ClickBank Publishes Vendor Messaging Guidelines

In an effort to better comply with FTC regulations, ClickBank has finally published a comprehensive list of vendor messaging guidelines.

If you sell any product on ClickBank, then you will need to review the new guidelines and make any necessary changes by August 31, 2011, at which point the guidelines will be in full effect.

Many of the new “rules” are common sense. And if you’re an honest and ethical marketer, then you may not need to make any changes at all.

Here are a few guidelines that caught my attention:

We will NOT allow: Videos which will not allow you to exit or pause.

This particular guideline will probably affect a large number of marketers. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to fix. Simply add the Pause and Play buttons back to the video player.

We will NOT allow: False scarcity messaging when there is no actual scarcity of the product (for example, “Only 300 copies” when there are unlimited copies, tickers running down the amount of time there is to purchase, and listing that this is a one-time opportunity TODAY only).

False scarcity is one of those common sense urgency techniques that should be avoided. And yet it’s fairly common, especially among ClickBank vendors.

Thankfully, we should see false scarcity ploys disappear from ClickBank over the next few weeks and months.

We will NOT allow: Sale pricing that suggests that a product previously sold at a higher price (when it really didn’t) but is now on sale for a lower price for a limited time.

Coming up with an imaginary “retail value” and then offering a “discounted” price is a common marketing practice used not only on the Internet, but also in retail stores, catalog retailers, etc.

Still, it’s a tactic that will no longer be permitted if you’re selling through ClickBank.

The solution here is pretty simple: Establish the retail price first by selling it at that price. Then, if you want to offer that same product at a discount, you’ll be able to honestly say that the retail value is “X” — because you’ve already sold it for “X.”

I strongly recommend you read the rest of ClickBank’s Vendor Messaging Guidelines here.

-Ryan M. Healy

Ryan M. Healy

Ryan Healy is a financial copywriter and the author of Speed Writing for Nonfiction Writers. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Agora Financial, Lombardi Publishing, and Contrarian Profits. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, has been featured in publications like Feed Front magazine, and has been published on sites like WordStream.com, SmallBizClub.com, and MarketingForSuccess.com.

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