ShareASale vs. ClickBank

If you are thinking of using affiliate marketing as a way of monetizing your blog or website, but you haven’t yet decided on a specific affiliate network, you’ve come to the right place. 

In today’s article, we are making a comparison between two of the largest and perhaps best-known networks in this field, meaning ShareASale vs ClickBank. For both of these, we will look at the features, how the platforms pay their affiliates, and a variety of other details you should be informed on. 

How do ShareASale and ClickBank work?

We actually created two reviews of both of these networks in the past, but for the sake of this article, we will be comparing them side by side. They are both networks that make it possible for affiliates to manage everything much easier than they would if they were to join separate affiliate programs.

The main difference between ShareASale and ClickBank is the type of products or rather, merchants that can be found on the networks. 

ShareASale, perhaps one of the largest platforms out there, is mostly aimed at bridging the gap between companies that operate in the industry of physical products and affiliate marketers. 

ClickBank, on the other hand, has loads of merchants in the digital space, whether that be for tools, plugins, eBooks, and a variety of similar materials. 

Even though we will go into this more in some of the sections below, the fact of the matter is that ClickBank has little to no management employees that can separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to the offers that you can promote. 

shareasale

ShareASale features

This platform is designed mostly for people who are interested in recommending physical products to their audience. However, we’ve seen that recently, ShareASale has started to integrate other offers, so you can now find several digital ones if that is what you want to promote. 

The network is now being used by more than 200,000 affiliates across the world, which should give you a clue as to how popular it is. 

Some of its best-known and also user-friendly features are the fact that you can customize your reports as per your preferences and needs, there are a variety of attribution tools available, and quite complex tracking methods, too. 

Consulting the analytics in the ShareASale dashboard is a breeze to the point that anyone, regardless of their technical skills, can do it. 

The commissions tend to vary depending on each affiliate program, but that is something that you should expect with pretty much any network that you might ever want to join. 

One of the advantages when it comes to ShareASale is that the platform really doesn’t tend to miss payments. All of the money is sent according to the schedule selected by you and while there is a threshold, we will go into more detail on that in one of the sections below. 

We’d say that perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks about ShareASale is that the brand is still working on the site, so you might see changes happening in the very near future. 

For a long time, the interface was like taken out of the 1990s, which tended to bother a lot of affiliate marketers. 

clickbank

ClickBank features

ClickBank is another quite large affiliate network that you might have at least heard of if you’ve been researching ways to monetize your website or blog. It has been in the space of affiliate marketing for many years, but the brand’s main focus remains digital products. 

Although they have started to add offers for physical products somewhat recently, the number isn’t nearly as high as what you can find on ShareASale. 

To date, ClickBank is available in more than 200 countries and apparently, it is now being used by more than one hundred thousand affiliate marketers out there. It’s simple, somewhat easy to use, and can be integrated with a variety of payment methods. 

Some of the other features you might want to be made aware of when it comes to ClickBank are its customized order forms, a wide range of education materials that can be used for marketing in many ways, and all sorts of administration options. 

The interface seems to be much more user-friendly when compared to that of ShareASale, although that is likely to change in the future. 

Probably the most significant benefit that you are likely to enjoy with ClickBank is the high commission rate. On most digital offers that you can promote, you can make as much as 90% of the value of the product that your audience purchases. As you can expect, this is rarely seen with physical products, and therefore, with ShareASale. 

Is ClickBank good when it comes to landing pages? Not really. As we have previously mentioned, there are a lot of issues when it comes to analyzing the offers on the network, which means that you can end up promoting products with bad-looking landing pages. 

Another drawback is that since many of the merchant offers are almost automatically approved onto the platform, you have no way of knowing whether you’re recommending a decent product to your readers, unless you’ve tried it. 

We have also come across several complaints from marketers who say that they have no actual way of telling which of the products they are promoting perform best — and this seems to be a problem in terms of ClickBank analytics.

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How easy is it to create an account on any of these platforms?

When comparing ShareASale vs ClickBank, getting accepted into both of these networks is quite different. First of all, joining them isn’t free for any of them.

Then, there’s the fact that ShareASale has hands-on management when it comes to its affiliates, which means that all applications are verified by humans. As you can expect, this also means that it can take up to several weeks before you get your answer as to whether you are accepted or not into the program. 

Taking a look at all of the merchants that are available on ShareASale is also impossible if you have not created an account. The website is quite clear in terms of several, but they mention most of the big brands so that you get an idea of what you can promote in a couple of different niches. 

As for ClickBank, the sign-up process seems to be less time-consuming and more straightforward, at least from what we have seen by looking at several ClickBank vs ShareASale reviews. 

