5 Reasons Why Your SaaS Company Needs an Affiliate Program
It’s no secret that software as a service (SaaS) has become a common fixture in our daily lives, used for both professional and personal functions. Whether it be a task manager for the workplace, payment services for social outings or tracking health progress for individual goals; SaaS is now intertwined with our everyday routines.
As the industry continues to expand at a rapid rate and more competition emerges, it’s imperative for SaaS companies to scale and grow their business.
A quick Google search will show there’s several approaches to increasing conversion rates.
Generally speaking, the online marketing space can be pretty crowded. Together with the high-cost of display advertising on AdWords and Facebook, companies risk being lost in the mass of irrelevant ads that bombards users day in and day out.
But, the good news is that SaaS companies aren’t limited to only these approaches. Affiliate marketing is a great way to take your SaaS business to the next level.
The emergence of affiliate marketing provides SaaS companies an additional marketing channel to directly reach consumers and optimize growth.
Affiliate marketing encourages individuals (affiliates) to promote your brand in exchange for a commission.
For SaaS businesses this is usually when someone signs up for a subscription. With Tapfiliate’s Customers Feature, you can track from when referred customers sign up for a trial to when they enter a paid subscription.
Read below for some of the ways affiliate marketing can optimize growth for your SaaS business.
1. Build Customer Loyalty
An affiliate program is a great way to collaborate with your existing customers.
This is a win-win for existing customers. They are happy with your SaaS and can make money for sharing why. And by being given the opportunity to monetize their experience, it’s likely they will feel empowered and connected to your company.
From a business perspective, not only are you getting your software promoted, you’re also ensuring these customer’s continued loyalty as they now have a vested interest.
2. Reach the Right Audience
Affiliate marketing gives your SaaS company the ability to reach entirely new audiences via an affiliate’s network. There’s likely a close match between who your selling to and audience of the affiliates you have selected. And this overlap will bring in targeted traffic, so that leads convert into customers.
This is especially true if you partner with a niche-specific affiliates. Niche affiliates offer “blog authority”, meaning people go to their site specifically for expertise, information and recommendations about a certain topic. By having built-in audiences comprised of people with similar interests, these affiliates can create credible, in-depth content. Then, with the content is an affiliate links that bring potential customers directly to your site.
Let’s look at the Adobe Affiliate program as an example. A YouTube search for “How to use Adobe Indesign” brings up several results, including videos from popular YouTuber Dansky. Danksy has created around 500 tutorials on how to use Adobe software and has become wildly popular in this niche with almost half a million followers. With each video is an affiliate link in the description section to buy Adobe software - bringing a very large, targeted audience directly to Adobe’s website. Even more, 60% of YouTube viewers say they follow YouTuber’s advice for what to buy.
3. Save on Marketing Costs
One of the best parts about affiliate marketing is that you only pay for ads that actually convert.
With a pay-for-performance model, affiliate marketing is very cost-effective.
It’s a low-risk investment, with a clear ROI compared to other online marketing channels. For example, ads on Google or Facebook may bring users to the site, but there’s no guarantee that the audience is a good match for your software or that the impression/click will result in a conversion. With affiliate marketing, you avoid spending on ad space and campaigns that don’t result in new customers.
4. Offer Real Insight
Affiliates can provide a genuine and authentic voice for your marketing. Users will trust who the information is coming from. Think of this as a friend sharing rather than a salesperson selling.
A trusted affiliate won’t want to ruin the experience for their users by overwhelming a site with ads that are irrelevant or contain unseemly links. Rather, they would provide users with advertising that is relevant, intriguing, and worthwhile.
It’s important to be selective when finding affiliates for your SAAS product. Focus on creating a network that is comprised of high-quality affiliates that thoroughly understand your software, and aren’t just sharing to share. Ideally, this would be an affiliate that uses your software on a regular basis or has expertise in this field.
Additionally, affiliates can market beyond the confines of flashy slogans or catch phrases. Affiliates have the ability to simplify software in a way that their audiences can clearly understand, especially if they have been using your software previously. YouTube is a great way for affiliates to create “how to” content and software reviews.
This is also a great way to share free trial coupon codes or sign up links.
5. Gain Better Promotion
SaaS companies are uniquely situated to offer affiliates a benefit that is not commonly found elsewhere: recurring commissions.
The recurring revenue model of SaaS companies translates into recurring payouts for affiliates – which can be very tempting for affiliates. This will consequently attract the top talent including popular bloggers and influencers, and incentivizes them to be active in promoting and connecting customers to your software.
Overall, an affiliate marketing program is a mutually beneficial way to reward loyal customers while simultaneously reaching niche audiences filled new potential customers.
Check out Tapfiliate’s SaaS integrations here.