internet marketing 101: If you want a customer to click a link, it better damn work. That’s harder than it sounds. With users all over the world using different browsers and devices, international companies can accidentally route people to the wrong websites or, worse, nowhere at all. That’s what happened to Mark Leathem, VP of corporate marketing at HyperX, the Fountain Valley, Calif.–based maker of gaming headphones. The company advertises on sites and on social media around the world, but its links to local online retailers were often sending visitors to the wrong stores -- losing it nearly 75 percent of potential traffic. “We were letting down customers,” says Leathem. “And the lousy links made us look like we didn’t care.”
Last year, on a work trip to Seattle, Leathem was introduced to Geniuslink. It has a service designed explicitly to fix and streamline links. “At that point, I didn’t have anything to lose,” Leathem says, so he gave it a shot.
Geniuslink’s team went through every HyperX link, country by country and retailer by retailer, and within 24 hours had them automatically routing potential customers by device, operating system and country. Geniuslink also tracked how many people who clicked the links actually bought headphones, helping HyperX understand its customers and which products and marketing channels worked best.
Leathem was impressed and signed up for a monthly subscription fee: $10 for every 10,000 clicks made on Geniuslink-optimized links. HyperX’s customer conversion rates have tripled -- and that makes the service a “total steal,” Leathem says, especially compared to more expensive competing services. Equally important to Leathem: Geniuslink has allowed him to distribute sales leads evenly to a select number of retailers, predetermining what percentage of overall traffic goes to each vendor based on inventory, price or other factors. “We’re paying less money, and our conversions are better than ever,” Leathem says.
A service like Geniuslink can clean up a big mess, but companies can avoid this kind of trouble in the first place. “Too often, I see marketers who don’t have enough of a technology background forget to tell the IT team building out a website what they want from a link and what they need that link to do,” says Chris Neumann, CEO of CROmetrics, a web optimization company in San Francisco. “Half the battle is setting up [a link] the right way, and the key to that is communicating and engineering it properly from the beginning.”