5 Reasons Why Your SaaS Needs an Affiliate Program
Whether it be the task manager software to organize workflows…
The payment service that splits costs during social outings…
Or the health tracker to motivate us towards our individual fitness goals…
SaaS applications have transformed the way we carry out everyday tasks, becoming intertwined with both our professional and personal routines.
But as the industry continues to grow at a rapid rate and more competition emerges, it can be hard for SaaS companies to stand out in a crowded market space. Not only is there the risk of being lost among the mass amounts of ads that floor user’s screens, the cost of display advertising on AdWords and Facebook can be pretty expensive, especially if you are just starting out.
This is where affiliate marketing comes in. More and more, we are seeing how affiliate marketing can work for SaaS.
Affiliate marketing provides SaaS companies an additional marketing channel to directly reach customers and optimize growth.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing encourages individuals (affiliates) to promote your brand in exchange for a commission.
For SaaS, 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.
Here are some of the ways affiliate marketing can help grow and scale your SaaS.
1. Save on marketing costs
Only pay for the 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.
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 campaigns that don’t result in new customers.
2. Reach targeted audiences
SaaS companies are able 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. This overlap will bring in targeted traffic, so that you’ll recieve better quality leads who are more likely to convert to paying customers.
This is especially true if you partner with a niche-specific affiliates.
Focused around certain topics or industries, niche affiliates have “blog authority” —— meaning people go to their site specifically for expertise, information and recommendations about a certain topic. They are credible sources, and have the ability to create unique, in-depth content that can be shared with their built-in audiences.
An example of this is popular YouTuber Danksy and the Adobe Affiliate Program.
Danksy is a YouTuber who has created around 500 tutorials on how to use Adobe software. His tutorials have become wildly popular, having almost half a million followers and being at the top of any YouTube Search results.
So whether it is someone who is just beginning searching for “How to use Adobe Photoshop” or an advanced desginer wanting to “Create A 3D text effect in Illustrator”, it’s likely a Danksy video will come up.
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. So much so that, 60% of YouTube viewers say they follow YouTuber’s advice for what to buy.
3. Leverage word-of-mouth marketing
Affiliates 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.
Affiliates also 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.
Additionally, a great way to share free trial coupon codes or sign up links.
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.
Your exisiting customers also make for great affiliates. Their promotion alone is a powerful marketing message, giving their stamp of approval for your software.
With Tapfiliate’s Affiliate Recruitment feature, you can easily invite customers to become affiliates. Using this tool, new customers (those that are not yet affiliates) will be automatically sent a referral link that they can instantly use to spread the word about your business.
4. Attract top promoters
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.
So you’ll be able to attract the top talent including popular bloggers and influencers, and can incentivize them to be active in promoting and connecting customers to your software.
5. 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 now they can make money for sharing why.
By being rewarded for sharing their experience, it’s likely they will feel empowered and connected to your company. This means not only are you getting your software promoted, you’re also ensuring these customer’s continued loyalty as they now have a vested interest.
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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.