ClickBank News
(Archive)

January 27, 2004

ClickBank Plans

From Steve Rouse, Chief Operating Officer at ClickBank

"There are some significant new product offerings coming soon, but no changes to the current affiliate tracking are in the works (we are finished and satisfied the tracking is working well).

The most important new offering will be our PayTrack payment gateway (which by the way is already doing the heavy lifting on the payment side for ClickBank). Via PayTrack, we will be able to offer our clients their own vendor account, through which they may sell physical shipped goods and recurring memberships in addition to digital content.

We will also tie in the existing ClickBank affiliate system, so you can leverage our affiliate network even if you maintain your own vendor account through PayTrack. We are planning a Q2 launch and will keep you informed as we get closer to launch."

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October 2, 2003

ClickBank Blog

ClickBank now has a Blog (a log of system changes) at http://clickbank.com/cblog/

You will also find the link at your account login page


October 1, 2003

Stats screen changes (update)

It appears that the bi-weekly reports may not return for some time, only daily reports will be available.

ClickBank explains:

"We had record high sales. In addition to this, many clients have a script that automatically visits the stats page every single time a sale is made. There were too many requests per second from scripts. This caused endless spinning -- with no one able to visit their ClickBank stats from 1 PM to 11 PM on September 29th. We had to rearrange how the stats were displayed, in order to accommodate the number of clients automatically accessing their stats".


September 30, 2003

Stats screen changes

The new format of the stats screen, showing daily stats instead of biweekly stats, is a temporary measure to reduce bandwidth requirements. This should revert back to the old format (possibly in a few days) while servers/bandwidth is added.


September 23, 2003

Hoplink changes

ClickBank announce a major change to their hoplink system. Details here


September 16, 2003

Hoplink problems

Over the last few days you may have experienced problems whereby affiliate hoplinks were not working properly. It seems that they only worked from a website - not if you ran them as Email type links or typed them into your browser.

Explanation from ClickBank:

"Several affiliates are referring exit traffic or generating lot of popups with our hoplink in it and causing a bunch of bogus requests.The extra hits are coming only from some IP's. That's why we are having trouble figuring out how to manage it. It sort of looks like certain people are getting mousetrapped on exit and flooding us with multiple direct hits.

For now, we have had to block the top 30 offending affiliate links, and also all popup traffic. That way we can still manage the majority of our clients. At any rate, the new systems should solve the problem."


September 4, 2003

New payment methods

ClickBank are now accepting customer payment using JCB. Soon they will be introducing Switch/Solo.


July 25, 2003

No sales notification - for affiliates

Statement from ClickBank:

"ClickBank has ceased sending out sales notification for affiliate sales and affiliate sales ONLY for the time being. We would recommend that you check your stats periodically for any new affiliate sales that may come through"

Also the vendor notification is now coming from invoice@clickbank.com


July 16, 2003

Change to sales notification

Your sales notification will no longer be sent from null@clickbank.com

Explanation from ClickBank:

"The sales notifications are being sent from ClickBank, but they have changed. They are no longer being sent from null@clickbank.com. It will appear that they are being sent from your own email address. Furthermore, the subject line has changed- it now includes the following information:

Subject: CB vendor - linknumber, card, order receipt#

Changes are related to the VAT changes, and also to keep our email from being filtered out by anti-spam software. You can also now sort by the part of the subject that is pertinent to you".


July 12, 2003

Bogus ClickBank email

Beware of an Email apparently sent by ClickBank but which is an attempt to obtain your ClickBank password. It looks like this


---------------------------------------
From: "www.clickbank .com"
To: vendor@ClickBank.com
Date sent: Sat, 12 Jul 2003 11:10:20 -0400
Subject: ClickBank Payment Policy Update

Dear ClickBank Vendor, we have recently updated our Payment Policy. Please login to your account to read the updated payment policy for clickbank vendors.

http://clickbank.com/login.html

Thanks for using ClickBank!
----------------------------------------

Although the visible Url is for the ClickBank login page the underlying URL is actually:
http://www.geocities.com/clickbankpolicy/clickbank-login.html


July 1, 2003

ClickBank and VAT

New EU rules for charging Value Added Tax (VAT) came into force today. The implications for ClickBank vendors and affiliates are explained here.


June 23, 2003

ClickBank: Denial of service attack

Statement from ClickBank

"ClickBank has been the target of a distributed denial of service attack since about 12:00 pm Sunday (6-22) Mountain Standard Time. The attack is distributed over thousands of hacked machines, all pounding our servers with bogus http requests. Our technical team switched over our services to an alternate server in an attempt to solve the downtime that the attack was causing, which has allowed some sales to go through. They are continuing to work to get the system back to 100%. Our technical team is currently working with our ISP (Internet Service Provider) to be sure that our services are safeguarded from any further interruptions"

NOTE: ClickBank have posted updates here.


May 14, 2003

Recurring Billing (Update)

Statement from ClickBank

"Keynetics, Inc., the parent company of ClickBank, is currently developing an alternative recurring billing solution, which should become available soon. As we near completion of the development project, we will make the details public".


Apr 19, 2003

Recurring Billing

Statement from ClickBank

"At this time our plans to add recurring billing have been put on hold indefinitely."


April 6, 2003

ClickBank 909 error

Note: this feature was subsequently removed after a few hours - but it may be an indication of future changes. ClickBank explanation was:

Our technical team was in the process of doing some testing for a short period of time. This means that any customer or clients that may have clicked on a hoplink during this time would have received the 909 error message. Once the testing was completed the hoplinks began working per normal.

We do apologize for any inconvenience and or confusion this may have caused you.

