Partnerize works with some of the most successful and influential publisher partners, brands, agencies, and solution providers in the industry. As an extension of our Partner Perspective series, we recently sat down with Senior Merchant Development Manager APAC, Devi Soetardjo, and Merchant Development Manager AU, Arthur Malkoun, to learn more about how partners can work with Skimlinks, the benefits of working with Skimlinks as well as what’s ahead for this commerce content solution provider.
Partnerize (PZ): Can you please tell us a little bit about Skimlinks?
Devi Soetardjo (DS): Skimlinks is the leading commerce content solution provider for publishers. We currently work with 60,000 publishers around the world. We power commerce content strategies for publishers to help them grow a revenue stream that can contribute up to a quarter of their overall revenue, making them less dependent on advertising.
For merchants, we also help them generate revenue through commerce content. Data in the Skimlinks Platform shows that the Top 100 Merchants saw their total order value increase by 12% and their average order value (AOV) increase by 76%.
This is why 48,500 advertisers around the world trust Skimlinks to help scale their affiliate program. We see $6 million worth of e-commerce transactions every day through our platform. Our goal is to foster an environment that encourages quality publishers to write about merchants and their products.
PZ: Tell us about your publisher partners
Arthur Malkoun (AM): For over a decade, Skimlinks has been a trusted long-term partner for publishers, including over 50% of the Top 100 US and UK publishers. Our partners include Buzzfeed, Yahoo!, HuffPost, Conde Nast, Hearst. News AU, Are Media, Pedestrian, Singapore Press Holdings, and South China Morning Post. Our international and local publisher partners offer brands paths to extend their reach across APAC and around the world too.
Coverage from these top-tier international publishers means wider reach, creating more brand awareness among potential customers. With our portfolio of publications, Skimlinks helps merchants stay top of mind, helping drive coverage in key content publications.
PZ: What are the benefits of working with editorial content partners
AM: As part of our partnership with Partnerize, merchants can get quality coverage from established and well-respected regional publishers. Their shopping recommendations are trusted by audiences. Our publishers also have well-established and engaged shopping audiences, always looking for advice on big-ticket purchases and inspiration for regular online shopping too.
Having your brand exposed to top publications is a great opportunity for brand awareness and to help shape shoppers’ minds in their purchasing decisions.
PZ: How do you approach network quality
DS: For merchants, the only thing they need to do is accept Skimlinks as their publisher and they will have access to our pool of premium publishers.
Where brands have specific preferences on which partners they work with, we’re happy to be accommodating (e.g. work with a specific group of publishers, incentivise certain partners). In this case, brands can reach out to the Skimlinks team and tell us what their preference is. We have a flexible setup for our merchant partners.
As for publishers, we conduct rigorous quality assessments to ensure our platform only features top-notch publishers. Our Network Quality team manually approves each publisher we work with and continuously monitors the quality of traffic and compliance with Program Policies. Only 2% of publishers who apply are accepted into the Skimlinks network.
PZ: How do you recommend scaling an affiliate program
DS: We highly encourage merchants to work with different types of publishers on their affiliate programs. More sites writing about their products give them more chances to generate revenue from commerce content featuring their brand and products.
They should also ensure a competitive commission rate. Merchants with higher base commission rates achieve higher AOVs and overall revenue. Publishers tend to send traffic to merchants offering the highest Earnings-Per-Click (EPC).
Many of our publishers have developed commerce strategies and are selective in the partners they work with. A competitive CPA rate is a key way to grab the attention of our partners and ensure excellent performance for your program as well. As a result, we recommend merchants increase and vary their commission rates to encourage coverage.
PZ: How does Skimlinks work with Partnerize? How would you recommend Partnerize partners collaborate with you?
AM: To leverage further in this partnership, we encourage Partnerize partners to:
- Share promotions, offers, deals, and discounts as soon as possible
- Merchants offering Free Shipping, Sales, Coupons, or Hot Products generally achieve higher AOV.
- Consider that publishers will begin writing peak season content at least three months beforehand, so the earlier the merchants share their promotion, the more likely it is to be included. Do note that the merchant offers we share with publishers will be 100% confidential and embargoed until the promotion start date.
- Share top-selling products with publishers
- Top-selling products consistently have the highest AOV across our platform. If they have a hot product, an exclusive collaboration, a bestseller, or a new product launch that everyone is talking about, share the story with publishers so they can share it with their readers.
- Be sure to notify publishers when major products are launched
- If possible, share a press release, a marketing calendar and SKU details with publishers three months before the product launches to increase the likelihood that they will feature it.
We understand that as a merchant, it is important to get performance data to measure success and plan for the future. For this reason, we provide our merchants with transparent performance data.
The performance data available to merchants include:
- Page URL
- Order Value
PZ: As we are in Q4, how are you supporting merchants/ partners?
DS: Q4 is the year’s peak season, and we’re supporting our partners across the region and making the most of it. We’ve already had fantastic results at Click Frenzy and Singles’ Day. Now we’re focused on Black Friday this week.
As well as our standing bi-weekly newsletters, updating publishers on the latest offers from merchants and insights in our network, we have multiple additional activations we’ll be delivering for Black Friday and beyond.
Strategic playbooks are on offer to advise partners on optimising their coverage for key events and all quarter we’ve been making introductions between key partners in time to impact the major e-commerce events. Our priority is on using Q4 as a springboard to launch long-term relationships that can last into 2023, because we know they have the most impact for merchants.
Through our parent company Taboola we’re rapidly expanding our publisher partnerships across APAC, adding new clients in India, South East Asia, Greater China, and Australia, with further expansion planned next year.
PZ: How should advertisers aim to optimize their affiliate programs for peak season?
AM: Peak season is an excellent time to utilise and optimise your affiliate programmes to ensure success and high ROI.
Looking at Q4 2021 for instance, our data shows a 70% increase in sales total for merchants in the APAC region Y-on-Y, and a 47% growth in their order value as compared to last year.
Merchants should make their offers and deals available to publishers early. Looking at Q4, we found that 71% of APAC publishers will have their content ready by the end of September. So the more notice on promotions you can give the better: 100% of publishers in APAC seek deals and offers by September. So when planning for 2023 – you need to have your promotions ready by end of September 2023 at the latest.
Merchants can increase their chances of being included in peak season articles by preparing and communicating early. Also, this will boost their chances of getting coverage as traffic increases from the beginning of peak season. Publishers are happy to work under embargo or sign NDAs if brands are concerned about releasing deals too early.
We recommend merchants increase CPA rates during the peak season to maintain their competitive edge. A 25-50% increase in base rates puts them on Publishers’ radar for the holiday shopping season. By increasing CPA rates during the peak season, merchants can strengthen relationships with publishers, resulting in excellent and extended coverage and growing opportunities to build long-term relationships.
To learn more about how to work with Skimlinks, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.