The humble hyperlink hasn’t changed much since its inception. The content it points to has changed wildly, of course. Conversion optimization tools and best practices have forced marketers to make the most of every landing page, and the smartphone focuses this further since screen real estate is always at a premium.
But when you click a link, button, or image, it goes to a single location. And while you can measure those clicks when on your own property, it is harder to measure effectiveness when you steer people away to other sites.
Croosing — a web browsing startup from Tel Aviv — has today launched Superlinks in an attempt to update the static URL and provide marketers with a way to take visitors on a complete journey, even when that takes them away from your own website.
So what does a Superlink do?
Imagine a consumer reading your blog — or that of a partner company that agrees to insert your Superlink. The visitor discovers something they like and clicks the link. That link doesn’t just send them away to a static location. It takes them on a complete journey. The first step might be an informative article, followed by a site that shows them reviews of the product. After a short hop over to a video of a celebrity using the product, they’re taken to the final location where they can part with their money.
And if they interrupt the flow, the journey continues. As you’ll see, a Superlink doesn’t just take visitors on a recorded journey: It allows for additional content to ensure the user understands they are on a journey in the first place.
So who can create Superlinks?
“Creating Superlinks is free and available to everyone,” Uri Ravin, CEO and cofounder at Croosing, told me. “Further down the road, we will offer premium tools and capabilities with fixed price subscription plans.”
For this solution to succeed it needs to be simple to use and make money for both Croosing — so that it continues to develop the product — and the user, who will only care if there is something in it for them.
“The primary business model is based on an automatic affiliate machine built into the core technology,” Ravin said. “This will allow us to auto-manage the commissions derived from each Superlink, and the revenue will be shared with the Superlink creators.”
Does that mean that if you are a publisher, and the Superlink you develop takes the user to an ecommerce destination as the final conversion point, you can generate revenue without needing to have an affiliate relationship with each end-point?
“Yes, you can make money, as long as you’re a part of Croosing’s rev-share plan,” Ravin said. “The auto-affiliation management machine will take care of the business end of things, allowing you (and us) to profit from every transaction.”
That revenue share plan isn’t available immediately. “The affiliation model and mechanism will be publicly introduced after Superlinks are out of the beta stage,” Ravin said.
I’ve seen the journey designer in action, and it is certainly easy to create an experience. After you make an initial recording, you can go back through it, adding or remove links, and insert additional content layers — such as annotations, emoji, speech bubbles, and music. You can also adjust the timing.
Once the Superlink has been completed and shared, creators can see how many clicks their Superlink is getting. An expanded analytics option would be welcome, but the current click metrics are all that is on offer.
While Superlinks work well across different screen resolutions, Crossing has yet to optimize the recorded journey for mobile users. But that is coming.
“Superlinks are available today on PC/Mac, Windows, OS X, Chrome, Safari and most of the Chrome-based browsers,” Ravin said. “Mobile support will be available in the spring (a lean version), with a rich mobile version to follow.”
Croosing is also launching a Superlinks SDK that allows developers to create additional features, enhancing the platform.
“Superlinks are hyperlinks with superpowers,” Ravin said. “All superpowers, including the initial ones, were developed (like navigating, scrolling, controlling media players, text tagging, adding a soundtrack, animated emojis etc.) as plug-ins that are added to the Superlink. The community will be able to develop and share new superpowers with other users. New superpowers will be offered on the marketplace for free of charge or for a fee, depending on the developer’s decision.”
Croosing’s Superlinks are available from today via its website.