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How To Find Affiliates for SaaS Growth? Channels To Explore

The cornerstone of a flourishing affiliate marketing program lies in assembling an influential and committed team of affiliates.

A promising recruit can transform your product's market presence by connecting with the right audience in ways you might not have imagined.

However, in today's hyper-competitive SaaS landscape, where everyone is vying for the spotlight, finding and attracting affiliates who understand your niche, have the motivation, and align with your customer profile feels more like a strategic operation than a mere recruitment task.

This guide aims to ease this challenge for affiliate marketing managers like you by demystifying how to find affiliates for your product.

It's tailored to provide you with actionable insights and strategies, making your quest less about sifting through a haystack and more about connecting directly with the needles.

In this journey, we're not just sticking to the beaten path. Sure, we'll explore the standard channels through which you can source affiliates, but we're also diving into some novel and less-used ones that can give you an edge.

By the end of this guide, you'll have several avenues through which you can find affiliates, each with its own set of strategies for engagement and recruitment.

Let this be the beginning of an exciting chapter in your affiliate marketing story, where the connections you make today fuel the growth and success of your program tomorrow.

A pre-recruitment basic: Clearly defining your ideal customer profiles (ICPs)

Before we dive into the multitude of channels available for finding affiliates, let's take a step back and focus on a fundamental aspect of your affiliate marketing strategy - understanding who your affiliates will be marketing to - your Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs).

Joran Hofman, founder of Reditus, a leading SaaS affiliate management software, emphasizes the importance of this step:

It's crucial to have your ideal customer profile defined so you can identify who has access to them in bulk.

Joran Hofman, founder of Reditus

This insight underscores the strategic imperative of how to find affiliates for your website, streamlining and simplifying your recruitment process by ensuring alignment with your ICPs.

Why is defining your ICPs so critical to affiliate hiring? Here are some compelling reasons:

  • Tailored affiliate search: Identifying affiliates who already reach your target audience ensures effective and efficient recruitment, saving time and focusing efforts where they count.
  • Quality over quantity: Focusing on affiliates with direct access to your potential customers leads to higher-quality leads and better conversion rates, rather than merely increasing free signup numbers.
  • Access to untapped channels: Discovering new channels where your ICPs are active but underexploited can give you a first-mover advantage in affiliate recruitment.
  • Streamlined communication and onboarding: A clear understanding of your ICPs allows you to provide new affiliates with targeted information and resources, making the onboarding process quicker and more efficient. This prepares affiliates to start their promotional activities with a solid grasp of your target audience right from the start.

Ultimately, by anchoring your affiliate recruitment strategy in a well-defined understanding of your ICPs, you not only enhance the efficiency of your hiring process but also improve the overall performance of your SaaS affiliate marketing program. This focused approach ensures that every affiliate you bring on board is well-equipped and well-positioned to engage and convert your target audience effectively.

If your business has already defined its target audience as part of the broader business strategy, harness these predefined ICPs to identify affiliates who can authentically engage with and influence your target audience. For those at the outset of defining ICPs, you can start by diving into your existing customer data and collaborating with sales and support for insights.

Regardless of your starting point, the application of well-crafted ICPs is fundamental to recruiting affiliates.

Key channels for finding and hiring your ideal affiliate partners

Having established the crucial role of ICPs in honing your affiliate recruitment strategy, we're now poised to explore the breadth of channels through which you can discover and engage with potential affiliate partners. From tapping into your existing user base to exploring professional connections, competitors' backlink sources, and affiliate marketplaces, we'll navigate through several avenues to identify where your next affiliate partners could be.

Let's dive into each channel, understanding their unique advantages and how they can be effectively utilized in your affiliate recruitment strategy.

Channel #1: Your product users

BigVu, a teleprompter tool, turns every new user into an affiliate automatically.

BigVu, a teleprompter tool, turns every new user into an affiliate automatically.

The first place to find new affiliates might not be what you initially consider, yet it's arguably the most accessible and authentic source - your existing product users.

Joran highlights this untapped potential:

Your own user base is a prime starting point for affiliate recruitment. Users who already love your product can become powerful advocates.

