UK advertising startup Skimlinks has announced a new deal with popular forum software developers vBulletin to integrate its innovative affiliate marketing technology into the company’s forum software, allowing forum owners to effectively monetize their communities.
Skimlinks is a service that makes affiliate marketing a little less ‘ugly’ by getting rid of the long URLs that often put users off clicking links. The fact that the publisher is getting a cut from sales of the product they’re linking to is completely invisible, as a Skimlinks URL looks just like a normal non-affiliate link.
It’s a model that has won Skimlinks some major worldwide publishing clients including Future Publishing UK, and Hachette Flipatti Media.
Forum owners have found it difficult to earn from their communities, placing Google adverts throughout the site would leave users frustrated by the banners and images that littered the site. Skimlinks has realised that website visitors will take to forums to discuss products and wants to make them more of an attractive proposition for advertisers – in-turn rewarding the forum owners – with some of its clients already amassing over $80,000 using the Skimlinks service.
We’ve covered Skimlinks previously, reporting on its new SkimKit app which allows publishers to quickly and easily browse all the products available on Skimlinks’ affiliate database and add links to their articles with a click.
vBulletin forum owners will be able to download the Skimlinks-enabled release today, which is activated in versions v4.x of the software or via a plugin which is downloadable via the vBulletin Members’ area.
This partnership makes Skimlinks only the second monetization partner that has its service built into the core software for vBulletin, the other being Google AdSense.