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How To Make Money With Clickbank

So here you are … in search of information about how to make money with ClickBank. You’ve heard the name but you’re not entirely sure what ClickBank is or how to use it to make money on the Internet. You heard others talking about it and their passion was a bit contagious. It rubbed off on you and you got excited! And, you thought to yourself, “I’ve gotta look into this ClickBank thing! It sounds pretty cool”.

Well guess what? The rumors are true. ClickBank is pretty cool!

And there’s a good chance you can make a lot of money with it if you will take the time to learn the process of success and then do a few things correctly and consistently over time. But, let’s be clear, even though the process may be simple on the surface that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. You will actually have to do some real work. Ugh! I know. Get over it. Commit yourself to the process if you want to leverage the Clickbank platform to your advantage to start earning an online income. It will be worth it in the end.

How To Make Money With Clickbank

What is ClickBank?

Simply put – it’s an online affiliate marketplace where vendors and affiliates can connect with one another.

“Vendors” are people or companies that have products for sale. “Affiliates” are people who want to earn commissions by promoting vendor products.

Think of ClickBank as the middleman between the vendor and affiliate. ClickBank is also the company that pays out commissions to the affiliate when they makes sales for the vendor. Since ClickBank is the retailer in all transactions between vendors and affiliates they are responsible for tracking and paying commissions. This makes it impossible for a vendor to cheat an affiliate out of a commission payment and that makes it a great place to find business as an affiliate marketer.

If you’re concerned about ClickBank cheating you, the affiliate, out of commission payments don’t be. They have been around since 1998 and have a stellar track record of paying commissions on time every time. If you are still skeptical do some research on your own. You’ll find that what I’m saying is true.

They also have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Since you have somehow managed to find your way onto the Affiliate Guerilla website I can safely assume that you already know what affiliate marketing is. But, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the phrase, you will find a simple and straightforward definition below:

Affiliate Marketing is the process of promoting (or selling) someone else's products or services. When a sale is made the vendor pays a commission to the affiliate marketer.

The affiliate marketing business model has been around for a very long time – even before the advent of the Internet. You’re probably already familiar with offline forms of affiliate marketing. For example, when a customer refers someone to a business and that business gives the referring customer a discount – or a “freebie” of some kind – the customer and business have just engaged in a form of referral marketing.

The person that referred a new customer to the business is essentially earning a commission in the form of a discount or a free “whatever” from the business. That kind of thing has been going on long before the Internet was invented and it still happens today. The only difference is that form of marketing has transitioned to its online equivalent which we now know as “affiliate marketing”.

Affiliate Programs

It may surprise you that many businesses have affiliate programs that prospective marketers can sign up for. Companies like Amazon, Walmart, Target, Apple, Microsoft, Dell and Samsung are some of the largest businesses in existence and they all have an affiliate program. So, the affiliate marketing business model is a real thing that can allow you to make real money if you do it right.

In addition to large mainstream businesses with affiliate programs there are also smaller affiliate marketplaces, like ClickBank, that provide affiliate marketers with unlimited offers to promote. ClickBank and Commission Junction were among the first two marketplaces to come into existence back in the late ’90s. Since then other affiliate marketplaces have come to be. Other notable affiliate networks worth investigating are JVZoo, Warrior+, MaxBounty, Rakuten, and ShareASale.

Since our primary objective in this post is to learn how to make money with ClickBank I won’t spend any time here talking about the other affiliate networks. I’ll save that for a future post.

So let’s dive right in and learn what it takes to get started promoting ClickBank offers.

And Now For the Main Event

In This Post You Will Learn How To:

  • Create a ClickBank Account
  • Pick the Right Niche for You
  • Choose a Profitable Product
  • Create Your Affiliate Links
  • Promote Your Affiliate Links
  • Build a Professional Sales Funnel
  • Setup Click Tracking

Step 1: Create a ClickBank Account

This step is very simple and won’t cost you anything other than your time. First, go to www.clickbank.com. Pretty easy, huh? From the home page click on the CREATE ACCOUNT button (shown below).