Joran Hofman, founder of Reditus

Some unique advantages of using this channel include:

  • Built-in trust: Users-turned-affiliates naturally advocate for your product based on their genuine experiences, making their recommendations more credible and impactful than traditional advertising. This trust enhances the authenticity of their promotions, appealing directly to potential customers.
  • Ease of recruitment: Your current user base is readily accessible through existing channels, like email or your product's user interface. This direct line simplifies the process of engaging and enrolling new affiliates, streamlining recruitment efforts.
  • Reduced onboarding time: Users familiar with your product can start promoting it without extensive training. This familiarity allows them to convey the benefits of your product accurately and passionately, accelerating the launch of their affiliate endorsements.
  • High conversion potential: Affiliate recommendations from satisfied users are more persuasive, leading to higher conversion rates as their advocacy is rooted in authentic, personal experience with your software.

Best practices and tips on how to hire affiliates utilizing this channel effectively:

  • Seamless integration: Integrate the affiliate program signup flow within your software's user dashboard or account settings, making it easily accessible and impossible to miss for interested users.
  • Custom referral links: Automatically generate custom referral links for users upon signing up for the affiliate program. Ensure these links can be easily shared via social media, email, or even within personal blogs. For example, BigVu, a teleprompter tool, integrates affiliate signup seamlessly into the user dashboard, providing every user with a unique affiliate link as soon as they create an account.
  • Dynamic rewards system: Implement a tiered rewards system that increases benefits based on the number of successful referrals. This could include features like subscription upgrades, access to premium content, or increased commission rates, incentivizing ongoing promotion.
  • Real-time tracking: Provide a dashboard where users can track their referral progress in real-time, including clicks, signups, and earned rewards. This transparency encourages trust and motivates users to continue promoting.
  • Feedback loop: Encourage and act on feedback from your user affiliates to continually improve the affiliate program. This optimizes the system and shows your users that their input is valued.

In essence, leveraging your product users as affiliates unlocks a powerful channel rooted in authenticity and shared success. This strategy enhances your product's visibility through trusted recommendations and rewards your users, fostering a community of advocates. By embracing these best practices, you not only answer how to attract affiliates but also transform your user base into a dynamic force that propels your product forward. Consider this approach not just as a recruitment tactic but as a cornerstone of your growth strategy, inviting your users to grow alongside your product.

Channel #2: Your professional network

Beyond the immediate circle of your product users, the next logical step in broadening your affiliate recruitment encompasses your wider professional network.

This includes everyone from consultants and agencies to business partners you've collaborated with.

Joran encapsulates this strategy, stating:

Your network, including consultants, agencies, and partners you already work with, can be a valuable source of affiliate referrals.

Joran Hofman, founder of Reditus

Some unique advantages of using this channel, which underscores how to find affiliates to sell your product, include:

  • Pre-existing relationships: Leveraging established relationships means engaging with individuals and organizations who are already familiar with your product's value, reducing the need for initial vetting.
  • Diverse reach: Your professional network spans different industries and niches, offering access to various potential affiliates with unique audiences that can diversify your affiliate program.
  • Trust and credibility: Recommendations from within your network carry inherent trust, making it valuable to recruit affiliates who are credible and respected in their own right.
  • Opportunity for co-marketing: Collaborating with professionals and businesses within your network can lead to co-marketing efforts, where both parties benefit from shared promotional activities. This can significantly enhance the visibility of your affiliate program and hire affiliates who want to leverage these co-marketing opportunities to reach broader audiences.

Best practices and tips on how to find affiliate partners utilizing this channel effectively:

  • Personalized outreach: Tailor your communication to each known connection, highlighting how the partnership can benefit both parties. Personalization shows respect for the existing relationship and acknowledges their unique position.
  • Offer exclusive deals: To make the affiliate opportunity more appealing, consider offering exclusive deals or higher commission rates.
  • Facilitate easy onboarding: Provide streamlined onboarding, acknowledging their familiarity with your business and respecting their time and existing knowledge.
  • Maintain open communication: Keep the lines of communication open, offering regular updates on product developments and marketing strategies to help them succeed.

Tapping into your professional network as a channel for affiliate recruitment offers a strategic advantage grounded in trust, familiarity, and shared goals. You can transform these pre-existing relationships into fruitful affiliate partnerships by prioritizing personalized outreach, exclusive incentives, and supportive onboarding processes. Ultimately, leveraging your professional connections not only diversifies your affiliate program but also reinforces your brand's overall strength and reach in the market.

Channel #3: Platforms for affiliate program listing

A screenshot from the Reditus Marketplace built exclusively for SaaS affiliate programs.

A screenshot from the Reditus Marketplace built exclusively for SaaS affiliate programs.

Exploring platforms for affiliate listings not only answers the question of where to find affiliates but also how to get more affiliates interested in your program. These platforms are treasure troves for those pondering where can I find affiliates who are eager and ready to promote products like yours.

