Are you looking for the best alternative to ClickBank? You’re bound to find something that suits you in our thorough overview of the key players in the online affiliate marketing industry.
Before we get into the details on the most lucrative affiliate marketing platforms that rival ClickBank, we have to answer another dilemma — should you get into affiliate marketing in the first place?
Image source: cocreate-architecture
The affiliate marketing industry had existed since the early 1990s before the Internet was such a global phenomenon. The industry, however, only entered the mainstream world once the World Wide Web provided it with a worldwide reach.
The global economic scene has experienced a couple of significant recessions and upsets in the past two decades — including the mortgage crisis of 2008 that spread to most markets. Yet, the affiliate marketing industry has stayed the course without shrinking. By CyberCash World estimates, consumer spending in the affiliate sector will cross the eight billion dollars threshold in the next two years.
Entering the affiliate industry now would be an excellent idea, both as a vendor and as a marketer. The only question that remains is which platform you should choose — and why not ClickBank?
ClickBank Landing Page
ClickBank is one of the oldest companies in the affiliate marketing industry. It's one of the first affiliate networks that decided to take their business online and expand their reach. The founders established their website back in 1998.
The company is still going strong today, with plenty of benefits for everyone involved:
Commission rates up to 75%
A wide variety of niches to choose from as an affiliate
An expansive network of marketers to cooperate with as a vendor
Unlike many less reputable affiliate companies, ClickBank does not try to scam its users out of their commissions or deal dishonestly in any other way. There is, however, one major problem with their platform: junk products.
There are plenty of high-quality physical and digital products found on ClickBank. The problem is that they can easily be drowned in a sea of shoddy goods. Vendors peddling junk items are the single biggest issue about ClickBank, and they could be a big enough reason to warrant searching for ClickBank alternatives.
While you can make money on ClickBank, there are plenty of affiliate networks that are just as good — or even better in some aspects. We have conducted extensive research to present you with a comparative analysis of the best ClickBank alternatives:
Rakuten Linkshare Landing Page
Linkshare is another platform with a long history in the affiliate industry. It has been in operation since the early aughts. It held a significant market share in the industry until 2005 when it was bought out by the Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten.
The platform is still in operation today, but its affiliate numbers can’t match ClickBank. This would typically be a sign of a decline in popularity, but it's something else in the case of Linkshare.
The Rakuten-owned affiliate network solves the most critical problem of ClickBank — subpar products. Affiliate marketers working on Linkshare can have their pick among many renowned brands, such as:
Linkshare’s access to major brands is the reason why you’ll find a smaller number of affiliate marketers working on the platform. Vendors with this level of public recognition can’t let everyone associate themselves with their brand through reseller marketing.
Compared to ClickBank, Linkshare has a more stringent and complex sign-up process. After registering an account, you have to submit a detailed application for each vendor. This puts off a lot of marketers who are looking for a larger volume of work. Besides quality products, Linkshare offers these benefits as well:
Customer data that allows for more efficient lead generation and conversion
Analytics that offer further insights to all marketers
Range of products and tools for affiliate marketing
Wide variety of currencies for payment processing
Udemy Landing Page
Image source: groupbuyseotools
Udemy is one of the most popular online course platforms on the Internet. It allows its users to hone existing skills and attain new ones through a wide variety of courses. The platform contains user-made classes on basically any topic imaginable. These are made by professional tutors that use Udemy as an avenue for monetizing their knowledge.
Besides offering courses, Udemy has an in-house affiliate marketing platform that it uses for promotion. One of the essential aspects of Udemy's affiliate offer is that you'll never have to deal with low-quality products as a computer software reseller. The courses found on the platform have user-assigned scores that showcase their quality transparently.
While the quality of the products is consistent, Udemy’s affiliate program leaves something to be desired when it comes to commissions. Their rates cap at 20%, leaving you to wager the constant demand for their products against the average-to-low commissions.