 

ClickBank - Create Account
This will bring up the SIGN UP FOR A CLICKBANK ACCOUNT window shown below. Fill in your personal information and click the NEXT STEP button at the bottom of the window to progress through the setup wizard. You’ll need to enter your banking and account information on the next couple of screens to complete the account setup process.
 
NOTE: On the Account Information page you’ll select a ‘nickname’ to use when you login to the ClickBank website. This will be your ClickBank ID and what you will use to customize your affiliate links for each offer you choose to promote. Be sure to save your login credentials for future reference.

 

Sign Up For a ClickBank Account

Once you have your ClickBank login credentials go back to the ClickBank home page and click on the LOGIN button. Enter your Account Nickname (Username) and Password to login to the site.

Step 2: Pick Your Niche & Choose Your Product(s)

ClickBank - Marketplace

The next thing you’ll want to do is access the ClickBank Marketplace to find offers to promote. Click the Marketplace link (shown above – circled in red) to begin your search for products to promote.

From there you’ll see a list of Categories on the left side of the screen. It will look something like this:

ClickBank - Categories

Pick Your Niche

Ideally, you’ll want to choose a niche (or category) that you have some knowledge about or passion for. The reason this is important is because it will be a whole lot easier to successfully promote something you are excited about, or have some knowledge about, than it will be to promote something you don’t know anything about.
 
The key takeaway here is this –

DO NOT simply select a product based on how profitable you think it might be. If your heart isn't in it then you have a greater chance at failing. Find something that excites you or that you have some knowledge about.

For our purposes here (and because Affiliate Guerilla is a site dedicated to the art and science of affiliate marketing) we’ll select the Affiliate Marketing niche and find a product there that we want to promote.

Find a Product to Promote

The Affiliate Marketing category is found by expanding the E-BUSINESS & E-MARKETING category. It is the first sub-category in the list.

Click the triangle next to the E-BUSINESS & E-MARKETING category to expand it. Then click on the Affiliate Marketing sub-category.

After you click on the Affiliate Marketing sub-category you’ll be taken to a screen that looks like this:
ClickBank - Affiliate Marketing Category

Refer to the image above and let’s take a look at how this part of the site is laid out.

  • The E-business & E-marketing: Affiliate Marketing category is displayed at the top of this window
  • The Sort results by: dropdown list is currently set to Popularity
  • The first product in the list is Five Minute Profit Sites
  • The second product in the list is the Super Affiiate System
  • The Filters table appears on the left side of the window
  • The Gravity filter in that table is set to a range of 0 - 100+

Factors to consider when choosing a ClickBank product:

Recurring Commissions

One of the best things about building an affiliate marketing business is the possibility of being paid over and over again for selling a product one time. You do the work to sell the product just once and the vendor pays you a sales commission month after month, year after year, until the customer chooses to no longer consume the product. That’s called passive income and it’s awesome!

The way to earn passive income is to sell products that offer recurring commissions. Many ClickBank products offer recurring commissions and those products are ones that deserve more of your attention and consideration.

The way to identify products that offer recurring commissions is to select the Recurring checkbox in the Attributes table. The Attributes table appears below the Filters table and a portion of that table is shown here on the right.

ClickBank - Attributes

Notice the blue double-arrow circle icon – that icon denotes the recurring billing type.

If a product does not offer recurring commissions then that means you would need to sell the product over and over in order to be paid a commission for it more than one time. This is obviously NOT what we want as affiliate marketers if we are going to build a business that produces passive income. So be sure to choose products that offer recurring commissions. It will make life much easier, and more profitable, for you.

Gravity

Be default the ClickBank product search results will be sorted by Popularity as you can see in the Sort results by: section of the image above. Just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s going to be profitable. I suggest you search for products based on their Gravity number instead.

One of the best ways to determine which product to choose in your niche is to look at the Gravity ratings of each product listed. ClickBank’s Gravity performance statistic is an approximate, relative measure of how many affiliates have successfully promoted products from an account. A high Gravity number means more conversions. So the higher the number, the better the chance you’ll have success promoting that product.

If you take a look at the first product shown in the image above (Five Minute Profit Sites) you’ll see that the Gravity number for that product is shown as Grav: 147.02. That’s a relatively high number for a product so that means that affiliates are doing well promoting that particular product. A good rule of thumb is to select products with a rating of at least 50. You can choose a lower rating if you want but don’t go too much lower than 50.

