As we celebrate our tenth anniversary, I want to take the time to say thanks to all of our partners for their part in making AvantLink a huge success. Better partnerships really do matter in this business and we‘re honored to have partnered with so many great people and companies over the last ten years.
I also want to say thanks to the AvantLink team. We have an incredible team that is passionate about helping our partners succeed and they bring this passion to work with them every day. I‘m very proud of everyone here at AvantLink and all that we have accomplished.
The ten year mark is also a good time to reflect on the goals that we set out to accomplish in our first ten years and to take an honest look at whether we‘ve achieved those goals.
When we started AvantLink we had three primary goals in mind: Read more
1) Create a next-generation affiliate technology platform that brought new, innovative tools to the market and provided more modern technology than the established networks were providing.
From the initial launch of AvantLink, we brought new, advanced tools to the market and disrupted the stagnant status quo tools that the established networks had settled on.
From products like our initial Datafeed Web Service Tool that made it simple for affiliates to plug in a merchant's product catalog and show product level ads, to innovative tools like the Affiliate Link Encoder that allowed blogs and forums to instantly monetize years of legacy content, to disruptive tools like AvantMetrics that allow merchants to go beyond last click wins and optimize their program in a way that better aligns with their goals, AvantLink has continued to focus heavily on creating next-generation technology. See our innovation history in the timeline below.
2) Focus on quality over quantity to create better partnerships with our clients.
Since AvantLink's inception, we have consistently focused on quality partnerships on both the merchant and affiliate side. This has allowed us to scale AvantLink in a sustainable way that has been beneficial to AvantLink and our partners. Focusing on quality has enabled us to provide the best customer support in the industry even to this day and to remain agile for quick turnaround times on new feature requests.
3) Be a force for good in the industry and take a strong stance on ethics.
From day one, we personally conducted carefully curated reviews of every merchant and affiliate that applies to AvantLink. This upfront vetting process keeps our network extremely clean and fosters stronger partnerships across our platform, while simultaneously reducing management costs for all clients because of the fraud that is avoided. We don‘t turn a blind eye to questionable tactics; that remains a top priority for our company.
The net effect of remaining consistent with these goals for over a decade is an affiliate marketing ecosystem that we can all be proud of. AvantLink is a technologically advanced affiliate marketing platform that maximizes quality opportunities, efficiency and helps us all grow our businesses without all of the noise, junk and fraud that many have come to expect from the industry.
So what does the next ten years look like for AvantLink? We‘re just getting started and we have big plans to make the next ten years even better. Stay tuned for some big announcements over the coming year that will further demonstrate our commitment to these core principles and goals.
And a most sincere thank you to everyone who has been part of AvantLink over the last ten years!
– Scott Kalbach, Founder & CEO
At the beginning of October, 2015, we asked you to help us reach an ambitious goal to celebrate our Ten Year Anniversary. AvantLink‘s objective was to donate $10,000 and have that donation be powered by you, our users, by sharing our charity drive message on social channels. Each time an AvantLink affiliate or merchant shared our message on a social channel and tagged it with #AvantLinkTen, we would donate $5. We chose to donate the funds to charity: water, an amazing nonprofit that helps to bring clean drinking water to developing nations.
As a company, we didn‘t know what to expect. Would our users care enough to share the message? Would we have enough involvement to reach our goal? What would happen in the end? Two months later, we got our answer. You helped crush our goal!
We are thrilled to see so many of you join us in this campaign to not only help meet our goal, but exceed it. AvantLink‘s $10,000 donation was met after a flood of shares on social channels and many of our users and employees took it to the next level by making their own donations to the fund! This took the end total of AvantLink‘s Ten Year Charity Challenge to $11,000! We couldn‘t be more happy or humbled by the results.
If you participated in our Ten Year Charity Challenge, we thank you for helping support a great cause and a fantastic charity. We‘re looking forward to another ten years of working together.
On October 1 2005, AvantLink officially launched in Park City, Utah, where the company still remains.October 2005
Prior to the network's launch, AvantLink had already developed their first highly unique and powerful affiliate tool, the Web Service Datafeed Client. When the network went live, the tool was immediately made available to affiliates, allowing them to quickly and easily harness the full power of merchant datafeeds and create a full-scale online shopping portal on their websites. The Web Service Datafeed Client quickly put AvantLink on the map as an affiliate-friendly and technology-oriented network.
Shortly after AvantLink launched, the first network sale was made.October 2005
Just three months after the first sale in the network, AvantLink hit an astonishing milestone of over $50,000 in affiliate sales driven through the network in one month.March 2006
In August, AvantLink hit their second major financial milestone for the year with over $100,000 in affiliate sales driven through the network in one month.August 2006
Continuing the rollout of powerful affiliate advertising technology, AvantLink launched the Deal of the Day tool for affiliates. This powerful widget not only utilized merchant datafeeds to automatically show individual daily product deals, but was (and still is) extremely simple for affiliate to configure and use. See the video below to learn more about the DOTD tool.
For affiliates who loved the automation of the DOTD tool, the Dynamic Deal Feed took it to another level. This tool enables affiliates to show the latest sales or promotional related ads from their merchants in an automatically updating widget. Powerful, easy to use, and always relevant content. Learn more for yourself in the video below.
