than one product through ClickBank. Because you only have one publisher ID, to sell multiple products, you’ll need to create one landing page then filter users to the products of their choice. The affiliate will be credited wherever the user goes. That’s simple enough. But you’ll then need to enter your product’s Marketplace Title. That’s not so easy. Remember, the idea of your Marketplace Title and Description isnt just to persuade a buyer that your product has value.
It’s to persuade a reseller that your product will sell.

For the title, you really only have two options. You can either use the same title that you used for your product or you can use a different title geared to resellers rather than end-users.

In general, if the title of your product is strong and has a good sales appeal (something like “How To Earn $3,647 A Week Printing Postcards”) then use the same title in the Marketplace. If the title is more informative than lucrative (something like “Knitting For Beginners And Enthusiasts”) then you might want to create a title that’s a little punchier for affiliates. Just choose something that suggests that the product will be valuable for the person promoting it. Something like “Knitting — A Guide To Low-Cost, Home-Made Luxury.” The only way to know for sure which title works best though is to come up with several and test each of them over a set period of time. Compare the results from each to see which gives you the best results for your market. There’s a limit to what you can do with your Marketplace Title. Your Marketplace Description is much less limited... but it’s still pretty restrictive. ClickBank gives you just 255 characters to make your pitch. That’s not much at all, but remember the goal isnt to sell your product. It’s to persuade an affiliate to look at your pitch page. It’s the pitch page that will show whether or not your product looks tempting enough to deliver sales. That means you dont have to do too much in your Marketplace description to generate those clicks... especially when you look at the competition. Many of the sellers on ClickBank have beautifully-written, perfectly-designed pitch pages. They’re well-planned and created by a professional copywriter with the goal of generating sales. The Marketplace descriptions however often look like they were thrown together by someone with a big temper and a long shopping list. You dont have much space, so you want to get your point across quickly and persuasively. One way to do that is with the equivalent of bullets.

Note how the very first point describes the amount of money the affiliate can earn. That’s the most important thing he wants to know and this description has put it right at the front in a way that’s very easy to spot. The second point suggests the product sells well — so the affiliate will actually see those commissions. And the third point adds a nice little detail that helps the product to stand out and appear both unique and valuable. It’s a very easy model to copy and one that I think can be very effective. It’s certainly a lot better than filling the space with a series of single words that tell the affiliate little and are more likely to put him off. There’s one more difficult decision you’ll have to make on the Marketplace form. You’ll need to decide how much of a commission to give to the affiliates. By default, the rate is set at 25 percent but you can change it if you want. There’s no right answer to the amount you should give away just as there’s no one answer to the amount you should charge for the product. Too much depends on what your competitors are doing so look at what other products in your field are offering and pitch somewhere in the middle.

2 The Pitch Page

One of the most remarkable things about ClickBank is that the most important part of the process of earning with the site doesnt happen on the site at all. Whether you make sacks of cash or feel lucky to generate a sale once a month will depend largely on the quality of your product and the persuasive power of your pitch page. The pitch page is your sales letter. It’s where you place all of the sales points that will guide the reader from interest through desire to purchase. How exactly to write a pitch page that achieves that goal is a subject for a whole other report. There are a number of different approaches but just about all of them start with a hard-hitting headline, make the reader understand that they have a problem, position the product as the solution, include testimonials and end with a call to action. Sales letters like these sound complex but they’re actually fairly simple to put together. There’s a formula that works and once you understand it, it’s very straightforward to follow — and very effective too.

You can either learn how to do it yourself, or you can pay a copywriter a few hundred bucks to do it for you. This is not a place to look for shortcuts though. Your pitch page is the most important link in the chain from Internet publisher to your affiliate and from user to buyer. They all meet here and it’s the quality of the sales information on that page that will determine whether or not you make sales. Ideally, you should create a few pitch pages — perhaps with different headlines — and test them to see which works best before you submit it to ClickBank.

3 The Thank You Page
ClickBank requires that producers have two Web pages before they can start selling through the site. You’ll need the pitch page but you’ll also need a “Thank You page.” That’s not just because it’s polite to thank your customers — although that’s certainly a nice thing to do. It’s because once you’ve made the sale, you’ll want to supply the buyer with a little information. In fact, ClickBank requires that you supply the following information:
- A thank you message;
- Your email address for questions and technical support;
- A reminder that the charge will appear on the customer’s credit card as “ClickBank” or CLKBANK*COM;
- A rebilling schedule for subscription-based projects;
- And an exit link so that customers can leave the page easily.
While I’m not sure that ClickBank should be demanding all of these things, they are all good ideas. Sellers should be implementing them whether they are a requirement or not. But I’d go one little step further. The exit link is an opportunity. You dont want customers to just click away from you. You want them to click somewhere that will do you good.

You could send customers to your blog, where they can learn more information that will help them get the most out of your product — and give you more money by clicking on ads. You could send them to a site that offers more of your own products and generate more direct sales. Or you could use a hoplink to send them to a related product on Clickbank. After all, you know the customer is someone who buys information products so maybe they’ll buy more, giving you a welcome commission. The Thank You page is a necessity but that doesnt mean you cant make the most of it too.

4 Getting More Out Of Affiliates
Building up a long list of affiliates ready to promote your site is a vital part of your success with ClickBank. A good product will be critical in persuading publishers to promote your goods. A persuasive pitch page will be vital at generating sales — and at showing that you can generate sales. And a carefully-written Marketplace description with a competitive and generous commission will be important too if you want to stand out and show affiliates what you can do. All of those elements will help you to build up a sales team who will do your marketing for you. But you can also encourage affiliates to sign up by using ClickBank’s Join My Affiliate Program (JMAP). This simply involves adding a link to your page that invites publishers to sign up at ClickBank and take your hoplink. The link looks like this: <a href="http://PUBLISHER.jmap.clickbank.net" target=jmap>TEXT</a>
A linked invitation like that might help to give you a few more affiliates, depending on how hard you market your site outside

ClickBank. But you want to do more than just recruit affiliates. You want to help them generate sales for you. Clickbank wont give you the email addresses of the publishers who have agreed to promote your products but what you could do is create a page full of advice for affiliates who have signed up or are thinking of doing so. Instead of just putting a link at the bottom of the page marked “Affiliates” and sending interested publishers to ClickBank, create a pitch page for your affiliate sales. It wouldnt have to be long, but it should contain a number of points. First, it should describe the benefits of becoming your affiliate. That means putting an emphasis on the size of your commissions, your high conversion rate and your negligible refund requests. Numbers can say a lot here so dont be afraid to say exactly what percentage of people who read your pitch page actually end up buying. That will let potential affiliates see what promoting your product can actually bring them. Then you can go on to give the affiliates tips to boost their clickthrough rates and their sales figures. Explain what your customers are interested in and list the unique sales points that the affiliates could emphasize as they promote your product. Really explain how good your product is. Remember, while you’re pitching the page to potential affiliates, there’s a good chance that it will be read by potential customers too. By being seen discussing the quality of the product behind the scenes of your business, you create the impression that everyone really does agree that it’s a fantastic deal. Finally, invite the affiliates to sign up at ClickBank and start earning right away. Do you see how a page like that would be so much more effective than simply adding a link to the bottom of the page? Creating a product requires a little work. It means choosing a topic that has a market, writing a book or building a program, then creating a Web page to turn users into buyers.

It’s not very difficult but I can understand if not everyone wants to do it — at least not initially. Becoming an affiliate can be much easier. I’ll explain how to use ClickBank to do that in the next chapter.
 
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