From the CEO: Thoughts on Amazon OneLink

Last week was an exciting one for us here at Geniuslink!  While the introduction of a new intelligent link translation tool to the industry always catches our attention, it also helps reaffirm our vision that links can be working harder for marketers is shared by others.  

If you haven’t heard, please let me introduce you to OneLink from Amazon, the new tool added to the Amazon.com Associates dashboard on July 3rd, 2017.  OneLink allows Amazon affiliates (aka Associates) to insert some Javascript into their site and certain Amazon.com links will then be converted into an “intelligent” link.  Those “enhanced” links will, in theory, redirect shoppers from Canada and UK to a product or search in their local Amazon storefronts with the appropriate affiliate tracking IDs correctly attached.  

Sound a little familiar to yours truly, the Genius Link service?  While there is definitely some overlap there are also many differences, but we’ll break that all down in a separate blog.

I am truly excited about the launch of OneLink for a growing number of reasons.

First, I couldn’t be more excited that Amazon has joined us in helping educate marketers about proper management of their global traffic.  We’ve been shouting as loud as we can for years about how being cognizant of your international community, paying attention to the long tail, and focusing on user experience for everyone can pay off in spades, especially for affiliates.  Amazon.com’s Associates program has a massive soapbox to stand on and a very loud bullhorn to use, making their voice carry further.  

Second, I think this is going to help some of the other major global retailers wake up to the challenges of having country and region specific storefronts.  It’s important for them to supply their marketers, both in-house and via their affiliate programs, with links that send each shopper to the correct location.  

For many, Amazon is on the cutting edge, so seeing this adoption should help persuade other major players in the online retail space that they need to be cognizant of geo-fragmentation. We are here to lend them a hand in making it happen quickly and efficiently.  

Third, and probably most importantly, I think this is a great tool for Amazon Associates just starting off.  We’ve worked hard over the years to build a premium service and I’m happy with the progress we’ve made.  However for those just getting started in the affiliate world, I would strongly encourage looking into the OneLink tool, as it can help as you grow and and will allow you to start to understand the value in optimizing for an international audience.  When you’re ready to better monetize your international audience we’ll be ready to get to work for you.

While I think the introduction of OneLink is good for Geniuslink, I’m afraid that might not be the case for some of our smaller competitors that are solely focused on translating Amazon links.  

I’m a fan of a diverse set of offerings from a variety of competitors as I ultimately believe that a rising tide raises all ships.  I think it’s a setback for the industry to lose out on some of these smaller link translation services doing innovative things and marketing in creative ways to help spread the word about how all marketers should be using intelligent links to work harder for them.

We work very hard at having a great relationship with Amazon and their global Associates team.  While I’d be naive to think this alone will keep them from hurting our business, I do fundamentally understand that Amazon does what’s best for Amazon.  

Having recently finished up the LAUNCH Incubator I was grilled on a weekly basis by some of the best business minds and top investors from the Bay Area about why we weren’t going to be steam rolled by iTunes or Amazon or Google or Microsoft…  And the answer that always stuck was focus and execution.  

As a startup, focus and execution are the two things you hold over any large established company and it’s something we fully lean into.

Focus – From day one, back in early 2009,  we’ve been focused on making links smarter and work harder for marketers.  We’ve tackled this problem from a variety of different angles for a growing number of major retailers.  We’ve made mistakes, learned and evolved.  I truly believe we have the best team possible with the most experience in link translation in the whole industry.  Further, we love what we do and are proud of our work.  This combination allows us to stay laser focused on our goal year after year.

Execution – For our small team, our livelihoods rise and fall based on how well we execute on our goals.  While it’s not the month to month battle that it has been in the past the team is fully aware, and quite energized, to know that how well they do their job directly impacts how successful our business is.  It’s not for everyone, but for us this adrenaline rush is one of the reasons we wake up excited every morning.

The last two years have been awesome for the business and we plan to keep pushing on in the same direction.  We will continue with our priority queue of engineering projects, press on with optimizing our link translation, keep on finding efficiencies in how to operate, always put our clients first, and keep shouting as loud as we can about the value of using smarter links for all of your marketing.  

As many of you and my team know, I’m an open book.  I look forward to your questions and comments.  We do this for you so let us know how we can help.

Cheers.
-Jesse Lakes

CEO / Co-Founder

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