Last article I wrote about my experience in setting up a product for sale using Clickbank, Aweber and DL Guard. In today’s article I’ll go into more depth about how to set up your Clickbank account to sell your product and how to integrate your Aweber email list with it.
Why Did I Choose Clickbank?
I’ve looked at shopping carts like EJunkie before, and while they provide some good features, it’s harder for affiliates to find products to promote. If you’re a well-established blogger with a big audience, EJunkie may be suitable for you to use. All you need to do is mention that you’ve got a product and place a link on your blog that leads to the page in EJunkie where affiliates can request to promote your product.
The problem I have is that I don’t have a huge audience (yet). So I needed to find a simple way for affiliates to find me.
Clickbank appeals to me because it’s very easy for affiliates to search for products to promote and they don’t need to be approved by me. They can search for my product via the Clickbank marketplace, click a button to obtain their affiliate hoplink and they can start promoting my product instantly.
Clickbank also takes care of paying affiliates their share of any revenue they help generate and it will also handle any refund requests. These are things that I didn’t want to have to do myself, so it made sense for Clickbank to do them.
So for this product, my goal was to make it easy for affiliates to promote. Therefore I chose Clickbank as my shopping cart.
When you set up your vendor account within Clickbank, you’ll spend most of your time going between two tabs – “My Site” and “My Products”.
On the “My Site” tab you actually enter very few details of your website and instead complete it with the details of your main product.
Here’s my example in the screen shot below. In my case, the ‘pitch page’ that is attached to my Clickbank account is shown in red. I include the product title, a brief description and the commission split. These details show in the product listing in the Clickbank marketplace so this is what potential affiliates will see when they’re searching for products to promote.
Once you’ve set up these details, you then provide more product-specific information in the “My Products” tab.
- What type of product is it – an ebook, audio etc?
- What is the product item number (by default your first product is number 1).
- What is the URL to the product Pitch Page? Is there a mobile version of the pitch page?
- Where is the Thank You (download) page? More on this later.
- How much is the product?
- What is the product title (appears on the Clickbank invoice)
- Where is the product image stored? You can include a product image (book cover etc), but can’t add these to the product until after the product is approved. This image is displayed on the Clickbank order page.
So, on this page you’re listing all the product-related information. If you’re selling more than one product, you’d enter multiple products here.
The Problem With More Than One Product
Clickbank will recognise one main sales page per Clickbank ID when they create the affiliate hotlinks. Whilst they’ll allow you to set up multiple products under your Clickbank ID, and they’ll recognise the different sales pages for each of those products, they’ll only create affiliate hotlinks that point to one page on your site.
So if you want to sell another product (called Product 2), you can set it up to be sold via Clickbank, but if affiliates want to promote it, the link they’ll be given will be to whatever Sales Page you’ve designated in the “My Site” section. The problem is that that sales page could be for a totally different product.
There is a work-around to this problem. I’ve found a product called EasyClickMate which does a couple of things:
- It allows the vendor to convert a Clickbank hoplink to a link that actually includes their sites’s URL, therefore increasing the backlinks to that site.
- If you sell multiple products, affiliates are able to create their own affiliate links to whichever sales page they choose. So if they want to promote a particular product, they can create a link to that sales page, and still have the Clickbank cookie as part of that link.
I haven’t used EasyClickMate at this stage because I only have the one product for sale, but when I add more products I’ll begin using this product because it makes it easier for affiliates to promote your product.
Which Pages To Use?
To sell a product via Clickbank, you’ll need to set up two pages – a Sales Page and a Download Page. I mentioned in my last article about selling on Clickbank that Clickbank insist that once a purchaser has paid for your product, they’re taken direct to a download page – you can’t force them to subscribe to a newsletter before getting access to that page.
They’re also very strict about the contents of your sales page. You can’t make unreasonable or exaggerated promises regarding your product, or around the scarcity of the product.
When you’re adding your product via the “My Products” screen, you tell Clickbank the URL for your product sales page, and for the download page.