Joran emphasizes the potential of this avenue:

Listing your affiliate program in marketplaces can expose it to a broader audience of potential affiliates, streamlining the recruitment process.

Joran Hofman, founder of Reditus

These platforms offer a centralized location for any affiliate marketer to discover new programs, making them an essential tool for expanding your program’s visibility.

Some unique advantages of using this channel include:

  • Wider audience access: These platforms bridge the gap between your affiliate program and a large, active audience of potential affiliates. Instead of limiting your search to your existing circles, marketplaces expand your reach globally, giving you access to affiliates who are already looking for SaaS products like yours to promote.
  • Targeted opportunities: Many marketplaces allow you to categorize your listing by niche or industry, attracting affiliates who are more likely to be interested in your specific offering.
  • Efficient recruitment: Marketplaces offer an organized platform where you can receive applications from interested affiliates in a streamlined manner. This environment facilitates easier discovery and connection with potential affiliates and simplifies the screening process at your end, making the recruitment workflow more efficient and less time-consuming.

Best practices and tips on how to recruit affiliates utilizing this channel effectively:

  • Optimize your program listing: Ensure your program description is clear, compelling, and complete. Highlight the unique benefits of your product, the support you offer affiliates, and the specifics of your commission structure. An optimized listing not only attracts but also engages potential affiliates.
  • Use high-quality visuals: Include logos, banners, and promotional materials in your listing. Visuals play a crucial role in capturing attention and can significantly impact the first impression of your affiliate program.

Pro tip: Get your program listed on the Reditus Marketplace

A standout approach to leverage the advantages of affiliate marketplaces is listing your program on the Reditus Marketplace, specifically designed for B2B SaaS affiliate programs.

Why choose the Reditus Marketplace?

  • Focused audience: Reditus attracts over 6,000+ SaaS-focused affiliates, ensuring your listing is seen by a highly relevant audience.
  • Streamlined recruitment: The platform simplifies the affiliate application and screening process, allowing you to connect efficiently with potential affiliates. Further, the auto-accept feature allows you to approve applications automatically, putting new affiliates on a fast track to start promoting your product.
  • Active recruitment support: Beyond listing, the Reditus team can actively assist in recruiting top-tier affiliates, like an affiliate recruitment agency, minimizing your efforts and expediting this team-building process.

Leveraging the Reditus Marketplace for accelerated partner hiring: The Expandi success study

Expandi, a LinkedIn automation tool, exemplifies the impact of listing on Reditus. Before Reditus, Expandi relied solely on its affiliate network for recruitment. By listing on Reditus, Expandi ventured beyond its immediate network, quickly onboarding over 70+ B2B SaaS affiliates within six months. This expansion was crucial for identifying high-potential growth channels outside their original scope. Within a year, Expandi generated over $50k in total revenue, with nearly $10k MRR attributed to Reditus affiliates.

Stefan Smulders, CEO of Expandi, remarks on their experience:

We started with Reditus to see the effect of the marketplace and were happily surprised with the results. Having run Reditus parallel to our existing program allowed us to test the platform without the need of migrating our affiliates right away.

Stefan Smulders, CEO of Expandi

This case study underscores how listing your program on an affiliate marketplace like Reditus can transform your recruitment strategy. It provides a scalable platform for connecting with top-tier SaaS marketers and driving significant affiliate revenue growth.

Screenshot showing a website's sponsored links identified through backlink analytics using Semrush.

Screenshot showing a website's sponsored links identified through backlink analytics using Semrush.

Exploring affiliate recruitment means identifying untapped opportunities, such as the backlinks to your competitors' websites. These backlinks, particularly from content creators and influencers using affiliate links, indicate potential partners already versed in your industry and product type.

Joran highlights this strategy's effectiveness:

Recruiting affiliates who already promote products similar to yours can be an effective strategy. Offer unique value propositions to attract them to your program.

Joran Hofman, founder of Reditus

This approach taps into a pre-qualified pool of affiliates, streamlining the recruitment process by targeting those already engaged with your market through competitor offerings.

Some unique advantages of using this channel include:

  • Directly targeted affiliate base: By focusing on backlinks from your competitors, you're targeting affiliates already immersed in your niche. This ensures that the affiliates you recruit deeply understand the market and can craft content that resonates with your ideal customer base.
  • Competitive insight: Backlink analysis reveals who your competitors are working with and how they structure their affiliate offerings. This insight allows you to identify gaps in their strategy or areas where you can offer better terms, making your affiliate program more appealing to potential affiliates looking for the best partnership opportunities.