In April, 2007, AvantLink hired their first employee to help with the constant need to develop new affiliate tools and improvements to the network.April 2007
In July, 2007, AvantLink launched the industry's most robust and well-documented API, including the AvantLink API Request Builder tool. If you're wondering what that sound is, it's the sound of tech-savvy affiliates around the globe still rejoicing. Don't know what an API is? Take a look at this video and quickly learn what it is and how to use it!
Half a million dollars in affiliate sales in just one month was reached in July, 2007. AvantLink's affiliates and merchants were really starting to get some traction.July 2007
Three years after AvantLink was founded, the Affiliate Link Encoder was turned live for affiliates. Arguably the most powerful tool in the AvantLink arsenal, the ALE automatically targets keywords of an affiliate‘s choosing in their content and converts them to an affiliate link that the affiliate specifies. The ALE allowed for near immediate monetization of years of old archived content for many affiliates. Not using the ALE yet? Take a look at the overview video below and try it out for yourself.
Only five months after the last major affiliate sales benchmark, AvantLink saw the first million dollar month.December 2007
What's better than $1,000,000 in affiliate sales in one month? $5,000,000! And that's exactly what AvantLink merchants and affiliates achieved in December 2009.December 2009
In July 2010, AvantLink moved headquarters to their new Iron Horse Drive location. This new location provided more space, better conference rooms, and most important of all- amazing access to mountain biking trails and snowboarding for lunch breaks!July 2010
A busy Q4 in 2010 meant the AvantLink team had to grow, and that meant reaching double digits in the number of team members. The tenth Avantee was hired in December 2010.December 2010
June 2011 marked the launch of AvantMetrics, AvantLink's fully actionable attribution platform, well before attribution was even being talked about. This tool has allowed merchants unparalleled insight into their affiliate program and to take action based on data from individual sales cycles. Learn more about AvantMetrics in the video below.
The AvantLink App Market was launched in October 2011 as a way to encourage outside developers with great ideas for affiliate tools to build them, make them available to the entire AvantLink network for free, and make money off the tool whenever it was used to drive a sale. The result was a huge success, leading to exceedingly popular and immensely powerful tools like the SnapLinker custom link generator, which you can see in action below.
Seven years to the day after AvantLink was founded, AvantLink Canada was launched, a network specifically dedicated to Canadian-based merchants who ship to Canadian customers and affiliates who have Canadian traffic. This market dedication and focus helped AvantLink Canada become a leading network for any Canadian affiliate marketers. Wow, that was a lot of "Canadas" in two sentences...October 2012
Affiliate sales through the AvantLink network really started to skyrocket towards the end of 2012, reaching a new all-time high of $10,000,000 in December.December 2012
Once again, AvantLink quickly outgrew the space in their headquarters and needed a bigger place to call home. In July 2013, right before the first AvantExpo, AvantLink moved into a new two story building.
More photos July 2013
AvantLink's first annual user conference, AvantExpo, was held in early August 2013, and featured a mix of the network's top merchants, affiliates and agencies. The event focused on unique and high-impact networking opportunities and was held in AvantLink's backyard in Park City, Utah.
The AvantLink Paid Placement Bidding System was launched to help affiliates with high-value ad space easily manage their placement fees for merchants who wanted to put their affiliate ads there. Conversely, merchants had the opportunity to bid on high-value, high-visibility ad space on top tier affiliate sites for extra exposure and ad visibility. Haven't used the PPBS yet? Watch the video below to get started.
Ah, the chaos and fun that is Q4! In 2013, this meant a lot of busy and savvy AvantLink affiliates and merchants hitting a new high of over $15,000,000 in affiliate sales through the network in December alone.December 2013
AvantLink‘s second annual user conference in Park City featured more attendees, more high-value networking opportunities, and more extreme activities - including a trip to the gun range.
In November of 2014, AvantLink Australia was launched with the same ideas that drove the creation of AvantLink Australia- complete dedication to a specific market. In this case, Australian retailers who shipped to Australian customers could partner with affiliates who have Australian traffic. Say Australian three times fast and then take a look at the excellent programs available down under.November 2014
A strong Black Friday and a Cyber Monday squeaking into late November instead of December led to another record breaking month for affiliate sales driven through AvantLink at over $20,000,000 in a single month.November 2014
If you have the space, use it! With twenty Avantees in December 2014, the extra space in the new AvantLink HQ was being put to good use.December 2014
Another month, another record! Courtesy of a huge Q4, over $25,000,000 in affiliate sales were made through AvantLink in December 2014.December 2014
With two successful years under the belt, AvantLink had to make AvantExpo even better than before. For 2015, the event was held at the Silver Baron hotel in Park City, Utah, and featured activities like mountain biking, paddle boarding, chairlift rides, and more to compliment the dedicated networking and strategy sessions the attendees held with each other.
The AvantLink team reached 25 in October 2015, including talented developers, world class affiliate managers, business development experts, support and integration rockstars, nerdy marketing people, vital accounting and HR folks, and the executive team that started it all.October 2015
AvantLink‘s tenth anniversary also brought with it the first decade long merchant clients of the network: Moosejaw, CampSaver and Rock/Creek. These incredible merchants have built extraordinarily high value affiliate programs over the last decade and continue to grow bigger and better with time.October 2015