How To Stop ClickBank Link Theft

1. The Problem

The most pressing concern for ClickBank affiliates is how to prevent a customer from purchasing under their own link and depriving them of their commission.

There are two ways that this happens.

1.1 Affiliate link substitution

An affiliate URL (or hoplink) has the format

Once the vendor-id is known it is simple for someone to replace the original affiliate-id with their own.

1.2 Affiliate program signup

A potential customer can simply sign up to the affiliate program if it is publicised at the product site and purchase the product himself.


2. The Solution

2.1 Affiliate link substitution

The vendor-id needs to be concealed in the two places where it is visible, namely

- in the order link on the vendor sales page
- in the affiliate URL

2.1.1 Action by the vendor

Don't allow the link to the order page to be seen, viz

It can be replaced by any of these

  • a redirect link

    Create a file called say order.php with this content


    and link to order.php

    If your host does not support php use the cloaking code shown at ClickBank here

  • a link from an affiliate link management script such as HopGuard or CBMultiLink
  • a link from an affiliate management product such as easyClickMate
  • a tracking Url: for recommendations see The Complete Guide to Ad Tracking Programs

2.1.2 Action by the affiliate

Don't show the hoplink, viz

It can be replaced by any of these


This will make re-engineering of the hoplink virtually impossible unless the customer finds the product in the ClickBank MarketPlace or searches for sites of other affiliates where cloaking is not used (a problem solved with easyClickMate).


2.2 Affiliate program signup

Typically there is an overt link to an affiliate signup page worded 'Earn money' or 'Become an affiliate'. There are 3 ways to avoid this:

2.2.1 Reduce the link visibility

Make the link less conspicuous. Put it on an About page or an FAQ page. Or a separate page where search engine indexing is barred. Someone who is really keen to become an affiliate will hunt around for this information.

2.2.2 Restrict the Affiliate Program

Explain that the affiliate program is only open to selected individuals and to write for more information. Also mention that customers are entitled to become affiliates - this is actually a good plus point for your sales copy.

2.2.3 Separate page for affiliate traffic

Have a separate (landing) page for affiliates. This page will have the basic sales copy and order link, whereas on the vendor page you can have any of the 'leaks' to which affiliates object such as

  • the blatant affiliate signup link
  • use of another payment processor
  • subscription to a mailing list or a free report whereby you follow up with other offers
  • many external links which distract the visitor from reaching the order page.
  • many unrelated products on a page.

The simplest way to create alternative pages for affiliates is to use easyClickMate

Affiliates please note: if there is a vendor site which you particularly want to promote you can suggest to the vendor that he reads the suggestions on this page. The URL is

Also, here is a letter you can use or adapt.


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