Best practices and tips on how to get affiliates through this channel effectively:

  • Use backlink analytics tools: Employ tools like Semrush or Ahrefs to identify websites and social media influencers linking to competitors using backlink analytics. Filter for sponsored or affiliate links to narrow down potential affiliate partners.
  • Craft personalized outreach: When reaching out, acknowledge their current affiliate efforts and highlight what makes your program uniquely beneficial. A personalized affiliate program landing page can boost application conversion rates.
  • Offer competitive commissions: To lure them away from competitors, consider offering more lucrative commission rates or benefits. Ensure your affiliate program is not just comparable but more attractive.
  • Demonstrate success stories: Provide data or case studies showcasing other partners' success with your program. Tangible evidence of potential earnings and growth can be a powerful motivator.

Using competitor website backlinks for affiliate recruitment offers a direct path to find affiliate marketers familiar with your market. With a backlink analytics tool and targeted outreach, you can set up a robust acquisition process. This method enriches your affiliate roster and grants insights into rival strategies, setting up your affiliate marketing program for greater success.

Channel #5: Publishers of high-ranking pages and software roundup content

Targeting publishers of high-ranking pages and software roundup content emerges as another strategic approach. This method involves identifying content that already enjoys high visibility in search results for key business search terms and offering the website owner an affiliate opportunity to feature your product.

Some unique advantages of using this channel include:

  • Immediate visibility: Being featured in "Best of" listicles or software roundups places your product directly in front of a highly targeted audience actively searching for solutions in your category. For instance, if your product falls into the affiliate marketing tools category, securing a spot in a top-ranking page for this search term can significantly elevate your product's visibility.
  • Credibility through association: Placement in reputable roundups or lists lends your product additional credibility, as readers may perceive it as vetted and recommended by a trusted source.
  • Cost-effective reach: This approach can be more cost-effective than traditional advertising, offering the potential for high ROI.

Best practices and tips on how to approach affiliates to hire through this channel effectively:

  • Identify key content: Use SEO tools to find high-ranking articles and pages relevant to your niche, especially those featuring competitor products.
  • Offer value: Approach website owners with a clear value proposition. This might include exclusive access, unique benefits for their audience, competitive commission rates and even boilerplate content to make plugging your product pitch effortless.
  • Negotiate hybrid revenue deals: Consider negotiating deals that might include an upfront payment for inclusion plus a performance-based commission model to align incentives. You can learn more about several other revenue models being employed in the affiliate marketing industry here.
  • Monitor performance: Track traffic and conversions from these sources to assess the effectiveness of your placements and adjust your strategy as needed.

Collaborating with publishers of high-traffic content offers a prime opportunity to showcase your product to engaged audiences, leveraging established trust and search visibility. By carefully selecting content partners and crafting mutually beneficial agreements, you can significantly amplify your product's market presence and attract quality affiliates ready to promote your offerings.

Channel #6: Sources of organic product or brand mentions

In the digital ecosystem, organic mentions of your product or brand represent a goldmine of potential affiliates. These mentions indicate an existing interest or endorsement of your business, making the transition to affiliate partnerships a natural next step.

Some unique advantages of using this channel include:

  • Pre-established interest: Individuals or entities mentioning your brand already engage with your product, reducing the need to build initial interest.
  • Authentic advocacy potential: Since the mention is organic, it comes from a place of genuine appreciation or interest, leading to more authentic and persuasive advocacy as affiliates.
  • High conversion potential: Given the existing familiarity and positive disposition towards your brand, converting these mentions into affiliate partnerships is easier.

Best practices and tips on how to attract affiliates to sell your product through this channel effectively:

  • Utilize media monitoring tools: Harness tools such as Google Alerts or Awario to continuously monitor and track who mentions your brand across the web. This proactive approach ensures you never miss an opportunity to convert a casual mention into a strategic affiliate partnership.
  • Personalize your outreach: Tailor your outreach messages to acknowledge the specific mention or article, highlighting the mutual benefits of transitioning this organic interest into an affiliate partnership.
  • Offer incentives for linking: For mentions without existing links, present an opportunity for them to monetize their content through affiliate links. For those already linking to you, propose enhanced collaboration.

Organic mentions are not just flattery, they're a signal of potential affiliate partnerships waiting to be forged. By actively seeking out these mentions and engaging with the individuals behind them, you open up a channel for authentic and enthusiastic affiliate collaboration.

