Switzerland-based Linksert wants to be the easiest way for anyone to earn revenue from affiliate marketing, which lets users share a unique link to a product, and earn money every time someone purchases that item by following that link. Given that often times people are turned off by either the complicated nature of the number of affiliate networks they have to join and manage, or general perceptions about the field, Linksert’s platform aims to change that. Launched in October 2012, the startup provides users with access to over 18,000 online merchants, with a dedicated URL shortener to create affiliate links and a WordPress plugin for bloggers.
“There are many affiliate programs around the world. Then again, you have affiliate networks which combine quite a few of them, up to 3,000, but you don’t have one that combines them all together. Secondly, most people don’t really know what affiliate marketing is and it’s really difficult to get into it, because most people give up after a while,” said CEO Zachar Tolmachev in an interview with BetaKit. “That’s the point of Linksert, it aggregates all these networks together and makes it very simple to create affiliate links and share them online.”
After signing up, users enter a link to a product or service and Linksert converts it into a unique affiliate link, which they can share on any of their social networks or blogs to earn money each time someone makes a purchase from that link. Though the industry standard is five percent of the total purchase, Tolmachev said it really varies based on the merchant, the product, and the industry as a whole, with some earning as high as 30 percent.
Once a user reaches $10 in total affiliate revenue earned, the money is deposited into their PayPal account, though Tomachev said it can take up to 75 days due to internal policies merchants have in place to ensure the transaction and protect themselves. That verification takes 60 days, with Linksert adding a few more as a buffer for themselves. The startup makes money by taking a 20 percent cut of what its users earn.
The service itself appears to be targeted more at everyday online consumers who wouldn’t mind earning extra cash for sharing items that they frequently purchase themselves, akin to Referly, which allows users to curate their own affiliate link storefronts. Right now the company is still trying to tackle the challenges that come with content being globally accessible, and certain affiliate links working in a given region while not in another.
It’s a challenge other companies have tackled in the past, with affiliate marketing platform Viglink partnering with GeoRiot to optimize their iTunes affiliate links by making them more geographically contextual and smarter. Services like Viglink, YieldKit, Kehalim, and another popular platform Skimlinks appear to be more oriented towards power users, whether popular individual bloggers or small to mid-sized publications looking to monetize their content, whereas Linksert looks to get those with a casual interest into the game.
Because of its focus on beginners, Linksert lets users browse its network of merchants, get product recommendations, and see the rates they can earn in case they’re still wondering where to get started. It’s also actively working on adding more browser-based and blogging platform plugins to further simplify the process, while also looking to add tools that increase the ease of sharing the affiliate link for its users. All of which are things they’ll have to add in order to retain their base of users if they do develop a taste for the idea of affiliate marketing and consider moving on to another more robust platform.