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How to create and use Clickbank hoplinks

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Yesterday we saw Useful advice for clickbank affiliates. The aim was to put you on the path to success. And as a new ClickBank affiliate, you need to know everything about a Clickbank HopLink to successfully promote ClickBank products.

This article will therefore give you information about creating and using Clickbank HopLinks.

The topic will be handled in the following steps:

  • General points
  • How to Create and Test Clickbank Hoplinks
  • How to Use Clickbank Hoplinks
  • How to Use Parameters
  • FMP (Frequent Met Problems)
  • AOM (Any Other Matters)

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General points

Maybe you’ve been wondering what a hoplink is.

Hoplink is the short form for HOPLINK™ referral tracking URL. It is a URL for a vendor’s page and has two functions: send a potential customer to a vendor’s sales page, and rout the traffic through the ClickBank HOP™ referral tracking system so ClickBank know which affiliate generated the visit. So if that customer buys the product on the spot or later on (within 60 days), you get credit for the sale and receive a commission.

 Tracking IDs: It is a good idea to use a Tracking ID with your Hoplinks.

A Tracking ID is an alphanumeric string of up to 100 characters made up of numbers, lowercase letters, and underscores that you can add to the end of your HopLink. It is visible only to you but not to the vendor you send customers to.

A HopLink with a Tracking ID is not used only to link to a visit or a sale, it can also enable you to differentiate between different sources of traffic. Thus, you can compare your promotional methods and see which is effective.

Let’s say you want to promote the same Clickbank product on your blog, on Twitter, in a forum post, with a solo ad on udimi and on Facebook. You would use the HopLink with five different Tracking IDs for each traffic source.

Imagine the initial Hoplink was, your Hoplinks cum Tracking IDs would be:

  • Blog
    • Tracking ID –blog_secureyourfuture_april
    • Hoplink –
  • Twitter
    • Tracking ID –twitter_apr_2017
    • Hoplink –
  • Forum
    • Tracking ID –forum_warrior_apr
    • Hoplink –
  • Udimi
    • Tracking ID –udimi_bob_apr
    • Hoplink –
  • Facebook
    • Tracking ID –facebook_apr_2017
    • Hoplink –

When a visit is generated from one of your HopLinks above, the Tracking ID is goes into ClickBank’s reporting system, so you’ll be able to see which of your promotional efforts led to that action.

Example of Clickbank Hoplinks
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How to create and test Clickbank Hoplinks

Two formats are at your disposal to use to create HopLinks for vendors’ products you wish to promote:

  • An encrypted HopLink: This can be created using either the ClickBank Marketplace or the HopLink Shield. This format conceals both the vendor and affiliate names in the URL. It is considered more secure by Clickbank experts.
  • A readable HopLink: This format includes the vendor and affiliate account names which are therefore visible in the URL string. It is thought to be less secure.

How to Create an Encrypted HopLink Using a Product Listing: You can do this using the ClickBank Marketplace or the ClickBank Insights.

  1. Go through the Marketplace or ClickBank Insights for a product to promote.
  2. Click thePromote button in the product’s listing.
  3. Enter your account nickname and an optional Tracking ID. But if you are logged in to your ClickBank account, the account nickname field will be populated automatically.
  4. ClickCreate and the encrypted HopLink will be displayed.
  5. Copy the HopLink and save it for use in your promotional materials.
  6. ClickClose Window.

How to Create an Encrypted HopLink With the HopLink Shield: To create an encrypted HopLink using HopLink Shield, you need both the vendor’s account nickname and your own.

  1.  Go to HopLink Shield.
  2. Enter the vendor nickname and your affiliate nickname.
  3. ClickEncode and the encrypted HopLink will be displayed.
  4. Copy the HopLink and save it for use in your promotional materials.

How to Create a Readable HopLink: You can do this with a vendor nickname and your affiliate nickname.

Before you continue, bear in mind that a readable HopLink is not as secure as an encrypted one. Clickbank’s therefore advises you to rather generate an encrypted HopLink using a product listing or HopLink Shield.

This is the format of the HopLink:

Simply replace AFFILIATE with your affiliate nickname and VENDOR with the vendor nickname.

