In 2009 I was fortunate enough to be in the top .01% of ClickBank earners so this year I was inducted into their Apex Elite Program as one of their top 100 affiliates! What an honor and privilege. What this means is I get a dedicated account rep, access to test new beta features, as well as an invite to their party and Executive Business Meeting. I’ll cover the meeting first, then I’ll talk about the party.
The meeting was held the Wed. after Affiliate Summit at Mandalay Bay, what a great hotel and casino, I had a fantastic room, and there was no stench of smoke like there is at the Rio. The meeting started off with a wonderful breakfast assortment and then it was time for business.
After a brief introduction by Terra Goeres, Manager of Client Development, ClickBank CEO Brad Wiskirchen spoke. Following Brad was Monty Sooter, COO, Greg Lems, VP of Information Technology, and Dush Ramachandran, VP Sales and Business development who all spoke about different facets of ClickBank.
Here were my biggest takeaways from what they all shared…
The biggest news in my opinion was that in 2009 ClickBank had it’s biggest year ever! Even in the midst of a global economic downturn ClickBank still had double-digit percentage growth! Also in 2009 they’ve made tremendous enhancements, in fact more enhancements to the ClickBank platform were made in 2009 than in the previous 10 years!
Additionally, ClickBank has made tremendous improvements in their email and phone support, decreasing customer wait times by increasing staff. ClickBank also continued to upgrade their server systems with multiple data centers, a redundant power and cooling network, geographic separating for disaster recovery, and a nice system status page where we can all see the uptime status of various systems from within of our ClickBank accounts.
What I really enjoyed hearing about most was what is in store for us ClickBank Vendors & Affiliates for 2010!
- Extending the Apex and Premier programs to more vendors and affiliates.
- Expansion into Europe.
- And TONS of new features including…
- Multiple Vendor Payments – allowing easier support for Joint Ventures between vendors
- Translation of Admin system behind the login for German, French, and Spanish
- Flexible affiliate commissions allowing bonus commissions based on performance.
- Maintenance of multiple accounts through Master Accounts
- Aggregated analytics through Master Accounts
- Partial refunds for Shippable Media
- And more features they’re planning behind the scenes!
Next up was Michael Carrigan and Ian O’Neill from Holland & Hart LLP. Michael and Ian are ClickBank’s attorney’s and Holland & Hart is one of the largest law firms in the United States. They spoke for over an hour and a half about FTC compliance, citing examples of cases they’ve worked on, as well as what every ClickBank Vendor and Affiliate should be doing to protect themselves. They gave everyone a little pamphlet that I believe is worth its weight in gold as it covers the various aspects of FTC rules in simple terms for affiliate marketers. One of the things they recommended was reading and of course following the FTC guidelines set out in the Dot.Com Disclosures which is a free book you can download from the FTC.
After that we broke up into groups for feedback discussion groups and lunch. After lunch I had to head home, so let’s flashback to the ClickBank party the night before…
The ClickBank party was held at the Foundation Room at the top of Mandalay Bay. The Foundation Room is one of the most exclusive clubs in Las Vegas forty-three floors up and perched on top of the Mandalay Bay and with arguably the best view of the Strip and surrounding valley from an outdoor balcony. The private elevator that gets you there only has two buttons, Lobby and Foundation Room, which gives it that exclusive feel. To say the party was impressive would be an understatement, everything was top notch and they even had their own drink, the ClickBank Moneymaker! The party was some of the best networking all week since it was practically a who’s who of ClickBank vendors and affiliates. I got to see many old friends, met many people I’ve known but never met in person, and made a few new business partnerships.
The ClickBank party never wound down, but eventually all good things have to come to an end. So then it was off to the after party! The after party was hosted by WebSeeds.com in a suite at Mandalay Bay. Everyone was still networking like crazy and talking over one another and then we got warned, warned again, then kicked out! Come on, I thought this was Vegas! I guess some people actually sleep there, who would of thunk!
Thanks to ClickBank for a great event all around!