3 Effective Ways to Find Loyal Affiliates
The truth about SaaS affiliate programs is: 90% of the sales and revenues usually come from just 10% of your affiliate partners. Sure, you can be reactive; waiting for a great affiliate or ambassador to come around and sign up for your program and contribute to that 10%. Or you can be proactive and go out and find them.
In this post, I am going to outline 3 practical ways to find the affiliates that will be real revenue drivers for your brand.
1. Through your beloved customers.
This sounds like common sense but more and more I find SaaS companies might present the affiliate program once (in an email) or link it on their website - and then just forget about it and expect affiliate prospects to come to them. The reality is: it takes a few different ways to present your affiliate program where customers might find a use case for it.
So how do you pitch your affiliate program to your customer base with the goal of them signing up?
Present different value propositions at different times to see what resonates. Some people think that the main incentive for people to sign up for an affiliate program is just commissions/money. Not always true. Here are a few ways and use cases you can use with presented it to your customer base:
- Talk about how their business or if they are an agency - how they can wrap services around your product or service and use the affiliate program to earn commissions as a result.
- Present the affiliate program in a “sticky” part of your application. For example, If I am an email marketing software company and someone does an email blast, I might qualify that as an action that they use and like the product (and thus would like to sign up for the affiliate program to tell others about it and earn commission).
- Create an assignment that involves the affiliate program. For example, Ask your customers to write a review for your software/business on their blog or create a resource page on their site mentioning your product. Ask them to sign up for the affiliate program, link to your site using their affiliate link, and then ask them to send you an email after they have done so for a small prize. People love rewards!
2. Through Organic Search Results.
Your SaaS company solves a problem. They are many people out there writing about solving your problem - that happen to not be your customers. Those people’s articles rank high for those search terms that have overlap with your product/service.
For example, using the reference of an email marketing company I used earlier, there can be a lot of different search terms that my ideal customer would be looking for:
- How to use email marketing?
- How to build an email list?
- What is the best email marketing software in date/year?
I would want to make sure that a) My company can be thoughtfully mentioned in these articles (or reference additional content on my site that could support the article) or b) if they are comparing them to my competitors, ensure I am listed.
Why? Most blogs or information sites (not related to company blogs) are making their money off of affiliate revenues or paid placement advertising. If you have a great product, solves a need, and attracts the right customers - these sites would be foolish not to mention you if they focus on your industry. Reaching out to them to strike up an affiliate relationship is worth it (How to do this? I wrote a detailed post telling you exactly how to pitch these types of sites, here.)
3. Through co-marketing and aligning partners.
Let’s say your SaaS company has software for users to build basic websites. Your main focus is easily allowing customers to drag-and-drop blocks to form websites and launch them on their own.
Let’s also say, there is a company out there that deals in website security.
Both have affiliate programs. The website security affiliate program might have affiliates that would be a good fit to promote a website builder to their audience (and the website builder has the same in their program for security).
Doing some co-marketing to each other’s affiliate base (perhaps offering a discount of each other’s product in return for signing up for their program) is a great way to find affiliates or loyal ambassadors who might not have heard of your company or product in specific or aligning industry.
Let’s wrap it up…
Most SaaS companies feel dejected when they can’t find affiliates right off the bat. It takes time and creativity! Luckily using these tips can help you add fuel to the fire in targeting affiliates that will be good promoters of your brand.
If you’d like more tips and strategies to find affiliates for your SaaS company, check out, “12 actionable ideas to find affiliates for your SaaS Software.“