How to add a Tracking ID to a Readable Hoplink: To add a Tracking ID to a readable HopLink, add /?tid= to the HopLink URL followed by your Tracking ID which should only contain letters, lowercase letters, and underscores.

How to Test Your HopLink: Anytime you create a HopLink in any format whatsoever, you should test it to verify that it works correctly so as to produce commissions for business you generate.

How to test your HopLinks?

Okay, just:

  1. Follow your HopLink, either by clicking or entering it into your browser.
  2. Click theBuy Now button or the equivalent and make sure the ClickBank order form is displayed.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the order form.
    • If you see [affiliate=yournickname], the HopLink is good to use.
    • If you see [affiliate=none], the HopLink is not reporting you as the affiliate. Want to know why? CheckCommon Issues for more information.
    • If no [affiliate=] line is displayed, the vendor may have disabled the display of that line on their order form. 

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How to use Clickbank Hoplinks

Once created, you can use the HopLink in your promotional materials.

When you use the Marketplace to create a HopLink, the following two HopLink formats are what you’ll see:

Clickbank hoplinks
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The top one is the direct URL, which you can use when just pasting a link directly with no HTML formatting, such as in paid advertising or sharing a link over email, Twitter, or instant messenger with a friend.

The second is in HTML code. This can be used when posting a link in a forum or other message boards and also embedded into the pages of your own website when writing a Clickbank product review.

You can replace the text “Click Here!” with any promotional Call-To-Action of your own.

Invalid HopLink Use: To ensure correct tracking of your HopLink referrals, your HopLink must open into the top level of a new or existing window. Refrain from concealing your HopLinks by making them open into other types of sub-window objects, such as frames, iframes, layers, applets, or images as they are considered invalid, and could result in lost affiliate referral credit, incorrect display of your website, or, in the case of abuse of the HopLink system, in account termination without notice.

However HopLinks that open into pop-up, pop-under, or “exit” windows are valid and you can use them.

How to use Parameters

You are allowed to pass additional optional parameters through your HopLink that will arrive at the HopLink Target URL. Clickbank will pass up to 128 bytes of QUERY_STRING data through to the HopLink Target URL.

Let’s see a case.

A user following this HopLink:

would be redirected to:

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FMP (Frequently Met Problems)

If on testing your HopLink doesn’t work properly, these are what to do:

  1. Check the spelling of your nickname and the vendor’s nickname. If you had made use of the Marketplace to create your HopLink, ClickBank automatically enters the vendor’s nickname, so you’ll only have to check the spelling of your nickname. If you have an encrypted HopLink, use the HopShield Decoder to ensure both parties’ nicknames are spelled correctly.
  2. Make sure you are using a properly formatted HopLink, like Never use the vendor’s Pitch Page URL (e.g., as your HopLink; ClickBank cannot track sales from such a link.
  3. Clickbank’s HopLink tracking system uses cookies. Enable them your browser, disable any anti-spyware or ad-blocker software that could be blocking cookies.
  4. If clicking through the HopLink turns up a 404 error page, either the vendor’s website is down or they don’t have a HopLink Target URL listed in their account.
  5. Submit a ticket if you’ve checked all of the above the problems still persist.

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Q: Who receives the commission if multiple affiliates promote the same product to the same customer?

A: Usually the last affiliate to promote the product to the customer using a HopLink receives credit for the sale.

Let’s say a customer clicks Affiliate A’s HopLink on a day but does not make a purchase. Then the next day the same customer clicks Affiliate B’s HopLink and buys something, it’s Affiliate B who receives the commission.

Except in the case where the vendor has given an affiliate a lifetime commission for the specific customer. 

This is because if an affiliate has a lifetime commission, they receive the commission whenever a specified customer purchases a product from the vendor, regardless of how the customer arrived at the pitch page. 

Need more information?

Check the Lifetime Commissions article in the Vendor Help section.

Q: Can vendors tell which affiliate has sent traffic to their site?

A: Yes, because Clickbank pass the affiliate’s nickname to the vendor using the “hop” parameter.


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