The platform attracts affiliates with:
Devoted affiliate management
Banners and promotional materials
Coursera Landing Page
Our next ClickBank alternative is situated firmly in the online learning niche as well. Coursera is another course platform, but one more tightly focused on academic knowledge. Instructors found here are usually lecturers at universities around the world, compared to Udemy’s industry-focused teachers.
The platform’s structure is more academic as well, with options like graded assignments and dedicated discussion forums for individual courses. Coursera also has an affiliate network for course promotion. Its commissions start at 20%, but they can go as high as 45% for specialized courses. Udemy has a broader range of products to choose from for promotion, but Coursera's are more focused and of a higher quality.
Affiliates can benefit from:
Professional advertisement materials
Certified courses for promotion
Commission Junction Landing Page
Commission Junction is a program that most closely resembles Linkshare out of all the ClickBank alternatives on this list. It offers excellent commissions and long-lasting cookies for quality conversion tracking, but with one major caveat — the platform only deals with the affiliate marketing of physical products.
Plenty of marketers find such a narrow focus to be what they need, but value-added resellers that deal in SaaS products won’t be able to use this platform without leaving their niche and comfort zone.
Commission Junction isn’t without its upsides — for instance, the physical products sold here are rarely of questionable quality. That also means that the application process is as complicated as it is on Linkshare. Premium vendors require individual applications, but the platform’s commissions make it worth your while. In most cases, affiliates get 45% of each sale.
This affiliate network makes affiliates’ lives easier by providing them with a range of digital marketing tools that they’d otherwise have to find on their own. Commission Junction has its own pixel tracker for affiliate websites, as well as link building tools that improve website traffic. The most successful affiliates here reportedly earn upwards of ten thousand dollars each month, making Commission Junction more than a small-time passive income scheme.
High earners on the platform get even better treatment, receiving help from Commission Junction account managers when dealing with serious vendors. The platform pays out on a monthly basis using a variety of payment option:
Commission Junction Payment Options
Treehouse Landing Page
Treehouse takes us back to the realm of SaaS products with an excellent learning platform. It’s more focused in comparison to the likes of Coursera and Udemy. Those other platforms offer all kinds of courses in almost every niche, while Treehouse is focused on digital technologies.
People who want to learn mobile development, web design, or other coding-related skills can find a variety of useful lectures on Treehouse. Their main target audience consists of people looking to shift their career paths to the tech sector and students of informational technologies that need additional learning materials.
Treehouse promotes its digital products through an extensive affiliate network. The company has one of the best affiliate deals you can find anywhere: a 50% commission on each sold course and a five-dollar commission for each lead generated for the Treehouse website.
Affiliates receive extensive aid in their advertising through marketing tools, creative assistance, and thorough data analytics. Treehouse has an affiliate management department that offers real-time support and a number of free tutorials for affiliate marketers.
There are plenty of networks that are good ClickBank alternatives for affiliates. JVZoo, however, is one that’s a worthier alternative for vendors.
JVZoo is a marketplace for digital products, perfect for the sale of SaaS and freemium software solutions. It’s easy to use, and the marketplace is populated with online vendors looking for affiliates to promote their products. As a vendor, you get a neat dashboard with plenty of sales statistics that you need to keep track of your online business.
On the affiliate side, things aren’t nearly as sunny. The reason why we find this platform to be perfect for vendors is that it’s easy to stand out among the competition — most of the vendors found here sell mediocre products of low-quality online brands.
This isn’t good for marketers, who have only a limited pool of excellent software products to choose from for promotion. Yet, we have to commend JVZoo for its ease of use, both for vendors and marketers. You can register an account in a matter of minutes, and you’ll be one email confirmation away from looking for worthy products or marketers.
PeerFly Landing Page
PeerFly is one of the best ClickBank alternatives on this list — we haven’t arranged our picks in any particular order, but this network would definitely find itself in the top three.