To filter your search to show only products that have a minimum rating of, say 50, for example, you can use the Filters table (shown on the left side of the image above) to change the Gravity range from 0 – 100+ to 50 – 100+ instead. When you apply that filter ClickBank will only show you products in your chosen category that meet the minimum Gravity requirement you’ve set in your filter.

Vendor Sales Page

Before settling on a product to promote I recommend you take a look at the vendor’s sales page for that product. You can do that by clicking on the name of the product – in this case the red colored “Five Minute Profit Sites – 75% Comm & Bonuses!” link  in the example product image shown below.

When you click the name of the product you’ll be taken to the sales page for that product. Many of the products will include VSL’s – Video Sales Letters – and most will begin playing automatically. You’ll want to watch (or read) the entire sales letter to get a sense of how well the product is marketed.

Is the content good? And is it compelling enough to want to make someone purchase it? Would you purchase it? Is it something you would be proud to associate your name with?

Look for a quality product with a good sales message. Don’t fall into the trap of promoting a piece of crap just because of the profit potential. People are not stupid. They will see through your scam if you’re trying to pull the wool over their eyes. Your name and reputation is on the line so don’t ruin it!

ClickBank - Vendor & Affiliate Pages

Vendor Affiliate Page

(Most) Vendors that sell products on ClickBank work hard to make it as easy as possible for affiliates to promote their products. Many of them already have marketing tools and assets built for you so that you, as a marketer, don’t have to reinvent the wheel. This makes it easier and faster for you, as an affiliate, to start marketing products instead of wasting all of your time writing email swipes, designing banner ads, or building & testing a sales funnel to actually sell the product.

If the product has an affiliate page there will be a link that you can click to access it. In the image above you can see there is a link next to Affiliate Page:. Clicking that link will take you to the affiliate section where you can access marketing tools that the vendor has provided.

Some vendors provide a lot of really great marketing materials. Some of the tools you can access for a really good product might be things like – email swipes, landing pages, banner ads, product images, sales videos, ebooks, articles, press releases, and even keywords that have been proven effective with search engines.

Why would vendors provide all of these materials to affiliates? Because it helps affiliates go to market faster and start making sales sooner. It’s a win/win solution for vendors and affiliates.

Read Online Product Reviews

Since you’re interested in learning how to make money with ClickBank one thing you should know is that it’s important to do your due diligence. I’ll be the first to tell you that there is a ton of worthless crap available for purchase in our (affiliate marketing) industry. Vendor sales pages and marketing materials are one thing but you should never rely on them as your only source of information about the product.

TIP: Keep in mind that the vendor is also a marketer. They are trying hard to “sell” you on their product so  that you’ll promote it. Naturally, they are going to always put their best foot forward. That’s great but don’t let your research stop there. Go the extra mile and do more research.

Once you decide on a product to promote the next thing you should do is search online for product reviews. Find out what other people have to say about the product you’re going to promote. If the product has a ton of bad reviews then you might want to consider dumping it and choosing a better product to promote. Remember, your good name and reputation are on the line here. Don’t ruin it by pimping out a crappy product just to make a few bucks. Your customers will stop buying from you if you dump a bad product on them. I can promise you that.

Purchase the Product (Drink Your Own Kool-Aid)

There is no better sign of credibility as a marketer than using the products that you promote. Many successful affiliate marketers only promote products that they personally use themselves. That doesn’t mean that you need to consume everything you promote but in cases where it makes sense to do that I think you should. Why? Because it shows that you believe in what you’re selling and you’re not just trying to scam people out of money.

Does NOT consuming products you promote make you a hypocrite? No, not necessarily. Let me explain.

Remember that we are marketers. What does that mean? That means that we identify problems and then connect people to products or services that can address, and ideally resolve, those problems.

If we identify a group of people with a particular problem – say vegans who want to buy a vegan-friendly recipe book – and then sell them a product that solves their problem (in this case a vegan-friendly recipe book) then we have done our job as marketers. For that we deserve to be paid a commission.

