Clickbank Dominance How To Get To #1 Position on Clickbank by…. Jason “Profit” Moffatt Understanding the Clickbank Ranking System and How To Use It To Your Advantage. Have you ever had your product in the Clickbank marketplace but could never seem to rank higher then one of your competitors? This happened to me once and I was really frustrated. I was in a very competitive niche. It’s probably as competitive as you can get. My product ranked #2 in this particular niche, but I could never get to #1. I desperately wanted to overtake the #1 position, but how do I do it? First, we must take into consideration all the factors that Clickbank uses to rank each product. What are the determining factors in raising your rankings at Clickbank? Here are the words straight from the horse’s mouth… “Every product listed in the ClickBank Marketplace is associated with a sales commission rate. Commission percentages range from 1% to 75%. On any one sale the minimum commission is $0.25 and the maximum is $100.00. In the Marketplace products are ranked by their "productivity score". To preserve the integrity of the system we do not publish the formula for the score, or the score itself, but we can say that it is a function of these four factors: 1. $Earned/Sale: Average net amount earned per affiliate per referred sale. Note that this is the net earned per actual sale, and so it is impacted by refunds, chargebacks, and sales taxes. (Effective 28 July 2005, unfunded sales, such as returned checks, do not impact this number.) 2. %Earned/Sale: Average percentage commission earned per affiliate per referred sale. This number should only vary if the publisher has changed their payout percentage over time. 3. %Referred: Fraction of publisher's total sales that are referred by affiliates. 4. Gravity: Number of distinct affiliates who earned a commission by referring a paying customer to the publisher's products. This is a weighted sum and not an actual total. For each affiliate paid in the last 8 weeks we add an amount between 0.1 and 1.0 to the total. The more recent the last referral, the higher the value added. All factors are combined, and adjusted such that more recent sales activity is given greater weight. Products are not listed until at least one has been sold. To improve their Marketplace ranking products must show a history of reliably converting referred traffic to paying customers over the past 8 weeks. Products that maintain a higher ranking naturally attract more affiliates, and make more sales overall.” So we know there are at least 4 things we can do to boost our rankings. We don’t know which of the 4 parameters is more valuable then the other, so, it only makes sense to try and boost the numbers in each of the 4 factors. Let’s take them 1 by 1. 1. $Earned/Sale: Average net amount earned per affiliate per referred sale. Note that this is the net earned per actual sale, and so it is impacted by refunds, chargebacks, and sales taxes. (Effective 28 July 2005, unfunded sales, such as returned checks, do not impact this number.) This one is easy to tackle.. You want to help yourself and affiliates make as much money as possible. This can be done in a variety of ways. A) Charge a lot of money per sale. Of course this will need to be tested, because selling a product at $47 can be more profitable then pricing it at $97. However, in my experience, the higher price always has done better for my niches. Don’t be afraid to jack up your price. If it doesn’t work, go ahead and lower it. B) Implement a “Affiliate Resource Center” that gives your affiliates all the tools necessary to promote your product. Provide them with pre-made links with your keywords imbedded into the anchor text, as well as pictures, banners, and email text. One thing that I have found to work really well is to make Camtasia videos. I personally imbed my affiliates ID into the “Jump URL” function of Camtasia. This allows the affiliate to use the videos I made, but at the end of the video, it redirects to the sales page with the Affiliates ID automatically imbedded. I only have to make 1 video, and make a slight alteration to customize it for each affiliate. It takes about 2 minutes to do so. Beyond just helping your affiliates to make more sales, you want to do everything possible to reduce the amount of refunds and charge-backs you get as well. (See the chapter on “REFUND POLICY PAGE”) Refunds will hurt your ranking, so let’s keep them down. C) Email your prospect every single day until they buy. Most people are scared to death to do this, but I can almost guarantee you that if you slam your prospects with emails, you will make a lot more sales. If you don’t believe me, just sign up for Dan Kennedy’s email list and watch him drop the email hammer on you. The more often you content your prospects, the better chance you have to make a sale. Forget about mailing them once a week. If your not contacting them at least 5 times a week, chances are one of your competitors is outranking you because of his email persistence. Once your prospect have bought from you, ease up on the email frequency and treat them as your customers, not your prospects. 2. %Earned/Sale: Average percentage commission earned per affiliate per referred sale. This number should only vary if the publisher has changed their payout percentage over time. This one is also fairly easy to accomplish. The higher your commission percentage, the better it’s going to help your ranking. I personally like to use 51%. However I have used 75% at times as well. I don’t think too much weight is placed on commission percentage, but I’m not sure. The reason I like 51% is because most people use 50%. Why not be 1 percentage point better then them? It may not be much, but it is more. 3. %Referred: Fraction of publisher's total sales that are referred by affiliates. This is a HUGE SECRET that just about nobody takes advantage of. It’s not really a secret, but it’s amazing how many people neglect the “% Referred Stat”. If we are trying to boost all 4 of the factors that Clickbank uses to rank your product, then it makes perfect sense to do all you can to maximize each of the factors. With the “Commission %” there is only so high you can go before it becomes unprofitable to you. Anything above 75% just wouldn’t seem