ClickBank: New Rules, New Regs

by Rick Duris

I write a lot for ClickBank products, about half in the Internet Marketing arena and half in other markets.  We all knew this was coming.  It was just a matter of time.  Current marketing, proof and copy tactics were unsustainable.

Recently, ClickBank has been rolling out this communication to its promoters:

“We wanted to share some of the most important guidelines to keep in mind when creating your Pitch Page, upsells and other sales material. To ensure that ClickBank vendors stay in good standing with the FTC, we will apply these guidelines when approving new products and working with existing vendors.

  • Most importantly, please do not significantly alter your Pitch Page after approval. We recognize that some changes are necessary for testing, but if you need to make significant changes to your page (such as earnings claims or images, sales messaging or video content), please notify your Account Manager so we can ensure the new page is also in compliance.
  • For Internet Marketing products: Per the new FTC information, sales material shouldn’t create the impression that customers can easily earn money without putting in much work, and should give specific ideas of how they’ll earn the money (e.g., content marketing, video marketing, social media, etc). Sales pages should also not overstate how much can realistically be made, or imply that earnings are guaranteed.
  • The FTC also strongly discourages false urgency/scarcity messaging (for example, “Only 3 copies left!”) when there is no actual scarcity. Closing the doors to new customers after a specified amount of time and reopening later is fine.
  • Any Pitch Page references to ClickBank sales stats need to be verifiable by ClickBank, and need to have been earned by the methods being promoted. For example, selling an affiliate training product using sales snapshots from a vendor-only account is not allowed.
  • For vendors using video Pitch Pages, if a Buy Now button appears during the course of the video, the price must appear as well. We also request that vendors provide transcripts of video sales letters when submitting a product for approval.
  • For upsells, the initial product purchased must be valuable and usable on its own, without requiring the purchase of the upsell offers. Customers must also be able to immediately access their original purchase upon completion of their order, before being presented with upsell offers. An access link may be placed on the first upsell offer page, but the link must be very clear and conspicuous (i.e., not hidden or in a small font). We highly recommend that vendors use ClickBank’s official upsell flows to present upsell offers to customers.
  • Please submit product approval requests at least several days before your launch, so that ClickBank has time to thoroughly review the offer and request changes if necessary. This is especially the case for products with video sales letters, since making changes to these can take time. We may not be able to accommodate last-minute requests.
  • To prevent customer complaints, vendors should not close refund request tickets or switch tickets from Refund to Tech Support more than once, and the latter should only be used when actually trying to help the customer and save the sale.”

While promoters are pondering their next promotion, I can tell you many of the changes will be WELCOME.

- Rick Duris

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