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How SaaS Businesses Can Succeed in Affiliate Marketing


Failing to land the right clients is bothersome. Usually, there are different reasons why SaaS businesses struggle with finding new clients. If your business is stuck in a rut, you need to switch to a new marketing tactic to start moving forward again. Enter affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is a digital advertising technique to drive sales and generate online revenue. It can benefit both brands and their affiliates when executed properly.

However, the affiliate industry has been very misunderstood. The problem that many businesses face is that they do not know how to increase the success rate of their affiliate marketing program. In this article, you will learn why affiliate marketing is a great distribution channel for SaaS businesses. Four affiliate marketing secrets will give you the results you hope to achieve in 2023.

What is SaaS affiliate marketing?

SaaS affiliate marketing is a common referral-based commercial arrangement that pays publishers and networks a specific commission. These kinds of arrangements help to encourage communities to spread the word about your technology. That is pretty much a win-win situation for both parties. After all, it is a versatile channel that effectively drives actions for merchants selling SaaS products across a wide range of verticals.

Companies in the SaaS industry now recognize that partnerships are one of the most efficient ways to amplify their growth. Why? First, most affiliate programs require minimal to no investment and effort to get started. Second, you don’t need to invest in building and developing tech products.

Last but not least, more and more businesses are incorporating affiliate marketing in their campaigns nowadays. For example, the projected expenditure for affiliate marketing in the US alone is expected to hit $8.2 billion in 2022, up from $7.4 billion in 2021. Impressive, right?

Is affiliate marketing a viable distribution channel for SaaS?

Spoiler alert: affiliate marketing is an effective channel for SaaS.

Affiliate marketing allows for reaching a larger target audience without burning a massive budget on advertising. A successful affiliate may generate more traffic and sales than a traditional marketing campaign.

Creating new funnels and establishing trust with new clients solely through internet advertising might require a lot more brand awareness to convert. That being said, when promoting products through an affiliate network, conversion rates increase more efficiently.

Affiliate marketing can be a more reliable method of promoting your SaaS business. As algorithms change, SEO results will change as well, hence maintaining your search engine rankings may require extra time and effort. Because PPC campaigns may get costly depending on the traffic they generate, it's always reassuring to know that you've adopted various marketing strategies to fall back on.

Although some businesses still don’t see the value of affiliate marketing, SaaS is one of the most lucrative categories for affiliate marketers, with affiliate commissions varying from 10% to even 70%.

Affiliate marketing is suitable for SaaS businesses as it lets them expand the business at a low cost and almost zero risk.


3 affiliate marketing secrets revealed

Integrating affiliate marketing into your business plan will increase your business’s exposure to a whole new audience. Here are the three best practices you can follow to increase your SaaS revenue and brand reach.

1. Choose your partner management platform wisely

Partner management tools like Reditus can help SaaS businesses structure commissions and pay affiliates accordingly when referrals buy their product. These tools usually come with easy-to-follow setup steps and the features you need to grow your SaaS business with affiliate sales.

Some affiliate management platforms also help automate onboarding for affiliates and provide access to referral documentation, increasing their chances of sales success.

If you need some analytics capabilities, some solutions even allow you to track how visitors landed on your website and the content they consumed before purchasing or completing a specific action.

To be able to reap the benefits, you’ll have to create your account on the platform you use, filling out:

  • your company and website name, it’ll be shown to your affiliates
  • the percentage of commission you would like to offer
  • the category your product fits, it will be shown in the marketplace

If you find managing the registrations or clicks from the affiliate links challenging, the affiliate management platform will help you maintain your affiliates all in one place. See also this full guide on how to set up a SaaS affiliate program.

2. Work with a company that targets a similar audience

The success of your affiliate platform will bring success to your business. Tricky bit? If you're not targeting the right audience, it’ll become inefficient. Spending hours promoting your SaaS product to an audience that isn’t interested will likely result in disappointing conversion rates.

Working with a company with a clear target audience will enable you to better understand your prospects. Learning about audience demographics, behavior patterns, and interests will also help you better gear your messaging toward your audience.

The key message here is that you should take researching recruiting affiliates as seriously as other aspects of your business.

3. Reward your best-performing affiliates

Let's accept it - affiliate partners want to get paid, so one of your priorities should be to keep your best-performing affiliates engaged. You will have a greater chance of keeping them if you provide additional incentives or higher commissions. In addition, building a mutually beneficial relationship will make your affiliates much happier along the journey.

Here are three ways you can reward your top-performing affiliates:

  • Design a tiered commission structure with varying rates
  • Consider non-monetary options - provide gifts or branded merchandise as tangible gestures
  • Come up with competitive bonuses to show you value hard work
  • Offer time-specific bumps in commission during certain periods of the year.

Do not forget: your affiliates are your partners. If they do not receive the motivation and acknowledgment to generate additional sales, they are more likely to get demotivated or attracted by alternative offers in the market.

Rewards should motivate your affiliates. However, it would be best to keep an eye out for your LTV : CAC ratio. This is to make sure you set up a profitable Affiliate Program.

Get started: Supercharge your growth with SaaS affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is a very convenient strategy for SaaS companies as affiliates are paid commissions on sales or actions generated by promotion links. To set up hassle-free affiliate marketing for your SaaS product, you need a reliable affiliate management tool to take care of your marketing needs.

An affiliate management tool helps you track the revenue generated from your affiliates and manage your operations from one platform. If you’re a SaaS company looking to create a new revenue stream for your product, Reditus will get the job done.

Check out the Reditus Marketplace to see what other SaaS companies are offering to their affiliates.

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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