Now, does that make us hypocrites because we didn’t buy the vegan-friendly recipe book? Heck no! I’m not sure about you but I’m a meat eater so a vegan-friendly recipe book does me no good at all. Now sell me a cookbook with recipes for how best to prepare chicken, steak, and brisket and I’ll buy it. Why? Because it solves my problem.

So if you’re struggling with whether you should purchase everything you promote just be sensible about it. I believe it’s OK to promote something you don’t use. If you’re genuinely trying to help other people solve problems then you deserve to be paid commissions on products you sell to them if it helps to solve their problems. There’s no shame at all, in my opinion, for being paid a commission on a product that you sold to someone but don’t use yourself.

Step 3: Create Your Affiliate Links

You may have noticed in the previous image that there is a red Promote button to the right of the product name and description. That is the button you click on to create your ClickBank affiliate link for that particular product. When you click the Promote button you will see a popup window that looks like the one below:

ClickBank - Promote Button

The Account Nickname: box will auto-populate with your ClickBank username. The nickname should be the same username you created in Step 1 of this tutorial when you created your new ClickBank account. For this example I’ve used <CBname> as the Account Nickname. Obviously yours will be different. If your account nickname is not already in the box be sure to type it in correctly. You do not need to enter anything into the Tracking ID (Optional) text box unless you want to include tracking information in your affiliate link.

When you are ready to proceed click on the red CREATE button. Doing so will bring up a window showing your encrypted ClickBank HopLink (i.e. your affiliate link). Click to highlight the new link and then press Ctrl-C to copy the link to the Windows clipboard. If you are using a Mac use the Command button + C to copy the link.

ClickBank - Affiliate Link

CONGRATULATIONS! You now have a custom affiliate link that you can use to begin promoting your newly chosen ClickBank product. Go pat yourself on the back now and when you’re done with your little celebration go ahead and move on to the next step in your journey … which would be learning what to do with your new affiliate link(s). Because, remember, the title of this blog post is “How To Make Money With ClickBank” and you haven’t yet made any money. That needs to happen for this tutorial to be considered a success. Right?

Step 4: Promote Your Affiliate Links

Until you start promoting your newly created affiliate link(s) no one is going to know about your offer. And as long as know one knows about your offer you’re not going to make any money. That sucks, doesn’t it?

I know you’re excited to start making money with your new ClickBank offer but slow your roll homie –> there’s a right way to promote your offer and there’s a wrong way. And in my opinion, you should take the  time to study and learn the right way to market your offers because it will produce the greatest long-term results for you in your business.

Remember, Affiliate Guerilla is not about ignorant and short-sighted marketing tricks that only produce short-term gains. We teach the art & science of affiliate marketing strategies that can produce profitable results for many years to come. So if you’re serious about affiliate marketing as a viable business opportunity then you owe it to yourself to learn how to do it right.

Bottom Line: Don’t Cut Corners!

So now I’ll explain the difference between the two ways to promote your offers so you don’t make a newbie mistake (even if you’re an affiliate marketing newbie).

The Wrong Way

Most beginners start promoting their affiliate link(s) by posting them directly on websites, social media sites, or by emailing them – sometimes via spam messages to contacts that haven’t opted in to receive such messages. Their hope is that by doing this they will generate some interest and start getting massive sales. In reality that just doesn’t happen. You may get lucky and get a few sales but this strategy won’t work over the long-term because you’re not offering any additional value above and beyond your affiliate offer.

What an uneducated newbie doesn’t understand in the beginning is that what they need to work towards is building a well-oiled marketing machine that can properly guide their prospects through the sales process and generate sales for them automatically.

The basic structure of a newbie marketing strategy looks like this:

[affiliate link] ==> goes directly to ==> [vendor sales page]

The problem with this strategy is that you have no way of knowing who clicks on your link when you post it. As a result, you have no ability to follow up with people who click on your affiliate link. When someone clicks your link they may, or may not, purchase your offer. So, for every visitor that clicks on your affiliate link, but does NOT buy, the sales process ends there.

Why does the sales process end there in this scenario?

Because as soon as the visitor moves away from the vendor sales page without buying you have lost the ability to follow up with them in the future. You didn’t bother to capture their contact information. As a result, the opportunity to make a sale in the future has ended.

