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Innovations for Tomorrow’s Marketplace

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In this interview, Greg Lems, ClickBank veteran and CTO weighs in on ClickBank innovations for the future.

I like to think of technology as a constantly bouncing ball—and here at ClickBank, we are focused on driving that ball toward innovation at top speed in order to stay ahead of the marketplace. The question we ask ourselves everyday is this:

What do you, as ClickBank vendors and affiliate marketers, need to be successful?

It’s a critical question because our members’ success is, quite simply, the core of our business.

Each year I attend the Affiliate Summit West and the Affiliate Summit East, and am repeatedly blown away by the creative ideas I hear from clients. Many of the technology initiatives we pursue are a direct result of those conversations.

One example from recent years is our supplemental HopLinks system, which reinsures that affiliate sales are credited appropriately. It’s a great example of an area where new technology helped affiliates and we all became more successful as a result.

Here at ClickBank, many technology initiatives are currently under way, and they all have the potential to drive the success of our vendors and affiliate marketers. Our current priorities include:

• Mobile Support: With 60 million iPhones on the market, and 160,000 Android phones being activated everyday, we are pursuing multiple projects in this area.

In addition to supporting mobile transactions, which already account for a significant percentage of our marketplace sales, we are continuing to innovate in this area. One core focus is understanding how people are using ClickBank on mobile devices, and continuing to adapt our systems and product offerings to meet those needs.

• Joint Venture Partner Support: While vendors typically create joint venture partnerships with affiliates, increasingly, our vendors are wanting to partner with each other. For example, as part of an upsell cycle, vendors often want to promote the products of other vendors in the same market. That trend toward partnership is driving innovation in this area, where we are finding new solutions to meet demand.

• Security: ClickBank has occupied the number one spot for security in our industry for many years. That exemplary record is no accident—it is the result of years of investment to ensure that the thousands of transactions that occur through our network every single day run smoothly and securely. We have stringent processes in place that constantly audit our capability, and look out for tampers and hackers. We also have response procedures in place to handle every kind of security issue that can arise, allowing us to maintain a consistently secure marketplace for our clients and customers.

This year our security increased even further, as we became PCI level one compliant, which is a lengthy process that means that ClickBank can process in excess of six million credit cards per year. Being able to handle that kind of volume is an important asset for our vendors and affiliate marketers, who depend on our immense IT infrastructure to support their own success.

• Enhanced Analytics Data Integration: The most common mistake I see within our marketplace is members not testing pitch pages, ads and other sales assets. To facilitate the testing process, we added call-outs to Google analytics, MSN analytics and Yahoo! analytics. The goal is give you more tools within ClickBank that help you ensure that the money you’re investing in attracting online traffic is well spent.

• Detailed Upsell Data: Within our marketplace, affiliates can now see which vendors offer upsells. More importantly, affiliates can quickly access statistics that allow them to estimate how much upsell revenue they can expect to receive from their initial sales of a given vendor’s products.

• Customer Technical Support Notification: One of the categories of digital products sold through the ClickBank marketplace is software. To support our software vendors, we have a system whereby ClickBank customer service reps enter tickets on the customer’s behalf. The vendor is then notified immediately, and can then contact their customer directly based on that request. This additional customer service support is a tremendous asset that allows our software vendors to streamline their internal resources.

There continues to be tremendous potential for growth online, and ClickBank is dedicated to developing our technological capabilities at break neck pace to stay at the forefront of our industry. It is a challenge I personally enjoy facing every single day—one that inspires us to continue finding innovative solutions that advance your success in the online marketplace of today and tomorrow.

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