Once I created my digital product, the next step was to choose a payment processor with a built-in affiliate program. I had planned on using ClickBank - which is one of the oldest and most popular solutions available.
I decided to check into the newer JVZoo network before making a final decision, though. I've used it as an affiliate of course, so I did some research to compare ClickBank and JVZoo from the perspective of a merchant.
I started by doing some basic research on Google and comparing the rates and features of ClickBank and JVZoo. Next I asked for feedback on Facebook. I was interested to hear opinions from both merchants and affiliates...
If you read the comments at the Facebook post above you'll see that Scott Lovingood said, "I like JVZoo as a customer because ALL my purchases are in one place. With clickbank it can be tough to find things at times." This is true - and a nice benefit from the buyer's perspective. Customer Service was another hot point - JVZoo is "awesome to work with" and gets a big thumbs up for personal support & service.
Benefits of JVZoo over ClickBank:
- You have the option to run a closed affiliate program on JVZoo.
- The affiliate program at JVZoo has a 2-Tier option.
- JVZoo allows you to set up JV contracts with different commission rates and/or terms than general affiliates.
- JVZoo offers Instant Payment for both merchants AND affiliates.
- As an affiliate, if you offer bonuses, JVZoo will deliver them automatically for you when someone purchases through your affiliate link.
- JVZoo will notify affiliates by email (that requested it) of high converting offers.
- You can manage refunds personally through JVZoo.
- The JVZoo system doesn't allow people to purchase through their own link, bypassing the affiliate that referred them.
- ClickBank charges 7.5% + $1 per sale. JVZoo only charges 5% per sale (note: you'll pay PayPal fee's on each sale as well).
- It's FREE to set up your product on JVZoo. ClickBank charges a $49.95 setup fee.
- Products under $50 are automatically approved at JVZoo.
- JVZoo has a members forum where you can get help, network with other vendors, ask questions, and even recruit affiliates!
Drawbacks of JVZoo:
- You have to file 1099's manually, where ClickBank handles that for merchants. That said, JVZoo does collect the tax forms and give you a list of affiliates that qualify for a 1099 - so it's easy enough.
- ClickBank has a larger database of affiliates searching for products to promote. But JVZoo is growing fast, and any affiliate program requires active recruiting.
- JVZoo currently only accepts PayPal as a payment method, BUT they are in the process of implementing more payment methods which should go live anytime now.
There's another drawback to using any major affiliate network such as JVZoo or ClickBank: there's no way to create a mailing list that includes ALL of your affiliates so that you can communicate with them regularly.
While you can set up an Affiliate Page and have affiliates opt-in to receive affiliate links and updates, affiliates can easily find and promote your product(s) through the network directly - bypassing your list and resources altogether (unknowingly, even).
One cool benefit of JVZoo is that you can message affiliates individually through the network. So if you have an affiliate consistently performing well, you can contact them directly and offer them incentives or rewards - or communicate with them to see how you support their promotions (with exclusive interviews or other perks).
With a self-hosted affiliate program you lose the benefits of a network, but gain total control over affiliate communication. So that's definitely something to consider. I've worked with 2Checkout (aff) and iDevAffiliate (aff) if you're looking for options.
After researching and comparing the two networks, I decided to go with JVZoo and set up my product and affiliate program there - which literally only took a matter of minutes.
BUT, I also registered the .net version of my domain and duplicated all of the pages - to set my product up on ClickBank as well. I don't plan to actively promote this domain, but it's a great backup, and it also puts my digital product in the popular ClickBank Marketplace.
I hope this comparison proves useful if you're looking for a payment processor and affiliate program for your digital products. I was really impressed with JVZoo after researching all the features they offer, and I think it's good to finally have a working alternative/addition to ClickBank.
I would love to hear YOUR thoughts and experiences too.
Leave a comment below!
* Disclosure: This post contains my referral links to JVZoo and ClickBank. I may earn commission referring merchants. This post also contains some pretty darn good information and saves you the trouble of researching all of this yourself. If you found it helpful, I appreciate you using my referral links in return. Thank you!