to make much sense. In some circumstances offering 51% would be much more profitable to you then offering 75%. However with the “% referred”, you can massively drive up this stat. When you drive up the percentage of sales coming from affiliates it accomplishes a couple things. A) It helps you rank higher in the Clickbank Marketplace B) It is attractive to other potential affiliates. Most people want to refer products that they know are already selling. If someone sees that 90% of the sales from a certain product is generated from affiliate sales, it pretty much tells you that is a profitable product. Lot’s of affiliates would not be promoting it otherwise. So How Can We Drive Up The “% Referred”? This method is used by few marketers, but it will drastically boost your “% Referred” to 90% or higher. Here’s what you do. You NEVER make sales through your standard Clickbank link! What Chu Talking About Willis? What I mean is that you drive all your personal sales through various affiliate links. But what affiliate are you talking about Jason? I’m talking about YOURSELF. What you need to do is create a few Clickbank accounts and get a couple of Clickbank ID’s. Whether you run Pay Per Click ads, or sell your product through organic search results, you always want to imbed your affiliate links into the URL when a customer pays instead of your normal link that Clickbank provides to you. Let’s say your product sells for $97. If you make the sale on your own, (without any affiliates) you will make $89.44 after Clickbank fees. If an affiliate makes that sale, and you offer 50% commissions, you will both receive $44.72. But imagine if you made the sale through the 2nd Clickbank ID you created. What would happen. You would make $44.72 in your regular account, and your affiliate (which is yourself) will also get $44.72. So you still get the $89.44 for the sale, but it’s separated into two accounts. Obviously you aren’t making any more money specifically on the sale, but you are making more money because of this…. YOU MASSIVELY DRIVE UP THE AFFILIATE REFERRED % Now potential affiliates will be excited because they see that the majority of sales are being generated by other affiliates. If you want to make it to the #1 position on Clickbank, don’t cheat yourself by selling your product through your standard Clickbank link. Make sure you use your own affiliate ID’s instead. 4. Gravity: Number of distinct affiliates who earned a commission by referring a paying customer to the publisher's products. This is a weighted sum and not an actual total. For each affiliate paid in the last 8 weeks we add an amount between 0.1 and 1.0 to the total. The more recent the last referral, the higher the value added. For the longest time, most people were clueless about “Gravity” in the Clickbank Marketplace. It was purely speculation as to what Gravity actually meant. Recently Clickbank decided to let us out of the fog and has willingly told us what “Gravity” is. However, even today, most people still have no idea of what Gravity actually is. The method needed to keep your Gravity high is to constantly recruit new affiliates. Recently a friend wrote a book all about blogging. His Gravity was up near “350”. That is an insane amount of gravity and affiliates. So How Did He Do This? Most likely he shared his book with a ton of people before launching it. He attained all those affiliates in a very short amount of time. I’m assuming he gave away his book to 100-150 well known marketers. Probably 50 or so actually decided to market it and tell others, and the whirlwind got started. From there, everyone else says… “Well Guru #1 and Guru # 2 are promoting it, so I better hurry up and start promoting it too”. Most of these affiliates that drive up his Gravity were marketers mimicking what every other marketer is doing. Don’t get me wrong. This book has some valid stuff in it. However I can’t believe it generated over 350 affiliates when you consider there are a ton of products about blogging that offered much more information. However the owners of the resources did not approach a JV strategy as efficiently as this guy did. That is why he has so many affiliates, so much Gravity, and was sitting atop of the “Marketing Category” in the Clickbank Marketplace. So if you want to drive up your Gravity, recruit new affiliates and make sure they SELL, SELL, SELL. Picking The Right Clickbank Category Choosing the right category in Clickbank can make you much more visible to potential buyers and affiliates. Most affiliates like to promote products that rank in the top 10 and have a proven track record of sales. Therefore you want to pick a category that you are confident that you can rank well in. If the number 6 and 7 vendors have over 30 affiliates, then it is going to take some time for you to surpass them. You might want to think about choosing a different category if there appears to be too much competition in the most likely category for your product. Affiliate Hijacking Remember when I told you about being frustrated that my biggest competitor kept outranking me in Clickbank? His gravity was considerably better then mine, which means that he has more affiliates actively promoting his book over mine. I was getting awfully sick and tired of seeing him outrank me so I decided to do something about it. I went to Google and typed in some phrases that were associated with our niche. About 40 ads would pop up in the “Paid Listings” section of Google (The Right Side). I always check out all the ads that are competing against me. I sign up for all the autoresponders and see what they are doing. While doing this, I came across a few affiliates who were promoting my competitions website. I saw their ads in Google, and clicked on them. Then I analyzed their sites and noticed that they were promoting my competitor. Time To Do A Who-Is Search and Make Some Phone Calls Before I make the calls to the affiliates, I need to make sure I can offer them a better deal then they are already receiving from my competitor. You might need to offer the affiliate some extra incentive to start promoting you over the other vendor, or maybe your stats alone will convince him to switch. It is very important to keep track of the amount of people who buy compared to the amount of people