This is a bad marketing strategy. So don’t do it. Go above and beyond to learn the professional way to market. You’ll be very glad you did!

The Right Way

If you REALLY are committed to learning how to make money with ClickBank then you’ll want to study and master the professional approach to affiliate marketing. The correct way to promote your affiliate marketing offers is to offer up something of value to your potential customers. Professional marketers know that in order to make the most of their offers they need to engineer systems that can walk a prospect through a system that will close the sale for them automatically. This is done by implementing online systems called “sales funnels”.

Here’s what the top half of a simple 2-step sales funnel looks like in the professional marketers world:

ClickBank - Affiliate Marketing Sales Funnel 1

As you can see in the diagram above there are two parts to the sales funnel. On the far right side you have the Vendor Sales Page. This page is where you’ll send your visitors when they click on your ClickBank affiliate link. Before you send your visitors there you’ll want to first route them through a sales funnel that you build and have full control over. That’s the 2-step sales funnel you see on the left side of the above diagram. Notice there is a Lead Magnet Opt-In page and a Thank You page that make up that particular sales funnel.

That piece of the sales funnel is something YOU will need to build or have built for you. It’s not hard to do yourself if you have the right tools. At Affiliate Guerilla the tool we use to build sales funnels is called ClickFunnels. That’s not the same company as ClickBank so don’t confuse the two. They are two completely different businesses.

SUPER COOL SIDE NOTE: ClickFunnels has a STELLAR affiliate program and you should definitely sign up for that if you've decided to commit yourself to the pursuit of affiliate marketing as a viable business.

You can click here to learn more about ClickFunnels and even get a free 2-week trial so you can test it out.

The top layer of our new sales funnel does two things:
 
1) On the Opt-In page (also known as a landing page or a squeeze page) you will offer up some kind of a free lead magnet to your visitors in exchange for their contact information. Typically, all you’re going to collect from visitors on the opt-in page is their name & email address at most – and sometimes just their email address.
 
The lead magnet you offer to visitors could be a free PDF report that they can download or a video that they can watch after they provide their contact information. As long as your lead magnet is something that provides value to your visitors, and is related to your affiliate offer, then offer it. You need to give your visitors something they find valuable. Otherwise, don’t expect to get their contact information at all.

The contact information visitors provide to you via the opt-in page should automatically be added to an email list – one that you create – in your email autoresponder system. You have one of those, don’t you? If not, then you’ll need one.

The autoresponder & email marketing system we use at Affiliate Guerilla is called GetResponse.

You can get a 30-day FREE trial of GetResponse here.

Building a sales funnel that automatically adds your visitor contact information to an email marketing list is what will allow you to continue to communicate with your visitors after they opt in and even if they don’t buy your affiliate offer the first time.

Someone who has never heard of you before probably isn’t going to trust you (yet) and, therefore, likely will not buy from you the first time you put an advertisement in front of them. You’ll need to follow up with them and stay top of mind before they decide to pull out their credit card and make a purchase.

On average, it will take between 5-7 contacts, and possibly more, with a potential customer before they decide to buy from you. An autoresponder system with a list of good email contacts to market to is where a lot of your money will be made. And, remember, a “list of good email contacts” is a list composed of people who have actually opted in to your list. Don’t waste your money buying an email list. Learn to build one from scratch instead because it will be a much higher quality list.

So, if you don’t have a system like this in place for your offers then there is a very good chance you’ll miss out on future sales opportunities. Consequently, your affiliate marketing income will be lower than it could have been.

2) The next thing our sales funnel does is route visitors (now referred to as subscribers) to a Thank You page after they opt-in. On the Thank You page two things happen. First, a tracking pixel fires to let you know that someone has just opted in to your list. A tracking pixel is simply code you place on the page that is executed when the page loads.

Second, on the Thank You page a Call To Action (CTA) button redirects the visitor to the sales page of the affiliate product you’re promoting after they click on the button.

IMPORTANT: The CTA button on the Thank You page is where you insert your ClickBank affiliate link.

Here is what the entire sales funnel looks like now. Notice the top layer (referenced previously) and the new bottom layer which includes the Lead Magnet Delivery and the Autoresponder Email Sequence.