This affiliate platform was founded ten years ago, and it has experienced sustained growth ever since. The reason for this is simple — it does not offer a commission to its affiliates only when their leads make a purchase. PeerFly boils down the sale process to a series of actions — and every notable action that a lead makes is billable to affiliates.
In other words, you earn a small commission each time one of your leads subscribes to a newsletter or completes an online form. This type of affiliate network is dubbed CPA — Cost Per Action.
Every aspect of PeerFly speaks to the professionalism of its developers. The platform is not just a website where affiliates can communicate with vendors — it is a dedicated platform designed to minimize downtime and any technical issues.
Publishers and vendors from all around the globe use PeerFly. This is one of the reasons why their payment options and currencies are so diverse. Contrary to most monthly-based affiliate payouts, PeerFly allows you to receive your commissions in weekly installments.
PeerFly Payment Options
PeerFly facilitates sales of both physical and digital products, offering shipping options all around the world. It is also notable as one of the most transparent bona fide affiliate networks in operation today. The PeerFly staff contains dedicated fraud prevention and regulatory compliance teams.
Affiliate.com Landing Page
Most of the affiliate networks that we have reviewed here are designed to be suitable for both newbies and experienced affiliate marketers. This is not the case with Affiliate.com. There is a reason why this is a renowned network among industry professionals — they only hire experienced marketers that know their way around the affiliate sector.
If you are just starting out in this business, any other ClickBank alternative from this list will be a better fit. Once you reach the required experience level, you can submit an application to join the Affiliate.com network at any time. The platform reviews your application and responds within two business days.
When you’re accepted, you will immediately receive an affiliate manager that you’ll work under. This platform approaches the affiliate marketing business far more professionally than most other peer networks. While this is commendable, many affiliates that only want to attain a secondary passive income might not be thrilled with such a hands-on way of doing business.
The support received by the affiliates on this network is top-notch. You will receive the most relevant information and promotional materials needed to successfully market all the products found on the platform. Similarly to PeerFly, this network also condones weekly payouts. Expect heavy scrutiny once you sign up, though — only affiliate veterans make it through the hiring process.
Market Health Landing Page
A majority of the ClickBank alternatives found here are not niche-specific. They only differ in regard to whether you can promote physical or digital products on their platforms. It should be noted that a sizable portion of the market share in the affiliate industry is made up of smaller, more focused affiliate networks.
Market Health is one such platform, focused solely on the promotion of physical health products. Unlike Affiliate.com, it is friendlier to affiliate newbies, giving you an expansive variety of products. There’s only one catch — this affiliate program requires you to own a website where you’ll promote the products.
This isn’t too much of an issue as most affiliate marketers have websites of their own, but individuals focused on social media marketing may need to look elsewhere. If you fulfill their requirements, getting started on the platform is utterly simple. Once you create your account, you can choose from a variety of product categories:
The platform is organized extremely well. When you select a product on the Market Health marketplace, you will receive all the relevant information required to successfully advertise a product. You can see the referral tracking link, the sales commission, and a premade sales page that you’ll include on your website. Commission payouts are regular and swift, on a bi-monthly basis.
ClickBank isn’t the worst affiliate platform in the world — on the contrary. It’s a reliable and densely populated affiliate marketplace, offering plenty of options for vendors and affiliates alike. The latter may not find it as satisfactory as the former due to a large number of subpar products that aren’t easy to market.
Plus, affiliate marketing means using your personal website and/or social media for product advertisements. Tying yourself to a notoriously low-quality vendor can spell disaster for your brand value in the long term — choosing products wisely is essential.
That’s why many affiliates opt for one of the ClickBank alternatives that we’ve described instead. You shouldn’t, however, believe that all of the vendors and products on this platform should not be scrutinized before you decide to market them.
The affiliate marketing business is thriving, with plenty of successful affiliate networks and ClickBank alternatives out there. There are many options, and your choice will depend on the niche and type of products that you wish to market to an online audience.
Become CEO of your own lead generation software company, just follow our battle-tested guidelines and rake in the profits.