I've been considering dropping ClickBank as a payment processor for CaRP Evolution. Today I ran the numbers to see how much it's costing me to use ClickBank vs. PayPal, and I thought I'd share.

ClickBank Affiliate Tools
How does a ClickBank affiliate get an advantage over competing affiliates? One way is to offer bonuses to people who buy through your link. Another is to have better data to choose products to promote (like finding up-and-coming products before they've been promoted to death). Instant Affiliate Accelerator offers an automated bonus delivery system, research data, and more.

If a customer arrives at my site through a ClickBank link, the payment goes through ClickBank. Otherwise it goes to my PayPal account. Aside from the added work involved in maintaining both systems (not much, but more than nothing), using ClickBank loses money in a few ways.

In fairness, I'm sure it makes me a little money too by referring sales that wouldn't have been made otherwise. Unfortunately, I don't have a way to estimate that. Here's what I do know.

  • Most of my sales go through PayPal (I didn't calculate the ratio, but ClickBank's percentage is pretty small.)
  • 66% of my ClickBank sales are paid for using PayPal.
  • The other 34% are paid for using credit cards.
  • Unless the buyers are in countries not supported by PayPal, no sales would be lost because of unsupported payment methods.
  • 47% of my ClickBank sales are credited to known affiliates (I could create affiliate links for them and probably get them to switch easily enough).
  • For at least 21% of my ClickBank sales, the buyer is the affiliate -- they're using their affiliate link to get a rebate (it could be as high as about 45% -- reality is probably somewhere in between).
  • 3% of my ClickBank sales have no affiliate.
  • The rest of my ClickBank sales are either to affiliates who only got one sale so far this year, or to people buying through their own affiliate links.
  • For each self-affiliate sale that would have been a no-affiliate sale through PayPal (of course, I don't know how many would have paid full price if they didn't have the ClickBank "rebate" option), I lose 44% of my net.
  • I earn almost 8% more per non-affiliate sale through PayPal vs. ClickBank
  • My affiliates who refer less than $100 in sales a month earn 20% less per sale than if they go through ClickBank.
  • My affiliates who refer $100 to $500 in sales a month earn 11% more than if they go through ClickBank.
  • My affiliates who refer over $500 in sales a month earn 39% more than if they go through ClickBank.

I haven't made my decision yet, but I thought I'd throw those numbers out since I'm sure there are people who'll find them interesting.

Reader Comment:
Antone Roundy said:
Okay, the welcome DMs are now optional (but the one tweet isn't). There's a checkbox for it on the settings page that you see when you sign in. It'll be interesting to see what percentage of members turn it off...
(join the conversation below)