How ClickBank Works

What is ClickBank?

ClickBank is an e-commerce platform and affiliate marketplace.

In plain English, think of ClickBank as the intermediary between the end customer, the product owner, and the affiliate marketer – we help connect every party and provide the infrastructure for a smooth transaction online.

Quick Links:

Tour of a ClickBank Transaction

Let’s review how ClickBank works with a simple example of a transaction conducted through our platform.

In the graphic below, you can see how a typical transaction for a health supplement product would work for the four parties involved in the purchase:

  • Customer
  • Affiliate
  • Product owner/seller
  • ClickBank

How It Works for Affiliates

Say you’re an affiliate marketer in the health and fitness niche. You’re interested in finding a high-converting product you can promote in exchange for a commission.

Here’s what a typical journey might look like for you on ClickBank.



  1. Generate Traffic. You already know how to get traffic through an email list, Facebook Ads, blog, or other online source, and you want to make more money from your traffic.
  2. Choose Offer. You scan the ClickBank marketplace for high-converting and relevant offers that you can promote to your audience.
  3. Create Tracking Link. You generate an affiliate tracking link from ClickBank for a health supplement product that your audience would like.
  4. Promote Product. You put the product and the tracking link in front of your traffic source(s) to generate sales of the supplement product.
  5. Get Paid. You get paid directly from ClickBank for each sale, out of the funds collected from the transaction.
After choosing one or more ClickBank products to promote, you can build a powerful funnel to grow your business income as an affiliate.

How It Works for Sellers

Say you’re an e-commerce seller or store owner with a supplement product. You’re interested in growing your sales through the power of affiliates.

Here’s what a typical journey might look like for you on ClickBank.



  1. Launch Affiliate Program. You sell a range of supplement products online through an e-commerce store, and you want to make more sales online using affiliates, so you start a new affiliate program powered by ClickBank.
  2. Create Offer. You create a new direct response offer featuring your top-selling supplement product, hosted on your own sales page – or duplicate an existing sales funnel to work with ClickBank.
  3. List Product on ClickBank Marketplace. You list your supplement offer on the ClickBank marketplace to find and attract affiliates that want to promote the product.
  4. Use ClickBank Order Form. You use the industry-leading ClickBank order form to process payment from the customer and receive customer data to fulfill the order.
  5. ClickBank Pays Affiliates, Taxes, and You. You rely on ClickBank’s affiliate management tools to route the incoming funds from each sale, including paying your affiliates, covering taxes, and getting you paid.
You get new product sales from a range of affiliate partners and traffic sources while controlling customer acquisition costs – and you don’t pay anything until a sale is made.

What Does It Cost to Use ClickBank?

Once an order goes through, the following will occur:

  1. The customer receives a receipt for their digital or physical product purchase.
  2. ClickBank takes a 7.5% + $1 transaction fee from the total purchase price, followed by dynamically generated sales tax and any relevant shipping fees.
  3. The remainder of the money is then split between the seller and the affiliate via the RevShare or CPA commission structure – whichever they’ve agreed to.

In our example of a typical health supplement product above, if the customer pays $100 for the product, ClickBank would take a fee totaling $8.50 off the top, leaving $91.50. From here, ClickBank would remit $6 for taxes and shipping, bringing the total to $85.50 to be split between the seller and affiliate. With a RevShare percentage of 65%, the affiliate’s commission payment would be $55.58, leaving $29.92 to go to the seller.

After an order is completed, the customer usually has 60 days to request a refund. The party responsible for covering refunds will depend on whether the transaction occurred via RevShare or CPA.


NOTE: In practice, many affiliates use paid media like Facebook Ads to send cold traffic to an offer on ClickBank, which is why the commission percentage may seem high – affiliates have significant costs to cover and need an incentive to promote higher-ticket offers.

Similarly, many product owners use affiliates as an affordable customer acquisition strategy, where they can sell to customers over the long term via email or other methods. In this case, the product owner knows their customer lifetime value (LTV) and can justify paying affiliates a higher commission upfront to acquire new customers.

ClickBank product owners also often double as affiliates themselves, making more money over the lifetime of customers they’ve acquired by promoting other products to their audience (usually in an email list).

What is a Direct Response Offer?

A direct response offer is essentially any offer that’s designed to elicit a “direct response” in the target audience – typically, an immediate purchase of a product.

A direct response offer used to take the form of a physical sales letter in the mail, but these days, it’s typically a long-form text letter on a sales page – or even a video sales letter that convinces a prospect to buy right away.

Here’s what the typical flow for a direct response offer looks like:



This distinction matters because ClickBank is primarily set up to work with direct response offers, not just any old product that’s sold online. So, for e-commerce retailers or product owners, you may have a successful product – but you’ll need to create a separate “direct response” version of it if you want it available to affiliates on ClickBank.

Here are the main differences between a typical product for sale on an e-commerce store and a direct response offer crafted specifically for listing on ClickBank’s marketplace:

Direct Response Offer E-commerce Store Product
Profit margins


High enough for margin to pay affiliates ($20+) Lower
Type of copy


Text or video sales letter Product description
Type of page


Sales page E-commerce product page
Conversion timeline


Immediate or short-term Mid-term or long-term
Importance of brand identity


Lower Higher
Direct Response Offer
E-commerce Store Product

Profit margins


High enough for margin to pay affiliates ($20+)

Type of copy


Text or video sales letter
Product description

Type of page


Sales page
E-commerce product page

Conversion timeline


Immediate or short-term
Mid-term or long-term

Importance of brand identity



In support of a direct response offer listed on ClickBank, you should have the following:

  • Sales page. This is your landing page with sales copy that moves prospects to make a purchase.
  • Affiliate resources page. This is a page where you can tout the benefits of affiliates promoting your offer. You can also provide affiliates with proven marketing resources, including email swipes, banner ad images, demographic information, lead magnets, and more.
  • Affiliate manager. Top affiliates want someone they can talk to if they’re going to promote your product. The affiliate manager’s job is to maintain those relationships and provide support to affiliates, including negotiating commission rates, answering questions, and sharing resources.

Here’s a quick example of a sales page you might see for a direct response offer:



What is the ClickBank Marketplace?

If the ClickBank order form is the way transactions take place on our platform, then the ClickBank marketplace is the hub where product owners and affiliates can connect with each other to facilitate those sales.

Here’s what the ClickBank affiliate marketplace looks like:


official clickbank marketplace


Each of these ClickBank products is a direct response offer with a tracking link generator.

In addition, when a seller lists their offer on ClickBank, key metrics about its performance are shared publicly in their product listing. These numbers help affiliates decide which products to promote.


How to Get Started on ClickBank

In this quick guide, we’ve looked at how ClickBank works for affiliates, product owners, and customers.

We covered:

  • The powerful ClickBank order form
  • How money is divvied up
  • What your path as an affiliate or seller looks like
  • What a direct response offer is
  • The Clickbank marketplace and product listing

Now you understand how ClickBank works, but your journey with ClickBank is just beginning! If you’re ready to get started on ClickBank, please sign up for a free account here.