Blog > Content Marketing > Clickbank vs Commission Junction: Which Earns More?

Clickbank vs Commission Junction: Which Earns More?

Written by Kenny NovakContent Marketing • Posted May 24, 2015

Among affiliate networks, two of the biggest names are Clickbank and Commission Junction. That is, they used to be; Commission Junction changed names and rebranded; they are now known as CJ Affiliate by Conversant. To keep things straight, throughout this piece I’ll refer to it simply as CJ.

Clickbank Basics

Clickbank

First off, let’s start with Clickbank and see what they say about themselves. Their site is here, if you want to follow along at home.

Clickbank bills themselves as a global Internet retailer, with over 200 million customers around the world. Their homepage is plastered with featured advertisements, offers and their payouts. There’s an anti-aging course for $79.99, a dancing course for $14.95, a sugar detox for $67, and a musical course for $10. Of course, these are the prices to subscribe, not necessarily the prices an affiliate marketer makes.

Moving on to their Digital Marketers (publishers or affiliate marketers) page, we see more details. They boast, here.

  • Commissions as high as 75% on the products, services and courses you sell as an affiliate marketer. 75% on a $80 course isn’t bad, but note the pesky phrase “up to” here. 75% is the cap.
  • A choice of products. Clickbank has a wide range of offers in various industries, with tens of thousands of products you can market. You can find something to advertise almost no matter what niche you choose.
  • Guaranteed on time payments. One of the biggest problems affiliate marketers have is payments. Some shady networks fail to pay on time, or at all. Clickbank boasts 17 years of on time payments.
  • Recurring commissions. This is a big one; many of the products and courses you can promote through Clickbank are subscription models. When you sell a subscription product, you earn a commission each month as the subscription fee is paid. For some lucrative products, this can mean years of ongoing commissions from one sale.
  • Automatic upsells. Some products they promote have built-in upsells along the conversion process, and when an upsell is successful, you get the commission on the higher price.
  • Advanced analytics. Analytics are always good, though how great Clickbank’s are depends on how well you use them.

They also mention the ability to partner with other sellers, though this isn’t always a good idea. It splits your revenue with a partner in exchange for adding their selling power to your own. Potentially good, potentially terrible, depending on your partner.

CJ Basics

CJ

Now let’s move on to what CJ has to say for themselves. Their publisher page begins by promoting reliable tracking and reliable payments, similar to Clickbank. They go on to talk about their robust analytics, as well as their compliance with third party networks. In particular, they boast real time transaction monitoring, so you don’t have to wait days to see whether a customer purchased through your link.

Another interesting feature beyond the norm is deep link automation. A script you can place on your site monitors links you create, and any link that goes to a CJ advertiser’s domain is automatically converted into an affiliate link. You don’t have to specifically find and enroll in those offers; it’s all done for you by the script. Of course, it’s JavaScript, so any user who browses with JavaScript turned off will avoid those links.

They also advertise their CJ Performer program, which is a special support and training course they personally offer you when your site performs well enough. It’s designed to help you increase your earnings, and gives you access to more reporting and advertising options. To qualify, you need to make $10,000 per month in commissions, through multiple advertisers.

One thing I note is that they don’t specifically mention the commission percentage for their offers. Is that good or bad? Up to you.

Third Party Checking

One thing any affiliate marketer should do before they sign on with a network is shop around. One of the best sites to shop around is OfferVault, as it’s little more than a giant search engine that indexes the name, payout, category, network and update date for offers. Let’s look at facts about Clickbank and CJ.

Clickbank:

  • A grand total of 2,000 offers appearing in the search filter.
  • Every offer is a sale type. They have also all been updated recently.
  • Categories range from health and wellness to art courses and courses in marketing.
  • The highest paying offer is $227.57 for a Forex product.
  • The lowest paying offers are a mere 4 cents, and they range from a Spanish Facebook marketing course to a Sherpa video course.

CJ:

Error: Data not found. OfferVault doesn’t have data for any Commission Junction, CJ or Conversant (their former name) offers whatsoever. This makes it hard to compare them. I see people talking about offers that pay from $60 to $190, ranging from payday loans and psychic readings to exercise equipment and web hosting sales.

CJ does have offers in lead generation and pay per call, as well as traditional sales. These are easier in a sense, because you only need to foster interest, not close a sale. On the other hand, they tend to pay worse.

Which Earns More?

Overall, it sounds like both networks are potentially on par in terms of earnings. That’s not unusual, though. The real determining factor comes down to a personal choice on your party. Consider:

  • Which site has more offers in the niche you want to explore? This only matters if you prefer to choose your niche instead of letting offers guide your choice. You will also need to register for both sites to explore offers.
  • Which site has the better support? Clickbank does seem to offer better analytics and support, particularly if you work your way up to a partnership as a high earner.
  • Which site has the better reputation? Clickbank has been going strong under their own banner for nearly two decades. CJ has had two rebrandings that I know of, with possibly more in the past.

Overall, my inclination is to consider Clickbank the better network. However, it all comes down to personal experience and how well you can perform with the offers available. Explore both sites and see for yourself.



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