How You Can Build a Top ClickBank Affiliate Program

Note: This post was written by Sarah Chirsp of Affiliorama, an affiliate program within ClickBank and is being featured on our blog because it provides great value to our community. The author’s views are her own and may not reflect the views of ClickBank.

A lot of people over-complicate the process of building a top-performing affiliate program, when it isn’t that hard after all. All you need to do is remember this really simple equation:

number of affiliates x effectiveness of affiliates = $,$$$,$$$

Yes, once you’ve actually set-up your affiliate program, there are just two main ways of super-charging your sales:

  • Boost your affiliate numbers, or
  • Teach affiliates how to sell your product better (and make more money for you).

We find that people tend to pour all of their efforts into recruiting new affiliates, or invest their resources into teaching their affiliates to be more effective sellers. But If you want to be a top ClickBank program, you need to do both.

I’m Sarah Chrisp, affiliate manager for Affilorama. I’m going to take you through the steps we’ve taken to attract new affiliates to our program, and then the steps we took to help them make more sales. If you want to become one of ClickBank’s top affiliate programs, like us, then keep reading, because we’re going to divulge our secrets.

What Does Affilorama Offer Affiliates?

Before we begin, here are some quick facts about our affiliate program:

  • We have a ClickBank Gravity of 46.06.*
  • We offer 50 percent commission on all of our products, including lifetime membership renewals.
  • Affiliates make on average $218.41 per sale.*
  • We have an average rebill rate of $449.02, and our rebilling product (Affilorama Premium/AffiloTools) is our most popular offer.*
  • We track visitors for 60 days.

*Correct as of time of publishing.

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Now that you’ve learned a bit more about us, I’m going to jump straight to the first part of the equation: How to get attract new affiliates to sign up to your program.

Step 1: Be Generous, Not a Tightwad

What do affiliates want? I’ll tell you: money.

High-quality products are great, because they get fewer refunds. Fancy banners are nice; they make promotion easier. But what they really want, is money. If they can earn more by advertising your competitor, they’ll ditch you, even if you have the superior product.

Only 2 products offering 25 percent or lower commissions have a Gravity higher than 20, whereas there are 104 products offering 50+ percent commission with a Gravity of 20+.
Only 2 products offering 25 percent or lower commissions have a Gravity higher than 20, whereas there are 104 products offering 50+ percent commission with a Gravity of 20+.

Only 2 products offering 25 percent or lower commission have a Gravity higher than 20, whereas

there are 104 products offering 50+ percent commission with a Gravity of 20+.

You need to be offering 50 percent, or maybe more if your product isn’t yet proven.

Lets face it: For a digital product, your overhead rates are probably quite low. As the creator, you might feel cheated, because you feel you deserve more since you made it. But this is a huge mistake. It is expensive, hard and time-consuming to build an audience to market your product to. Your affiliates deserve their share of the profit, just as you do.

Your competitors know this, so they will steal your valuable affiliates away with their 50 percent commission rate, while you tentatively set yours at 25 percent.

Guess whose product your affiliates will promote then?

Step 2: Ensure Your Sales Page is Converting

Say it with me:  the number one thing affiliates want is money.

Here is a simple equation to figure out how much affiliates are earning from your program:

$,$$$ = commission x conversion rate

It doesn’t matter if you offer 100 percent commissions: if your page doesn’t convert, your affiliates will never see that money.

Your sales page and funnel needs to look professional, because experienced affiliates can tell at a glance whether it will convert well. Don’t wait: Start optimizing your site now. Don’t hold off, thinking you can do it after your program has built up a bit, because it never will without a killer sales page.

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How can you optimize your pages? Split tests are your friend. We like to use Optimizely, because it makes creating split tests easy, even if you aren’t a technical wizard.

Step 3: Focus on Growing Your ClickBank Gravity Score

Lots of affiliates use ClickBank’s Gravity score to help them quickly identify new programs to promote, and which programs to avoid. If you have a Gravity of less than 20, you’re going to really struggle.