are seeing your sales page. If you can prove that your sales page is converting at 5% and your competitors is only converting at 2 or 3 %, chances are good he will be willing to switch without an additional incentive. When I call the affiliates I like to find out how they are currently doing with the vendor they are currently promoting. I’m very laid back about the approach and really try to make the deal profitable for us both. Sometimes you might not be able to make a deal that will satisfy both parties. Most of the time you will be able to broker some type of deal if you are smooth and keep both parties interest in mind. Ideally you should be trying to make yourself and your affiliate more money. If you can effectively relay this to them on the phone, they will be very receptive most of the time. Refund Policy Page Refunds are an inevitable part of doing business online. Some people go into a purchase with the mindset that they are already going to return the product before they buy. They know this while they are entering their credit card info. Why would they do this? Because they know that they can. It’s basically “Refund Fraud”, but if you offer a 100% unconditional money back guarantee you have to honor it. That’s how it goes, sorry Charlie. In my opinion you should be quick to honor all refund requests that come in. It’s not worth it to take a chance on having someone complain about your company to the FTC, The Better Business Bureau, or any other agency that could be detrimental to your business. However there is a technique that I’ve seen quite a few people use that will drastically reduce people from ever asking for a refund in the first place. Beware that this is against Clickbank policy, yet I still see people do it. By implementing a “Refund Policy Page” you can lay out the terms needed in order to obtain a refund. I’ll explain the process in a second. This method is applicable for reducing refunds at Clickbank, and other payment processing companies. Clickbank is infamous for “Refund Fraud”. On every sale receipt there is a message that says…… “If you wish to refund this sale simply forward this entire email message to: email@example.com” This aggravates the hell out of vendors and rightfully so. Clickbank totally alerts any new buyer that they can refund the product by simply sending a email. Now I don’t mind a customer honestly thinking the product was not worthy of the price. They have a right to refund if the product sucks. But when Clickbank blatantly points this out the very second they purchase, it lets the buyer know that they can refund at any time. When using Clickbank as your merchant processor, you are subject to their rules. I personally don’t have many problems with refunds. My refund rates range from 5% to 10% on most of my products. Many people would cringe at 10% refund rate, but I like to think that I’m doing a great job on my sales copy and therefore will convince hesitant people to buy. Some of these will inevitably refund. I know a few guys that have products that sell like crazy on Clickbank, but their returns are anywhere from 15 to 25%. That is a insane amount of refunds, but when your making 10 to 30 sales a day it doesn’t hurt so much. So here’s what some people are doing in order to dramatically reduce your refunds. You build a separate page called “Refund Policy”. Now you must remember that if anyone requests a refund (for any reason), you always give it. The purpose here is to reduce the amount of people who ever ask. We are going to make them feel like getting a refund is HARD WORK, and therefore not worth the trouble. On that Refund Policy page you create a set of requirements that the buyer has to fulfill before he is eligible for a refund. Now we all know that he is eligible for a refund no matter what, but most of the time the buyer doesn’t know this. The requirements could be something like this……. “If after 90 days you are not totally satisfied with your “Ticket Scalping Course” please send us “COPIES” of all the tickets you purchased and were unable to make a profit on. Once we verify that you truly attempted our methods, we will gladly refund you”. Or, something like this…. “If you don’t land a job using our “Master Interview Secrets Course” simply send us your last 6 job applications to prove that you actually tried our innovative methods” The truth is, once people see requirements like these, they seldom will follow through with the instructions to get their money back. Of course, they could just send a email for any reason and get their money back, but most don’t know this. When you make it sound like a huge hassle for them to get their money back, they often don’t ask. Now I’m not suggesting that you don’t refund people when they ask. You ALWAYS give people their refunds. The trick is convincing them that the process of obtaining a refund is too hard, and requires a bit of work. This stealth ninja process is not only limited to just Clickbank, but almost all merchant processors. As long as you follow the rules and give the refunds in a timely manner you will be just fine. What we are trying to achieve here is to reduce the amount that will ever ask. Closing I wish you the best of luck on climbing the clickbank ladder. By implementing the strategies and techniques that I have laid out here, you stand a much greater chance of bypassing your competitors. Keep in mind that whoever sells the most product or whoever makes more money each month does not decide rankings. I have one particular product that ranks #4 right now, and another product in the same competitive category that ranks #3. Believe it or not, the product that is in 4th place does more then twice the amount of sales per month then the product in the 3rd position. So remember, in order to rank well in Clickbank, you will need to combine all 4 of these factors and do everything you can to raise them all. Simply trying to sell more product then your competitors alone doesn’t cut the mustard. Here’s to your success, Jason “Profit” Moffatt PS: No portion of this book is to be transmitted, shared, or sold in any manner by unauthorized parties. All contents are property of the author and shall not be distributed without the authors written consent.
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