ClickBank has a new competitor, an affiliate network and marketplace called Click2Sell. Advanced tracking will be one of its main attractions. Another attraction – no set-up fees.
Click2Sell is making a determined effort to compete with ClickBank, which has 10,000 vendors and more than 100,000 affiliates and has been a favorite of affiliates for years.
ClickBank, while popular, has been slow to make improvements. So Mike Filsaime's PayDotcom and various third-party software companies have jumped in to fill some of the gaps, offering features not provided by ClickBank.
Now the new alternative, Click2Sell, is offering even more features than ClickBank and PayDotCom.
It will be interesting to see if this new entrant manages to capture a useful share of the market. It's very early days yet, but so far it has 60 products listed. It's free to join.
While ClickBank lists only digital products, Click2Sell – like PayDotCom – allows vendors to sell digital products, physical products and subscription-based products such as membership sites. (ClickBank recently added recurring billing to its features.)
Click2Sell gives vendors a free account with an unlimited number of products. ClickBank charges $49.95. PayDotCom offers a free account but charges a one-time $29 activation fee if the vendor wants to add extra product lines.
Click2Sell's transaction fees vary from $1 to $3 (US) per transaction. The vendor pays them. PayDotCom also charges $1 to $3, but its transaction fees are split by the vendor and affiliate. A typical ClickBank charge is $1 + 7.5% per transaction.
In a bid to attract a wider audience, Click2Sell offers a range of payment options including Paypal, Moneybookers, credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Eurocard). Customers can pay through the vendor's Authorize.net, Worldpay or Google Checkout merchant accounts using their credit cards.
Click2Sell supports various currencies – USD, EUR or GBP.
While ClickBank handles commission payments, in the Click2Sell system, the vendor pays the affiliate commissions. I doubt if affiliates will see this is an improvement. Affiliates like the fact that ClickBank is in control of paying commissions, which is does reliably twice a month, by check.
However, some ClickBank affiliates complain about is the lack of an option to receive their commissions via PayPal. Click2Sell affiliates can be paid via PayPal or Moneybookers.
Click2Sell affiliates are paid monthly, three weeks after the end of a month.
Click2Sell says paying affiliates has “never been easier”… well, maybe. However, vendors who use ClickBank don't even have to click a button to pay affiliates – payments are done for them.
While some systems require vendors to upload a mass payment txt file to PayPal, with Click2Sell “you can easily pay all your affiliates via Click2Sell at once – just click one Mass Pay button and you're done”. Mass payments can also be made directly with a credit card.
No arrangements appear to have been made for affiliates who are unable to join PayPal or Moneybookers.
Click2Sell tracks the commissions paid. Merchants who do not pay affiliates are barred from the system.
“The result is that the merchants that do business at Click2Sell marketplace are honest and fair,” says Click2Sell project manager and part-owner Egidijus Andreika.
In the Click2Sell system, the vendor controls refunds. Customer refunds can be made at the click of a button from the member's area.
A major feature of Click2Sell is the advanced statistical tracking – for vendors and affiliates.
Vendors are able to see how many views, visitors and sales their salesletter has, and track conversion rate, refund rate and all income.
You can create different tracking channels to test different traffic sources and their profitability.
You can also track which keywords bring sales. All merchants and affiliates are able to track every keyword which brings them views, visitors and sales on a Keyword Report. “You will know which keywords were used to find your website, how many visitors they brought and how many sales were made – for each separate keyword.”
Tracking your pay-per-click campaigns is also possible. “All members can see which keywords used on Google Adwords, Yahoo! Search Marketing and FindWhat bring the most visitors and sales – you can even track the conversion ratio for each keyword. You will be able to track every aspect of your affiliate's performance – how many views, visitors and sales each of them bring, how many affiliates promote your product, how many of them are active.”
Cookies are set to last for six months.
Affiliates are able to contact merchants and vice versa.
Vendors can set ANY price for their product – there's no price maximum.
Vendors can pay up to 95% commissions if they wish.
Other features include secure product download pages, protected from unauthorized access, encrypted “Thank You” pages, and download links which expire after 72 hours to restrict buyers from sharing your product with others.
For affiliates, there's a unique referral link system designed to ensure that “commissions won't be stolen”.
Custom commission rates
Vendors can provide a custom commission rate for every affiliate. So it's easy to pay your super affiliates a special rate. You can also ban unwanted affiliates or select manual affiliate approval for your products.
I haven't listed every feature here – on the website there's a list of 85 reasons why you should join Click2Sell.
You can earn commissions by referring affiliates and vendors to Click2Sell. You can earn 30% of every transaction fee paid to Click2Sell once a sale is made by the merchant or affiliate you referred – as long as they stay active.
The company promises dedicated customer support. “We aim to provide the best customer support for our customers and help them.”
Separate downloadable user guides are available (under the Support tab on the website). There's one for affiliates and one for vendors. I found the affiliates' user guide a bit confusing because it includes sections which are aimed at merchants, not affiliates.
Click2Sell is owned by UAB Pharmservis, which is based in Lithuania. Egidijus is one of six people who own shares in the business. He says three people work full-time at Click2Sell.
“We have been involved in affiliate marketing for four years, since 2003, mostly with affiliate programs and custom software projects.”
He says that creating custom software allowed them to gain valuable knowledge, which has been used to create features that its competitors – ClickBank and PayDotCom – lack. They're already working on a major update which will bring in more changes and improvements.
Can a company based in Lithuania successfully do battle with ClickBank and PayDotCom? We'll see. Click2Sell is a brand new, untested affiliate network. It looks worth keeping an eye on.
When you consider that there are hundreds of affiliate networks, it seems a smart move to position yourself as an alternative to ClickBank.