So what is your Gravity score? It is several things, but the biggest component to how your score is calculated, is how many different affiliates have made sales of your product recently. So don’t put all of your eggs into one basket! It is better to have lots of affiliates having mild success than a handful absolutely killing it.

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Improving your Gravity score creates a domino effect. The higher your Gravity score is, the easier it is to attract new affiliates. A great way to get the ball rolling is to run a product sale, and make sure your affiliates know about it. Affiliates that aren’t normally active will come out of the woodwork and suddenly promote your offer, making sales, and your Gravity score will shoot up. It is only a temporary boost, but for that time, your program will be ranked higher in ClickBank’s search engine, and you’ll get an influx of new affiliates.

It’s now time to look at the other half of our original equation, and explore how we at Affilorama get our affiliates to make more sales.

Step 1: Give Affiliates the Right Resources

Lessen the barrier to entry by lessening the work affiliates have to do to promote your offer. And the way to do that is to provide them with resources they can copy and paste. We provide the following resources in our affiliate area:

  • High-quality banners created by talented graphic designers
  • Email swipes for affiliates to slot into their newsletters and autoresponders
  • Example written reviews of Affilorama’s products. That way, affiliates can use them as inspiration when writing their own review.
  • Article packs that contain content ideas to help people write original blog posts that promote Affilorama. We don’t provide full articles, because if a bunch of affiliates used the same article they’d receive a Google Panda penalty.
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A counter-intuitive but effective method is to limit the choices you give to affiliates. Instead of giving affiliates 10 different email swipes, we have selected the two highest-converting swipes for each of our products and given these to them. Limiting the choices to the best ones helps ensure that affiliates are not paralyzed by indecision.

Step 2: Make Sure Your Affiliates Understand What Your Product Does

Your affiliates cannot effectively promote your product if they don’t understand it is and what it does. If they don’t know why people buy it, or who your market is, they won’t understand which keywords to target, how to effectively write their ads or what to include in their reviews. Not only is half-baked advertising ineffective, but it can risk hurting your reputation with customers too. To overcome this, we have added the following information to our affiliate resource area:

  • Who our product helps, and why they want it.
  • The features that our product has.
  • How these features help the customer overcome problems in their life.
  • What makes our product better than our competitors.
  • Screenshots, and if it is a software-type product, screenshots of it in action.
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Step 3: Teach Your Affiliates the Best Methods to Sell Your Product, and Be Available to Answer Their Questions

You have been promoting your product much longer than your affiliates, so teach them the methods and techniques that have worked best for you. The more effective they are, the more money you make. Share your best tactics; don’t keep them a secret! In addition, open up the lines of communication and answer any questions they have. A few suggestions can be the difference between three sales and 10 sales. Here are some of the things that I do to connect directly with our affiliates:

  1. I am in the office Monday-Thursday, and each day I answer any new emails we have received. I will also sit on Skype and talk directly to anyone who connects with me.
  2. I will note the affiliates who are performing the best, and contact them directly to thank them. If you don’t have their emails, you can contact your ClickBank representative (shout out to Spencer!) and ask them to pass on a message for you.
  3. Affiliates who sign up to our resource area are immediately sent an email series I wrote that teaches different promotional methods. They receive an email each week containing training and a task to complete. Affiliates who follow the series slowly build up a strong promotional campaign, and their sales grow.
  4. Finally, I email a newsletter each month. This newsletter keeps affiliates informed of special deals, news and new effective promotional methods for them to try.
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What It Comes Down To…

Ultimately, the take-home of this article is to remember the formula I talked about at the start:

number of affiliates x effectiveness of affiliates = $,$$$,$$$

To increase the number of $ signs you earn, you need to focus on both sides of this equation. Get more affiliates to promote you, and teach them to do well. A balance of both is better than just focusing on one part of the equation. To see our affiliate program firsthand, be sure to sign up to the Affilorama affiliate program, and discover what sets us apart from the rest.