July 26, 2017
Skimlinks is a monetization platform that helps 1.5 million online publishers turn commerce-related content into a substantial source of revenue and insights.
Skimlinks provides their customers with a creative way to monetize their content without overburdening their audience with annoying advertisements. Websites like Buzzfeed, Vox Media, Condé Nast, Gawker and the Telegraph make up some of their major clients. So how did Skimlinks grow to over 1.5 million publishers? With well-thought out and contextual customer journey marketing.
- Started with an integrated marketing tool stack
- Created goals within their acquisition funnel stages
- Contextualized content to maximize lead captures
- Assigned the right leads to sales
- Nurtured leads with relevant content that adds value, for free
- Onboarded publishers by sending the right message at the right time Let’s break these elements down.
1. Started with an integrated marketing tool stack
Skimlinks started with a highly integrated marketing tool stack. Here’s their tool breakdown:
- Google Analytics and Kissmetrics for reporting and analytics
- SEMrush for keyword magic
- Instapage for their landing page builder
- Segment as their customer data hub
- Autopilot for customer journey marketing
- SimilarWeb for digital marketing intelligence
- Salesforce CRM
Everything here integrates together in Autopilot. Skimlinks connected Segment and their own database to Salesforce, then synced that data into Autopilot using the native Salesforce integration. As a result, Skimlinks can map the entire customer journey from acquisition to conversion in Autopilot. Skimlinks set up their sleek marketing tool stack in just 2-3 days and have utilized it on their journey to 1.5 million publishers and counting. Learn how to create your own growth marketing tool stack.
2. Created goals within their acquisition funnel
This is Skimlinks’ three-level acquisition funnel:
Skimlinks applies their marketing stack to all levels of their particular acquisition funnel: acquisition, nurture and retention. Most importantly, Skimlinks sets relevant goals for each level. This helps them create a cohesive and streamlined customer journey. An example of how it plays out practically looks like this:
- Acquisition: Create awareness to generate leads
- Nurture: Gain new signups
- Activation / Retention: Facilitate a value-adding first product interaction
We’ll expand more on how Skimlinks reaches these goals in a minute, but for now let’s appreciate the clarity and thoughtfulness of this setup—it’s beautifully simple. The bones of this customer journey are set. Let’s see how it gets filled in.
3. Contextualized content to maximize lead captures
The focus at the top of the funnel is creating awareness to generate leads. For Skimlinks this looks like a lot of content marketing: case studies, product guides, tip lists, blog posts, generating SEO traffic and PR to acquire enterprise users. But how do they decide the right way to connect to potential leads? It all comes down to language. Are they a Youtube star? Let’s talk about how to monetize their channel with a relevant tip list.
Are they a big enterprise company who wants to know what Buzzfeed is doing? Check out this case study and you’ll know what to do.
Did they stumble onto the site because of smart SEO? There’s a different conversation for that.
This is about knowing where leads are coming from and communicating in a way that matters to them. It’s about adding real value to their lives. Skimlinks speaks to potential lead’s pain points through contextualized content determined by their point of arrival to maximize lead captures. When the lead signs up and fills out a form this is what it looks like in Autopilot:
There’s a live stream feed so the team at Skimlinks can follow everyone visiting their pages. As soon as someone fills out a form they move from being an anonymous visitor to a known lead. From that point on, every time the newly established lead visits their site, they know where they’re going and what they’re doing. This let’s Skimlinks know the best way to define the new lead and where to assign them. More on this ahead.
4. Assigned the right leads to sales
Once Skimlinks has a new lead the next task is start them on a journey relevant to their profession or to assign them to the correct team for follow-up. In this example some leads are sent immediately to Salesforce for the sales team to make contact because of preset criteria Skimlinks chooses.
The lead’s journey will look different depending on what they do and how they sign-up but they all start on the master leads list.