by Nathan Segal

How to Add Payment Processing to Your Small Business Website

Feb 21, 20138 mins
Consumer ElectronicsE-commerce SoftwareMarketing

Once you've built a website for your small business, it's a good idea to add a payment processor, both to make things easier for customers and to open yourself up to additional sales opportunities. Here's a guide to using ClickBank to add transaction processing to your small business website.

In past articles we’ve been building sales pages using OptimizePress. In this article we’ll cover how to add a payment processor to a small business website. This gives customers additional payment options and offers functionality to create upsells after the first product has sold or joint venture opportunities.

Here we will primarily use ClickBankand also take a brief look at PayPal, partly because PayPal is one of the options you can offer on your order page within ClickBank. (Once we get into the payment process, you’ll see how this works.)

How-to: Build an Online Business From Scratch

To get started, visit the ClickBank site. To use the ClickBank Payment processor, you have to become a vendor. The Getting Started As a Vendor page shows you what you need to know.

The next step is to sign up for a ClickBank account. This is where you’ll enter all the information to be paid as a vendor. You’ll notice at the bottom a screen an area to create your ClickBank ID. This consists of five to 10 letters and numbers and is visible to the customer each time you sell a product.

ClickBank Signup Page

Once you agree to the terms and conditions, you can create your account. When all is said and done, there is a one-time activation fee of $49.95

Enter Complete Site Information in ClickBank

According to ClickBank’s Getting Started as a Vendor page, the next step is to create your “pitch” and “thank you” pages. However, it’s better to complete all the site information first, since you’ll need one of the settings from this section when creating the payment link later on.

Once your account has been activated and you have signed in, you’ll arrive on the Account Home page. Click on the Account Settings tab.

ClickBank Account Settings Page

We’ll be looking at three sections: My Account, My Site and My Products.

The My Account tab is where you can do things such as change your password and edit contact and banking information.

ClickBank My Account Tab

The My Site tab, meanwhile, is where you enter information about your website, such as a description of the site and the payment options you want to offer. In this case, I’ve enabled both PayPal and ELV, which is the German abbreviation for direct debit.

ClickBank My Site Tab

The Advanced Tools section is where to go if you want a third-party program such as Download Guard to encrypt your digital downloads.

Below that is the Testing Your Products section. This lets you generate a test credit card and run through the entire ordering process to make sure it works. You need to take this step before submitting your site for approval, and we’ll discuss it again later.

The last step is the pitch and thank you page footer. This is customizable JavaScript generated by ClickBank that needs to go at the bottom of your pitch and thank you pages.

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Finally, there’s the My Products tab. The default view here is the Standard Products tab, which lets you add various single products for sale. There are several tabs on the My Products page. We’ll look briefly at two tabs before taking a longer look at the third.

Pitchplus Upsell Flows tab lets you pitch up to three products after the initial sale and conduct joint ventures with other vendors. In those cases, you sell their products as part of your sales process. Before you can do this, you’ll need to have a joint venture upsell contract with that particular vendor. (Note: We’re not using the PitchPlus Upsell process in this article.)

ClickBank PitchPlus Upsell

Meanwhile, My Shipping Profiles is where you set up shipping profiles for various products. (Since the product we’re discussing in this article is digital, this option doesn’t apply at the moment, either.)

ClickBank My Shipping Profiles

How to Use the ClickBank Recurring Products Editor

The Recurring Products tab on the My Products page is what we’ll be using for this article.

ClickBank Recurring Products Tab

For my pitch and thank you pages, I’m using the Recurring Products page to define how to sell my product—a combination of a book, video tutorials and a coaching program with a renewable monthly membership.

When you set up a recurring product, you’ll need to access the editor and enter all the necessary information. To get started, click on the green Add New Product button at the far right of the page. Alternatively, if you’ve added a product and you want to edit it, go to the far left of the section where you added the item and click on the “Edit this Product” icon.

Either way, this opens the Create/Edit Recurring Products page where you enter all the information about your recurring product.

ClickBank Create/Edit Recurring Products Page

Here’s an example of what the information in these fields means. The initial price of this program is $4.95 for a three-day trial period. After the three days expire, customers are billed $17.00 per month on an ongoing basis unless they decide to cancel. The rebill commission is set at 50 percent; if another vendor with a ClickBank ID wants to sell my product or service, it will receive a 50 percent commission after credit card charges.

The last option is to enter a product image. I chose not to do so in this case.

At the top of this section, you’ll see the URLs for the pitch page and the thank-you page.

To learn more about the process of setting up pitch and thank you pages, visit the Vendor Basics and Vendor Checklist pages on the ClickBank site. Meanwhile, to sell multiple products on your ClickBank account, have a look at easy Click Mate.

The Sales Process in Practice With ClickBank

An earlier article described how to set up a sales process in OptimizePress. That’s also what I’m doing here. When a prospect comes to this site, the first thing he encounters is the squeeze page, where he enters his name and email address.

Squeeze Page Example

Once he presses the Get the Free Report button, two things happen:

  1. He gets a double opt-in confirmation email asking he if he does, in fact, want the free report
  2. He is redirected to the pitch page. Keep in mind that the sales process can be designed so that there’s no squeeze page, which means the prospect is taken directly to the sales page.

At the bottom of the pitch page, there are sections for the order button and the ClickBank footer, which we discussed above. Remember that the footer has to be at the bottom of both the pitch and thank-you pages.

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Once you’ve finished building the pitch page, you need to add a payment link so people can buy your product. Initially, it looks like this:

To put that into use, we need to refer to the Recurring Products Editor section. There, the ITEM number is 9 and my ClickBank affiliate ID is tallman46. The payment URL looks like this:

As a final more step, because I’m using an image within OptimizePress, the final link will look something like this:

For your reference, here’s more information from ClickBank about the process of creating a payment link.

How to Create a Test Payment Credit Card Number

At this point, you’re ready to test the process. To do so, return to the My Site tab, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Edit heading in the Testing Your Products section. A Capcha will pop up. Enter the code and you’ll be able to create a test credit card that you can use to test the ordering process. There’s no charge.

ClickBank Credit Card Test

When a prospect clicks on the payment link, he’s taken to the ClickBank Secure Payment form. Note that on this form you can pay by credit card, debit card or by the PayPal option on the right. PayPal is a good option for customers who don’t want to enter their credit card information. It’s a good idea to enable this payment option in the account settings, as we did earlier.

ClickBank Secure Payment Form

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Once the customer goes through the entire payment process, he arrives at your thank you page. While each thank you page is different, all should contain essential information about the ordering process, as does the page below.

Thank You Page Example

How to Obtain ClickBank Approval for Your Site

Once you’ve tested the ordering process, you need to submit your site for approval. To do so, go back to Account Settings: My Products: Recurring Billing Products. At the far right of the section, where you’ve added your product, you’ll see a Get Approval button.

ClickBank Get Approval Button

Once you click the button, the approval process will take three to five days. ClickBank will review your site and let you know about any changes you need to make. Once you satisfy its requirements, your site will be approved.

Nathan Segal has been working as a freelance writer, photographer and artist for 14 years. He is based in British Columbia, Canada. Reach him via email or visit his website. Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline, Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn.