Jesse Lakes left Apple to launch a series of websites that utilized the iTunes and Amazon affiliate programs, but realized they had an issue with monetizing geo-fragmented audiences because of the country-specific affiliate programs. They came up with a solution, and as the project became a success, it was clear that they had built a tool that other authors, entrepreneurs and marketers would benefit from using.
Jesse knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur starting early in his college years. He did several entrepreneurial projects in college before getting the opportunity to work for Apple and manage their affiliate program. When Jesse realized he was only making the problem of geo-fragmentation worse working for Apple he decided to create a tool to solve the problem. That’s when we got together with his team and created geniuslink.
Geniuslink is a link management tool that allows you to create a link that will function over all the Amazon storefronts. A geniuslink figures out where in the world a click came from and directs the clicker to your product in the appropriate Amazon store. This leads to a better customer experience, more sales for you, and potentially more affiliate income.
In this podcast we talk affiliate marketing, international business and the two link management tools that Jesse and his team operate: the subscription service geniuslink and their free alternative BookLinker.net
Here are some of the takeaways:
- Companies like Apple and Amazon have different affiliate programs in different countries because it’s easier to create different business entities in different countries for tax reasons, rather than create tools that work worldwide.
- One reason Amazon doesn’t redirect customers to the appropriate store is that it’s technically complicated to do.
- Another reason is there are digital rights issues when you cross country lines.
- Generally speaking, the country your credit card is registered in is the country that you can legally buy digital products from.
- With geniuslink is that you can make money from a number of affiliate programs with just one link. All you have to do is sign up for the individual affiliate programs on the various Amazon storefronts, and wherever your product is bought you will get affiliate credit for that sale.
- geniuslink allows you to track where your clicks are coming from so that you can determine where your marketing efforts are doing the most good.
Getting started with geniuslink
1. First, decide if you want to focus more on being an author than on marketing. If that’s the case you want to go to BookLinker.net. This is a free tool that has similar functionality to genius link. It has a simpler interface and it’s free.
2. If you’re interested in the marketing side, sign up for Amazon’s associate program. (Please note: some states are ineligible for the Amazon associate program. Please read the terms and conditions.)
3. If marketing really excites you, consider signing up for two or three of Amazon’s Associates programs in different territories.
The Top 4 Amazon Associates Programs
1. Amazon.com Affiliate Program — America’s affiliate program
2. Amazon.co.uk Affiliate Program — Amazon’s affiliate program for their UK store.
3. Amazon.ca affiliate program — the affiliate program for Amazon Canada.
4. Amazon.de affiliate program — Amazon’s affiliate program for their German store.
geniuslink Advanced Features
Retargeting — retargeting is the practice of buying ads and sending them only to a targeted group of people who have visited certain pages on your website. It is a very profitable way to advertise because you already know these people are interested in you. Now, using geniuslink, you no longer have to direct people back to your own website to run one of those campaigns. You can actually target an audience that clicked a geniuslink anywhere on the web and arrived at your Amazon sales page.
A/B testing with links — with geniuslink you can set up a link to randomly assign a percentage of your audience to a different destination and then track the sales conversion on both sites. In this way you can figure out which site converts better for you and adjust your marketing accordingly.
Links and Resources Mentioned in the Interview
www.geni.us — The full-fledged link management tool with advanced marketing features, including target selection and A/B testing.
www.BookLinker.net — the free alternative to geniuslink with a simpler interface.
Amazon Link Engine — a WordPress plug-in that works with geniuslink to make sure that your customers get directed to the appropriate store front and you get an affiliate commission.