Your download page can be a hidden page on your site. I’ve chosen to protect my download page with DLGuard, so even if someone gets the URL, the actual download link is invisible unless the right code is present.
In my next article I’ll explain some of the DLGuard-specific settings and how DLGuard and Clickbank link together.
Clickbank and Aweber
I thought that the Clickbank and Aweber integration would be simple. It’s not the case!
Within Aweber, you create a new list (assuming you want your product purchasers to be placed on a separate email list) and go to the My Lists / Email Parser page.
You then select Clickbank as your email parser by clicking the box next to it.
This is where it gets interesting.
In Clickbank’s “My Account” section, you’re able to nominate a “Transactional Email’ address. This is the email address where details around sales, refunds etc are sent. So when Clickbank records a sale, it sends an email to this address with the transaction details.
To integrate Clickbank and Aweber, you need to set up this email address so it posts to the email address for your Aweber list. To do this you add @Aweber.com to the name of your Aweber email list.
So if your email list is called ‘ProductSale’, your email address would be ProductSale@aweber.com. You place this address in the Clickbank Transactional Email field.
Whenever Clickbank records a sale, it’ll send the email to this address. Aweber will then see that as an opt-in and will send their confirmation address to that person so they can confirm their subscription.
So here’s the problems.
- Clickbank only allows you to use one email address. So if you put the Aweber address in that field, you won’t be able to see any of those emails. If you sell a product, you won’t know. Importantly, if there’s a refund you won’t find out.
- The other problem is that within Clickbank, this email address is set at the Vendor level, not at the product level. So if you sell multiple products, they can only be added to the one list, not separate lists for the designated products.
Neither of these were acceptable to me.
The solution that Aweber give is to put your usual email as the transactional email for Clickbank, but put an opt-in form on the download page.
The problem that I have with this is that I want to make it as simple as possible for my customers to be added to my list. If you make it optional, or one more box to fill out, many won’t do it and I’ll lose them.
My preference is to add them to my list as automatically as possible, and give them the option to opt-out. I think I’ll keep more this way than by placing an opt-in form on my sales page.
Of course a simple solution would be for Aweber to allow you to include multiple transactional email addresses, so one could go to Aweber and the other to me. Unfortunately this option doesn’t exist.
- It was important for me to receive emails from Clickbank.
- I wanted the email sign-up to be as automated as possible.
- I wanted any refunders to be removed from the email list.
Based on these three areas I began the search for some shopping cart software that would enable me to do what I wanted.
Please note: If these factors aren’t important to you and you’re comfortable with your transactional emails going direct to Aweber, then just set it up the way I’ve shown you here. You probably don’t need DLGuard (unless you also want to protect your download page). Here’s a link to the Aweber site to learn more about how to integrate Clickbank and Aweber.
I’ve settled on using DLGuard to be the link between my product, Aweber and Clickbank. In my next article I’ll explain how DLGuard works, and how I’ve used it to link these different services together. The process still isn’t perfect – people still need to confirm their opt-in to my Aweber list after they’ve accessed the product – but I’ve got a system in place that does what I need it to do, and is scalable.
There is other shopping cart software available that does the same thing. Most of them are used to sell products and create membership sites. I picked DLGuard because it made it simple to sell a product without needing to set up a membership area just so a purchaser can download one product.
As you can see, whilst it’s relatively simple to add a product to sell on Clickbank, the actual behind-the-scenes setting up of the product can become a bit complicated.
I’m disappointed that there’s no simple integration between Aweber and Clickbank that allows people to be added to my email list while I still receive the transactional emails.
I believe it’s crucial that people who purchase your product are added to an email list, and it’s important that you can distinguish between buyers and non-buyers by using separate lists.
In the next article I’ll explain how simple it was to set up DLGuard and my my product approved with Clickbank.
- What experience have you had selling products via Clickbank?
- Have you found another way to set up Aweber and Clickbank?
- Do you use membership site plugins like Wishlist or DLGuard?
- Do you have other questions about this process?
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