ClickBank Compliance Loophole

I know there’s still 2 days to go, but thought I’d give you an early Xmas gift.

A gift that can save you hours of hair tearing frustration trying to get health copy approved by ClickBank.

Believe me, this is no easy feat.

Because as you may know…

The success of the multimillion generating ProVen and Resurge VSLs has led to a gold rush of copywriters hammering out super aggressive VSLs in hopes of replicating their success.

But here’s the thing…

Those VSLs are no longer compliant. Not at all.

Because ClickBank’s compliance team has since tightened the screws on what they’ll allow to a bafflingly strict level…

And loads of copywriters are getting their copy back covered in red marker pen and advised to start again.

I’ve experienced this myself.

For months I’d been trying to get a script for my first ShipOffers campaign approved. 

Only to find out that ClickBank will no longer allow ANY discussion of environmental toxins (or even free radicals) no matter how subtly you reword your script.

This meant I had to disembowel the VSL’s core theme… transplant in a new one… and then call down lightning to spark it back into life.

The good news is that this process… 

…as painful as it was… 

Led to me discovering a couple of crafty loopholes for getting health copy approved (and still hopefully able to convert):

How to suggest the viewer has negative symptoms in a compliant way

A common phrase ClickBank’s compliance team spray across their reviews is that “all claims must come from a place of health”. 

On the face it, this means you can’t suggest the viewer is experiencing ANY negative health symptoms in any shape or form. 

You have to write as though they have perfect health already, and your supplement can only ‘support’ or ‘maintain’ their current state of perfection. 

But when you can’t discuss the reader’s problem in any shape or form…

It doesn’t give you much hope of selling much, does it?

Well, get this…

I found a loophole that confirms you CAN discuss negative symptoms in a compliant way. 

I found this loophole buried in this compliance guide, referred to me by a helpful chap at  ClickBank:

“Common conditions associated with natural states or processes (e.g., menopause, aging, adolescence, and pregnancy) that do not cause significant or permanent harm will

not be treated as diseases.”

In other words, it IS allowed to talk about negative symptoms that are common, temporary and pose no severe long-term threat.

So it’s perfectly fine to talk about mild negative symptoms like ‘brain fog’, ‘lethargy’ and ‘occasional everyday stress’…

But you can’t use phrases like ‘health concerns’, ‘erratic blood sugar’ or anything ‘chronic’…

As these could be linked to significant harm if left to fester.

How to frame the mechanism in a compliant way

As mentioned, ClickBank no longer allows ANY discussion of environmental toxins (or even free radicals) in your copy.

This is because you can’t suggest the reader’s organs have been negatively affected, or aren’t already working in an optimal way. 

Remember, the position has to be that the reader is perfectly healthy already, and your supplement can only ‘support’ or ‘maintain’ their perfect health.

So how are you supposed to frame the reason why the reader needs your supplement if you can’t talk about negative causes?

Good question.

And I found the solution in copywriting legend Joe Sugarman’s ‘Adweek Copywriter’s Handbook’… 

And it is to get COMPLEX in your copy.

In other words, you need to find a process in the body you can talk about in a more complex way than your competitors. 

This could be describing how the mitochondria work at an atomic level… what neurons in the brain do… or discuss how leptin causes cravings for fattening foods.

By discussing a biological process in more detail…

You can present your supplement as able to support this process in a more thorough way…

And therefore make it seem more valuable and unique as a result.

Since implementing these steps, I’ve had much better success getting my VSL scripts approved. 

And I’m hoping being uber compliant will make my copy more trustworthy too.

The good news is that ClickBank is less restrictive about how much emotion you put into your story. 

So you can pull out all the stops in telling an emotional rollercoaster of a story about how someone’s life was  transformed with the help of your supplement.

Just make sure the story is a real one, or you have evidence to back it up.

I have some tips on how to do this as way. But I’ll save those for a future post.

Merry Xmas!

Disclaimer – I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. Compliance is a minefield, and WIDE open to interpretation. Trying to push boundaries will only end in tears because the FDA can claim your copy is non-compliant on the slimmest of trumped up charges. So always make sure you state in your contracts that clients need to get your copy checked by a compliance expert, and not just based on tips in blogs like this. 

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