ClickBank - Affiliate Marketing Sales Funnel 2
The bottom layer of our new sales funnel also does two things:
 
1) When visitors opt-in on the landing page they are automatically added to your email list. As soon as that happens your autoresponder immediately sends out the Lead Magnet Delivery email message. That initial email message should include a download link they can click to access their free lead magnet. Again, that can be a free report, a video related to the offer, or any other type of digital asset you want to offer to them for free.
 
2) The next thing that happens is your email autoresponder initiates a series of follow-up email messages that all relate to the offer you’re promoting via your landing page. The autoresponder email messages are sent to your subscriber over a the course of several days.

(BONUS) Step 5: Click Tracking & Link Cloaking

Click Tracking

Something you’ll want to incorporate into your marketing efforts – and preferably from the very beginning – is a way to track clicks to your ClickBank affiliate links. If you’re new to online marketing then click tracking may seem a bit daunting and overwhelming at first but I promise you it will be in your best interest to learn how to implement click tracking to your affiliate links.

Why? For a lot of reasons but most notably 1) to filter out malicious bots and fake clicks [especially if you’re doing any kind of paid advertising] and 2) because you’ll have valuable analytical data that you can use to improve your marketing which, in turn, will result in more income and higher profits. It will help you tremendously to know which marketing efforts are working and which ones are not. So I highly encourage you to commit yourself to learning about click tracking.

The tool we use at Affiliate Guerilla to track clicks to our links is called ClickMagick. There are plenty of click tracking solutions on the market but ClickMagick is, by far, the best one available and the one we recommend you use.

The best way to get started with ClickMagick is to go through their FREE tracking guide. The ClickMagick tracking guide will provide you with a strong foundation with which to start building your click tracking strategy. They even have training videos that explain, in detail, all the steps necessary to properly setup your tracking links. If you follow the steps outlined in the guide you’ll be a click tracking expert in no time.

Link Cloaking

A topic that I personally don’t see too many professional marketers talking about (at least not in public) is the topic of link cloaking.

Why? Maybe they don’t want potential customers to know they are cloaking their links. Who knows!

Here at Affiliate Guerilla we do talk about it because it’s part of the art & science of affiliate marketing and that’s what we teach!

For us, link cloaking is not bad thing, especially as it relates to online affiliate marketing. It should be discussed and understood so that you can become a better marketer.

There are two reasons why it makes sense to cloak your links:

1) To mask a really long & ugly affiliate link with a shorter prettier link
2) To “brand” your affiliate links with a custom domain

Let me illustrate using a ClickBank affiliate link as an example.

The default (unencrypted) ClickBank affiliate link looks like this:

http://affiliateID.vendorID.hop.clickbank.net

That link format will make some people very uneasy because, to the untrained eye, it looks suspicious. As a result, some potential customers will shy away from clicking a link like that simply out of fear. Obviously, we don’t want to scare off our potential buyers with a suspicious looking link.

The solution to that problem is to cloak the scary link and make it appear more customer-friendly. So our long, ugly ClickBank affiliate link could be re-branded to look something like this:

https://go.affiliateguerilla.com/example

There’s a greater chance that visitors will click on the cloaked link because it looks safer.

So there you have it –> a complete walk-thru of how to make money with ClickBank. You’re now ready to start building a new source of income for yourself as a ClickBank affiliate.

Still confused about which ClickBank products to promote?

Then check out our “New For 2019” post below!

Thank you so much for reading. I hope you found this post informative, educational, and extremely valuable. If you did then please leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.

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In This Post You Learned How To:

  • Create a ClickBank Account
  • Pick the Right Niche for You
  • Choose a Profitable Product
  • Create Your Affiliate Links
  • Promote Your Affiliate Links
  • Build a Professional Sales Funnel
  • Setup Click Tracking

The Tools We Used In This Post

ClickBank (Affiliate Network)

ClickFunnels (Sales Funnel Builder)

GetResponse (Email Marketing)

ClickMagick (Click Tracker)

Help us spread the word! Please share this post with your friends.

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Share on twitter
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LinkedIn
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Share on print
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StumbleUpon

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