If you’re looking to become an affiliate for SaaS companies, we’ve put together absolutely everything you need to know.
With over $4.7 billion dollars invested in affiliate marketing in the US alone,an affiliate marketing program is one of the most effective ways for businesses to gain customers, and for marketers or salespeople to earn money.
The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) industry fits into the affiliate marketing world beautifully, since marketers simply need to lead potential buyers to the company website or make a connection between the buyer and the vendor, making for a fairly hands-off affiliate marketing and sales process.
If you’re looking to become an affiliate for SaaS companies, we’ve put together absolutely everything you need to know, as well as five great SaaS reseller programs you should know about.
There are many types of affiliate and reseller programs, but this question is best answered in two parts. And that’s defining both affiliate marketing and SaaS.
Affiliate Marketing: an arrangement between a retailer and an affiliate where the affiliate helps to promote a product/service the retailer intends to sell for an agreed commission. An affiliate can be anyone who has an influence with the retailer’s target market, or, somebody who has stellar marketing and sales skills and is able to reach potential customers — even without an existing audience. Examples might include online content creators, reviewers, or social media influencers within your niche.
SaaS (Software-as-a-Service): a business model employed by software vendors in which cloud-based software is licensed through a subscription service. Notable examples of SaaS software include Microsoft Office 356, Amazon AWS, Dropbox and Slack.
Generally speaking, SaaS software is hosted centrally in the cloud, requires no setup period, enforces no licensing fee, gets updated frequently without downtime and has 24/7 support provided by the vendor.
When you throw these two terms together, you have an incredibly lucrative combination known as a SaaS affiliate program, the benefits of which include:
Strong monetary incentives: The bigger the commission, the more incentive the affiliate has in bringing in as many potential customers as possible. Commission rates generally lie between 15 and 50 percent of the sales.
Active support for affiliates: While some companies take a “hands-off” approach to allow their affiliate partners to have as much freedom as possible, sometimes employing an active manager to guide an affiliate is the best route. Active managers can:
Marketing and sales assets: The best SaaS reseller programs provide affiliates with marketing materials, such as banner ads and website plugins, to help bring in potential customers.
Tracking methods: Affiliate link tracking can monitor and identify the top affiliate performers. According to Amnavigator, 90 percent of affiliate sales come from only 10 percent of the affiliates. It’s worth knowing which of your resellers make up for that 10 percent.
Relevant subject matter. As a retailer, ensure the type of content you provide your affiliate network appeals to their target audience.
In order to build a SaaS affiliate marketing program, we advise that you follow the steps outlined below before contacting any potential affiliates:
Once you have your list, it’s time to pick the best ones. For each option, ask yourself the following questions:
Research each partner. What other products does the affiliate promote and how effective is the conversion rate? Sometimes the ideal partner may change as your product evolves.
If you want to learn from the best, take a look at these successful companies are each utilizing an excellent reseller program in their respective industries:
This CRM software collates contact information from business cards and documents for easy reference and analysis. Its reseller program offers a generous $200 commission to affiliates for every new customer.
This cloud-based accounting solution can help you send invoices and track expenses quickly. Its affiliate program rewards their affiliates for both new sales and creating new free trial accounts.
This mobile e-Commerce platform offers Android and iOS apps for your online shop. Commission for its affiliate program awards 20 percent initially with ongoing payments for each referral.
This hosting company offers a competitive referral program for affiliates that rewards its affiliates with $65 for every new customer that signs up and becomes a member.
This cloud-based CMS service manages and streamlines the development of digital content by eliminating IT overhead costs. Its newly-launched partner program has options for both agency and technology partners.
The beauty of the SaaS model is that it can be easily scaled over time. When starting out, take the time to create an affiliate referral program that your affiliate network will find rewarding. Determine what commission or reward structure is common in your industry, what your business can afford to pay for each affiliate sale, and try and headhunt different affiliates that will act as reliable brand ambassadors for your company.
Over time, as you grow, you can easily scale your program. But remember, a successful program needs a strong foundation if you want it to be worthwhile. So, start small and scale big.