Channel #7: Affiliate profile listings (thanks to an upcoming feature from Reditus)

Screenshot from the Reditus "Recruit" feature interface.

Screenshot from the Reditus "Recruit" feature interface.

While we've discussed the benefits of listing your program on directories hosted by SaaS affiliate platforms like Reditus to attract affiliates, imagine being able to proactively sift through vetted affiliate profiles from around the web to find the ones most promising for your program. Reditus is set to introduce a feature that makes this proactive approach not just possible but seamless, accessible directly from your affiliate program dashboard.

Here’s a preview of some key advantages it will unlock for your program:

  • Pre-vetted talent pool: Access to a curated selection of affiliates who have already been vetted, saving you time in finding quality partners.
  • Transparent offerings: Affiliates list their audience details and pricing packages upfront, eliminating the need for extended negotiations and helping you make informed decisions quickly.
  • Content samples: Viewing examples of potential affiliates' content allows you to gauge their fit for your brand before initiating contact, ensuring alignment in messaging and audience.
  • Intuitive recruitment flow: Navigate through affiliate profiles sorted by interaction status, from fresh prospects to confirmed partners, ensuring an efficient and organized recruitment journey.

This innovative approach offers a strategic pivot from passive attraction to active engagement, ensuring affiliate partnership managers like you can more effectively identify and collaborate with the most suitable partners for your marketing goals.

Note: By the time you read this blog, this novel feature may already be rolled out. Creating a free account with Reditus ensures you can leverage our existing tools to automate affiliate marketing workflows like tracking and payments and are promptly notified when this dynamic feature goes live.

Channel #8: The search framework by Joran - "Who has access to my ICP in bulk?"

While it's challenging to cover every possible channel for affiliate recruitment exhaustively, we can provide a framework that guides you toward the most fertile ground for recruiting new affiliates. This approach centers around a simple yet powerful question: Who has access to my ICP in bulk?

Joran puts this into perspective:

Think about where my ICP gets their information from - who are these people, who are these companies, and could we get them to start recommending us basically?

Joran Hofman, founder of Reditus

Envision the various platforms and individuals your ICP interacts with - newsletters that cater to their interests, influencers and thought leaders they follow on social media platforms like YouTube or TikTok, and agencies that service their business needs. Each of these sources could be the key to unlocking a new partnership outside standard affiliate networks.

Closing thoughts: Find and manage your affiliate partnerships with the Reditus platform

This guide has walked you through a comprehensive spectrum of affiliate search strategies, from nurturing the seeds of affiliate relationships within your product users to strategic outreach to high-traffic websites that already resonate with your ICPs.

This journey's essence lies in finding affiliates and forging meaningful partnerships that are mutually beneficial and aligned with your business goals.

As you venture beyond conventional paths and tap into the innovative avenues we covered above, the Reditus Marketplace stands out as a powerful channel.

A simple listing of your affiliate program on this specialized marketplace extends your visibility, allowing you to connect with a broader network of potential partners eager to promote products like yours. The simplicity of the application process, complemented by features such as auto-accept, streamlines the recruitment phase, ensuring you can quickly onboard new affiliates without the hassle of manual approvals.

Furthermore, the upcoming affiliate profile listings feature in the Reditus Marketplace introduces a proactive approach to affiliate recruitment. Instead of passively waiting for affiliates to find you, you can take charge, browsing through detailed profiles of vetted affiliates, understanding their audience, and assessing their fit for your program right from the get-go.

Beyond just recruitment, Reditus, as a platform, excels in nurturing and managing these partnerships. Personalized affiliate dashboards offer a unique blend of oversight and autonomy, allowing affiliates to track their performance while giving you the insights needed to support and enhance their efforts.

Ultimately, whether it's simplifying the recruitment process or enhancing the management of your affiliate partnerships, Reditus stands as a testament to how technology can transform the landscape of affiliate marketing for SaaS businesses.

Request a personalized demo of Reditus today!

Joran Hofman
Meet the author
Joran Hofman
Back in 2020 I was an affiliate for 80+ SaaS tools and I was generating an average of 30k in organic visits each month with my site. Due to the issues I experienced with the current affiliate management software tools, it never resulted in the passive income I was hoping for. Many clunky affiliate management tools lost me probably more than $20,000+ in affiliate revenue. So I decided to build my own software with a high focus on the affiliates, as in the end, they generate more money for SaaS companies.
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