ClickBank has introduced a new security check to prevent abuse. Here is the resultant error message


909 - No referring page

To prevent unsolicited commercial messaging (spam), ClickBank links only work when placed in an actual web page. Direct links to ClickBank in email or pop-up windows are forbidden. All traffic must visit an outside web page first.

In rare cases privacy software may also result in this message. If you are using privacy software please turn it off then refresh this page.


The main implication is that you can no longer use the basic hoplink

http://hop.clickbank.net/?affiliate-id/vendor-id

in say an Emailed newsletter.

What should you do ?

Affiliates can do one of the following

Vendors should consider using an affiliate management product which will provide their affiliates with foolproof URLs. See recommended 3rd party tools.


Feb 28, 2003

ClickBank Sales down ?

If you experienced a drop in your ClickBank sales yesterday here is a statement from ClickBank

"Last evening (Feb 27), we experienced some downtime as a result of telecom problems caused by AT&T. Unfortunately, sales took a hit as a result. Everything has been repaired and is running normally at this time.

We apologize for the problem, and assure you we are doing our best to prevent this from occurring again"


Feb 12, 2003

Order Form Change

The order form is now split into two steps, the first requesting country/state and ZIP code.

ClickBank says this is in preparation for new value-added features and for sales tax to be collected at some point in the near future.


Feb 4, 2003

Direct Deposit

ClickBank will be introducing a direct deposit system whereby commissions can be paid directly into your bank.

No date is yet available for this service.


Jan 6, 2003

ClickBank Plans

ClickBank is planning major updates to their system. These include

  • recurring billing
  • an improved marketplace
  • more advertising possibilities
  • better vendor stats

Target date: Q1


Nov 14, 2002

Pop-ups after a ClickBank purchase

If you have noticed a pop-up (or more accurately a pop-under) appearing after a ClickBank transaction here is an explanation from ClickBank:

"ClickBank is currently beta testing a new promotion in which targeted offers are presented to certain consumers after they have completed a purchase at ClickBank (pop-unders). We are currently evaluating the effectiveness of the promotional offers, and the impacts on consumer behavior.

We plan on offering ClickBank vendors and affiliates a share of the revenues generated by the program. If, as we suspect, consumers react positively to the targeted offers, we will plan to officially launch the service in January. In connection with the rollout, we will be providing all ClickBank vendors and affiliates full details, including the revenue sharing arrangements.

If successful, we believe this program will be an important revenue-enhancing program that will boost profits for all ClickBank vendors and affiliates. We would like to hear from you if you have any comments about this project. Beginning Thursday November 14th, you can email us at promobeta@clickbank.com with your suggestions."


Nov 13, 2002

Are your ClickBank sales down ?

There has been a number of discussions recently in various forums from ClickBank vendors and affiliates questioning an unexplained decline in their sales.

ClickBank contend that their sales as a whole have not declined, in fact the opposite.

So what is the situation ?

If you think your sales have declined you should first check these possibilities

1) Have your site visitors declined as a whole ?

Two possible reasons here

- a) the holiday slump in July, August, September seemed to carry over to October as well

- b) Google rankings for many sites went down after some changes in October

2) If you are an affiliate check if your vendor has made changes to his site which could be the cause. A particular example would be the introduction of a blatant link for visitors to sign up as affiliates (and therefore purchase under their own nickname)


If none of the above applies and your 'conversion' rate - the ratio of sales to the number of visitors - has truly reduced we need to look at other factors

1. Security changes ?

ClickBank recently changed their system: however this should have the effect of ensuring you do get the commission. It is now more difficult for anyone to manually change the nickname.

Note that the sale is credited to the last affiliate site actually visited by the customer. So if you are using Email campaigns linking directly to the product, as opposed to a link from your site, then your commission will be credited to a previous affiliate (if there was one) whose site the customer visited. However this would not explain a sharp decline.

Verdict: unlikely that this is the cause

2. Credit card problems ?

There are reports of would be customers unable to purchase due to rejection of their card.

Verdict: I have asked ClickBank if they have made any changes in this area and await a reply.


What do ClickBank say ?

Steve Rouse, CEO (steve@clickbank.com) has stated

" .. give me some specifics and I will look into it. I can't work with a broad "my sales seem low" statement. Email me with the links you are concerned about, and I can see if the commission pattern has shifted away from you to some other affiliate or to non-commissioned sales. I can also look at the overall product sales trends to see if there are fewer buyers for a particular product you are advertising".


Note: Don't forget that whatever security changes ClickBank make there is still the basic loophole that if you openly announce your affiliate link as

http://hop.clickbank.net/?affiliate-id/vendor-id

and your visitor has not yet clicked on it he can simply replace your nickname.

The solution ?

My recommendation is to check out the two products that I personally use.

* As an affiliate: to conceal my links - Affiliate Cloner

* As a vendor: to provide concealed links to my affiliates and also handle all my affiliate operations - easyClickMate


Nov 11, 2002

ClickBank Online Checks: New Option

By default a vendor account is set up to accept online checks. At the ClickBank order page this statement is shown

"No credit card? Click HERE to pay by online check."

A new feature has now been introduced which, according to ClickBank, is showing a significant rise in successful sales by check.

It is a link which takes the customer directly to an online check page.

On your sales page you can now place an additional buy button saying for example

"don't have a credit card? Pay with a check".

or

"prefer to pay with a check?"

The link is

http://www.clickbank.net/check.html?nickname/linknumber/linktitle

as compared to the existing (credit card) link

http://www.clickbank.net/sell.cgi?nickname/linknumber/linktitle


You can also receive the latest news from ClickBank by signing up for our free newsletter, the ClickBank Guide

Any comment or questions ? Let me know.

Thanks Harvey Segal