I've used Clickbank to promote the “Super Affiliate Handbook” since it was first published in May 2003.
The Clickbank Marketplace makes it easy for affiliates to find your product, format their affiliate link and start promotions immediately.
That same ‘ease' of affiliation is also a good reason to think about HOW you use Clickbank as a merchant.
Clickbank merchants have little control over who may and may not promote their products. Worse, it is sometimes impossible for Clickbank merchants to identify or contact individual affiliates.
For example, I recently came across an affiliate making false promises to promote the Super Affiliate Handbook. (See the screen capture below and note the use of the ® registered trademark symbol.) Moreover, the affiliate is using Google Adwords to advertise as well.
Goodness knows, that at NO time would I ever promise potential Handbook customers that they can ‘start making money in 2 days' as affiliate marketers. That may be possible for some readers – but not probable for most – especially considering it takes most people more than 2 days to read a book that is 324 pages long.
So, what is a merchant to do if they find a Clickbank affiliate who ‘breaks the rules'?
Well, here are a few options:
- Do a Whois Lookup at Whois.net. If you're lucky, the contact information listed will be correct and the affiliate will correct the error of his or her ways. In most cases however, you won't hear back from them.
- Contact Clickbank to explain the situation and request that the affiliate's account be shut down. That probably won't work, but it is worth a try.
- If the affiliate is advertising on Google, contact Google and try to have the ad removed. That probably won't work either unless your product is trademarked.
- If the affiliate has copied your site (as in my case) contact the affiliate's ISP and have the site shut down for copyright infringement. That SHOULD work unless the site is hosted on a server in Eastern Europe.
As you can see, hope runs low to correct the error if you are using Clickbank.
My recommendation: If your product might inspire affiliates to make false and outrageous claims – do NOT advertise your product in the Clickbank marketplace.
Instead, set the product up so that affiliates MUST be whitelisted to participate in your promotions. Then start inviting trustworthy affiliates to promote your product.
Another thought is to promote your product through the ShareaSale affiliate network, through which you do have control over your affiliates.
Comments, questions or suggestions? Please leave a comment below!