Hi, I promote a lot of ClickBank products, but when I clicked on your affiliate signup area on the Super Affiliate Handbook website, I came across something I've never seen before:
“Customers who purchase products and services through the Affiliate Program will be deemed to be customers of SuperAffiliateHandbook.com.”
ClickBank provides all affiliates with the name and e-mail address of the individual who buys through our affiliate link.
I've typically imported people who have bought through my affiliate links into a database and have treated them as “my” customers and as legitimate leads for similar offers in the future. The truth is, aren't these people *CLICKBANK* customers?
I already wrote to ClickBank to ask them about this, but also though I'd ask you where you're coming from in saying that ClickBank affiliates can't legitimately make use of the information that ClickBank (not you) provide us regarding people who buy through our affiliate links.
I look forward to your response,
Here is my take / response on the matter for Max and all other Clickbank affiliates…
Yup, that's legal-speak to mean that if you, as my affiliate, use the email addresses of customers who purchase the Super Affiliate Handbook, that you are in violation of both Can-Spam and Clickbank's Client Contract.
Although Clickbank may provide affiliates with email addresses, it certainly does NOT condone or support affiliates that spam, which is what you are doing if you are sending email to those addresses.
Here is a portion of Part 7 of Clickbank's Client Contract:
“If You send (or cause to be sent) messages by electronic means (including but not limited to email and instant messages) in connection with the direct or indirect promotion of ClickBank products, then You represent and warrant the following:
No such message will be sent to any individual who has not explicitly requested to receive such messages specifically from You or your company.”
The policy can't be any clearer than that.
Think about it… if you buy a product and you suddenly start receiving email from someone OTHER THAN the seller of that product, you would consider that spam.
Remember, most people have no idea that they purchased through an affiliate link — they have no idea what an affiliate is or does.
Moreover, to determine where spam originates, many online customers create unique email addresses for each product that they buy or for any merchant from whom they buy, ie. firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, for example, if an affiliate starts sending offers and promotions to email@example.com, the customer may ASSUME that the email originates with the merchant.
This becomes a huge problem when affiliate spammers put the address on multiple lists – or worse, SELL the address – and the customer gets deluged with all sorts of unwanted and unsolicited offers.
In that case, it is the merchant's business that is compromised and it is the merchant who takes the heat.
As a merchant, having your domain registration re-instated after it has been revoked due to affiliate spammers is a HUGE pain in the butt, as I know from firsthand experience.
As a matter of fact, Clickbank has on a number of occassions, cancelled accounts of Super Affiliate Handbook affiliates when those affiliates have spammed my customers.
Regardless of Clickbank's practice of providing affiliates with my customers' email addresses, my affiliate agreement is therefore written to prevent affiliates from using those addresses spamming my customers.
Besides, MOST (bad) affiliates will never read Clickbank's terms of agreement. I can only HOPE that my (good) affiliates will read mine. 🙂
As to the question of ‘Whose Customer is She Anyway?“, that's easy.
They are customers of the company from which they bought the product. It is the MERCHANT, not the affiliate OR Clickbank, that handles product delivery and customer support. Clickbank is simply a third-party payment processor.
If you've ever bought a product from a merchant that uses Clickbank to process payments, you know that other than sending an email to confirm the order, Clickbank does NOT use those addresses to further promote its own interests.
And neither should you as an affiliate.
That's why I ALWAYS emphasise how important it is for affiliates to set up autoresponders and capture email addresses to build their OWN opt-in lists BEFORE visitors leave their sites.
Place the capture form on every page of your site and give your visitors some incentive, such as a free report, to sign up. Aweber's autoresponder service costs a mere $17.95 per month (plus $10.00 for each additional 10,000 subscribers) and when you use their double opt-in option, you will never be accused of spamming, OR put yourself in jeopardy of losing your business for spamming.
I hope that clears things up!
What are YOUR thoughts? Please post your comments below.