For one, the form that you have to fill out to become a member of this particular platform is more or less basic and only requires you to submit a limited amount of data. For instance, you will be asked for your country of residence, your first and last name, your cell phone, as well as your email address. 

You will need to submit the rest of your information after your account gets approved, such as for tax purposes and everything else. 

Perhaps one of the biggest ‘selling points’ of ClickBank is its user-friendly platform. Once you have access to it, you can categorize all of the merchants depending on their niche, the commissions they offer, and a lot more information, such as the number of sales they are generating or the number of conversions. 

You can use all of this data to try and tell whether an offer is good for promoting on your website. 

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ShareASale vs ClickBank – Payment methods 

This aspect is obviously something you might be interested in, especially if you are not based in the United States. 

ShareASale can pay you through a wide range of methods, such as sending you a cheque through FedEx, but they can also transfer you your earnings through direct deposit, international direct deposit, and wire transfers. You are also free to use Payoneer with ShareASale. 

ShareASale has a minimum threshold for payments of $50. 

ClickBank relies on pretty much the same payout methods, as listed below:

  • Direct deposit
  • Wire transfers
  • Cheque 

You can select the payment threshold on ClickBank right in your dashboard, but we would like to note that the default amount is set at $100. With this network, you can expect your earnings to be transferred to your bank account once a week or once every two weeks if you opt for direct deposit or international wire payments. Cheques are sent out once every two weeks unless you opt for a different payment method. 

shareasale vs clickbank shareasale offers

What kind of offers can you find on ShareASale and ClickBank?

While on both of these networks, you can categorize the merchants depending on a variety of aspects, ShareASale relies on the type of payment model. This means that merchants can be displayed based on the model they use, such as pay-per-sale, pay-per-lead, or pay-per-click. 

We mentioned that ShareASale has started to delve into the digital products niche somewhat recently, but the truth is that most of the offers that you are going to find here are still focused on physical products. 

Several examples of brands you will come across on ShareASale are the following: 

  • Reebok
  • Cricut
  • FreshBooks
  • Grammarly
  • Ritual
  • Etsy 

You are not going to find the same reputable brands on ClickBank. Some might be present, but there is a very limited range of companies operating in the space of retailing physical products. 

According to the company itself (this is information that we extracted from their own site), some of the best-selling products that they have on the platform available are the following:

  • ProVen
  • Fat Burning Furnace
  • Ted’s Woodworking
  • Back to Life
  • Numerologist
  • Organifi
  • Yogaburn
  • Cacao Bliss
  • Flat Belly Tonic

As you can tell, these are either weight loss and supplement products or actual digital products such as courses where people can learn new skills. 

We wouldn’t say that ClickBank has a lot of offers in the education niche, at least not ones that people might actually be interested in trying out. 

It doesn’t compare to platforms such as Coursera or even Skillshare in this sense, so the conclusion that we can draw from there is that if you’re an education blogger, this might not be the best platform for you. 

clickbank reviews

Do ShareASale and ClickBank cost anything?

Yes! 

First of all, both of these networks have initial set-up fees, which can be a drawback for affiliates that don’t make a lot of money or that might simply not afford joining any of these platforms. 

On ClickBank, the setup fee is lower in comparison to what you can expect from ShareASale. Becoming a ClickBank affiliate costs just under $50 while doing the same on ShareASale will set you back a whopping $550. 

Both of the networks charge a fee when you are paid. ShareASale’s fee is a lot, meaning 20%, while that of ClickBank is much lower — 7.5% + $1. 

So all in all, when it comes to the fees, ClickBank is the obvious better option from the two. 

But is it? What if you don’t generate any commissions?

Well, in that case you are in for a nasty surprise because something that not a lot of people might know about ClickBank is that it charges $1 per day after you have gone for three months without generating any commissions. 

That fee gets even higher ($5/day) if 180 days have gone by and you haven’t made any money. To make matters even worse, if 360 days pass and you don’t generate any commissions, you will pay $50 per day. 

So, unless you want to pay for that, you will have to do your best at convincing people to purchase ClickBank products, whether through PPC or organic search. 

shareasale vs clickbank

Final thoughts

So, which one is better out of these two networks? While an answer to this question doesn’t really exist since they basically speak to the needs of different affiliates operating in different niches, ShareASale overall seems to be better than ClickBank. 

There are plenty of other options when it comes to affiliate platforms out there, and some of them do not even charge any money for setting up accounts. 

Finally, you also have the choice of individually applying to affiliate programs that are self-managed by the brands themselves, and those usually don’t cost a thing, either. 

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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 18 years.

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